Anne Hall remembers VE Day
“With the spring came that longed for day of delirious excitement for us all, May 8th, our day of Victory over Europe. That wonderful voice of Winston Churchill, which had kept us going through the long dark years, now declared that the Germans had surrendered and the war in Europe was over. I was working, at the time, with the Enford gang, and I rang Mr Hardy and was given permission to give the gang the day off to celebrate. Most of us at once made for home.
At Salisbury I was lucky to catch a Bournemouth bus, and the impatience I suffered while the driver and conductor left the bus for ten minutes in Fordingbridge quickly faded. They returned with lots of bunting and flags and we passengers were able to help them to dress up the bus for our triumphant ride home. There were no police stopping us this time to see our Identity Cards to ensure we had a Bournemouth address.
As soon as I got home, I rummaged around in the attic and found the Union Flag my Grandpa had flown at the end of the First World War. We had a flagpole in the front garden, and no sooner was the flag flying than folk all up and down the Avenue were hard at it, decorating homes with lots of bunting.
Mother came with us into Bournemouth where the assembling crowds were dancing in the streets and generally going mad with joy. This was a second time round of this sort of celebration for Granny and Mother’s generations. While in Meyrick Park, Churchill’s announcement of the Victory over tannoys was greeted with much cheering. Returning to Southbourne, we went to All Saint’s Church for the service of Thanksgiving, and returned home to hear the broadcast of our beloved King of whom we were so proud for staying in England with his people. As we hastily stood for the playing of the National Anthem, one could almost feel the warmth from the glow of the patriotic fervour surrounding us.”
Anne Hall, Land Girl: Her Story of Six Years in the Women’s Land Army, 1940-46 (Bradford on Avon: Ex Libris, 1993), pp.122-123.