VE Day   notes from the Guardian 1945

VE Day notes from the Guardian 1945
Bodmin Town Museum

By: Bodmin Town Museum
Added: 08 May 2015

May 8th 1945, Bodmin, Cornwall - VE day – notes from the Guardian of May 10th 1945:

At 3pm Winston Churchill broadcast to the nation to officially announce the end of the war with Germany.

“The County Town’s Celebrations. Thousands take part” “Isn’t it grand to think it’s over” were the headlines!

During the Monday evening things began to liven up with happy noisy celebrating groups near the Turret Clock. The volume of rejoicing grew in steady crescendo until towards midnight triumphant young voices could be heard singing “..Britons never ...shall be slaves..” 

Next day, children were freed from school and filled the streets with happy sound. People rushed around finding food before the shops closed so staff could join in the celebrations. By mid-morning the main streets had been decorated; music came from loudspeakers on a car roof; young men and women of the Services and pedestrians made their way through the town; the Parish bells rang all afternoon and evening; a thanksgiving service was held in the Parish Church at six o’clock, and services were also held in the other churches and chapels.

The King’s speech was relayed to the crowd on Mount Folly. Bodmin Town Band  playing the Flora Dance tried to march through the crowds up to Town Wall then on to the Asylum clock and there was no way of distinguishing  between dancers and spectators – Fore Street became one ‘bobbing animated mass of people’.

Back on Mount Folly, now floodlit, the band continued playing and the sound was punctuated by  ‘fireworks’ let off by the troops.

The YMCA opened for free refreshments from 3.15pm to 11pm. Estimates of 4000 drinks, 5000 sandwiches, cakes etc, 50lbs of biscuits distributed. It was an open house with community singing, wireless news, thanksgiving service with voluntary staff and members of the forces.

Plans were made for a united thanksgiving service for victory to be held at St Petroc's Church on Sunday at 3pm to be attended  by the Mayor, members of the Town Council, Forces and local war-time services.