From the Vaults: The Times, May 9, 1945

Today is the sixty-fifth anniversary of the end of the war with Nazi Germany: VE Day. We should never forget the soldiers from the Allied nations who so bravely defended Britain from Nazi invasion and defeated an evil enemy who would have taken away our freedom and liberty.

May 8, 1945 became a day of celebration.  I copy below an extract from a report in The Times the following day:




From Our Parliamentary Correspondent

The Times, May 9, 1945, p.4.

One of the most moving and remarkable scenes of all yesterday’s national rejoicing was that which took place just before 6 o’clock in the evening when Mr. Churchill spoke from a balcony in Whitehall to a great crowd, whose self-disciplined orderliness and gaiety were so typical of the proud, unconquerable spirit of London through the dark and perilous days now left behind….

Mr Churchill’s appearance was greeted with a loud cheer, and this was renewed when the crowd heard his voice – carried resonantly by the loud-speakers, saying “God bless you all.” After further cheering, waving, and singing by the crowd, Mr. Churchill said:- “This is your victory! It is the victory of the cause of freedom in every land. In all our long history we have never seen a greater day than this. Everyone, man or woman, has done their best. Everyone has tried. Neither the long years, nor the dangers, nor the fierce attacks of the enemy, have in any way weakened the independent resolve of the British nation. God bless you all.”

The Prime Minister’s words were heard distinctly throughout Whitehall, and when he had done there was another great outburst of cheering. With Mr. Bevin beating time, the crowd sang “For he’s a jolly good fellow,” and Mr. Churchill repeatedly waved acknowledgements. Mr. Bevin called for “three cheers for victory,” and the crowd responded with three fervent and deep-throated cheers.