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Memories of VE Day

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Friday 8 May 2020 marks 75 years since Nazi Germany's formal surrender at the end of the Second World War. On VE (Victory in Europe) Day in 1945, millions took to the streets to celebrate peace after years of devastating war.

The 75th anniversary should have been a nationwide celebration, with street parties, concerts, and a host of special events to mark the occasion. However, plans have had to change, and people all over the country will be holding their own celebrations at home, ensuring that the end of war in Europe will not be forgotten.

We invited Brendoncare club members and other supporters to show us their creative sides, and send us their stories, poems and pictures on the theme of VE Day. The competition will remain open until 30th June, so if you’re inspired by the submissions we’ve had so far, or if you’ve been struggling to get out to the post, there is still time to send your entry to us.

Here are a selection of the stories and poems we’ve received so far.

Wally Seymour from Yateley Thursday Lunch Club told us of his time aboard the Liberty ship SS Samsette, delivering equipment to Hong Kong, coal to Shanghai and grain to Africa. In his letter, he says “She (the Samsette) was always working to help the war effort, then helping those who needed help after the war. When I heard that she had been scrapped, after being pushed from pillar to post, then into lumps of pig iron to razor blades, it was very upsetting.”

George Jenkins from Totton Kurling Club wrote about his time with the Royal Navy. He was drafted onto the cruiser HMS Newfoundland shortly after VE Day, and remembers the atomic bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in Japan. He says “I visited Hiroshima, and hope with all my heart nothing like this ever happens again.”

Roy Elliott, a volunteer at Penny’s Friendship Club in Ferndown, wrote a poem entitled ‘This Day in May.’ Roy’s granddaughter, Amy, also volunteers at the club and says “We hope you like it, we love it.”

Patricia Beckerley, from the Winton Friendship Club, submitted a poem called ‘The Best of Us’, which was written by her son, Timothy. She says “The ‘Jack’ mentioned in the poem is Timothy’s uncle, captured in Singapore aged 19. Glad to say he lived until he was 90.”

Residents at Brendoncare Park Road have been painting poppies to mark the occasion. Take a look at their paintings below.