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Celebrating My 21st Birthday in May 1945 by "B.K."

by Stockport Libraries

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Stockport Libraries
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09 June 2004

This story was submitted to the People’s War site by Elizabeth Perez of Stockport Libraries on behalf of "B.K." and has been added to the site with her permission. She fully understands the site’s terms and conditions.

My 21st Birthday was in early May 1945. Unknown to me, my Mother had scraped enough food together to provide me with a small party, on my return from work on that day, because of course at that time no one was allowed to take time away from work except for illness. As I neared the house I could hear voices and laughter, which was unusual. I was surprised to find one or two nearby friends and relations in the house, and the table laid with sandwiches and a cake. Everyone was in a happy mood, and I was told that earlier that day the BBC on the radio had announced that Hitler had committed suicide. The ensuing celebration was as much for an early end to the war, as for my coming of age. Someone had provided a bottle of sherry, which had been stored during the length of the war. That was the first time I tasted sherry, as alcohol had been in short supply for years and drinking was not allowed until age 21 years.

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