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Victory Celebrations, 8th June 1946

by Ron Goldstein

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Contributed by 
Ron Goldstein
People in story: 
The people of London
Location of story: 
London
Background to story: 
Army
Article ID: 
A4768040
Contributed on: 
04 August 2005

The page in my Army Album that says it all

There has recently been some controversy on this site regarding the date of the Victory Celebrations in Europe and whether or not there was actually a Victory Parade held in London on VJ Day itself.

Other articles have also suggested that Her Majesty the late Queen Salote of Tonga and various other foreign Royals also took part in the 1946 Victory Parade

Before adding my own views on the subject I would remind myself that Peter Ghiringhelli once unknowingly paid me a compliment by telling me I was a ‘Prime Source’ as far as research on WW2.

Peter, of course, was merely acknowledging the fact that because of my date of birth, 16th August 1923, my many photographs and my Army Records, all of which are easily verifiable, it was evident that I had actually taken part in the events about which I had written on this site. I therefore consider, if only for the purpose of credibility, that I am a fairly safe bet when it comes to giving accurate dates.

On the 15th of August 1945 VJ Day was proclaimed.

At the time I was still serving in Austria and heard on the radio, as I did on VE Day, the celebrations that were taking place back in England. I am more than certain that there was no Parade or March in London on the day, there was certainly no time to organise such an event.

It was a different matter with the Victory Parade.

On the 8th of June 1946 I was on leave from Trieste.

On the day , I got myself up silly early in order to obtain a prime position in Whitehall where I had the pleasure of seeing a fantastic parade of arms which included representatives from my own regiment, the 4th Queen’s Own Hussars.

I have no recollection or any written evidence to suggest that her Majesty Queen Salote of Tonga or indeed any other foreign Royals, took part in the Victory Parade and can only suppose that some folk are confusing this with her attendance at the coronation of HM The Queen on the 2nd June 1953

When I returned to Trieste after my leave I wrote up a page in my Army Album and a photo of that page is now shown above.

Since first writing the above I thought that in the interests of factual accuracy I should ask another party to confirm my memory of the event and I therefore wrote to the Tonga High Commission in London.

My letter, followed by their reply, should put the controversy finally to rest.

17th October 2005
Tonga High Commission
36 Molyneux Street
London W1H 5BQ

Dear Sirs

May I firstly apologise if this letter is not addressed to the right department and ask you to kindly pass it on to anyone who can be of assistance to the writer.

I am a British WW2 veteran who has written many articles on the BBC WW2 Peoples War Website. This website is shortly to become a very important archive of WW2 history and I, and others, are concerned that items included should be factually correct.

One of the articles concerns her late Majesty, the Queen of Tonga and claims that Her Majesty took part in the 1946 Victory Parade in London.

As someone who actually witnessed the 1946 parade, I have pointed out that this information is incorrect and that the writer is confusing her Majesty’s later and famous participation in the Coronation of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II on the 2nd of June 1953..
(Please see my article on: A4768040)
It would be most appreciated if you could confirm that my memory is not at fault and that Her Majesty Queen Salote did NOT attend the Victory Celebration Parade on 8th June 1946.

With many thanks for your trouble

Yours sincerely

Ron Goldstein

Reply received by e-mail:
19th October 2005-10-19
Subject: Re-1946 Victory Parade in London

From: (writers name withheld by Ron)

Dear Mr Goldstein,

Thank you for drawing our attention to the article on BBC and we wish to confirm that Her late, Majesty the Queen of Tonga did not attend the Victory Celebration Parade on 8th June 1946.

With best wishes,

Yours sincerely,
Tonga High Commission
LONDON

Regards to all

Ron

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Message 1 - Victory Celebrations, 8th June 1946

Posted on: 04 August 2005 by Peter - WW2 Site Helper

Of course you are a prime source Ron and may you long continue to be.

As regards the Victory Day Celebrations, you may see the Radio Times TV programme of the event here http://www.tvradiobits.co.uk/tellyyears/june1946.htmAbout links

This next link is correct, but seems temporarily off; it gives the full programme of the Victory Day celebrations http://www.naval-history.net/WW2VictoryParade1.htmAbout links

Best wishes,

Peter

 

Message 2 - Victory Celebrations, 8th June 1946

Posted on: 07 August 2005 by Harold Pollins

Ron and Peter

I was a member of the 'permanent staff' of the Victory Parade Camp in Kensington Gardens. I wrote about it at A28770642

Harold Pollins

 

Message 3 - Victory Celebrations, 8th June 1946

Posted on: 07 August 2005 by Peter - WW2 Site Helper

Found it, it's here A2870642 :)

 

Message 4 - Victory Celebrations, 8th June 1946

Posted on: 08 August 2005 by Harold Pollins

Peter

Thanks for correcting the reference.

Harold

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