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VJ Procession and the Tramps by Gordon Sharrard

by Stockport Libraries

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Contributed by 
Stockport Libraries
People in story: 
Gordon Sharrard
Location of story: 
London
Background to story: 
Civilian
Article ID: 
A4648999
Contributed on: 
01 August 2005

This story was submitted to the People's War Website by Pam MacLaren, a volunteer for BBC GMR, on behalf of Gordon Sharrard and has been added to the site with his permission. The author fully understands the site's terms and conditions.

After VE Day, when it was safer, our school which was Westminster School, was moved back to London. My home during the war was Lincoln, but when we returned, we found our school in ruins and burnt out. The scholars couldn’t be put in dormitories. We were housed in houses around Little Dean's Yard.

The Churchill Club (a social club for important people) occupied Ashburnham House, and I often met people involved in running the war in the school library. As a senior boy I had more freedom and was allowed entry to places in Westminster, and was able to watch proceedings in the House of Commons and hear debates, so I saw a number of well known people, e.g. Churchill, Eden, and MacMillan. I was shocked by the casual behaviour in the House of Commons.

The earliest example of international activity of the United Nations took place at Church House. Every country sent an ambassador to meetings there, which went on through the night for several days.

So now moving on to VJ night in Parliament Square. There was a stand there and we sat there and watched the VJ Parade. The crowds were massive and to get to Trafalgar Square, we needed to use enterprise to proceed without hindrance up Whitehall. We got two yards behind two very dirty and smelly tramps! So the crowd parted to let them through and that is how we got all the way up Whitehall. The boy that led us was called Crispin Tickell. He was later knighted as ambassador of Mexico.

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These messages were added to this story by site members between June 2003 and January 2006. It is no longer possible to leave messages here. Find out more about the site contributors.

Message 1 - The Queen of Tonga

Posted on: 01 August 2005 by Ron Goldstein

Dear Mr.Sharrard

Sorry to be a bore but I need to prod your memory.

I quote: "So now moving on to VJ night in Parliament Square. There was a stand there and we sat there and watched the V.J. parade. We saw Queen of Tonga in an open carriage. In spite of rain crowds were massive"

Queen Salote did not come to England until June 1953, for Queen Elizabeth's
Coronation in fact and was certainly not here for VJ day.

Best wishes

Ron Goldstein

 

Message 2 - The Queen of Tonga

Posted on: 01 August 2005 by Peter - WW2 Site Helper

Dear Mr Sharrard

I have to agree with Ron; moreover there was no parade on VJ day. I think you you have in mind the big Victory Parade which took place in London on 8 June 1946. That date was declared to be Victory Day which, for some unexplained reason, the BBC shifted to 10 July this year.

You may see the programme for the Victory Parade here http://www.naval-history.net/WW2VictoryParade1.htmAbout links

Regards,

Peter

 

Message 3 - The Queen of Tonga

Posted on: 15 August 2005 by Stockport Libraries

Dear Ron
Mr Sharrard has asked me to reply to your email.
He acknowledgeds the errors and explains it was because he was giving his rcollections verbally and it was later that he realised his mistakes but the story had already been posted. It has now been withdrawn. Thank you for reminding him about the sequence of events.
Linda Paton on behalf of Mr Sharrard

 

Message 4 - The Queen of Tonga

Posted on: 21 September 2005 by Ron Goldstein

Dear Linda, Stockport Libraries and Mr.Sharrard

Firstly, a big 'Thank You' for restoring my faith in human nature.

It has been rare indeed to get a reply from an Associate Centre and my thanks must also go to Mr.Sharrard for his ready acceptance of the fact that his memory had played him false on this particular occasion.

Mr.Sharrard may be amused to know that only today, on this very website, someone else remembers seeing the Queen of Tonga at the 1946 Victory Parade and once again I have had to gently remind them that it was not until 1953 that the delightful monarch came to England.

Best wishes to all concerned

Ron

Message 1 - VJ Day Parade

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

Dear Mr Sharrard

I see that you have removed your account of seeing the Queen of Tonga in a VJ parade in 1945. But you still refer to a VJ Day parade.

May I respectfully point out that there was no VJ Day parade, with grandstands, in 1945?

VJ Day was on 2 September 1945 - all the events you describe took place in 1946:

1. Until the 1945 election Harold Macmillan was in Italy as Resident Minister at Allied Forces HQ in the Mediterranean. Then in the 1945 election he lost his seat. He was re-elected at the Bromley by-election in November 1945.

2. The Security Council of the UN did indeed have its first meeting in Church House, but that was on 17 January 1946.

3. The Victory Parade was held on 8 June 1946.

All these incidents and events, I think you will agree, took place well after VJ Day.

Regards,

Peter

 

Message 2 - VJ Day Parade

Posted on: 15 August 2005 by Stockport Libraries

Dear Peter
Mr Sharrard has asked me to reply to your email.
He acknowledgeds the errors and explains it was because he was giving his rcollections verbally and it was later that he realised his mistakes but the story had already been posted. It has now been withdrawn. Thank you for reminding him about the sequence of events.
Linda Paton on behalf of Mr Sharrard

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