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16 October 2014
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VICTORY IN EUROPE
60 YEARS ON

How was the news reported that war in Europe was over in May 1945? Maybe you were there - what do you remember?

Victory in Europe is published ...
 
< Click on the dates to read headlines.

See the headlines and stories of Victory in Europe in May 1945, reproduced here exactly as they appeared in the Belfast News-Letter.

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May 8th 1945, marked the end to war in Europe and for millions of people marked the end of six years of hardship and a return to the way of life we take for granted today. As the people of Europe slowly accepted the news, street parties and celebration spread from city to town to village.

For many, the great excitement came on 7 May, rather than on the official day of victory the next day. All across the nation the people tuned in to the wireless to find out more. They were told that Allied victory in Europe was to be celebrated officially the following day but many people had already begun their celebrations. People were out on the streets, hanging bunting and banners and dancing. The famous World War Two diarist Nella Last recorded the scene in her diary:

'...all the shops had got their rosettes and tri-coloured button-holes in the windows and men putting up lengths of little pennants and flags. Till at three o'clock, the Germans announced it was all over. As if by magic, long ladders appeared, for putting up flags and streamers. A complete stranger to the situation could have felt the tenseness and feeling of expectation....'

So what do you remember of that time ? Have you any photos ?

Send in your thoughts and memories of the VE period using the form below.

YOUR RESPONSES SO FAR:

R Smyth - May 05
I had just turned eight when we celebrated VE Day. It was a sunny day and a party was held in the combined back gardens of two of our neighbors (the tables fairly groaned with food, didn't we have rationing?). That night a bonfire was lit with an effigacy of Hitler on top. When he was well and truly alight one of the neighbors let him have it with both barrels of his shotgun. THEN WE WERE TOGETHER . THANKS TO ALL THOSE WHO GAVE SO MUCH THAT WE COULD LIVE IN PEACE. IN THEIR MEMORY LET THE PEOPLE OF N. IRELAND FORGET THE PAST AND GET ON WITH LIVING.

The History Man - May 05
My memories of VE day? Well I am now almost 75 years old so on VE day I would have been almost 15 years old. I do not remember whether the day which stands out in my memory was the 7th or the 8th of May.

At that time I was employed in the local spinning mill and worked very long hours for a 15 year old so the day off work was a very welcome bonus. I remember the crowds of people, young and older walking, running, dancing, singing, kissing and hugging total strangers as they made their way to the Belfast City Hall. The whole of that area was a moving mass of ecstatic people. I will never forget what was a totally euphoric day.

Brian Brown - May '05
My only memory of VE day was a great street party, I was seven, I can remember, JELLY! - Ice cream came 3 years later...!
My memories of D-Day are much more vivid, I remember standing by my Gran's fence in Peterborough, watching wave after wave of bombers going over, towing gliders... now that I do recall, vividly.

Jim McIlmurray - May '05
Excellent report well presented, I would not expect anything less from this site. Has to be one of Northern Ireland's best information sources.

 



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