VE Day – remembered…
From the archive:
V.E.-day AT SCHOOL 1945
On Monday, May 7th, school work was very far from people’s minds ; everybody was asking ” Will it be today ? ” The day went slowly on, with lots of rumours but nothing more definite ; the 440 was run off, and the boarders went unwillingly into prep, and attempted to work. At 9-0 a large crowd hurried into Number 5 ; Big Ben struck, and the usual irritating pause followed. Then came the announcement—” therefore to-morrow will be . . . ” The rest of the sentence was lost in shouts and cheers. Everybody rushed excitedly on to the field, and various flags and other objects were hoisted. However, with some difficulty, but with surprisingly few “incidents,'” we were, more or less, in bed by the proper time.
The next day most of the boarders went home after breakfast, and those of us who were left spent the day in playing tennis, in building the bonfire, or in wishing that something more exciting would turn up. I think, however, that most people enjoyed the day thoroughly. In the evening Hitler’s effigy was duly burnt, amid much rejoicing. The bonfire, lit by Mr. Wenden with the help of two ” thermite bombs,” started at 9-30 and lasted for an hour and a half. After years of black-out it was an impressive sight, and was, everybody agreed, a great success. To this success Peacock’s fireworks contributed greatly. Personally I shall remember for a long time the flying sparks against the black sky, the red glow towards London, and, by no means least, the gangs of boys scouring the hillside for wood, or carrying great logs up from the Fives Courts.
V.E. + l day was spent in much the same way as the previous day. In the evening there was a film show, the pictures being a ” crazy ” American one called The Big Miaow, and a very amusing George Formby film South American George. We were given the next morning off, and in the afternoon we tried to settle down to work, discussed what we had done, and envied those who had been in the more boisterous London celebrations.
The next Sunday our Thanksgiving Service took the form of a series of readings arranged by Mr. Davies-Jones, and read by him, Mr. Hayward, and various boys. There is not space, unfortunately, for a full list of the readings, which were arranged under the following headings : ” Thanksgiving, Praise and Joy,” ” The Sacrifice,” ” The Spirit of the Sacrifice,” and ” The Future.”
The effectiveness of the service fully justified the time that Mr. Davies-Jones had spent on it.
Now, let us hope that we shall soon have another holiday on V.J.-Day.
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