VE Day 1944

Cyn is writing this the day after VE Day, which was Tuesday, May 8, 1945. 5 pages, both sides! But small sized paper, due to wartime restrictions.

106 Perne Road

Cambridge

Wed. 9th May. 1945.

Dearest Mummy,

Well, here it is at last- Victory in Europe. It has come so suddenly these few weeks, that now all the suspense and waiting and anticipating is over, I sit back and can’t really believe it. The actual announcing- or the little bits of announcements were a bit of a flop, really, weren’t they?  When everyone was keyed up so, on Monday evening, it was an anti-climax to have to wait till the next day. We have been waiting for it all day at school, and during the afternoon there were all sorts of rumours but when I came here I listened in, and heard all the bits of announcements as they came out. I had arranged to go out with Lillian Hampson if it was announced that evening, so I went to phone her to find all the lines dead, so I just came home and read instead.

These two days I have missed you all at home so much – special times you do want to be with your own people. Lillian and her friend Marjorie have been very kind, but neither of them are very lively, and although I guess there wouldn’t have been anything to do at home, at least we would’ve been high spirited together! I can’t say that any of the girls here have that “lightness of spirit” that I talked about my friends at home having- I miss it, and find them dull somehow – I’m not just being catty!

However, I’ll tell you what I did on VE day! I got up quite early-ish and took a meat pie in my string bag, three oranges and some cakes & biscuits & set out for town. All the flags and decorations were out (I thought of you putting out the Commander’s flag!) and everyone with flags and favours – I was sorry I hadn’t even a red, white & blue ribbon. I got a bus and went to Lillian & Marjorie’s flat, and we all went into the town where everyone was just wandering around seeing the sights. It was a lovely warm sunny day, so it was quite nice – all the students were out in force, some dressed up and being crazy. We went back to the flat for lunch – my pie! – then went to the Market Square where the P.M.’s speech was to be broadcast from the Guildhall and there were masses of people listening too. The Guildhall was very nicely decorated with flags of the United Nations- a red illuminated V sign and Crown, and it was floodlit at night. After the broadcast we went and had a very nice tea at the Copper Kettle, and then back to the Market Square where the Lord Mayor proclaimed the Victory and there was a service of Thanksgiving & we all sang hymns. Then we went to the river, and sat on the bank for a while- incidentally at the Copper Kettle we bought a custard tart with no paper or anything to wrap it & I caused a minor sensation in Cambridge by walking about with it balanced on my hand! When we finally went back to the flat & ate it for supper, it was horrid- no sugar and dry and powdery!

At 9 o’clock we went back to the Market Place and heard the King’s Speech. I thought he was wonderful, didn’t you Mummy? I felt that it was one of the sincerest things I’d heard that day, and very moving. Then we rushed across a few miles to the flat of some girls overlooking a street where the torchlight procession was to pass, & there I heard Eisenhower & Monty and Bradley over the radio- also the British & American soldiers, but none from the 1st Division! The procession was a very poor effort, so we then went to a Common where there was a big bonfire and a band and searchlight display. People were mostly just wandering around and dancing sort of ring-a-roses, so we looked on, and then walked back to the town to see if anything was happening at the Market Place – crowds of people but the only excitement was soldiers climbing up the front of the Guildhall to get the flags, and bobbies trying to stop them! Finally we went back to the flat – I collected my goods – and Walked Home! My poor feet. They were fair wore out! Tramping around all day in the hot sun!

Today I went to Marjorie & Lillian’s about 12.30, and we took sandwiches and took a canoe out on the river. It was very warm, but cloudy, but we had a lovely day. I found I could canoe quite well, and we went up the river nearly to Grantchester, and ate our lunch, and tied up by the bank and read. We were out from 1.30 to about 5.0, then came back to the flat for tea, & sat about, then had a wander round and I came home on the last bus – 8.45. Since then I have been listening to the Victory reports and to the broadcast about Mr. Churchill.

It is late now so I must stop- school tomorrow seems horrid! But at least there will be a post to cheer me up. I forgot to tell you that after being out with Lillian on Sunday afternoon around the Backs, & having tea, I went to Church at Saint Mary the Great, where Hugh & Nan & Al & I went on Easter morning, & I liked it very much. I shall get up & walk into town on Sunday morning & go there I think.

I haven’t answered any of your letters, Mummy, nor thanked you for the nice one I got on Monday, but I shall write again soon. I thought I’d tell you about my Victory day, and that I missed being home & thought of you. 

Lots of love from

Cyn

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