Tuesday 8 May 1945 was ‘Victory in Europe’ (VE) Day. It marked the formal end of Hitler’s war, with the acceptance by the Allies of World War II of Nazi Germany’s unconditional surrender of its armed forces.
The news resulted in spontaneous celebrations breaking out across the country with a national holiday being declared, and people from all walks of life coming together to mark the moment.
SUSY Radio marked the event with a special programme produced by our Neil Munday with contributions kindly provided by Mike Skinner.
Vera Lynn – We`ll Meet Again
Irving Berlin – This is the Army Mr Jones
Voice – Daphne talking about Evacuation when aged 10
Anne Shelton – A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square
Voice – Winston Churchill – Their Finest Hour (Edit)
Sound Effect – Air Raid Warning
Sam Brown with Joe Loss and his Orchestra – The Spitfire Song
Flanagan and Allen – We`re Gonna Hang Out The Washing On The Siegfried Line
Voice – Winston Churchill – Some Chicken …Some Neck (Canadian Address1941 Excerpt)
Billy Cotton and His Band – Kiss Me Goodnight Sergeant Major
Voice – Winston Churchill – Give us the Tools edit
Glen Miller – In The Mood
Voice – Ken – VE Day memory aged 7
Tony Pastor and his Orchestra – Obey You`re Air Raid Warden
Carrol Gibbons and his Orchestra – I`m going to get up (When the lights go on in London)
Voice – Winston Churchill – The end of the war in Europe (May 8th 1945 in Full)
Margret Eaves with Joe Loss and his Orchestra – `V` stands for Victory
Voice – Sir Seymour Hicks introducing Gracie Fields (Middle East ENSA concert 78RPM copy)
Gracie Fields – Sing As We Go
Voice – Bill and Jill – VE Day Memory aged around 15
Tommy Dorsey and his Orchestra – Opus No1
The Andrews Sisters – Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy
Voice – Daphne – VE Day Party memory aged 16
Woody Herman and his Orchestra – At The Woodchoppers Ball
Anne Shelton with Ambrose and his Orchestra – I`m Stepping Out with a Memory Tonight
Vera Lynn – White Cliffs of Dover
The Queen’s VE Day Message
Mervyn, from London, was just 18 when he signed up to serve in the British Army. He trained in Scotland and Leeds before heading to France and experiencing D-Day and other major milestones of the Second World War, including the liberation of Bergen Belsen. Mervyn stays in touch with other veterans and their decendents via Facebook and through groups that make regular trips to places of remembrance.
Margaret Joy Hunter graduated from secretarial college during the second world war and quickly found herself at the heart of Churchill’s government, working long shifts in the War Cabinet. Here she reflects on her unique experiences; from typing the orders for D-Day, to enjoying a movie night with Churchill in his pyjamas and finally the exhilarating atmosphere of VE Day at Buckingham Palace and The Mall.
The closed Harlequin Theatre has been given a new role as the centre of the Council’s community support initiative.
It has been re-purposed as the centre employed with the organising of essential assistance for vulnerable residents affected by the coronavirus epidemic.
Council staff have been redeployed from their normal jobs and are joined by volunteers in distributing food, medicines and essential supplies to high risk and vulnerable residents needing to stay at home, as well as to those in severe financial need.
The Council is working with Voluntary Action Reigate & Banstead (VARB) to mobilise and coordinate the volunteer response to Coronavirus, and additional volunteers would be most welcome. Anyone wishing to volunteer can register on the VARB website at https://www.varb.org.uk
Cllr Mark Brunt, Leader of Reigate & Banstead Borough Council, spoke with Neil Munday about the project:
The Harlequin is not open to the public. If you need support, see the Council’s ‘I need help‘ page or call 01737 276000