VE Day in Lymington: a community celebration

VE Day in Lymington: a community celebration

As the Second World War came to a close in Europe, Lymington's parishes joined celebrations around the country.

Victory in Europe Day, VE Day, marked the formal acceptance of Nazi Germany’s unconditional surrender of its armed forces by the Allies of World War II and the end of the Second World War in Europe.

On 8 May 1945, Winston Churchill broadcast a message to the nation from the Cabinet room at Number 10, saying the ceasefire had been signed at 0241 the day before at the American advance headquarters in Reims. This resulted in May 8th being declared V-E Day in the United States and Europe.

VE Day Lymington High Street In his speech, the Prime Minister said: "We may allow ourselves a brief period of rejoicing; but let us not forget for a moment the toil and efforts that lie ahead. Japan with all her treachery and greed, remains unsubdued. We must now devote all our strength and resources to the completion of our task, both at home and abroad. Advance Britannia." 

Tens of thousands of people listened intently to a broadcast speech by King George VI and huge crowds flooded out onto streets around the country in celebration.

VE Day Lymington MayAvenue 400x600Lymington celebrates VE Day

Here in Lymington and the New Forest, communities joined together to celebrate the end of war in Europe, remembering also those who had fallen and wondering about those still to return home.

Many roads organised street parties, such as the one displayed here in May Avenue, Lymington - a delight for young and old after 6 years of war and worry.

Due to its strategic location on the South Coast of England, the New Forest area was home to twelve rapidly constructed airfields and an experimental bombing range, the temporary home of thousands of Allied troops together with all types of military hardware under cover of the Forest's oak and beech trees.

It's not hard to imagine the emotions that would have been present on 8 May 1945.

There was still a job to do for many. It was not until 15 August 1945 that Japan surrendered to the Allies, with the official surrender in Tokyo Bay and formal end of World War II on 2 September.


Learn more about the history of Lymington and the New Forest at St Barbe Museum & Art Gallery in Lymington, once it reopens after the coronavirus lockdown...

Images: St Barbe Museum & Art Gallery









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