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VE Day - 8th May 1945

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On the 8th May 1945 the whole country celebrated the end of War in Europe after 6 long years of conflict. This was not yet the end of World War Two, as fierce fighting continued in the Far East, but this was the first step and the end could at least be said to be sight.                      

The Welwyn Parish Magazine of June 1945 carried a letter from the Rector, Rev. H. R. Bate, himself not long returned from War Service. This paints a picture of Welwyn on VE Day 1945.


We shall always have good cause to remember May 8 as VE Day. The streets and houses were quickly arrayed with gay colours and ourselves as swift to respond to the mood deep thankfulness and relief. The bell-ringers assembled at once on the Monday evening at 8 pm when the news was known, and rang a peal as well as on VE Day itself before the evening service. The Church was full for the impromptu Thanksgiving Service in the evening…..

…..The street parties for the children were a most original and happy feature of the celebrations. They began in the Mimram on VE Day, thanks to the enterprise of Mrs Burrows and continued on the following days in School Lane, the Crescent, London Road, Maran Avenue, Broomfield and Robbery Bottom Lane. Mr. Richardson took an excellent photograph of the Mimram party and also of the Broomfield one. All of the parties were so truly neighbourly and friendly…….

…..We have had a number of men home on leave after long service overseas, among whom are Tom Blow, Keith Molyneux, Arthur Mardell; and Edgar Furlong is now back from a prison camp in Germany…..

…..But all our rejoicings, in spite of the fears of some people beforehand, have struck just the right note, sobered by the thought that all is not yet finished. We have a constant reminder of this in that five of our boys are still prisoners in Japanese hands…..

                          Your sincere friend and Rector

                                    H R BATE         

For more on Welwyn and its people in 1939 - 1945 follow the links below

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Arthur Mardell returned from service to happily live back in Welwyn