On the 8th May 1945, people marked Victory in Europe Day (VE Day) with street parties, dancing and singing, but it was also a time to reflect. Do you have any testimony, photos or film of the VE Day celebrations in and around Rochdale during the summer of 1945? If you do and you are willing to share, please email: info@RMNF.org.uk we’d like to preserve these memories for future generations to appreciate.
IWM Victory 75
This film contains three clips:
- WAR PICTORIAL NEWS © IWM WPN 213.
Thousands of civilians throng the area around the Queen Victoria Memorial and the gates of Buckingham Palace. King George VI, Queen Elizabeth, and Princesses Margaret and Elizabeth appear on the balcony of Buckingham Palace to the delight of the gathered crowds. Prime Minister Winston Spencer Churchill joins the Royal family on the balcony of Buckingham Palace. The clip ends at night near Nelson’s Column with crowds celebrating victory and peace by dancing the Conga. Searchlights illuminate St Paul’s Cathedral.
- 1945 CAVALCADE – A record of victory celebrations in King’s Langley, Hertfordshire. Amateur film shot by Lewis Coles © IWM MGH 3549. ‘THE WAR WITH GERMANY IS NOW ENDED’ MR CHURCHILL” Shots of flags, including the flag of St George flying from the tower of All Saints church. Procession, preceded by two policemen and headed by Boy Scouts carrying the Union flag, the American flag (Stars and Stripes) and the Russian flag, marching along the High Street towards the camera. Procession consists of Boy Scouts, members of the Home Guard, RAF, Royal Observer Corps, nurses and members of Civil Defence.
- VE DAY – LONDON © IWM MGH 2085.
Amateur film shot by Alexander Lowe records popular victory celebration scenes in Trafalgar Square.
VE Day in 1945, after 6 years of hardship
Thanks to the North West Film Archive at Manchester Metropolitan University, Elworth Church of England School, Rochdale Borough Council and Salford City Council for the use of their footage.
Links to other sites
VE Day – A day in which the BBC would try to capture the mood not just of Britain, but of the wider world – From the History of the BBC.
Fact File : VE Day – From the BBC’s WW2 People’s War project.
Songs We Remember VE Day – From the BBC’s WW2 People’s War project.