LETTER : Angry and joyful on VE Day

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From Ms Sheila Sharp

Sir: Like Marjorie Edwards (Letters, 3 May) I was 17 on VE Day, and 11 when war broke out for the second time in my parents' generation. The six years of my adolescence were spent in the shadow of war with its terrors and deprivations and, it has to be admitted, some fun and glamour too.

In May 1940 the guns rattled our windows as Dunkirk fell and we were told to be ready to move, with one suitcase, at 24 hours' notice. We watched many of the exhausted survivors pass through Tonbridge station on their way home.

The Battle of Britain was fought over our Kentish fields but I had months since been sent away from the home, school and friends I loved to the safety of boarding school in Somerset, which I endured for four long years before returning to a London suburb besieged by doodlebugs and V2 rockets.

On VE day we did, indeed, have something to celebrate. We were alive, we were free and all the future lay before us. Nothing since has matched the euphoria of that day and that is what I, too, will be remembering.

Yours sincerely,




3 May