A day long programme of events to celebrate the 75th anniversary of Victory in Europe Day had been organised by the Eton Wick Village Association. Their Facebook page has details.
Tuesday MAY 8th, 1945. V.E. DAY.
With the declaration of a two day holiday the nation commenced its celebration with church services which many attended to give thanks for victory and deliverance from tyranny. Flags and bunting appeared on the Tuesday morning in Windsor and Slough giving the streets a look of carnival. Celebrations had started quietly in the early part of the day, the crowds gathering during the early afternoon after the Prime Minister, Winston Churchill, had broadcast to the nation that all hostilities in Europe were at an end. Nightfall brought more people onto the streets to cheer and dance. Bonfires were lit at many places, with the Mayor of Windsor lighting a huge bonfire on Batchelors Acre, Windsor, the signal for the start of celebrations that went on into the early hours on Wednesday. Other hastily gathered bonfires appeared onto which went effigies of Hitler and his cronies. Eton College boys had commenced their celebration of victory on Monday evening when the first news of the surrender was heard.
|Alma Road VE Day Party held at the Village Hall
The use of buckets of water and stirrup pumps by the Boys did nothing to dampen the enthusiasm of revellers who had to run the gauntlet along the long wall and Keate’s Lane. The next day they were given a holiday and immediately set about building a huge bonfire on Fellows Eyot which was lit in the evening. The scene was one of merriment with people dancing around the fire enthused with the excitement of the occasion. As the fire died away many boys linked arms to make a triumphant march up Eton High Street to Windsor where they met another joyous crowd coming from Windsor making their way to Slough. Many of the boys carried on their celebrations with a triumphant march over Windsor Bridge to Castle Hill.
|VE Day Party at Somerfield Road, Eton Wick
Mr Addaway, driver of the Blue Bus, had a very excited passenger on V.E. Day. Streaming two strong wartime toilet rolls, Mrs Downs, showing the joyfulness of the day, rode on the bonnet of the bus. Celebration parties at Eton Wick were quickly organized at Northfield Road, the Village Hall and on the common adjacent to the Greyhound public house. Precious tin food that had been purchased on points and stored for this day came from the cupboard. The Victory street party in Northfield Road, organized by Mrs Harman and friends, entertained about twenty children and the same number of adults to a celebration tea with fruit salad from the Azores and a special iced cake in the shape of a victory "V". Private Mills, who was home on leave after three years overseas service, was guest of honour. After tea the children had dancing, races and games ending the day with three cheers for the boys still overseas and wishing them a speedy return.
This is an extract from Round and About Eton Wick: 1939 - 1945. The book was researched, written and published in 2001 by John Denham.
In 2005 the History Group produced Recall 60 Years On, a book about the lives of the Ex-Service men and women who had made the Eton Wick their home. 52 of the 60 plus veterans provided their biographies and it was published with the support The National Lottery Community Fund.
This photo shows where the veterans of WW2 who were residents of Eton Wick in 2005 saw service. It was taken at the exhibition held to celebrate the 60th anniversary of VJ Day.