Today appears to be the day that Admiral Donitz surrenders and the war in Europe will be over; since the death of Herr Hitler on the 30th April, it feels like it has only been a matter of time until the German nation surrenders and the war against the evil that is Nazism is over. Despite the death toll of the war, and the emerging atrocities carried out by the SS, today must be a day to rejoice, to head to our nearest town and city centres and celebrate. Mr Churchill and King George VI have delivered a great victory, and we should celebrate and commemorate concurrently.
The war is over, and we can return to some normality; our loved ones will return from abroad, whilst remembering that we still have the Japanese to defeat in the Far East. As for me, I can return home with the evacuated children. It has been odd as a Headteacher to be teaching elsewhere during the war whilst our children in Romford have been moved to safely. I will miss my new friends in the local home guard in Aldeburgh. Until this war, I had never really seen the coast and then I have ended up patrolling at night with my Dad’s Army colleagues. Unlike so many parents, I have been fortunate enough to have my own children with me, but we have taken care of your children too whilst you have been in involved in the war effort in London, or on the front line.
Whilst I have returned a few times, I do wonder what we will make of it as we return to school following the war; indeed, what damage Pettits Secondary School will have sustained. I am sure it will take a while for normality to be restored, but we will work hard to open both the Boys and Girls sides of the building soon to achieve full capacity.
Now for today, being so close to central London, I am going to try to go to Buckingham Palace with the crowds and see the King, Queen, and Princesses Elizabeth and Margaret. They have been great figureheads during the war, and the young Princesses’ radio address to our children have been so fantastic to keep our youth in high spirits. I think that will be the message from the Home Front, a true sense of British spirit, led in particular by the Forces Sweetheart Vera Lynn, and her words will inspire us as we all now will eventually be able to “meet again”. So let us all roll out the bunting and celebrate, but remember those lost as well, whether on the beaches of Dunkirk or Arromanches, the desserts of North Africa, the skies over London and Germany, the hills of Monte Cassino, the Seas of the North Atlantic, and the many other spheres of conflict against Nazi German regime of Herr Hitler.
Let’s celebrate today and pray for a speedy end to the conflict in the East.