Our family has a special letter written by my grandmother to one of her sisters on 20th May 1945. Back then, she lived in the Thornton Heath suburb of London, England, with my grandfather and father, who was a boy at the time. They had lived out the war on Hawthorn Avenue, and on the 8-9th May they celebrated Victory Day there too.

This letter provides a wonderful first-hand account of their personal experiences on Victory Day, seen through the eyes of a mother elated that the war over London skies and in Europe, at least, was ended.

75 years later, the story in this letter acts as a powerful reminder of the children who suffered during World War 2 across the world, and of those who continue to be the innocent victims of conflict today.

We are publishing this letter in two parts to commemorate the 75th Anniversary of VE Day, and the events of VE Day + 1, as my ‘granny’ described it. One month after this letter was written, the Charter that established the United Nations was signed by nations across the world wanting to secure a peaceful and healthy planet for all.

Storyteller: Janet Owen

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