The VE Day 75 anniversary last Friday was the focus of the pupils at Braithwaite School during the run-up to the landmark event.
They enjoyed activities including designing a medal (samples of three are pictured), finding out about people in their families and what they were doing on VE Day, making flags and bunting to decorate their homes, learning the words of We’ll Meet Again so that they could join in the singing with the rest of the country, and cooking recipes from the war years.
The children had spent much of the Autumn term learning about WW2, and parents and staff were very impressed with how much they had remembered. Chloe and Harry had found out about what their great grandfather – Harry (Henry) Manning (pictured) – was doing on VE Day when he was serving in the Army in India. There were still three months of fighting left before VJ (Victory in Japan) Day in August.
Harry was still recovering having had a further operation to remove shrapnel from when shot in the battle of Kohima nearly a year earlier.
Here is an extract from Harry’s VE Day diary – “May 8th V Day in Europe no doubt a big day back in Blighty, but here it was when someone came into the billet and announced the fact, treated as though he’d casually said that for breakfast it was sausage again. As could be expected it was celebrated in a half hearted way but here I got two days holiday out of it and a sweat for that I got on the victory parade and march which I was unfortunate enough to be detailed for. It kicked off at half eight and was bigger than I had expected it to be, being about a mile long with three bands in it. An American band from the airfield of the A.T.C. played us past the saluting base, where the district commissioner took the salute and I had the doubtful honour of giving him an eyes right. The city had turned out en masse, the kids evidently thought it a carnival laid on
for them and got a helluva kick out of it, while their elders enjoyed it to a slightly lesser degree. The pipe band behind us nearly got us in a mess when they struck up with a fast march as we were taking long slow steps at the time. I noticed as we went along that even the gods in Pindah couldn’t resist a coy peep over their respective balconies.
“When You Go Home, Tell Them of Us and Say, For Your Tomorrow, We Gave Our Today.”
The pupils then took part in a whole school Zoom meeting last Thursday, so that they could catch up with their friends and school staff, before everyone shared in a minute’s silence for VE Day.
See more Reminder coverage of the events marking the 75th anniversary of VE Day in Keswick and local area.