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A Chronological History of Verwood from AD 0930
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V. E. Day

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  V. E. Day, Tuesday 8th May 1945.  


By the spring of 1945 German outer defences had been broken and it was quite clear that, within a very short time, Hitler's forces would be totally defeated. It was, therefore, no surprise when, on 8th May, Mr Winston Churchill announced "Yesterday morning at 2.41am at Headquarters, General Jodl....signed a pact of unconditional surrender of all German land, sea and air forces in Europe....Today this agreement will be ratified in Berlin.... Hostilities will end officially at one minute after midnight tonight (Tuesday) but in the interests of saving lives the "cease fire" began yesterday, to be sounded all along the front, and our dear Channel Islands are also to be freed today...."

HM King George VI broadcast to the Nation. In his speech he said "We kept faith with ourselves and with one another; we kept faith and unity with our great Allies. That faith, that unity, have carried us to victory through dangers which at times seemed overwhelming."

On 8th May, the Three Legged Cross school log records "In accordance with instructions received in Circular Letter 641 the children (following instructions received from the Head Teacher) assembled at the school this morning and a Thanksgiving Service (for the Cessation of Hostilities with Germany ) was held. The children were dismissed at 10.45am for 2 days holiday. School to re-open on 10th May...."

On the same day, Verwood Council School assembled as usual at 8am and a Thanksgiving Service of Praise was held. The Headmaster gave an address. Milk was served and then all adjourned to the Recreation Ground where the field was laid out for sports in the evening. The children were dismissed at 12 noon . Sports organised by the teachers and funded by public subscription through the Parish Council were run from 4pm to 7pm .

Wednesday 9th May was a holiday, the WI did not hold its monthly meeting and everyone celebrated in their own way.

On Sunday 13th May, all war service groups, the Guides and scouts paraded to church for a Thanksgiving Service.

The main celebrations did not take place until the 8th June, when, because of rain, the sports programme was cancelled. Nevertheless, all children of Verwood and Three Legged Cross assembled in the Verwood Council School and were entertained to songs, tea, lemonade, milk and ice cream.



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