A DAY FOR VICTORY - V.E. DAY 1945
People in story: Ron Hornsey
Location of story: Gremany
Unit name: 6th Airborne Reconnaissance Reg't.
Background to story: Army
Ron in Wismar, Germany - May 1945.
This story was submitted to the People’s War site by Bill Ross of the ‘Action Desk – Sheffield’ Team on behalf of Ron Hornsey, and has been added to the site with his permission. Mr. Hornsey fully understands the site's terms and conditions.
It was the day everyone waited five long years for - and feared would never come. On May 7,1945, German radio broadcast that General Alfred Jodi would sign the official surrender of Nazi Germany the following day. Winston Churchill ' announced May 8 would be a national holiday to be known as the Victory in Europe day. On the 60th anniversary of V.E. Day, Ron Hornsey recalls:
"I was a 19-year-old soldier serving with the 6th Airborne Reconnaissance Regiment. A week or so before VE Day we were advancing through Germany when I helped to liberate a British prisoner of war camp. As I talked to some of these soldiers and airmen, some of them told me that they had been prisoners since Dunkirk and it brought a lump to my throat as I saw the relief and happiness in those men's eyes - more so as I was just a teenager.
"We could not stay for long as we had to move on and we then linked up with the Russians at Wismar on the Baltic coast - the first British troops to do so.
"On the morning of Sunday May 6, I attended a thanksgiving service in the church at Wismar, along with many other soldiers from the 6th Airborne Division. I still have the order of service and at times that brings back some memories, some good and some not so good, as I lost a few of my comrades. Some were only teenagers like myself.
"On VE Day we were given a day's holiday, part of which was spent having a few drinks of cognac, which we managed to obtain from somewhere, but my most memorable day was the liberation of the POW camp and the happiness that it must have brought to those men.”