Memories of VE Day: Buckden resident shares commemorative letter from King George VI to mark victory
- Credit: Archant
A special letter from King George VI given to schoolchildren to mark the end of the Second World War has been shared by a Buckden resident.
Monica Windibank, 80, was five-years-old but can remember the tragedies and victory that led to VE Day in 1945.
In June 1946, as a school pupil, she was handed a souvenir document of important war dates and a victory message from King George VI – which see has kept to this day.
It reads: “I know you will always feel proud to belong to a country which was capable of such supreme effort; proud, too, of parents and elder brothers and sisters who by their courage, endurance and enterprise brought victory.”
Mrs Windibank, who grew up in Slough, said her parents kept it intact until it was passed back to her by her sister in later years.
She can vividly recall memories of the street parties for VE Day but also the fragility of war.
“I remember VE Day very well because it was a fabulous occasion,” she said.
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“There was a parade in Slough High Street with representatives from the air force and local dignitaries.
“We were hanging out of the flat window waving like mad.
“There was a Jeep driving by with a figure of Hitler which was taken to the local park and put on a huge bonfire that was lit by the mayor of Slough.”
Mrs Windibank’s father was serving in the Far East at the time, but when he arrived home another street party was held.
She continued: “It was wonderful when all the men came home, but quite a long process.
“I remember my grandmother holding me up in the window as a child and seeing a bright glow in the sky and that was London burning.
“Slough cinema got bombed too and just shortly before I’d been there to watch The Wizard of Oz.
“When the war ended us children thought it was so quiet because we were used to seeing Doodlebugs and planes coming over and our elders waving their fists at them.”
Mrs Windibank moved to Buckden in 1974 with her husband Roy and their family.
They will be celebrating the 75th anniversary of VE Day this Friday by having a picnic on their front lawn.