VE Day 75

Kent Voices from VE Day

To commemorate the 75th anniversary of VE Day we have recorded ‘Kent voices from VE Day.’

Watch our film and listen to readings from Personal Diary entries, Local Newspaper articles, Parish Magazine items and Local Government Literature which describe the experiences of VE Day & VJ Day in Kent.

Screen Archive South East

Our partner Screen Archive South East holds film from the 1945 and has produced a VE Day for the anniversary.

VE Day at Manston Grove; Farming; Family at Northdown, 1945-1947

This edited colour and black and white film shows views of a VE day celebration; a group of women potato seeding on a farm; a gathering in a garden for a family portrait photograph and views of children playing.

Peace again in the garden; Apple time; Leslie at home- West Wickham

Amateur footage featuring Leslie Lauste with his parents in their garden at Tudor House, West Wickham following the conclusion of the Second World War.

War and Peace

An edited film made solely using wartime footage from the SASE collection and produced by Screen Archive South East to mark the 75th Anniversary of Victory in Europe.

Library

A selection of e-books that can be borrowed online can be found here.

Archives

All of the 1945 sources used for ‘Kent voices from VE Day’ are held in the Kent Archive & Local History collections:

Personal Diaries

Diary of Walter Whenday of Hadlow, 1880-1974 U2834/F31
[Boot & Shoemaker, Hadlow]
Containing details of weather, social life, cricket and football matches, trade, and some local, national and international events and personalities. Including ‘Victory in Europe Day’.
1944-1945

Diary of William Ernest Dawe, 1892-1988 U3677/F1/22
[Insurance Clerk, Sevenoaks resident]
1945

Journal of Rev. Harry James Baylis, 1880-1957 U2499/F1/55
[Vicor of Wouldham]
Includes further allied advances in Germany; details of German concentration camps; execution of Mussolini and supposed death of Hitler; surrender of Germans in North Italy; ‘VE’ Day.4 Apr – 9 Jun 1945 1 vol

Journal of Rev. Harry James Baylis, 1880-1957 U2499/F1/56
[Rector of Wouldham]
Includes 1945 election results; dropping of the atom bombs on Japan; surrender of Japan. 9 Jun – 22 Sep 1945

Personal diaries and papers of Dr B R Billings, 1901-1983 U2540/F2
Doctor Bernard Billings was born in 1883 and after qualifying lived and practised in Folkestone for many years before emigrating to Australia in 1964, where he celebrated his 100th birthday.
The five volumes of diaries are of main interest including not only comments on his own life and his family but also notes on national events. Many photographs are also present, which highlight Dr Billings interest in history, genealogy and architecture.

The “All British” Desk Diary for 1945 KB/JOH JOH
Author: Alfred Edmund Johnson, 1882-1968
[Confectioner, Palace Street, Canterbury]

Local Newspaper articles

Dover Express

Kent & Sussex Courier

Kent Messenger [NEWS/KM/1/67]

South Eastern Gazette- Maidstone [NEWS/SEG/8]

Parish Magazines

High Halden Parish Magazine
[Rector: Rev A B Champion, M.A.
George’s Day, [23rd of April ]1945. P164/28/6/8

Upchurch, St Mary the Virgin, Parish Magazine- The Sign
[Vicar: The Reverend Harcourt Lightburne, M.A.]
May, 1945 P377/28/82

Local Government Literature

Dartford Borough
Clerk’s Files
Correspondence and literature relating to the Victory Celebrations
Date 1943-1946 DA/Ac/57

Dover Borough
VE Day celebrations
1945 Do/CA17/1/73

Kent County Administration in War Report
1939-1945 CC/R/35/1