April 21: Memories of a family celebration for VE Day

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From: Brian H Sheridan, Redmires Road, Sheffield.

FURTHER to the correspondence “Where were you on VE Day 1945”, few readers will have claims as colourful as those of the magnificently-named John Britland who was a Royal Artillery Captain attached to a King’s African Rifles Unit in British Somaliland training soldiers for the invasion of Japan (The Yorkshire Post, April 16).

My parents and I were invited to the house of a neighbour in South Yorkshire. Our host was a lorry driver who my father described as “a 60-40 pianist”: he hit the right notes 40 per cent of the time. Nevertheless we gathered round the piano to sing Vera Lynn hits until my parents took advantage of their nine-year-old son’s bedtime to take their leave. I recall our host saying: “Let’s look sharp and get t’other lot finished then we can celebrate ageean.” I have no recollections of any VJ Day celebrations. Perhaps we were too shocked by the events which prompted Japan’s surrender.

From: Mr K Buick, Menston, Leeds.

I HOPE the upcoming VE Day comemmorations will serve as a reminder of the importance of Britain enjoying a close relationship with Europe. It should be a day of sober reflection.