Remembering VE Day

06 May 2015

By Jean Trumpington


VE Day was extraordinary. I was still working at Bletchley at the time and we all caught the train up to London and went and stood outside Buckingham Palace and yelled and then we danced all night. Humphrey Lyttelton passed by on the back of an open lorry, playing his trumpet outside Buckingham Palace and down Birdcage Walk, which was heaven. I picked up a lieutenant commander from the navy and spent most of the evening dancing with him. He was a great big chap and we had a marvellous evening – no love in the bushes or anything, it was awfully pure – but I never saw him again. They say that the Royal Princesses, Elizabeth and Margaret, were out on the streets that night too. 

For me, who had been sixteen when the war had started, the most wonderful thing was seeing light in London. For nearly six years we had had the blackout and the street lights had been hooded and dimmed. Now London was suddenly full of light. In Piccadilly, there were gas lights with naked flames flickering in beautiful vases. It was time to rejoice, it really was.