Blog No 164 – Churchill War Rooms, London

I made the trip to London for more scans back in Dec 19. Whilst we were there, we took a visit to Churchill’s War Rooms in Westminster, just around the corner from the Houses of Parliament. London is oozing so much history and the architecture is incredible.

There is a fee into this museum but it’s certainly worth a visit. The museum is open from 9 – 6pm daily. Check opening times before you travel just in case there’s lockdown restrictions.

Chiefs of Staff Meeting Room

The heads of army, airforce and navy would meet in this room to discuss the war efforts.

Winston Churchill

This was Winston Churchill radio address from the Cabinet War Rooms to the people of France on the 21st October 1940.

Switchboard Operator

Every call taken by a Switchboard Operator was deemed as urgent at the Cabinet War Rooms.

Ismay’s Quarters

Room 61 was Hastings Ismay’s. He was the Chief of Staff to Churchill. He was the link between Churchill and the heads of the three armed forces. A senior officer would have the luxury of carpet in their room.

Access Point

The Camp Commandant was responsible for the day to day maintenance of the Cabinet War Rooms. The key rack with all its keys and labels.

The Map Room

The beating heart of the Cabinet War Rooms. The room was used for gathering intelligence to fight the war. During a shift there would be 5 officers. A duty officer, 3 officers from the armed forces and official from the Ministry of Home Security.

Map Room Supplies

A box of map pins sorted by colour ready to use.

Mrs Churchill’s Room

A little more of a luxury room with a dressing table and comfy armchair.

I would recommend a visit to the museum especially if your at the Houses of Parliament.

Weekly Blog No 38 – Victory in Europe or VE Day

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On this day in 1945, 70 years ago both Great Britain and the United States celebrated Victory in Europe Day. The surrender of the German forces had been suspected after the suicide of Adolf Hitlers on 30th April 1945. On the 7th May 1945, Germany unconditional signed a surrender and on the 8th May at 11.01pm all active operations would creased. Germany’s  surrender brought an end to 6 years of hardship and war.

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This instrument of surrender was signed at General Dwight D Eisenhower’s headquarters in Reims by General Alfred Jodl, Chief of Staff of the German Army. At the same time, he signed three other surrender documents, one each for Great Britain, Russia, and France.

Winston Churchill officially announced  an “End of War in Europe” speech on the wireless and everywhere became a place of celebration. The Government allowed bonfires using only items of no salvage value to be burned. The Board of Trade until the end of May allowed  people to buy cotton bunting without coupons as long as it was red, white & blue and cost no more than a shilling.

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The streets were filled with tricolour flags and bunting and people worn either rosettes or ribbons. The people were rolling out into the streets to enjoy the atmosphere and merriment.

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A street party

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Canadian soldiers entertaining the crowd

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People dancing around the Clock Tower, Leicester

The Royal Family enter the balcony of Buckingham Palace later that afternoon to wave to the crowds. King George VI made the last official speech to the nation at 9pm and Buckingham Palace was lit by floodlights, the first time in 6 years

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Thunderstorms and rain brought the celebrations to an end, however people still had a rocky road ahead.  Rations continued on certain items right up till 1952. Men returned home with physical and mental disorders. Children returned to their family homes following excavation. Theses are only some of the things people had to endure with life after Victory in Europe.

We as people have to acknowledge and be grateful for life that we have. Without the war efforts, where would we be today.  Thank you.