1945 Peace Breaks out and Calverton Celebrates.


Ella West outside her cottage in 1997.Ella West recalls her own memories of the start of war and of the dramatic bombing raids both locally and afar.

I remember the day war was announced - we'd just heard it on the wireless and there was Cyril West standing to attention on the doorstep. "War has been declared Ella" says he.

There was a Home Guard at Calverton - Mr Albert Simms was special constable. Checking blackout regulations was one of his duties.

On a Friday or Saturday evening each week Ella's eleven year old daughter, Barbara, used to go with Reuben Underwood down to Stratford along the dark roads to visit a Miss Kate Shillingford to collect flowers for Mrs Worley's grave.

Evacuee children from Chingford, London were billeted on households in Calverton. There was a wireless station built behind Manor Farm, connected to Bletchley Park. They have records about this. "They'll bomb the lot of us" complained the Reverend Ravenscroft. "He should have known better" thought Ella. "What God says will be done".

One night incendiary bombs fell over the Leys "like fairly lights", everyone agreed, watching from their doorsteps. One fell through Eva Tomkins' roof - No. 4 Charity Cottages.

The Home Guard went round with buckets of sand (kept in Watery Lane behind No. 26, Lower Weald) putting out the fires.

Another night sirens in Stratford sounded; the bombing of Coventry had begun - and the flames lit the night sky and could be seen from Calverton. Bombs also fell in Upper Weald.

At Calverton Place Mrs Ross- Lowe ran knitting parties - mostly socks and balaclava helmets and scarves for the soldiers at the Front.

At Manor Farm Mr George Fountaine gave each household at Manor Farm Cottages a pig and a patch of ground to grow potatoes on.

Ella remembers the Peace Declaration too. "Any news then Ella?" asked a young communications officer, Dick, returning to Stratford one day in April. He couldn't say any more, but Ella knew what he meant. Sure enough on the next News Bulletin the end of the War in Europe was announced.

On 8th May 1945, VE Day, Lower Weald celebrated with a football match on Pond Close (or Cow Field as Ella refers to it) opposite Manor Farm - men v. women.

The men, Ella remembers, dressed as women. They were Mr George Fountaine, Mr Bill Wilkes from Middle Weald wearing a large hat, Mr Harold West (Ella's husband), Mr Archie King of Manor Farm, Mr Sid Stanley and others.

Wolverton Express 18 May 1945.There was a meal afterwards up the yard. Everyone brought something to eat and bonfires were lit in the evening. The day's events were reported in the local paper.

The Newspaper cutting reads:

Victory celebrations at Calverton took the form of a children's tea party and sports. Tea was served in the schoolroom by Mrs. W. Ward, Mrs. C. West, and other mothers. The residents generously gave money (over £9) and kind (cakes jellies, etc.) to enable the children to enjoy a sumptuous tea. Sports were held in a meadow, organised by Mr. George Fountaine, Mr. Harold West, and Mr. Cecil West. Refreshments were partaken in the school, the proceedings terminating with a bonfire when an effigy of Hitler was burnt.


VE Day Football 1945 Style.

Members of the first VE Day Celebrations football match in May 1945.

Members of the first VE Day Celebrations football match in May 1945.
Copy of photographic print loaned by Hazel Wallis of Stony Stratford
from an original photograph taken by Mrs. Fountaine after the match.
  • 1 Archie King
  • 2 Billy Wilkes
  • 3 Bob Webb
  • 4 Harold West
  • 5
  • 6 John Barker's sister?
  • 7 Owen Tyrell
  • 8 Walt Pointer
  • 9 Cecil West
  • 10 George Fountaine

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Last updated 24th February 1998.