© Wonersh History Society - www.wonershhistory.co.uk (WHS)
VE DAY IN WONERSH The following is taken entirely from one of the Wonersh WI scrapbooks kept by Mrs. Atkins , Mrs. Brown, Mrs. Burgoyne, Miss Butler, Mrs. Clarabut, Mrs. Faber, Miss Foster, Mrs. Goddard, Mrs. Griffiths, Mrs. Hawkes, Mrs. Orange, Mrs. Parsons, Mrs. Pilditch, Mrs. Rees, Mrs. Reeve, Mrs. Strude, and Miss Sudbury. “It did not seem possible that this much longed for day had arrived at last. But the church bells rang out, a bonfire was lit on the Common and Wonersh hastened to pull down black-out curtains and at night lights blazed from the windows. Small children gaped at the strange scene and there was music and dancing on the road outside the Working Men’s Club. It seemed too good to be true that we should hear no more doleful sirens, the hateful rumble of doodle-bugs, gun fire, and the shattering crash of falling missiles, nor see the long tapering fingers of the searchlights probing night skies. It seemed strange that work in the canteens would soon be over, that factories would be discharging many of our workers: that our evacuees would be going home and that voluntary workers in the Red Cross and many other wartime activities would gradually resume their normal lives. Wonersh did its bit and was rightly proud of it. Every home had contributed in one way or another to the war effort, from the children who collected herbs and berries for medicinal purposes, to the old people who knitted for the forces or took part-time jobs. Even on V.E. Day we realised that life would never be the same as before, but there were compensations. We had made new friends and interests and the common danger and anxiety had given us a deeper sympathy and understanding of each other. Whatever the future might hold in store we could look back on those long years with pride as well as sorrow. So Wonersh danced and laughed and sang and the long cherished “bottle” that had been put away for this occasion, was brought out and toasts to absent friends were drunk. But in the midst of our rejoicings we did not forget those who had left the village and who would never return. The service in the old Church was also a Service of Remembrance and Gratitude to those who had left this peaceful village and lay ‘somewhere in foreign soil, that is forever England’.”