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Michael Chick VE Day & Wartime Memories

Michael Chick









I think it must have been the laughter and excitement of my parents that woke me up. Wondering why my father was leaning out of the window, laughing and chattering to my mother, in the way of a young lad I asked him what he was doing. What I clearly remember was him repeatedly saying, "We've won the war, the war is over" I don't think I actually realised the significance of it at the time, only that he was waving a Union flag and trying to fix it, to fly it outside. It was only in later life that I came to understand the importance of the event. I guess it must have meant a lot to me though as it is a memory that has stayed with me for the past 75 years.

Other childhood memories which I remember clearly are events leading up to D Day.  I lived on a route which was one of the roads leading to the ports of Shoreham and Newhaven, and can still clearly hear in my mind the constant drone caused by the heavy tread on the tyres of army vehicles. Of course, at my age I knew little, if anything about the reason for this new intrusion into my sleep. That coupled with the noise of what must have been hundreds of aeroplanes became fixed in my mind as one of my earliest, but most prominent memories.

Sunday afternoon was the one day of the week we used to go for a walk as a family. Surrenden Road, in Brighton, has a wide grassy area with conker trees between the two carriageways, and this was filled with lorries and other vehicles. Then, suddenly, one Sunday, they were gone, and my father said that he thought the invasion must be happening. That I later learned was the leadup to D Day.

Childhood memories - treasured by me, as they link closely to my later life, having had the privilege to see and study the D Day map room at Southwick Park. But memories also possibly of interest to others of younger years, or maybe others with similar memories.