Don Manley, a member of our Archive Team recalls D-Day very clearly, ” I remember D-Day. It was the day before my 13th birthday. I was attending Sloane School in Chelsea and we were busy in our classrooms. The Headmaster sent a messenger to every class to tell us to assemble in the Great Hall immediately.
We all went and sat down where we would for assembly and the Headmaster announced that the Allies had landed in France. A radio was brought in and tuned to the news so we could all hear the details for ourselves. Everyone of us cheered for we knew that the War was coming to an end. ”
Bill Cuell, another volunteer, recalls that there was a street party held by residents of Beaconsfield Road, Tolworth, to celebrate the end of the Second World War. (A photograph of this is available for viewing in our Library.)
Norm Danton told me, “Thinking about my memories of WW II and D-Day, I suppose my most vivid memory is one of a personal nature. As a young teen, my family and I lived in London, and we saw and experienced many things ~ V1 flying bombs, V2 rockets, and lots of dogfights. Even as a teen you simply never forget.
But my story of D-Day happened one week later. I was at home with my mother. It was a pleasant day, when we heard terrible screaming coming from our neighbour’s house next door. Our neighbour, Mrs. Sheehan, had just received the fateful telegram from the War Office informing her that her son, Billy Sheehan, was killed on D-Day, the 6th of June. Billy was only 17 years old and had only joined the Army 8 weeks before. The underlying truth was that a few weeks before, Billy and his father had had a heated argument about his future, with his father telling him, ‘Why don’t you join the Army?’, which Billy did the following day, lying about his age. Once he joined he was sent immediately for training and then into D-Day.”