VE Day anniversary: Celebrating with servicemen

Bill Garratt, 89, was in the Navy during the war

Bill Garratt, 89, was in the Navy during the war - Credit: Archant

“Where was I on VE Day? Off the north west coast of Scotland.”

Bill Garratt was a long way from home when the end of war in Europe was declared.

He was serving in the Royal Navy, working both on boats and on land to detect submarines.

“We went and had a drink to celebrate,” said Bill, of Cumberland Road, Plaistow. “There was a little party, but we were still at war.”

Bill was a builder before joining the Navy during the war.

“I was only in there about three years,” he said.

“They called me out earlier so I could work on bomb damage, repairing buildings that were destroyed.”

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Bill’s house in Stepney was one of those that took a hit during the Blitz.

“I was 16 when my house was bombed,” he said.

“My dog and the puppies got buried and we had to dig them out.

“I had a shed full of pigeons I had to let go as there was nobody to look after them.

“Those that didn’t fly away we had to wring their necks.”