VE Day anniversary: ‘One of the happiest days of my life’

Iris Wilson, 87, heard the news while walking home from work

Iris Wilson, 87, heard the news while walking home from work - Credit: Archant

As Iris Wilson recalled the moment the announcement was made, her face beamed with excitement, as if reliving the moment all over again.

“Oh it was hilarious” she said. “Everybody was laughing, dancing and cheering”

On May 8, 1945, she was 17 and heading home from her job as a dancer when it turned into one of the “happiest days of my life”.

“I was walking on the road and people ran over to me and yelled ‘It’s over, it’s over’” said Iris, who lived in Grange Road, Plaistow.

Life was still hard following the announcement. The war was still going on in the Far East and everyone was still on rations. However it did not stop people from expressing their sheer delight.

“We had street parties and we were all on food rations, but everyone brought their food together.”

Iris was one of thousands to travel into central London to celebrate the momentous occasion.

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“In the West End you couldn’t move. It was great.”

Iris, who now lives in Maryland Road, Stratford, and her sister were dancers in clubs during the war and were fortunate enough to travel all over England.

“I met a lot of the celebrities of the day, although most of them are dead now,” she said.

“It was a good life.”