V E Day
The following are extracts by kind permission of Tony Hines from his publication: VE Day + 50 Brockham Village Remembers, 1995, commemorating the 50th Anniversary of VE day:
Brockham experienced the horrors of war like any other community, not on the scale of London, but a death is a death. A loved one lost in action or a family killed by enemy bombing is a tragedy. Brockham lost members of its community and many of the residents today who did not live in the area during the war have memories they wish to forget or are too painfrul to recall. I have not tried to document the horrors of war nor have I tried to hide them. This is a tribute to those individuals and their families and friends who gave so much to enable our society to develop to that we live today.
Villagers remember the celebrations of VE Day:
Connie Homewood who lived at Providence Cottages, The Green: VE Day was very exciting. A bonfire was quickly built and during the evening an efficy of Hitler was produced and placed on the fire. The green was full of people singing and dancing. I remember Tommy Marshall walking up on to the Green and him wanting to get home to his mum.' (he had returned from being a prisoner of war).
Tommy Marshall arrived in London from his war overseas on VE day. From there he travelled to Dorking, He got off the train onto a near deserted platform. Two people stood there, one the porter, the other Mr Glanfield. 'Its Tommy isn't it, God Bless you'. Five years had passed. He was now thirty years of age anf no one knew he was coming home to Brockham. He walked ot the roundabout carrying his kit and rifle.
A car stopped 'hello squaddie, want a lift?' He had a ride to the top of Brockham Lane and set off again on foot. At the end of Kiln Lane he was aware of 'something' happening on the village green. As he got onto the bridge and rounded the corner he realised that VE celebrations were taking place. He just wanted to get home and tried to walk unnoticed. He was spotted by Jean Homewood and a group of other girls. A shout went up 'Tommy Marshall's home'. He was smothered in kisses and lipstick. He was offered drinks and invited to light the bonfire on the Green. He declined. His sister who was in the Royal Oak, flung her drink and glass in the air as she rushed through the excited crowd to meet him. He was led to the village hall steps where the crowd could see him. A motor bike and side car was summonded and Tommy with seven or eight others all climbed on. He was on his way home to see his mum and dad. At home there was much cryiing and hugging. His mother made him as egg and mik pudding.
Tommy Marshall's war was over.