High Life Highland commemorates VE Day online

An artist's impression of the victory parade at Bremerhaven on May 12, 1945, showing a view looking down on a street hung with allied flags, from a bomb damaged building. A row of soldiers wearing bonnets and black berets stand on the balcony below, also looking down towards the street. They watch a procession of Sherman tanks driving by, as crew members standing in salute and the road lined with Marines. Copyright: © IWM. Original Source: http://www.iwm.org.uk/collections/item/object/21284. NO-F20-VE-DAY-archive-02.jpg
An artist's impression of the victory parade at Bremerhaven on May 12, 1945, showing a view looking down on a street hung with allied flags, from a bomb damaged building. A row of soldiers wearing bonnets and black berets stand on the balcony below, also looking down towards the street. They watch a procession of Sherman tanks driving by, as crew members standing in salute and the road lined with Marines. Copyright: © IWM. Original Source: http://www.iwm.org.uk/collections/item/object/21284. NO-F20-VE-DAY-archive-02.jpg

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High Life Highland (HLH) is supporting the national commemoration for the 75th anniversary of VE Day, which falls tomorrow (Friday).

This important anniversary provides an opportunity to remember the sacrifices made by our armed forces and Merchant Navy in the Second World War.

HLH’s Highland Archive Centre staff have been looking back to find photos and documents from the period to share on social media this week.

NO F20 VE DAY archive 01
NO F20 VE DAY archive 01

Photos in the archive show that on May, 8, 1945, the 154th Brigade of the 51st Highland Division moved to an area near Bremerhaven where it carried out the disarming of the German troops in that district.

Four days later they held a victory parade in the city. Another photo shows Loch Eriboll, one of the surrender rendezvous points for German submarines.

U-boats in Loch Eriboll following Germany’s surrender, May 1945 [images: David Hird / Am Baile] NO F20 VE DAY archive 03
U-boats in Loch Eriboll following Germany’s surrender, May 1945
[images: David Hird / Am Baile]
NO F20 VE DAY archive 03
Highland Archive Centre documents from the war include a letter sent by Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother after the war to thank householders for hosting evacuees.

The letter notes that in this ‘unselfish task’ people had sacrificed their own comfort and done work of great value to the state.

Also highlighted by Highland Archive Centre is an extract from Marybank School log book, recording the two days holiday taken to celebrate the end of the War.

Steve Walsh OBE, High Life Highland’s Chief Executive, who is also an ex RAF Wing Commander, commented: ‘As a veteran myself and on behalf of our board and staff, I would like to offer my respects and gratitude to all of those who gave all in the face of a mortal enemy; sadly, there are many parallels in what we are facing today.

‘Thank you to the High Life Highland team for helping to commemorate this event. The photos and documents being highlighted by our archive colleagues show how people from this area, like everyone in our country, were affected by the war.’