© Wonersh History Society - www.wonershhistory.co.uk   (WHS)
VE DAY IN WONERSH The   following   is   taken   entirely   from   one   of   the   Wonersh   WI   scrapbooks   kept   by   Mrs.   Atkins ,   Mrs.   Brown,   Mrs.   Burgoyne,   Miss Butler,   Mrs.   Clarabut,   Mrs.   Faber,   Miss   Foster,   Mrs.   Goddard,   Mrs.   Griffiths,   Mrs.   Hawkes,   Mrs.   Orange,   Mrs.   Parsons,    Mrs.   Pilditch, Mrs. Rees,  Mrs. Reeve, Mrs. Strude, and Miss Sudbury. “It   did   not   seem   possible   that   this   much   longed   for   day   had   arrived   at   last.      But   the   church   bells   rang   out,   a   bonfire   was   lit   on   the   Common and   Wonersh   hastened   to   pull   down   black-out   curtains   and   at   night   lights   blazed   from   the   windows.      Small   children   gaped   at   the   strange scene and there was music and dancing on the road outside the Working Men’s Club. It   seemed   too   good   to   be   true   that   we   should   hear   no   more   doleful   sirens,   the   hateful   rumble   of   doodle-bugs,   gun   fire,   and   the   shattering crash   of   falling   missiles,   nor   see   the   long   tapering   fingers   of   the   searchlights   probing   night   skies.      It   seemed   strange   that   work   in   the canteens   would   soon   be   over,   that   factories   would   be   discharging   many   of   our   workers:   that   our   evacuees   would   be   going   home   and   that voluntary workers in the Red Cross and many other wartime activities would gradually resume their normal lives. Wonersh   did   its   bit   and   was   rightly   proud   of   it.      Every   home   had   contributed   in   one   way   or   another   to   the   war   effort,   from   the   children   who collected herbs and berries for medicinal purposes, to the old people who knitted for the forces or took part-time jobs. Even   on   V.E.   Day   we   realised   that   life   would   never   be   the   same   as   before,   but   there   were   compensations.         We   had   made   new   friends   and interests   and   the   common   danger   and   anxiety   had   given   us   a   deeper   sympathy   and   understanding   of   each   other.      Whatever   the   future might   hold   in   store   we   could   look   back   on   those   long   years   with   pride   as   well   as   sorrow.      So   Wonersh   danced   and   laughed   and   sang   and the long cherished “bottle” that had been put away for this occasion, was brought out and toasts to absent friends were drunk. But   in   the   midst   of   our   rejoicings   we   did   not   forget   those   who   had   left   the   village   and   who   would   never   return.      The   service   in   the   old Church   was   also   a   Service   of   Remembrance   and   Gratitude   to   those   who   had   left   this   peaceful   village   and   lay   ‘somewhere   in   foreign   soil, that is forever England’.”