Vi Laidlaw remembers VE Day

Vi Laidlaw remembers VE Day

Vi Laidlaw with her mother, circa 1936

Vi Laidlaw with her mother, circa 1936

Second World War Ddocuments, Living Memory Association

Second World War documents, Living Memory Association

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'My brother was killed six weeks before the end of the war'

"Not long after the war finished, the council organised this big party in Princes Street Gardens and everyone was invited. I didn’t want to go because my brother William had been killed six weeks before the end. I did go, because my father made me. He was suffering too but he said, “life has to go on.” ‘We regret to inform you’ telegrams were not supposed to be put through the letterbox, they were supposed to be handed to you. Ours was just put through our letterbox and I got home one lunchtime and picked it up, expecting it to be from my brother, to say he was coming home. And it was a telegram to say he’d been killed. It was quite something. None of my contemporaries lost a loved one, so there was no-one to say, “we know how you feel”. It was very hard.’ ‘About a year after the war ended I spent a holiday in London. I’d been in touch with my MP and he met us at the House of Commons and ushered us in, up to the visitor’s gallery. And that was where we were when bread rationing was announced. The place erupted. It was chaos. Because the war had finished, people were hoping rationing was finished. It lasted a good wee while, maybe six months or so.’

Vi Laidlaw