Allied Victory Parade in London – servicemen and women of the South African contingent on the march during the Victory Parade in London on 8 June 1946, followed by the smaller Southern Rhodesian and Newfoundland contingents.
As part of Tadley’s VE Day commemorations TADS has created an online exhibition.
VE Day (8 May 1945) marked the end of World War II in Europe – the war with Japan would continue for three more months. World War II cost the lives of between 20-21 million servicemen and women, and 50-56 million civilians. It remains the most costly war in in terms of human lives lost with approximately 3% of the world population being killed.
Tadley played a significant role in the war as a base for USAAF troops who took part in D-Day, Operation Market Garden and other airborne operations in Europe. It is estimated that 3,000 American and Canadian troops passed through Tadley. Sadly, it is not known how many of them died.
The names of five servicemen from Tadley are commemorated on Tadley War Memorial. They served in both the Army and RAF. Many others served in the conflict. There are at least two currently surviving local veterans.
It seems appropriate to mark this anniversary to honour those who gave their lives and their health to preserve our freedom. It is also an opportunity to reflect on the shared values that the allied forces in World War II displayed, and pray for our future as part of both Europe, Commonwealth and NATO.