THE HOME FRONT (1939-45)
Audiobook 2xCD from CD41
THE HOME FRONT 1939-45 CD41-031 £12.50
An evocative double-disc set (and download), The Home Front features 150 minutes of rare material recorded between 1939 and 1945. The 45 tracks cover all aspects of life on the Home Front in Britain during the Second World War, from Neville Chamberlain's historic announcement of 'war with Germany' at 11.15 am on Sunday 3 September 1939, to evacuation, anti-invasion measures, the Home Guard, the Blitz, food rationing, salvage, war work, agriculture, fuel saving, mass observation, rumours, the V-1 and V-2 menace, and finally VE Day on 8 May 1945. All the recordings featured are first-hand accounts made at the time, and include civilians, evacuees, ARP and civil defence personnel, military leaders, RAF pilots, AA gunners and politicians, as well as actuality recordings made during raids and inside shelters. All materials are authentic wartime recordings which have been carefully digitally remastered for CD. The booklet includes archive images and detailed historical notes by James Hayward.
1. NEWS BULLETIN 3.9.1939
2. NEVILLE CHAMBERLAIN: WAR WITH GERMANY
3. ADDRESS BY KING GEORGE VI
4. EVACUEES LEAVE LONDON 1940
5. HOME GUARD APPEAL
6. LORD HAW HAW: BLITZKRIEG
7. WINSTON CHURCHILL: We shall fight on the beaches
8. IF THE INVADER COMES
9. SALVAGE APPEAL
10. DOVER: HELLFIRE CORNER
11. VOLUNTEER ARP WARDEN
12. BATTLE OF BRITAIN: SPITFIRE PILOT
13. NEWS: THE BATTLE OF BRITAIN 15.9.1940
14. FARMERS UNDER FIRE
15. THE BLITZ: BLACK SATURDAY
16. LONDON WEDDING BLITZED
17. MAX MILLER: MY FIRST ARP EXPERIENCE
18. MANCHESTER AIR RAID SHELTER
19. ED MURROW: SOMERSET IN WARTIME
20. WORK OF THE WVS
21. MASS-OBSERVATION 1941
1. WORKERS' PLAYTIME 1941
2. WOMEN AT THE BENCHES
3. NEWS: RAIDS ON BRITAIN 10.1.1941
4. 5 TO 1 ON THE LAND
5. NEWS: JAPAN ENTERS THE WAR 7.12.1941
6. GERT & DAISY: THE KITCHEN FRONT
7. BAEDEKER RAID ON EXETER 1942
8. LONDON CABBIE IN THE BLITZ
9. CANTEEN CONCERT IN SCOTLAND
10. EVACUEES: CHRISTMAS MESSAGES 1942
11. NEWS: ITALY SURRENDERS 1943
12. THE BRAINS TRUST: HAPPINESS
13. TOMMY HANDLEY: PUT IT OUT
14. NEWS: D-DAY LANDINGS 6.6.1944
15. V-1 FLYING BOMB ACTUALITY
16. V-1 ATTACKS: AA COMMAND
17. RAF FIGHTER FLIPS V-1
18. WORLD & HOME NEWS 30.8.1944
19. V-2 ATTACKS ON LONDON
20. NEWSFLASH: HITLER IS DEAD 1.5.1945
21. VE DAY: NEWS BULLETIN 8.5.1945
22. VE DAY: WINSTON CHURCHILL & CROWDS
23. VE DAY WEATHER FORECAST
24. A GLASGOW MOTHER
Reviews: 'This CD and download gives all the important broadcasts from WWII. There is Chamberlain's announcement that England is at war, various Workers' Playtime broadcasts, Churchill's "We'll fight on the beaches" broadcast and many, many more. Five stars' (Amazon.com, 01/2010)
Liner notes by James Hayward THE HOME FRONT 1939-45 CD41-031 £12.50
Editor's note: every effort has been made to avoid unnecessary duplication of material between The Home Front and previous volumes released by CD41, in particular British War Broadcasting 1938-45, The Blitz and The Battle of Britain. All these releases contain material relevant to the Home Front between 1939 and 1945, and should be seen (and heard) as companion volumes. Listeners should also bear in mind that fewer civilian recordings survive from the war, as compared to those dealing with military events, operations and personalities.
1. NEWS BULLETIN: WAR DECLARED (1.30)
BBC news bulletin broadcast at 11.00 am on Sunday 3 September 1939, reporting an official communiquÈ from 10 Downing Street.
2. NEVILLE CHAMBERLAIN: WAR WITH GERMANY (2.53)
The momentous broadcast by the British Prime Minister, broadcast at 11.15 am on 3 September 1939. Chamberlain was by now 70 years of age, and terminally ill with the cancer that would kill him in little more than a year. Within eight minutes of Chamberlain's declaration air raid sirens wailed, although it was a false alarm.
3. ADDRESS BY KING GEORGE VI (5.48)
The King addresses the nation and the Commonwealth, broadcast at 6 pm on 3 September 1939. Although shy and hesitant, the King speaks from the heart. 'For the second time in the lives of most of us, we are at war. Over and over again we have tried to find a peaceful way out of the differences between ourselves and those who are now our enemies, but it has been in vain.' King George VI suffered from a speech impediment, and his Christmas broadcast of 1941 was so halting that Churchill requested it be doctored before transmission.
4. EVACUATION OF CHILDREN FROM LONDON (2.33)
Kenneth Adam reports on the evacuation of a party of London children by train on 14 June 1940. Adam reports that he spent most of the time helping to keep order amongst the evacuees, and that the mischief on the train included one pull of the communication cord.
5. APPEAL: LOCAL DEFENCE VOLUNTEERS (1.07)
Broadcast by the Secretary of State for War, Anthony Eden, on 14 May 1940, requesting volunteers for a new citizens' militia, initially called the Local Defence Volunteers (LDV) but soon changed to the Home Guard at the suggestion of Churchill. Within 24 hours of this broadcast more than a quarter of a million men had come forward, despite the fact that little was available by way of weaponry or uniforms. 'We want large numbers of such men in Great Britain who are British subjects, between the ages of seventeen and sixty-five, to come forward now and offer their services in order to make assurance [that any invasion would fail] doubly sure. The name of the new force which is now to be raised will be the Local Defence Volunteers. This name describes its duties in three words. You will not be paid, but you will receive uniforms and will be armed. In order to volunteer, what you have to do is give your name at your local police station, and then, when we want you, we will let you know...'
6. LORD HAW HAW: BLITZKRIEG (3.33)
Germany callingÖ Propaganda broadcast made on 1 June 1940, in which William Joyce goads British listeners on the swift defeat of Low Countries and the British Expeditionary Force. Born in New York in 1906, Joyce was convicted of high treason in 1946 and executed, although controversy persists over whether the British authorities had any power to condemn an American turned German citizen as a traitor.
7. WINSTON CHURCHILL: 'WE SHALL FIGHT ON THE BEACHES' (3.34)
Extract from the stirring, historic speech delivered by the new Prime Minister, Winston Churchill, on 4 June 1940: 'Even though large tracts of Europe and many old and famous States have fallen or may fall into the grip of the Gestapo and all the odious apparatus of Nazi rule, we shall not flag or fail. We shall go on to the end, we shall fight in France, we shall fight on the seas and oceans, we shall fight with growing confidence and growing strength in the air, we shall defend our Island, whatever the cost may be, we shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender, and even if, which I do not for a moment believe, this Island or a large part of it were subjugated and starving, then our Empire beyond the seas, armed and guarded by the British Fleet, would carry on the struggle, until, in God's good time, the New World, with all its power and might, steps forth to the rescue and the liberation of the Old.' This was one of the few broadcasts Churchill made from Broadcasting House, and the PM usually spoke from his study at Downing Street or Chequers. Note that the famous line is usually misquoted.
8. IF THE INVADER COMES (5.00)
Talk by General Sir Hugh Elles, broadcast on 20 June 1940. Sir Hugh Jamieson Elles (1880-1945) had been the first commander of the newly formed Tank Corps in the First World War, and in June 1940 was chief of Civil Defence operational staff. Later he was appointed South West Regional Commissioner based in Bristol, and would have taken regional command of the resistance in the event of a German occupation of Britain. Here, three short weeks after the British Expeditionary Force was evacuated from Dunkirk, he seeks to allay widespread fears about German parachute troops, and aerial bombing, 'It is a very poor thing to be frightened out of your wits.' Elles advises the population to stay put, and stick with it, and to avoid allowing refugee columns to clog the roads.
9. SALVAGE APPEAL (4.54)
Talk by Megan Lloyd George (the youngest child of the former Prime Minister) broadcast on 26 June 1940. Megan Lloyd George (1902-1966) became the first female MP in Wales when she won Anglesey for the Liberals in 1929.
10. DOVER: HELLFIRE CORNER (3.05)
Robin Duff conducts a light-hearted interview with Mr and Mrs Knoyes of Dover. Subjects discussed include the bombardment of Boulogne, air raids, the calmness of the population, meals in shelters, and the possibility of mass evacuation. Mr Knoyes was an Old Contemptible during the 1914-18 war, and has a son is now serving. Recorded 21 August 1940.
11. VOLUNTEER ARP WARDEN (1.32)
Talk by an unidentified female volunteer ARP Warden on the south coast of England, summer 1940. Until the advent of the Blitz, ARP Wardens were seldom popular, as Violet Bonham Carter wrote in the Spectator in November 1940: 'During the year of lull Air Raid Wardens were generally regarded as a quite unnecessary and rather expensive nuisance. It was difficult to see what they were there for. They appeared to spend their days in basements, listening to gas lectures in the intervals of playing darts, and when they emerged at nightfall it was only to worry innocent people about their lights. They occasionally held up the traffic by performing strange charades, pretending (as best they could) to cope with imaginary situations of wild improbability. And for this life of idleness and antics the public heard with horror that some of them were actually being paid.'
12. BATTLE OF BRITAIN: SPITFIRE PILOT (6.08)
A talk by Squadron Leader A.V.R. (Sandy) Johnstone of 602 (City of Glasgow) Squadron, recorded 6 January 1941. Here Johnstone describes his early combat experiences in Scotland, including an air battle near the Forth Bridge on 16 October 1939, and his subsequent role in the Battle of Britain. 602 Squadron flew Spitfires and were moved south in mid-August 1940, where they operated from Westhampnett, in the Tangmere sector. Sandy Johnstone (1916-2000) rose to the rank of Air Vice Marshall, and retired only in 1968.
13. MIDNIGHT NEWS: THE BATTLE OF BRITAIN (0.36)
An extract from the BBC Midnight News broadcast on Sunday 15 September 1940, read by Alvar Lidell, announcing 173 German aircraft shot down that day. The true figure was 60, as against 27 RAF machines. September 15 is traditionally regarded as the climax of the battle, and is remembered annually as Battle of Britain Day. On 17 September Hitler postponed Operation Sea Lion, the planned invasion of Britain.
14. FARMERS UNDER FIRE (1.42)
Kent farmer John Brunt recalls his experience of farming under fire during the Battle of Britain in 1940, broadcast 27 August 1942. Despite the rain of falling bombs and crashing aircraft, Brunt recalls, farmers could not be driven from their land, and were inspired by The Few to work harder than ever.
15. THE BLITZ: BLACK SATURDAY (2.52)
Commentary recorded by Tom Chalmers on the roof of BBC Broadcasting House in Portland Place, describing the first night raid on London, Saturday 7 September 1940. Chalmers describes the view across London, with Tower Bridge and St Paul's Cathedral silhouetted against the red sky and leaping flames. On 'Black Saturday' the first wave of 300 aircraft bombed between 16.35 and 18.15, while the second mass attack by 180 aircraft commenced at 20.10. The main areas affected were West Ham, Poplar, Stepney, Southwark and Bermondsey and the London docklands. Almost 1,800 people were killed or seriously injured.
16. LONDON WEDDING BLITZED (3.35)
A recording made on 30 October 1940 featuring newlyweds Ann and Trev. Having spent the previous night in a shelter, the bride reports that her home was wrecked by a bomb, burying her trousseau, afterwards dug out by ARP workers. Her father was hospitalised, and her mother had to borrow clothes to wear at the service. During the reception the sirens wailed again, after which the happy couple arrived at their new home to find the windows blown out by blast.
17. MAX MILLER: MY FIRST ARP EXPERIENCE (1.48)
Legendary 'Cheeky Chappie' Max Miller recorded in November 1941, entertaining war workers at a canteen concert. Max Miller (1894-1963) was a variety comedian famous for his gaudy suits and risquÈ repertoire; one ban by the BBC lasted fully five years, and he was not given a wartime series. His revue Apple Sauce opened at the Holborn Empire in August 1940, and although the run was interrupted by the Blitz, the show re-opened at the Palladium in March 1941, eventually running for almost 500 performances. Indeed Miller earned the wartime equivalent of a six-figure sum.
18. COMMUNITY SINGING: MANCHESTER AIR RAID SHELTER (2.34)
Actuality recording made during a childrens' Christmas party in a large public shelter in Manchester on the night of 22 December 1940. Accompanied by an accordion player, the youngsters sing songs including Alexander's Rag-Time Band, Sara Sara, Daisy Daisy and Good King Wenceslas.
19. ED MURROW: SOMERSET IN WARTIME (4.50)
A talk by legendary CBS correspondent Ed Murrow of his experience of 'getting away from it all' in wartime West Somerset, broadcast 29 September 1940. Murrow bemoans the quality of wartime coffee and cheese en route, and despite the peace and quiet is disturbed by a crashing German bomber. Meanwhile the Home Guard patrols Exmoor on horseback.
20. WORK OF THE WVS (1.37)
Various members of the Women's Voluntary Service describe their work. Broadcast 27 November 1940. Founded in 1938 as an organisation to aid civilians, the WVS played an important role in organising civilian evacuation, salvage, the provision of emergency food and clothing, mobile canteens and rest centres. By 1941 there were a million members, although the Blitz cost the WVS 241 members killed. In 1966 the organisation become the Women's Royal Voluntary Service (WRVS), and still exists today.
21. MASS-OBSERVATION OF THE WAR (14.29)
Extracts from a broadcast by Tom Harrison on 1 April 1941, covering differences in attitude and opinion between March 1940 and March 1941. Mass-Observation was an independent social research organisation founded in 1937, which aimed to record everyday life in Britain via a panel of around 2000 volunteer observers who maintained diaries or replied to questionnaires. They also paid investigators to record people's conversation and behaviour at work, on the street and at various public events. During the war M-O research was occasionally influential in shaping British public policy, and the war also led to a few cases of M-O undertaking research on commission for government authorities seeking influence in areas such as recruiting and propaganda.
1. WORKERS' PLAYTIME (1.54)
An extract from an early edition of the hugely popular BBC Home Service programme, recorded 26 May 1941. Workers' Playtime was a simple touring comedy and music show, broadcast live at lunchtime from a factory canteen 'Somewhere in Britain', these venues usually chosen by the Ministry of Labour. It was broadcast three times a week, and was also heard in America. Happy workers meant increased production, and the programme remained on air until 1964, serving the population from the Blitz to the Beatles.
2. WOMEN AT THE BENCHES (4.06)
Interviews with Mrs Smith and others, trainee female factory workers, broadcast 6 January 1941. 'Have you had any experience of machines before?' 'Only a sewing machine.' The ladies are judged to be 'very adaptable.' A fine example of the type of necessary but heavy-handed propaganda imposed on the BBC by the Government.
3. WORLD & HOME NEWS, JANUARY 1941 (4.00)
BBC news bulletin read by Alan Howland, broadcast at 7 am on 10 January 1941. As well as reporting on widespread air raids the previous evening, an inspection of public shelters by Lord Horder is also covered, as is Lend-Lease from the United States and the military situation in Albania. Bruce Belfrage later described his colleague Howland as 'tetchy and irritable'.
4. 5 TO 1 ON THE LAND (3.54)
Talk addressed to farmers, broadcast on 15 April 1941. The speaker talks on the need to produce more food within Britain, thus freeing up shipping space for war materials, and recruit more agricultural labour, particularly women. 'Use the Land Army, give them a chance, they will respond. Drop all prejudices.' This was easier said than done, as H.E. Bates observed in the Spectator: 'The English farmer is a conservative and prejudiced animal. He has a very deep suspicion of imported female labour; he assumes that a girl trained for a luxury trade will be out of place on a muck cart. He prefers one man to half a dozen women.'
5. NEWS BULLETIN: JAPAN ENTERS THE WAR (2.51)
Home Service news bulletin broadcast on 7 December 1941, read by Alvar Lidell. As well as the infamous attack on Pearl Harbour, the report also covers the Japanese aggression against Malaya and the Philippines.
6. GERT & DAISY: THE KITCHEN FRONT (3.19)
A festive edition of The Kitchen Front, broadcast 20 December 1941. Sisters Elsie Waters (1895-1990) and Doris Waters (1904-1978) were an English radio and stage variety double-act, best known for their comic songs and sketches, and for the Cockney char characters Gert and Daisy. The Kitchen Front was by far the most popular wartime food programme, and was supervised by the Ministry of Food. Here the redoubtable pair explain how to cook mutton so as to resemble turkey. Food formed the subject of almost 2,000 wartime BBC broadcasts; unfortunately the end of this particular recording has not survived.
7. BAEDEKER RAID ON EXETER (3.00)
Report by Frank Gillard on the devastation of the city of Exeter on the night of 3/4 May 1942, recorded 4 May 1942. The so-called 'Baedeker Raids' took place between April and June, and were made by Luftflotte 3 in retaliation for the RAF Bomber Command raid of the medieval city of Lubeck in March. Other picturesque British cities of historic value were also targeted - Norwich, Canterbury, York and Bath - and were reputedly selected from the German Baedeker Tourist Guide. Some 1,637 civilians were killed and another 1,760 injured. Gillard's report relates to the second and more serious Baedeker raid on Exeter, the first having occured on 23/24 April. Altogether some forty acres of the city were levelled, particularly adjacent to its central High Street and Sidwell Street.
8. LONDON CABBIE IN THE BLITZ (3.38)
London taxi driver Harry Anderson pays tribute to the spirit of Londoners during the Blitz. Broadcast 1 August 1943.
9. SIR HARRY LAUDER: CANTEEN CONCERT (0.43)
Extract from Christmas 1942 broadcast by Sir Harry Lauder, from a munitions factory in Scotland. Lauder (aged 72) salutes the mainly female workers, then sings a snatch of I Love a Lassie. The personification of Scottish kitsch, entertainer Harry Lauder (1870-1950) first recorded in 1905 and specialized in sentimental ballads and comic songs. In January 1919 he was knighted in recognition of his services to war charities during the Great War. Sir Harry's final retirement was announced in 1935, but he returned to entertain troops and workers during WW2.
10. EVACUEES: CHRISTMAS MESSAGES (2.05)
Live Christmas messages exchanged between evacuees (Anita and Rex Cowan) in the United States and their parents in London. Broadcast via short wave, 25 December 1942. Note how the children have already picked up strong American accents.
11. NEWS BULLETIN: ITALY SURRENDERS (3.20)
News bulletin read by John Snagge, broadcast at 9 pm on 8 September 1943. The bulletin also includes a recorded statement on the armistice read by General Eisenhower, the chimes of Big Ben, and an instrumental recording of God Save The King. 'This has been a great day for the United Nations.' Thereafter Italy became a country fought over by foreign powers.
12. THE BRAINS TRUST (6.26)
The Brains Trust first aired on BBC radio in January 1941 as Any Questions and became one of the most popular informational programmes of the day, even though the information imparted was of little use to the public. Due to its immense popularity, it was moved to a peak slot on Sunday afternoons. It was heard by up to 12 million listeners and generated more than 4,000 letters each week from the general public. Chaired by Donald McCullough, one of the best-known panellists, the philosopher C.E.M. Joad, saw his career ended by a fare-dodging scandal in 1948. Other regular contriutors included Commander A.B. Campbell and Dr Julien Huxley, all three appearing here to discuss the subject of Happiness, with Sir Harold Nicolson.
13. TOMMY HANDLEY: PUT IT OUT (3.03)
Light-hearted coal and power saving tips from famed ITMA comedian Tommy Handley, with piano accompaniment 1943/44. 'If we want a bright tomorrow, and a future full and rich, we've got to learn to earn it, in the battle of the switch.'
14. NEWS BULLETIN: D-DAY (1.00)
From the Ministry of Information housed at the Senate House of London University, John Snagge reads Supreme Headquarters Allied Expeditionary Force Communique No. 1 at 9.32 am on 6 June 1944, announcing the momentous news: 'Under the command of General Eisenhower, Allied naval forces supported by strong air forces began landing Allied armies this morning on the northern coast of France.' In fact German radio had announced the news as early as 7 am.
15. V-1 FLYING BOMB ACTUALITY (0.41)
V-1 'Doodlebug' or 'Buzz Bomb' recorded in flight, after which the pulse-jet engine cuts out and the flying bomb falls to earth, where the 850kg warhead causes a large explosion. Recorded summer 1944. The Fieseler Fi 103, better known as the V-1 (German: Vergeltungswaffe 1, or retaliation weapon) was the first guided missile to be used in war, and the forerunner of the cruise missile. Developed by the Luftwaffe at Peenemunde, between June 1944 and March 1945, they were fired at targets in south-eastern England and Belgium e.g. London and Antwerp. V-1s were launched from static 'ski-ramp' launch sites along the Channel coast, and later air-launched from adapted Heinkel 111 bombers. V-1s could fly 200 km at a speed of 670 km/h, and were guided by a gyrocompass, and crashed ('dived') once their fuel was exhausted.
16. V-1 ATTACKS: ANTI-AIRCRAFT COMMAND (1.02)
Brief but reassuring talks on the V-1 menace by General Sir Frederick Pile, the chief of AA Command, and Sergeant-Major Stacey, a gunner on an AA site in Kent lately visited by Sir Winston Churchill. Broadcast 4 July 1944, by which time many civilians had left the capital, and AA defences had been moved out of London onto the North Downs. British countermeasures against flying bombs were code-named Operation Crossbow. Almost 30,000 V-1s were produced. Approximately 10,000 were fired at the United Kingdom: 2,419 reached London, killing approximately 6,184 people and injuring 17,981. The greatest density of hits was received by Croydon, on the south-east fringe of London. Pile remained in post throughout the war, and published his memoir Ack-Ack in 1949. Note his unique pronunciation of the word robot.
17. RAF FIGHTER FLIPS V-1 (5.57)
Talk by Flying Officer Ken Collier of 91 (Nigeria) Squadron, broadcast 10 September 1944. On 23 June 1944, having run out of ammunition over Beachy Head, Collier became the first pilot to down a V-1 in flight by using the wingtip of his Spitfire XIV to flip or 'topple' it. This novel manoeuvre required direct contact, and if properly executed tipped the V-1's wing upwards, overriding the gyros and sending it into an uncontrolled dive. Both Collier and his tactic received widespread press coverage, although the tactic was best employed over the sea, since a flipped Doodlebug could still devastate a built-up area. Born in Glebe (NSW), Kenneth R. Collier was an RAAF pilot and claimed a total of seven V-1s before his death in action on 5 December 1944.
18. WORLD & HOME NEWS AUGUST 1944 (4.50)
BBC news broadcast at 19.00 on 30 August 1944, read by Michael Brooke. International news include: Russian capture of Ploesti oilfields; British advance north of Paris; American advance in Rhone Valley; 8th Army progress in Italy; Bulgarian surrender; Czech forces of interior in open revolt; RAF Bomber Command raids on Stettin and Konigsberg; advance in Burma. Home news includes: bumper hop harvest in Hampshire; purchase of bulk sardine stocks from Portugal; oak veneer for utility furniture; V-1 flying bomb activity; telegram messages from evacuees abroad; derailment of a train near Wood Green (London). The report well illustrates the point that not every day was marked by a single momentous event.
19. V-2 ATTACKS ON LONDON (7.00)
A fascinating report (including interviews) relating to the fall of the first V-2 rockets on London, made by Audrey Russell and broadcast in November 1944. Although the first V-2 rocket arrived on 8 September, incidents were explained away as gas main explosions, and there was no official admission that the country was being attacked by rockets until 10 November. Here various civilians and Civil Defence personnel talk about the effects of these devastating 'incidents' and some of the wilder myths surrounding the new secret weapon. The V-2 bombardment rocket (German: Vergeltungswaffe 2) was the world's first ballistic missile and first man-made object to achieve sub-orbital space flight. Of some 1,100 V-2s launched against London, 518 reached their target, killing 2,724 people and injuring 6,000 more. The first V-2 to reach London was launched from a site near Den Haag (Holland) and impacted in Chiswick, south-west London. Each amatol warhead weighed 977 kg, and although V-weapons failed to bring about a collapse in civilian morale, they did much to aggravate the housing shortage in the capitol.
20. NEWS BULLETIN: HITLER IS DEAD (0.17)
News flash broadcast at on 1 May 1945, read by Stuart Hibberd, confirming that German radio has reported the death of Hitler. However the BBC did not repeat the fiction that Hitler died leading German troops during the fighting in Berlin.
21. VE DAY NEWS BULLETIN (2.16)
News bulletin on 8 May 1945 announcing details of the surrender of Germany and victory in Europe.
22. VE DAY: WINSTON CHURCHILL & CROWDS (2.51)
An excited Richard Dimbleby reports on the celebrations outside the Ministry of Health in London on 8 May 1945, as Winston Churchill appears on a balcony to address the jubilant crowd. Elgar's Land of Hope and Glory is then sung en masse. In truth relatively little of what the BBC broadcast on VE Day was listened to, for obvious reasons. Just two months later Churchill would be replaced as Prime Minister by Clement Attlee following an historic general election.
23. VE DAY WEATHER FORECAST (0.38)
Broadcast on 8 May 1945, read by Stuart Hibberd: sporadic rain, and a large depression. The weather forecast had vanished from the airwaves in 1939, so as not to assist enemy operations against Britain. However in September 1944 the ban was relaxed so that conditions no more recent than the day before yesterday could be reported, this at the same time that the black-out became the dim-out.
24. A GLASGOW MOTHER (2.07)
Mrs MacDonald of Glasgow talks of her joy and sadness on VE Day, recorded 8 May 1945. The mother of five sons, one of whom was killed in Italy, Mrs MacDonald reminds listeners that the war is not yet won, and that fighting continues in the Far East.
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