VE Day: Taunton celebrates after coming out of the war 'practically unscathed'

by 24britishtvMay 8, 2024, 5 p.m. 29
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A report taken from the Somerset County Gazette in that fateful year reads:

"What we are celebrating now is the end of hostilities against Germany - not the end of the war.

"We have Japanese to settle with, and we have to stand should to should with our American ally, who is paying off at the other end of the world debts as heavy as ever were inflicted upon us.

"This, however, is a suitable time to pause for contemplation of what we have accomplished so far, and to gain strength for a new leap forward towards our goal of final victory.

"Here in Taunton, we have so much to be thankful for; our fair town has come through practically unscathed -one stick of bombs only- and our people have not been hurt from air attack.

"Our admiration and sympathy go out to those who have been less fortunate - to London and the Londoners who have endured with such fortitude and strength of mind the innumerable bombings, and the devilish inventions that have rained down upon them from the sky; to our neighbouring cities and towns in the South-West, and to the people of the bombed areas up and down the country who have suffered so much.

"We salute them and we wonder whether we would have stood firm and faced the enemy as they did -had their trials and suffering come our way.

"At this time, too, we offer our sincere sympathy to the relatives of those who have laid down their lives.

"Nothing has touched me more - and no doubt you feel the same, than the silent courage of those who have lost their loved ones.

"To them their outlook on the world can never be the same again; the price they have given for their share in the victory can never be repaid.

"We salute them with sorrow in our hearts.

"At this time, too, our thoughts reach out to our King and Queen.

"They have borne a heavy burden these war years. They have not spared themselves; they have moved constantly among us, and they have strengthened the bonds that link together the people and the Crown.

"May the job and happiness be theirs of leading us through happier years to come.

"We think too of our great prime minister, Winston Churchill, who has so nobly interpreted our British spirit in the war.

"He has never faltered; he was a tower of strength in our days of trouble, he has been an inspiration through these weary years of war."

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