David Littaur remembers Churchill
On 8 May 1945, I was a 19-year-old redundant RAF navigator trainee, not due for demobilisation until 1947. I had a senior civil servant 1st cousin, who invited me to join the gathering at the Ministry of Health in Whitehall, where Churchill was due to speak to the crowds from a balcony.
I can remember the excitement of taking up a position in a large room just behind the balcony. After a long wait, Churchill arrived with his retinue and passed me within a couple of metres (there was no social distancing in those days!). Everybody clapped like mad. He wore a dark suit and bow tie and carried an unlit cigar. He looked short and rotund and had a lumbering, yet determined gait, matching his expression. He stepped on to the balcony and I could just see his back. Then he spoke: “God bless you all. This is your victory...” The rest of his short speech was drowned by microphone echo and general noise from the crowds. At the end of his speech, he returned to the Ministry by the same route and there was another round of applause.
This was day I will never forget and I am proud to share it with you.