Sussex soldier perfectly times his arrival home from war

There was a wonderful surprise for revellers celebrating VE Day in Sussex in 1945.

Monday, 27th July 2020, 5:10 pm

Everyone was having a wonderful time celebrating Victory in Europe when who should arrive home but one of the men who had been fighting in the Second World War.

The memory came to light after Celia Smith née Horton kindly sent us a photo of the VE Day street party in Edward Road, Haywards Heath.

In the picture, facing the camera, are Mrs King, Mrs Horton with Celia, Mrs Wisbey with Janet, and Rene Stiles.

The VE Day street party in Edward Road, Haywards Heath

Celia said she was seven months old at the time and her friend Janet was ten months old.

“There are five of us who were at the party still living in the road.

“Eileen, who was ten years old at the time, remembers it well. She said Mr Baker at no.33 was the organiser.

“It was held in the cul-de-sac outside no.36. There was a fancy dress competition, which she won. She was crowned Queen of the Road. She can’t remember her outfit, except she had a wand that looked like a Belisha beacon.

“While the party was in full swing, unexpectedly, Mr French came home from the war. He was amazed to see a party in the road.”

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