Second World War records: Victory Celebrations

How did Hull celebrate the end of the war?

The Victory Celebrations (Special) Committee [ref C TCVC] was formed to make arrangements to celebrate victory in Hull. The ringing of church bells was organised to mark victory in Europe, and the city was decorated in bunting and decorative lights. Formal events included a procession and service of thanksgiving held at Holy Trinity Church on 13 May 1945, and a Memorial Service for the War Dead at the church on 20 May.

On 12 May 1945 a Victory Parade was held in the city. Information on the preparations for the parade can be found in C TCVC/1 and 24 photographs of the event can be found at C TCVC/2. These photographs are not available to view online but can be viewed in the searchroom.

Informal events included band performances and dancing in Queen’s Gardens and other parks in the city. C TCVC/1 also shows the arrangements for public holidays for schools and workers so that they could enjoy these events.

Events were also held in August 1945 to celebrate Victory over Japan, records of which can be found at C TCVC/3. This included further public holidays with band performances and dancing and a service of thanksgiving at Holy Trinity Church on 19 August.

In February 1946, three reunion events were held at Madely Street Baths for servicemen from Hull who had been prisoners of war in Germany, Poland, Italy and Japan. The records at C TCVC/4 show the preparations for these events and, significantly, give the names of the men invited.

These names have not been indexed but are organised as Japanese camps, Italian camps, Oflags, Stalag Luft camps and by Stalag camp number. Within these, the names are organised alphabetically by surname. The name and rank is given but not the regiment served in.

These records are now catalogued and copies of the original list of names placed with the catalogue in the History Centre searchroom.

The Yorkshire Film Archive has placed a film of Hull Victory Celebrations online.