VJ day image stirs childhood wartime memories
PUBLISHED: 10:27 26 August 2010 | UPDATED: 10:27 26 August 2010
A reader, shocked to discover her face in a 65-year-old photograph published by the Times has contacted us to relive memories of VJ celebrations.
Pauline Watling-Jones, 70, of Holmesdale Road, Bexleyheath, was five-years-old when the snap, above, was taken of residents of Ingleton Avenue, Welling, on Victory in Japan Day on August 15, 1945
The black and white image, in which she can be seen as a tot sitting next to her sister, first appeared in the Bexley Times on August 5, in the lead up to 65th aniversary celebrations. We recently reprinted it asking if anyone knew those featured. Pauline’s mother Ada Stanborough and sister Pamela are also pictured.
Pauline recollected that on the big day all the girls wore red, white and blue plastic bracelets.
She said: “I was five-years-old when the photo was taken and my sister Pamela was nine. I can remember sitting down in the street for the photo but can’t remember it being taken. It was lovely having all the cakes that day as all the food was on ration.
“I remember there being lots of jelly and the table was so long.”
She added: It’s a shame the picture was in black and white as I used to have a mop of ginger hair.”
Mrs Watling-Jones lived at number 57 Ingleton Avenue with her family until 1947 when they moved to Woolwich.
Her mother was killed in 1976 but her proud daughter says the photo bought back fond memories of her life as a youngster.
The former payroll clerk said: “It was such a nice surprise to see my mum in the paper smiling.
“My husband looked at it before me and didn’t realise I was in it.”
Pauline recalls sitting under the dining table as a child for shelter because of the war, adding: “A bomb was dropped in Danson Park and the pond in our garden cracked.
“When we woke up, the cats had eaten the fish and the bones were scattered round the garden.”
She added: “Lots has changed since then, there used to be a horse and cart to deliver food and the back of the house is now the busy A2 road.”
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