Victory had come at last after almost 6 years of hostilities and hardship for the nation. Ivybridge in a similar fashion to every other city, town and village in Britain went wild with celebrations as the euphoria swept the country. However, for many families it marked the end of a war in which loved ones and dear friends had been killed or reported missing, seriously injured or held as prisoners of war
In Ivybridge, a Welcome Home Fund was created under the chairmanship of Mr. M.P. Snell of the Council School. Fund raising events were organised and a certificate was produced in preparation for all the returning servicemen and women. The certificate was presented as a token of appreciation by the people of Ivybridge, recognising the sacrifices these brave men and women had made during their years of military service
Each certificate was signed by Mr Snell, the Chairman of the Reception Committee, Mr Gilby, the Treasurer and Mr Wilfred Love, Secretary and Ivybridge’s sub postmaster
The Green – Bridge Park
On the evening of Victory in Europe Day, the Ivybridge Young Farmers met at the King’s Arms as normal. Afterwards everyone in the group joined Alec Rogers, a club member, back on his farm at Filham where they took some flares from the Auxiliary Unit’s stores and went to the hill above Penquit. Alec had originally joined the Home Guard during the war but later he was selected for special duty within an Auxiliary Territorial Patrol at Ugborough (Churchill’s Army). These volunteers had access to a range of explosives and other devices.
The more agile members of the Young Farmers group climbed the trees at Penquit and lit the flares. A great blaze of light was briefly followed by the total darkness everyone had been accustomed to for the past 5 years. Then everyone’s eyes became aware of the lights of Ermington and Ivybridge and all around. Little lights were twinkling where cottages and farmhouses were celebrating this great victory. A night never to be forgotten for Alec and his young farmer colleagues.