The 75th anniversary of VE Day falls on Friday, May 8, marking 75 years since the end of the Second World War in Europe.

As part of the commemorations to recall the close of the most devastating war in human history, TV Presenter and Actor Tony Robinson is making a documentary interviewing UK residents who remember the historic 24 hours “minute by minute”.

One of those he spoke with was Shepperton resident John Warner, who was a young child during the Second World War and lived for much of it in South East London.

The Comet spoke with John, who was four year’s old at the war’s outbreak, about his experiences on the Home Front and the night of celebration itself 75 years’ ago.

“Happiness and joy ruled throughout!” he said.

“The greatest feeling was of more bombs to kill us...fathers, sons, brothers would return home safely.”

John described the anticipation in the days leading up to the end of what was the war’s primary theatre in Europe then the rush of excitement, he said, which was palpable for children and adults alike. Now 10 years’ old, he and his mates had been playing in the building sites of war-damaged houses previously, and decided to have a bonfire with some of the spare planks of wood to celebrate.

“Meet the gang, a dozen boys and girls. A wizard idea! Matches were obtained, but we couldn’t light a fire. Then, suddenly, the watchman appeared...Working on VE Day!

“He stopped proceedings immediately, explained why and forgave us! So it was back to running around in excitement,” John said.

News Shopper: Image: VE Day at Piccadilly Circus, May 8, 1945. Image: mrjspence via wikipediaImage: VE Day at Piccadilly Circus, May 8, 1945. Image: mrjspence via wikipedia

The Shepperton man said he recalled his father, now made a war veteran, walking to join the crowds massing at Trafalgar Square during the celebrations, before coming back to join festivities with closer family and friends.

“Radios put on window sills were blaring out music and words and then burly friends staggered out with our piano followed by our kitchen table into the street. Tables from other houses followed with chairs and food. Flags and bunting bedecked windows...People sat, consumed, or sang and danced to Dad playing the hits of the day,” John said.

News Shopper: London's East End was heavily bombed during the Second World War. Image taken 1940 during the 'Blitz' (wikipedia). London's East End was heavily bombed during the Second World War. Image taken 1940 during the 'Blitz' (wikipedia).

Across Britain the joy and relief felt by so many at the war’s end in Europe replaced the horrors of wartime itself.

Between 1939-1945 John experienced the trials and trauma of war as a young child, including evacuation, and the bombing of Sandhurst Road School where 38 children were killed.

His own family home was also hit: “In late June 1944 sirens wailed as I stood outside our Anderson shelter in the back garden and saw a Doodlebug heading straight at us...I jumped into the shelter as the bomb skimmed our roof and exploded a few feet beyond the house opposite. The backs of the houses had been almost totally destroyed along a length of about 150 yards. It all seemed like an exciting adventure...I could not understand why my mother was sitting on a kerbside crying in front of her bomb-blasted house. It was the only time I ever saw my mother cry,” he remembered.

Asked what people ought to remember of that time, John said: “The solidarity that existed during the war. No panic unless in danger, very little moaning, lots of good humour!”