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    Project 1945: Commemorating 75 Years Of Peace

    History Department launches online initiative to mark 75th anniversary of the end of World War 2.

    On Project 1945 Mrs Betty Davis, grandmother to Connor (U6th Form), has shared some fascinating information about her maternal Grandfather and Connor’s great-great grandfather, Colonel Donald Coe Hawley (pictured above in his US Army identity documents).

    Our Senior School History Department has today launched Project 1945, an online initiative to mark the 75th anniversary of the end of World War 2. While the current COVID-19 pandemic means that many events of commemoration cannot be held as publicly as hoped, this exciting endeavour is a valuable opportunity to connect with those able to share memories of VE Day (Victory in Europe) and VJ Day (Victory over Japan).

    Over the coming weeks, the department is inviting Kimbolton families to speak to relatives and friends who were alive during WW2, and ask them to share their memories. The Project 1945 blog will be regularly updated with first-hand accounts and photos of both military and civilian experiences, creating a treasure trove of stories and images to strengthen our understanding of this time of both celebration and remembrance.

    Contributors so far include:

    • Bruce Dobson, grandfather to Amelie, Rocco and Tilley (3rd, 3rd and 1st Form, respectively), who shares some recollections of interesting times at his school, in the years after WW2. He has also provided an account of life in 1945, when some German Prisoners of War lived in his area.
    • Milton Browne, grandfather to Kate (3rd Form), shares his memories of serving in the US Army stationed in Trinidad and Tobago, where he was born in 1920.

    The website also offers further information about the end WW2 and the history of VE/VJ Day, along with links to interesting external resources, including recommendations for films, TV programmes and books relating to the period.

    Head of History Mr Andrew Bamford said: “As we face the coronavirus pandemic, one of humanity’s greatest peacetime challenges, lockdown allows the whole Kimbolton community to dip into the past and commemorate 75 years of peace. And in the same spirit of keeping in touch with the elderly and vulnerable during this time, we can learn what 1945 meant for a generation that faced one of the greatest wartime challenges.”