Second World War sailor remembers VE Day 75 years on

Today marks 75 years since VE Day, when tens of thousands of people took to the streets to celebrate the end of war in Europe.

Alan Day, 94, from Kirkby Lonsdale, remembers exactly where he was on the 8th May 1945.

He was a sailor in the merchant navy and listened to Winston Churchill break the news overt the wireless at 3pm in Birkenhead town square, where his ship was docked.

Alan said: "I remember the broadcast so clearly. It was a riot in the square. It was just like the pictures you've seen in London of the Mall and that. It was crowded; you could hardly move; there was music of course and I was enjoying myself dancing with the girls.

"We went on till late at night. It was just marvellous." - Alan Day, Merchant Navy Veteran"

Alan was just 19 and he still had a job to do: the next day they set sail for India and Australia. He said: "All merchant ships were armed and came under the heading of 'Defensively-Equipped Merchant Ships' (DEMS). That was my sleeve badge. I was a radar operator.

"Then we were carrying general cargo, could be anything from tobacco; could be fruit; thousands of cases of tea. It was Winston Churchill who named it the fourth service.

"Without the Merchant Navy there would have been no fuel for the battle of Britain; there would have been no armaments for the D-Day landings."

Credit: Family photo

At the age of 94, Alan is thought to be one of only three people left from those merchant navy ships.

This VE Day he'll especially remember his friend Harry who died on Tuesday. He'll remember Harry and his former colleagues with flags in his garden but looks forward to more public celebrations on Victory over Japan Day in August.