Celebrating Victory Day at Acton Primary

My dear friends, this is your hour. This is not victory of a party or of any class. It’s a victory of the great British nation as a whole.

Sir Winston Churchill, 8th May 1945

On Friday the 8th May the Eighth in the East project ran a Victory Day Celebration event with Acton Primary school near Sudbury. Pupils spent the majority of the week leading up to Victory Day learning about the United States Army Air Force based at nearby RAF Sudbury.

The story of Victory Day in villages like Acton was a complex tale of bitter sweet emotions. The 486th based at RAF Sudbury had become a huge part of the local community, so their eventual departure in August 1945 tore a vast hole in village life. Victory Day marked the beginning of an end to a remarkable period in their local history.

Year six pupils at Acton used letters, diary entries and original photographs to learn more about the story of the Americans in their region. The end of the week, Victory Day itself, was celebrated by students throwing a traditional World War Two style tea party for their parents. All of the pupils had the opportunity to bake cakes and biscuits using original World War Two recipes and ingredients. The pupils were particularly surprised by some of the ingredients  – carrots in biscuits for example caused a lot of amusement!

At the end of the day the parents were invited to stay to celebrate the 70th anniversary of Victory Day. The whole of the school hall was decorated with homemade bunting and displays of the work that pupils had created throughout the week. It was fantastic to see so many parents and grandparents attend the celebration. At Three o’clock some of the pupils from year six read out Churchill’s official address to the nation. After this the real fun began, and the World War Two recipes were handed out for all to enjoy.

A huge thank you goes out to all the staff and students at Acton Primary school for helping us to celebrate Victory Day with them in such an unforgettable way.

For more information on this project, or any other of the Eighth in the East learning resources or events, please contact our learning manager, Annie Sommazzi via [email protected]