My VE / VJ Day: Joe Corless, Royal Marines

VE Day
After D-Day, we came home to Calstock near Plymouth for repairs and rest. We were looking forward to VE Day, but when it came, we were not able to enjoy it. Why? ‘Pack your kit bags lads, we are going to liberate the Channel Islands.’ We stayed there for six weeks.

VJ Day
When VJ day came, we were based in Southampton. My friend Jim said, ‘what about it Joe?’ I said why not. I knew what he meant. On with our blues, we ran to the train station. Leighton Buzzard, here we come. Jim’s hometown. No money. No rail ticket. But we made it.
Jim’s mum gave us food and his dad gave us money. Two very smart Royals headed for the Swan Pub. It was full of Air Force. We didn’t pay for anything and caught the train back to base with two first-class tickets and two first-class bad heads.
Two days’ pay stopped. But, it was worth it.

Submitted by Joe Corless

Photo: Joe Corless - 94-year-old WWII Royal Marine Veteran

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