VE Day Proclamation, 8 May 1945

VE (Victory in Europe) Day marked the end of the Second World War in Europe.  This newspaper photograph shows the announcement of the news by the Mayor of Brighton from the balcony of the Town Hall.

What can we see?

The Mayor

Detail of photograph showing mayor reading from a piece of paper.

Walter Clout served as Mayor of Brighton from 1945-46. He can be seen reading the proclamation from a sheet of paper.

The Macebearer

Detail of photo showing a man in a tricorn hat holding a ceremonial mace

The mace is carried before the Mayor at official ceremonies. Like the Mayor, the Macebearer wears an official uniform.

Brighton’s mace was purchased in 1887. It contains a scroll with the names of all those who donated money to buy it.


Detail of flags on a balcony, including British Union flag and the Soviet Union's flag.

The balcony is decorated with the flags of the victorious Allies. The hammer and sickle represents the Soviet Union.

The Soviet Union was a communist state made up of Russia and some of its neighbouring countries. It played a vital role in the defeat of Nazi Germany which is why it was honoured by its celebrating allies.


Troops on parade in battledress

These soldiers are wearing a standard issue 1940 Utility Pattern Battledress uniform.

Some of the men in the foreground are wearing a field service cap (FS cap). Others behind them wear the General Service cap which replaced the FS cap in 1943.

Signs of Hope

Shop window with featuring an advert form a building society. Crowds of people stand in front.

In the background we can see a sign of optimism. An advert for the Brighton and Sussex Building Society encourages people to purchase ‘A House of your Own’.

It’s a reminder that people were beginning to look forward to the end of wartime hardships and a more prosperous peace.

Author: Charles Paddick, Collections Assistant

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