VJ Day celebrations in East Street, 15 August 1945

This photograph shows Victory in Japan (VJ) Day celebrations in East Street, Brighton. The photo was taken on 15 August 1945, and published in the Brighton and Hove Herald newspaper three days later.

Celebrating in style

We have several photographs in our collections showing celebrations to mark the end of WW2, but this is probably the most joyous. It’s full of small details that capture the exuberance and relief at the end of almost six years of war.

Strike a pose

A man on the left and a woman on the right both hold a finger beneath their chin in an exaggerated pose. Having the opportunity to be snapped by a press photograper, they seem to be jokingly pretending to be Hollywood celebrities.

However, while the man is quite committed to his role, she is so busy laughing that her finger isn’t quite in place.

Care free

The jauntily cocked cap suggests an immediate relaxation from military discipline.

But he’s not the only one. The man in the foreground has his hat and jacket off and looks as if he could be heading home. Behind him, another group is laughing and joking.

Flag waving

Probably the most enthusiastic person in this group is the lady holding the union flag. She has twirled it so vigorously that it has become tighly wrapped around the stick.

Author: Kevin Bacon, Digital Manager

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