Home   News   Article

75-year-old photo evokes wartime memories for Bishop's Stortford grandmother Margaret Clift




The blonde toddler front left in this photo of women and children celebrating the end of the Second World War is St Michael's Mead resident Margaret Clift.

Margaret was three at the time. Her mother, Etty Want, stands in the back row, third from the left, wearing glasses and a pinafore.

It was submitted by Margaret's daughter, Esme Willcocks, who said: "I bet there's not many pictures left like this in the world. It made us all feel very nostalgic."

Grimsby on September 27, 1945 (34285964)
Grimsby on September 27, 1945 (34285964)

It was taken in 1945, not on VE Day but on September 27. That was the day US general and head of the Allied occupation of Japan, Douglas MacArthur, met Emperor Hirohito in Tokyo for the first time after Japan signed its official surrender on September 2.

Etty and Margaret are celebrating the end of six years of conflict in a church hall in Grimsby.

Etty's husband John, Margaret's father, was a Royal Navy chef during the Second World War. When he returned home after sailing the world, he spent the rest of his working life smoking fish at the Lincolnshire docks.

Bob and Margaret Clift with their daughters Esme and Abigayl (34285962)
Bob and Margaret Clift with their daughters Esme and Abigayl (34285962)

Margaret left Grimsby with husband Bob when he got a grant to study at London's Central School of Art in 1960.

They lived in the capital, Enfield and Broxbourne before moving in 1995 to Millers Close in Bishop's Stortford, where they will celebrate VE Day with neighbours while socially distancing.

The couple have two daughters: Esme, who lives in Thorley Park with husband Dave and their daughters Rose, 17, and Ruby, 14, and sister Abigayl, who lives in Surrey with her partner Phil. They have two children: Henry, 23, and Tilly, 19.



This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies - Learn More