VE DAY SPECIAL: Victory celebrations & award for bravery under fire

A victory day celebration party in Gosberton Risegate in May, 1945.
A victory day celebration party in Gosberton Risegate in May, 1945.

Carvival-like scene of jubilation filled the streets of Boston as its people celebrated the return of peace to Europe in May 1945.

It was a happy coincidence that the two days of victory holiday fell at the height of the May Fair. Excited crowds thronged the Market Place and Bargate Green from early morning until late evening. Rumours of the approach of VE Day had drifted around Boston on the Monday. By the next day there was a sea of colour in the town as shops and businesses covered their fronts with flags and banners.

After Churchill’s broadcast officially announced victory, bells rang out from churches, crowds sung and danced in the streets, and fireworks exploded overhead.

Searchlights focussed on the Stump to mark the end of the war.

All over the town hundreds of people were stood in the streets gazing at the spectacle as the flag of St George fluttered from the top of the tower.

PHOTO: Gosberton Risegate residents are shown here celebrating the end of the war in May 1945. It was posted on The Standard’s Facebook wall by Geoff Rylott whose parents are both in the picture. He said: “They used to always tell me that this was the biggest party to rock Gosberton Risegate. Of course it was something very special to celebrate.”

A Boston sergeant was awarded the Miltary Medal for bravery and ‘distinguished services’.

Sgt J. J. Graveling, of Fountain Lane, was serving with the Royal Corps of Signals in north-west Europe.

The official citation of the award read: “On November 20 Sgt Graveling was ordered to lay a line from a track junction to the bridge at Helenaveen.

“It was known that the area was very heavily mined.

“Sgt Graveling, in full knowledge of these facts, laid his line clear of the road in boggy fields from which the mines had not been previously swept. In doing this he displayed complete disregard for his own personal safety. His devotion to duty was a fine example and his leadership was an inspiration to the men under his command. Throughout the day his NCO was continually subjected to heavy shell and mortar fire, which failed completely to perturb him. Notwithstanding the fact that other troops were suffering visible casualties from enemy mines and enemy fire, Sgt Graveling pressed on with the task he was ordered to perform and completed it in the shortest possible time.”