This post contains affiliate links. I may earn money from advertisments, at no cost to you. The opinions expressed in this article are based on my personal experience and research. They do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the companies mentioned or advertised.

Who is in the Photo? V Day World War II Street Party


I recently posted an article about a photo I found in a box my mum gave me called Who is in the Photo?  I liked writing it so much I’ve decided to make this a regular thing.  Today I present:

Who is in the Photo – V Day World War II Street Party.

Who is in the photo, V Day World War II Street Party

C.1945 Stafford, Staffordshire, England – V Day World War II Street Party

Who is in the photo, Street Party V Day World War II At first glance it is clear to see the photo is a street party, but how do I identify who is in the photo?  I looked closely and thought I could see my dad sitting at the table on the righthand side.  I scanned and emailed the photo to his cousins in England.

Who is in the photo, V Day World War II Street PartyThey confirmed I had indeed identified my dad but also pointed out my grandma, grandad, and Auntie Eileen.  I had missed seeing them as I have very few pictures of my grandparents and Auntie Eileen was obscured by the pole.

However, they didn’t know where the party was held but suggested it was a street party held in dad’s street in Stafford.  They lived in Willenhall so they weren’t there.

I estimate my dad’s age to be about 7 years old in the picture which would mean the photo was taken approximately 1945.  This would mean it is more than likely a street party to celebrate V Day World War II.  Just taking a look at the picture you can see elation, sadness, and war weariness etched into their faces.

What is V Day?

Winston Churchill V Day World War IIOn 7 May 1945 the BBC announced that Prime Minister Churchill had declared “that Victory in Europe Day would be a national holiday, to take place the following day”.1  However, despite the obvious happiness at this news people were still concerned as the war with the Japanese raged in the Pacific with surrender not occurring until August 1945.2,3

However, even with the reservation about the Pacific war, many people commenced celebrations on the 7th as soon as the announcement had been made.4,5    People had bonfires, danced, and headed to the pub.6,7  Given the previous 6 years of restrictions on food and clothing rationing, and the threat of air raids and bombing, it was understandable.8

Churchill assured the people there was adequate beer available for the task and lifted some rations for the purpose of the celebration.9  On V Day Churchill announced:

We may allow ourselves a brief period of rejoicing; but let us not forget for a moment the toil and efforts that lie ahead.

This is your victory.10

The crowd responded with a resounding:

No – it’s yours!11

Buckingham Palace was a central feature of London’s celebrations with King George VI, Queen Elizabeth, Princess Elizabeth, and Princess Margaret waving to the crowds.12,13  There was dancing in the street, pubs open late, large crowds congregating everywhere to celebrate.14,15

With food rationing in place, people had become very inventive with meals they prepared due to the limited availability of sugar, eggs, and meat.16  Celebrations would have included whatever was available and would have looked nothing like a celebration we would have today.17  More than likely there would have been sandwiches with beef dripping, which is the fat left in the pan after the beef is cooked.18  Other selections may have included:

V Day World War II Street Party, Who is in the PhotoLord Woolton Pie – diced vegetables topped with potato or pastry.19  Pork Faggots with

Onion and Gravy Mash; Corned Beef Hash; Spam; Liver Casserole – due to the limited availability of meat offal was frequently used as a cheap substitute.20

However, the one thing that every celebration needs is a cake but given the restrictions on sugar and eggs people had become resourceful – Eggless Fruit Cake would have been a welcome addition to the celebration table.21

Who are the others in the photo

Who is in the photo, V Day World War II Street Party

62 Rowley Grove, Stafford, England as it stands today – Courtesy of Google Maps

I would love to know who is in the photo and assume they are neighbours of my family.  I have posted the image onto a Staffordshire Genealogy group to see if anyone recognises someone.  I have established, by using the 1939 Register, that my family lived at 62 Rowley Grove, Stafford and were still living there when my grandma died, four years to the day, on 8 May 1949.  I am therefore assuming it is taken in the street outside their home.  I can use the 1939 Register to check for neighbours in the street and find some names but who was still there in 1945?  However, given no 1941 Census was taken due to the war, I will have to wait until 2051 to see who still lived there in 1945..




1939 Register and your research

The 1939 Register is a great resource for genealogists who had relatives in the United Kingdom at the outbreak of World War 1.  It provides information of who was living at a given address at the time.  Anyone who is possibly still alive has their information redacted so you will only see the older generations details.  However, as time moves on they will release more of this information.  The 1939 Register is also unique in the way the National Archives has incorporated world events and maps into the project.  This means you not only get an overview of your family but also the context in which they lived.  A great resource you should have a look at today.

So do you know anyone in this photo?

Do you have any relatives in this photo?

Or do you have similar photos of V Day World War II Celebrations?

I would love to hear from you!

Have you ever used the 1939 Register to look for your English ancestors?  Click the image to head over to Findmypast to see where your family was at the outbreak of World War II.1939 Register available on Find My Past

  1. Imperial War Museums, ‘What You Need to Know About VE Day’,, Accessed 15 December 2017.
  2. Imperial War Museums, ‘What You Need to Know About VE Day’,, Accessed 15 December 2017.
  3. BBC, ‘VE Day’,, Accessed 15 December 2017.
  4. Imperial War Museums, ‘What You Need to Know About VE Day’,, Accessed 15 December 2017.
  5. BBC, ‘VE Day’,, Accessed 15 December 2017.
  6. Imperial War Museums, ‘What You Need to Know About VE Day’,, Accessed 15 December 2017.
  7. BBC, ‘VE Day’,, Accessed 15 December 2017.
  8. Imperial War Museums, ‘What You Need to Know About VE Day’,, Accessed 15 December 2017.
  9. Imperial War Museums, ‘What You Need to Know About VE Day’,, Accessed 15 December 2017.
  10. Imperial War Museums, ‘What You Need to Know About VE Day’,, Accessed 15 December 2017.
  11. Imperial War Museums, ‘What You Need to Know About VE Day’,, Accessed 15 December 2017.
  12. Imperial War Museums, ‘What You Need to Know About VE Day’,, Accessed 15 December 2017.
  13. BBC, ‘VE Day’,, Accessed 15 December 2017.
  14. Imperial War Museums, ‘What You Need to Know About VE Day’,, Accessed 15 December 2017.
  15. BBC, ‘VE Day’,, Accessed 15 December 2017.
  16., ‘VE Day 2015: Back in 1945 This is What You Ate to Celebrate’,, Accessed 15 December 2017.
  17., ‘VE Day 2015: Back in 1945 This is What You Ate to Celebrate’,, Accessed 15 December 2017.
  18., ‘VE Day 2015: Back in 1945 This is What You Ate to Celebrate’,, Accessed 15 December 2017.
  19., ‘VE Day 2015: Back in 1945 This is What You Ate to Celebrate’,, Accessed 15 December 2017.
  20., ‘VE Day 2015: Back in 1945 This is What You Ate to Celebrate’,, Accessed 15 December 2017.
  21., ‘VE Day 2015: Back in 1945 This is What You Ate to Celebrate’,, Accessed 15 December 2017.


  1. Yvette Clayton
    January 7, 2018 at 9:51 am

    This is amazing how you have been able to identify your relatives. I know you must be elated about this. I am in the process of trying to get in touch with one of my relatives through Ancestry and I know how excited I am, so you must be over the moon.

    This is an awesome story. You are doing an absolutely amazing job with your site. I always love reading your stories on this site because I am so into the same thing-finding my family. What will your next topic be? I can’t wait to find out.


    • Megan
      January 7, 2018 at 12:11 pm

      Hi Yvette

      I am so glad you are enjoying the posts on my site. It is always exciting to hear I’ve inspired people to start or continue their genealogy journey. The box of photos mum gave me has me so excited as I have so much to go through and explore. I loved this photo as it was such a historical find, not just for my family, but for anyone interested in the WWII era. I am glad that you are excited to see what I will come up with next – sometimes I surprise myself!


  2. shalisha
    January 7, 2018 at 12:13 pm

    How on earth were you able to identify your father? Great article.

    • Megan
      January 7, 2018 at 12:17 pm

      Hi Shalisha

      I had another photo in the box of photos that my mum had found that had him in it. I guessed that was him but I emailed his cousins to confirm that as they grew up with him. They were the ones who pointed out my grandma, grandad, and aunt. I recently established that my grandmother’s mother was living with them in 1939 so I’m curious to establish if she is somewhere there as well. I want to order her death certificate to see where she was living when she died in 1951.


  3. Deborah
    January 7, 2018 at 12:56 pm

    I am amazed at the amount of research that went in to this article. I would have problems identifying my Father at 7 years of age much less additional family members. That is great detective work and I hope you can reach more people in the photo.
    Awesome job. Keep us posted on any updates.

    • Megan
      January 7, 2018 at 1:06 pm

      Hi Deborah

      I’m glad you enjoyed the article. I was fortunate that in the box mum gave me that contained this photo there were other photos of dad as a young child. I then was fortunate enough to be in touch with his cousins who pointed his picture out – I asked them who was in the photo rather than asking them if it was dad. I hope to find more people in this photo and on my trip to England this year I will be asking other relatives if they know. I will keep you posted!


  4. Bill
    January 7, 2018 at 1:04 pm

    That is s very interesting article. History is fascinating especially when it’s family. My wife does lots of investigating both my side and hers. Have you started a family tree? Thanks for sharing

    • Megan
      January 7, 2018 at 1:21 pm

      Hi Bill

      I’m glad you enjoyed the article. I have a family tree here on my site. I have a much more detailed one on my computer. Where does your wife do her investigation of her history?


  5. Penelope
    January 7, 2018 at 1:38 pm

    It’s so awesome that you could tease this whole story from one photo. I love seeing pictures of my parents as children. And what an amazing point in history for your dad to live through as a child. Eggless fruitcake for everyone!

    • Megan
      January 7, 2018 at 8:23 pm

      Hello Penelope

      It is amazing what photos can tell us – location, era, fashion. Dad until that point had never known life without war so he would not have known what to expect. I think he looks a little bit apprehensive about it all – would you agree?


  6. Lane
    January 7, 2018 at 5:24 pm

    The end of any war is worth rejoicing. This is a beautiful post. Your dad was 7 years old. Wow.

    • Megan
      January 7, 2018 at 8:25 pm

      Hi Lane

      WWII ending was definitely worth celebrating although many families would have still had family in the Pacific War. So glad I found this photo as it is a great snapshot of a historic event!


  7. Matthew Owen
    January 7, 2018 at 10:03 pm

    I used to love the street parties when I was younger, it’s a shame they don’t happen anymore like they used to. Everyone in the street just getting together and celebrating the jubilee was awesome. Love this pic that you have, it really takes me back to the street parties that I went to.

    • Megan
      January 8, 2018 at 7:58 am

      Hi Matthew

      Thank you so much for your reminiscence of street parties. I was so excited to find this photo as this is not something I have ever been involved in over here in Australia. It seems to be a very UK thing. Although I recall one Christmas when I was in my early teens when there had been a massive storm and we lost power and rather than wasting food the street got together to share. However, that was spur of the moment and the only one I ever recall. Why do you think they aren’t as common anymore?


  8. Owain
    January 8, 2018 at 7:45 pm

    Hi Megan, I am glad that your relatives have helped you out with this photo. You certainly can learn a lot from them as I have learned from tracing my own family tree.

    If you have any other family photos that you can share with them then please do. They may tell you who are in them as well. But also photos are a great visual aid that may bring back memories and stories.

    This method has helped me to make my own family history book that I have written more interested.

    All the best with your genealogy research,

    • Megan
      January 8, 2018 at 7:48 pm

      Hi Owain

      Any English photos I find are immediately scanned and emailed to my English family. It is great that they are able to help me like that. I am looking forward to meeting them later this year when I visit the UK! I’m hopeful that I’ll be able to get some Oral History recordings to go with some of the photos.


  9. Fred
    January 11, 2018 at 3:31 am

    This is a wonderful site Megan, I do like old photos and have got very few of my family. None of my family was in the war back then so, I would not know any of them. Now talking about the rations back then, I guess we would learn to be resourceful, if it come down to. When we have to learn, to eat what we have, and not what we want.

    • Megan
      January 11, 2018 at 11:34 am

      Hi Fred

      I thought I didn’t have a lot of photos but in recent months they have been appearing as my mum declutters – they are such a wonderful surprise every time!

      You are right in regards to rationing – you learn to make do with what you have. I think over the years we have become so used to abundance that the thought of rationing ourselves is a very daunting prospect.


  10. Yvette Clayton
    January 25, 2018 at 12:45 pm

    I always enjoy your writing. Whatever you come up with next will be completely awesome. I wanted to tell you that I recently received some pictures of my father when he was young and in the military and wedding photos. I am like you in that I was very excited about receiving those photos. I love old family photos. It certainly is true – a picture is worth a thousand words! Keep up the great work.


    • Megan
      January 25, 2018 at 1:40 pm

      Hi Yvette

      Thank you for taking the time to comment. I am excited for you that you have received photos of your father – it is such a great feeling to see a past that you have never known! I have a load of photos that I want to write about – must get onto that!


  11. Sylvia
    January 25, 2018 at 3:23 pm

    I was the designated keeper of the family photos. When my mother passed she was living with me and there were hundreds of pictures and there was no way to identify all of them. I have since taken 2 boxes north and given them to my daughter for safekeeping, I now understand she has no idea of what to do with them.
    I look at that photo of all these people sitting down to eat and it reminds me of what has been lost in my family. What does one do with such memories, there are a lot of pictures?

    • Megan
      January 25, 2018 at 3:59 pm

      Hi Sylvia

      I, too, have inherited loads and loads of pictures over the years – a bit of a family memory keeper. I have worked hard using the memories of my older family members to glean as much information as I can out of them. I still have photos where the people remain elusive. I have put some on genealogy Facebook groups relevant to the area I believe the person is from – maybe someone, somewhere knows who it is? I have scanned them all onto my computer so that if something were to happen to the originals, copies exist. I have boxes of photos. I have a computer full of photos. They seem to breed! In relation to storing them, there are photo archive boxes or special albums you can purchase to store them – just make sure they are photograph safe as photographs deteriorate more rapidly with the wrong types. I must look into this further myself!


  12. JR Andrade
    January 28, 2018 at 7:21 pm

    Beautiful article Megan. I love how you meshed the picture with a brief historical account about V-Day =) I love looking at the past and these pictures make me giddy. I can imagine if it was even my family. I super love your articles and pictures. Thanks for these =)

    • Megan
      January 29, 2018 at 7:15 am

      Hi JR

      I am so glad you enjoyed it. I love finding old photos. I am hoping when I go to England later this year that my older relatives will bring out boxes for me to drool over! Then I will have heaps more to share with you.


  13. Yvette Clayton
    January 30, 2018 at 1:04 pm

    I am looking forward to your writing about the photos you have. Photos really do pull the history together in your family. It is so exciting when I see those old photos. Sometimes I run across photos of those I don’t know and then I have to do some digging. But it is exciting. Do you have the history behind your photos?

    Take care,

    • Megan
      January 30, 2018 at 2:48 pm

      Hi Yvette

      This particular photo was in a box that mum found recently. It was a treasure trove. Most of them are dad’s with a few of mum’s mixed in. I asked dad about them and some he could recall, others he couldn’t – he has dementia. I emailed his cousins in England and some they were able to help with. This one they picked out dad (I had guessed right), his sister, and his parents. When I go to the UK later this year I want to spend time with the older relatives and see if we can work out more of them. I’ll keep you posted!


Leave a Reply

Your message*

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>