Flight Sergeant Eric Edis, an air gunner, was stationed at a base in Kent when “dear Winston” made the historic address to the nation on May 8 1945 marking Victory in Europe Day (VE Day). The then 19-year-old had spent more than a year flying Vickers Wellington medium bombers and Lancaster heavy bombers over Germany as Allied troops closed in on Hitler’s forces.
Today marks the 75th anniversary of the day millions of Britons took to the streets to celebrate the end of World War II on what the Queen has described as “one of the most memorable nights of my life".
Sergeant Edis, 94, of Woodford Green, east London, still remembers the moment the news everyone had been hoping and praying for broke.
He told Express.co.uk: “Someone shouted out ‘the war is over!’
“I can remember Winston, dear Winston on the radio. They loved him.
“I remember him thanking all the forces and everyone who had participated and helped us win the war.
Sergeant Eric Edis was just 17 when he volunteered as a gunner during the Second World War (Image: Eric Edis)
Sergeant Edis (Image: GETTY)
“It was not just the army and navy and air force, it was the civilians who helped as well and the firefighters and hospital staff. They were all part of winning the war.
“There was great joy.”
As people gathered outside Buckingham Palace to celebrate and watch King George VI and his family wave to the crowds, Sergeant Edis and his mates decided to get the party started in their neck of the woods.
They invited around 30 women from a nearby hostel to their base for a night of dancing.
Dozens of members of the the Women's Land Army who had been helping farmers due to the shortage or labourers showed up at the barracks to celebrate the historic day.
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Sergeant Eric Edis, 94, was a 19-year-old in the air force when Churchill announced the end of the war (Image: Eric Edis)
“There was beer being opened and everyone was drinking,” remembers