World War 2 Stories for Sheffield

                         Arnold Kellett 

Wartime Memory: Snowdon on VE Day

By Actiondesk Sheffield

People in story: Dr. Arnold Kellett, Henry Cutner
Location of story: Snowdon, North Wales
Unit name: Intelligence Corps
Background to story: Army

Wartime Memory

On the morning of VE Day I was training with the Intelligence Corps on the Island of Anglesey, when we were told by the Commanding Officer that peace had been declared and that the day was free for us to do what we wanted.
A friend, Henry Cutner and I, decided we would celebrate the first day of peace by climbing Snowdon, which we easily did, because we were both young and fit.
We got to the top of Snowdon, in perfect sunny weather, enjoying magnificent views, and we did not see a single soul there all day. It was a unique experience I can never forget.
I have written about it in the poem below.
My experience was, incidentally, featured in the Timewatch programme `Coming Home' in 1995, but this concentrated more on my being separated from my girl-friend, then 15. We have now been married for over 50 years, and have fifteen grandchildren.

VE Day on Snowdon

Out of the mists of the passing of time
A pause for reflection in metre and rhyme...
The summit of Snowdon - the first day of peace!
Two out-of-step soldier-lads, seeking release;
A foretaste of freedom to rest or to roam,
And the height of ambition - to say `Coming home!'
Sunlit Snowdonia, panorama sublime!
and this day, of all days, a breathtaking climb!
Well -trained and march-hardened, we'd slogged up with ease,
Yet breathless with beauty, and weak at the knees;
In the mountain top grandeur what exhilaration!
Transcending the world in unique celebration...
And sixty years later I still catch the thrill
Of peace, perfect peace - and time standing still.

Arnold Kellett.