Made by the obscure Victor Espee Film Production company, this wonderful color film shows the London Victory Celebrations of 1946, also known as the Great "V' Day Parade. These were British Commonwealth, Empire and Allied victory celebrations held after the defeat of Nazi Germany and Japan in World War II. Attended by Queen Elizabeth and members of the royal family, the celebrations took place in London on 8 June 1946, and consisted mainly of a military parade through the city and a night time fireworks display. Most British allies took part in the parade, including Belgium, Brazil, China, Czechoslovakia, France, Greece, Luxembourg the Netherlands and the United States.The parade arrangements caused a controversy surrounding the lack of representation of Polish forces.
The first part of the parade was the Chiefs of Staff's procession, featuring the British Chiefs of Staff together with the Supreme Allied Commanders. This was followed by a mechanized column which went from Regent's Park to Tower Hill to The Mall (where the saluting base was) and then back to Regent's Park. It was more than four miles long and contained more than 500 vehicles from the Royal Navy, the Royal Air Force, British civilian services and the British Army (in that order).
Next came a marching column, which went from Marble Arch to The Mall to Hyde Park Corner.This was headed by the flags of the Allied nations which took part in the parade, each with an honor guard. Next came units of the navies, air forces, civilian services and armies of the nations of the British Empire. They were followed by units from the Royal Navy, followed by British civilian services, the British Army, representatives of certain Allied air forces and the Royal Air Force. This was followed by a fly-past of 300 aircraft, led by Douglas Bader. In the aftermath, 4,127 persons needed medical attention and 65 were taken to hospital.
After sunset of the same day, the principal buildings of London were lit by floodlights, and crowds thronged the banks of the Thames and Westminster Bridge to watch King George VI and his family proceed down the river in the Royal barge. The planned festivities ended with a fireworks display over Central London. However, crowds continued to gather in London and surrounded Buckingham Palace even after the Royal family had retired from the festivities. Many festival goers could not return home that night and spent the rest of the night in public parks and other public areas around London.
Most of the allies were represented at the parade, including representatives from the USA, France, Belgium, Brazil, Czechoslovakia, Denmark, Egypt, Ethiopia, Greece, Iran, Iraq, Luxembourg, Mexico, Nepal, Netherlands, Norway and Transjordan. The only allied countries not represented at the parade were USSR, Yugoslavia, and Poland.
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This film is part of the Periscope Film LLC archive, one of the largest historic military, transportation, and aviation stock footage collections in the USA. Entirely film backed, this material is available for licensing in 24p HD, 2k and 4k. For more information visit http://www.PeriscopeFilm.com