This beautiful photograph above comes from the Davis family collection. It shows long term Berowra resident, Neil Davis, aged fourteen who was taken into the city by his older sister, Elaine.
Neil and Elaine are wearing French tricolour ribbons as a mark of their patriotic support and happiness on this day of the Japanese surrender, 15th August, 1945. In 1922 a bronze palm leaf with a tricolour sash had been presented on behalf of the then French president to the Australian Prime Minister, Billy Hughes to honour those Australians who gave their lives in the First World War.
The young brother and sister who like so many knew the pain of the loss, or life changing injury, of close friends or family members, are standing with the excited crowds in Martin Place, Sydney. Elaine’s husband, Bill Foster was still serving with the navy in the Pacific at the time.
News of the Japanese surrender had spread around the world, finally the war in Asia and the Pacific was over, the horrific Second World War was over. Neil recalls that, in those days, it was exceptional to take a trip to the city from Berowra. This day everything was extraordinary, the spontaneous celebration, the relief, the euphoria, the war on Australia’s door step was over, the lucky ones were coming home, people danced in the streets, victory and peace at last.