V.E. Day in Halifax and the Riots that followed

 


 

This page is not to recount all the known historical facts on the Halifax riot but to share the photos and memories of sailors who served during the Second World War and were witness to this event. 

 


 

(HS105) V.E. Celebrations at the Commons in Halifax

 

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(HS106) Parades through the streets of Halifax ... (HS107) spectators watching from Citadel Hill ... (HS108) Civilians and Military personnel celebrating in the streets ... (HS109) Some celebrating a little too much...

 

..... then the riots ensued

 

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.... after the riots 

 

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(HS114) The streets are deserted, shops broken into and vandalized ....

 

From the collection of Howard Samuel (Sandy) Sanderson, CPO, RCNVR

 


 

Wartime Memories of John Dingwall, ERA, RCNVR: V.E. Day - John was in Halifax when the war ended and witnessed many of the events of the V.E. Day riot in Halifax. He saw a streetcar set on fire, and when the fire department arrived to put the fire out, rioters grabbed an axe and cut the fire hoses, then released the brakes on the streetcar and set it rolling down the hill towards the dockyard. One of the sailors off John's ship went into the old brewery and took a case of beer (quarts). Shortly afterwards he got into a fight and was arrested - and never even got to enjoy any of his beer. Another group of rioters stole a couch from Eatons, put it on the curb and sat down and drank while watching the riots. 

 


 

       

 

Letter by SBA Donald Douglas to his family about the V.E. Day Riots.

 


 

 

From the collection of Joseph Vincent Wesley, CPO Shipwright, RCNVR

 


 

 

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(FM564-FM565) François Messier and friend posing with a newspaper for an "end of the war" photo

 

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(FM566-FM614) Civilians, sailors, soldiers and airmen alike watching parades, listening to music and dancing .......

 

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and then the riots started .......

 

(FM615-FM620) - 3 photos and 3 newspaper articles on the riots

 

 

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From the collection of François Messier, AB, RCNVR

 

Courtesy of Denis Messier

 


 

Crowds in Dartmouth looted the Church Street liquor commission and Boland's warehouse, carrying cartons of beer in triumph

Halifax Herald - 08 May 1945

 


 

During the Second World War, men posted in Halifax were poorly treated by some in the local community. This was not the case with my grandparents who made a point to invite servicemen to their house on Sundays to enjoy a home cooked meal.

 

During the V.E. riots in Halifax at the end of the war, my grandfather went to his store and stood in front on the sidewalk shaking the hands and thanking the men for their service. His store suffered no damage.

 

Photo (post war): Len Quigley (left) standing in front of his paint store in Halifax. The person on the right is unknown. Click on the photo to view a larger image

 

Courtesy of Sharon Kenney / Ross Craik - daughter and son of James Norman Craik - grandchildren of Len Quigley

 


 

Enjoying stolen beer at a park in Halifax during the V.E. Day riots

 

From the collection of William (Bill) Dougall, LTO (LP), RCNVR

 

Courtesy of Grant Dougall


 

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