Neha Patil (Editor)

1945 in the United Kingdom

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1945 in the United Kingdom

Events from the year 1945 in the United Kingdom. This year sees the end of World War II and a landslide General Election victory for the Labour Party.



  • Monarch – George VI
  • Prime Minister – Winston Churchill (coalition) (until 26 July), Clement Attlee (Labour) (starting 26 July)
  • Events

  • 2 January – General Bernard Montgomery holds a press conference at Zonhoven describing his contribution to the Battle of the Bulge.
  • 23 January – Announcement of the establishment of the Industrial and Commercial Finance Corporation (ICFC; predecessor of 3i) by the Bank of England and the major commercial banks to provide long term investment funding for small and medium-sized enterprises.
  • 4 February – Prime Minister Winston Churchill attends the Yalta Conference (ends 11 February).
  • 13 February – The RAF Bomber Command begins the strategic bombing of Dresden in Saxony, Germany, resulting in a lethal firestorm which kills tens of thousands of civilians.
  • 10 March – Sixty-seven German prisoners of war tunnel their way out of Island Farm Camp 198 at Bridgend, the biggest escape attempt by German POWs in the UK during the War.
  • 14 March – The RAF uses the Grand Slam bomb for the first time on the Bielefeld railway viaduct.
  • 27 March – Last day of V-2 rocket attacks on the UK. One hits Hughes Mansions, Stepney in East London, killing 134 and the last falls in Orpington with one fatality.
  • 29 March – The last V-1 flying bomb attack on the UK takes place. The last enemy action of any kind on British soil occurs when one strikes Datchworth in Hertfordshire.
  • 13 April – The first Scottish National Party Member of Parliament, Robert McIntyre, is elected to the Parliament of the United Kingdom after his victory at the Motherwell by-election.
  • 15 April – British troops liberate the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp; Richard Dimbleby reports on it for the BBC.
  • 19 April – Geoffrey Fisher enthroned as Archbishop of Canterbury.
  • April – Sybil Campbell is appointed a stipendiary magistrate in London, the first woman to become a professional judge in the U.K.
  • 7 May – At 23:00 the SS Avondale Park is torpedoed and sunk by German submarine U-2336 off the Firth of Forth with two killed, the last British-flagged merchant ship lost to German action.
  • 8 May – Eight days after the suicide of Adolf Hitler and the collapse of the Nazi rule in Berlin, V-E Day is celebrated throughout the UK. Churchill makes a victory speech and appears on the balcony of Buckingham Palace with George VI, Queen Elizabeth and The Princesses Elizabeth and Margaret. Street parties take place throughout the country.
  • 9 May – German forces in the Channel Islands, the only occupied part of the British Isles, surrender.
  • 23 May – Churchill forms a 'caretaker' Conservative administration, pending an election, officially ending the wartime Coalition government.
  • 28 May – William Joyce, known as "Lord Haw-Haw" is captured. He is later charged with high treason in London for his English-language wartime broadcasts on German radio. He is hanged in January 1946.
  • 1 June – The UK takes over administration of Lebanon and Syria.
  • 7 June – The Benjamin Britten opera Peter Grimes first performed at the Sadler's Wells Theatre in London.
  • 13 June – Council for the Encouragement of Music and the Arts renamed Arts Council of Great Britain.
  • 15 June – Parliament passes the Family Allowances Act to provide payments to families with children.
  • 18 June – The demobilization of the wartime armed forces begins.
  • 5 July – Polling day for the first British general election in a decade; the count is not made for another three weeks (see below) so that votes from the armed services overseas can be added.
  • 17 July – Potsdam Conference – the three main Allied leaders begin their final summit of the war. The meeting will end on 2 August.
  • 26 July – General election results are announced; Winston Churchill resigns as prime minister after his Conservative Party is soundly defeated by the Labour Party, who have a majority of 146 seats, and Clement Attlee becomes the new prime minister. However, Churchill will remain Conservative leader of the party in opposition. It will be the first time that a Labour government with a commons majority has governed Britain. Among the new Labour members of parliament is 29-year-old Harold Wilson, MP for Ormskirk in Lancashire. A notable casualty of the election is Harold Macmillan, who has now lost the Stockton-on-Tees seat twice for the Conservatives. Ernest Brown, leader of the National Liberal Party, loses his seat at Leith to Labour and Sir Archibald Sinclair, leader of the Liberal Party, comes third in the poll at Caithness and Sutherland.
  • 27 July – Just one day after entering parliament, Alfred Dobbs, the Labour MP for Smethwick, near Birmingham, is killed in a car crash.
  • 29 July – The BBC Light Programme radio station is launched, aimed at mainstream light entertainment and music.
  • 5 August – The Giles family cartoon first appears in the Sunday Express.
  • 13 August – Zionist World Congress approaches British government to talk about founding of Israel.
  • 14 August
  • The 1945 Prime Minister's Resignation Honours are announced, to mark the resignation of Winston Churchill.
  • Polish-Jewish orphans liberated from Theresienstadt concentration camp arrive in England for rehabilitation.
  • 15 August – V-J Day is celebrated in the UK following the Japanese surrender.
  • 16 August – In the House of Commons, Leader of the Opposition Winston Churchill speaks of an "Iron Curtain" descending across Europe.
  • 17 August – George Orwell's Animal Farm published.
  • 30 August – British sovereignty of Hong Kong restored following the end of the Japanese occupation of the territory.
  • 2 September
  • Press censorship ends.
  • Lend-Lease from the United States terminates.
  • 2 October – Piccadilly Circus tube station becomes the first to be lit by fluorescent light.
  • 24 October – The British government signs the United Nations Charter.
  • 14 November – Harold Macmillan begins his third term as a Conservative MP after winning the by-election in Bromley, Kent.
  • 15 November – Gainsborough Pictures releases the period melodrama The Wicked Lady starring Margaret Lockwood, Patricia Roc and James Mason.
  • 26 November – J. Arthur Rank releases David Lean's film of Noël Coward's Brief Encounter starring Celia Johnson and Trevor Howard.
  • 28 November – British fascist John Amery pleads guilty to treason and is immediately sentenced to hang.
  • December
  • Alexander Fleming and Ernst Boris Chain win the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine jointly with Howard Florey "for the discovery of penicillin and its curative effect in various infectious diseases".
  • John Maynard Keynes secures a 50-year $3.75bn Anglo-American loan for the Government from the United States at 2%, effective from 1946.
  • 10 December – Forced repatriation of Liverpool Chinese seamen begins.
  • 31 December – Britain receives its first shipment of bananas since the beginning of the war.
  • Undated

  • Bernard Lovell establishes the Jodrell Bank Observatory in Cheshire.
  • The grammar school at Windermere reorganises itself to become Britain's first comprehensive school.
  • Publications

  • Rev. W. V. Awdry's children's book The Three Railway Engines, first of The Railway Series.
  • Agatha Christie's novel Sparkling Cyanide.
  • E. B. Ford's book Butterflies, first of the New Naturalist series.
  • Winston Graham's novel Ross Poldark, first of the Poldark Novels.
  • Henry Green's novel Loving.
  • C. S. Lewis' novel That Hideous Strength.
  • Nancy Mitford's novel The Pursuit of Love.
  • George Orwell's novel Animal Farm.
  • Karl Popper's book The Open Society and its Enemies.
  • Bertrand Russell's book History of Western Philosophy.
  • Evelyn Waugh's novel Brideshead Revisited.
  • Births

  • 3 January – David Starkey, English historian
  • 6 January – Barry John, Welsh rugby union footballer
  • 10 January
  • Jennifer Moss, actress (died 2006))
  • Rod Stewart, rock singer
  • 15 January – Princess Michael of Kent, German-born wife of Prince Michael of Kent
  • 18 January – Rocco Forte, hotelier
  • 21 January – Martin Shaw, English actor
  • 26 January
  • Jacqueline du Pré, English cellist (died 1987)
  • Ashley Hutchings, folk rock musician
  • 23 January – Richard Dearlove, English intelligence officer
  • 29 January – Jim Nicholson, Northern Irish Unionist politician and MEP for Northern Ireland
  • 3 February – Roy 'Chubby' Brown, stand-up comedian
  • 5 February – Charlotte Rampling, English actress
  • 7 February – Gerald Davies, Welsh rugby player
  • 13 February – Simon Schama, historian
  • 16 February – Jeremy Bulloch, English screen actor
  • 25 February – Elkie Brooks, English singer
  • 30 March – Eric Clapton, English rock guitarist
  • 14 April – Ritchie Blackmore, English rock guitarist (Deep Purple)
  • 21 April – Diana Darvey, actress, singer and dancer (died 2000)
  • 29 April – Hugh Hopper, English rock guitarist (died 2009)
  • 9 May
  • Peter J. Hammond, academic economist
  • Nicholas Wilson, Lord Wilson of Culworth, lawyer and judge
  • 12 May – Nicky Henson, actor
  • 14 May – George Nicholls, English rugby league footballer
  • 16 May – Nicky Chinn, English songwriter (Sweet and Suzi Quatro)
  • 19 May – Pete Townshend, English guitarist and lyricist
  • 29 May – Gary Brooker, English rock pianist and singer (Procol Harum)
  • 3 June – John Derbyshire, English-American journalist and author
  • 12 June – Pat Jennings, Northern Irish soccer goalkeeper
  • 17 June – Ken Livingstone, politician
  • 28 June – David Knights, English rock guitarist (Procol Harum)
  • 3 July – Iain MacDonald-Smith, English racing yachtsman
  • 7 July – Michael Ancram, Conservative politician and MP for Devizes
  • 20 July – John Lodge, English rock singer/songwriter (The Moody Blues)
  • 21 July
  • Wendy Cope, English poet
  • John Lowe, English darts player
  • 26 July – Helen Mirren, actress
  • 28 July – Richard Wright, English keyboardist (Pink Floyd)
  • 1 August – Laila Morse, English television actress
  • 6 August – Ron Jones, television director (died 1993)
  • 9 August – Posy Simmonds, English cartoonist
  • 19 August – Ian Gillan, English singer (Deep Purple)
  • 31 August – Van Morrison, Northern Irish singer and songwriter
  • 8 September – Kelly Groucutt, English rock guitarist (Electric Light Orchestra) (died 2009)
  • 14 September – Martin Tyler, sports broadcaster
  • 21 September – Shaw Clifton, General of The Salvation Army
  • 24 September – John Rutter, choral composer
  • 26 September – Bryan Ferry, singer and musician
  • 19 October – Angus Deaton, Scottish-born economist, Nobel Prize laureate
  • 14 November – Louise Ellman, academic and politician
  • 26 November – John McVie, English musician (Fleetwood Mac)
  • 30 November
  • Hilary Armstrong, politician
  • Mary Millington, pornographic film actress (died 1979)
  • 7 December – Clive Russell, English actor
  • 17 December – Jacqueline Wilson, English children's writer
  • 24 December – Ian "Lemmy" Kilminster, bassist and singer (Motörhead) (died 2015)
  • 30 December – Davy Jones, English-born pop singer and actor (died 2012)
  • Deaths

  • 2 January – Bertram Ramsay, admiral (born 1883)
  • 9 January – Dennis O'Neill, Welsh child murder victim (born 1932)
  • 30 January – William Goodenough, admiral (born 1867)
  • 21 January – Archibald Murray, Army general (born 1860)
  • 21 February – Eric Liddell, athlete; died in Weixian Internment Camp (born 1902)
  • 5 March – Albert Richards, war artist; killed on active service (born 1919)
  • 7 March – Daniel Everett, RAF pilot; killed in action (born 1920)
  • 8 March – Frederick Bligh Bond, architect, archaeologist and psychical researcher (born 1864)
  • 20 March – Lord Alfred Douglas, poet and former lover of Oscar Wilde (born 1870)
  • 26 March – David Lloyd George, former Prime Minister (born 1863)
  • 29 March – Jack Agazarian, spy; executed (born 1916)
  • 7 April – Elizabeth Bibesco, writer and socialite (born 1897)
  • 18 April – John Ambrose Fleming, electrical engineer and physicist (born 1849)
  • 15 May – Charles Williams, author (born 1886)
  • 27 July – Alfred Dobbs, politician (born 1882)
  • 22 September – Thomas Burke, English fiction writer (born 1886)
  • 31 October – Henry Ainley, actor (born 1879)
  • 20 November – Francis William Aston, chemist, Nobel Prize laureate (born 1877)
  • 4 December – Arthur Morrison, English writer (born 1863)
  • 5 December – Cosmo Lang, Archbishop of Canterbury (born 1864)
  • 14 December – Princess Maud, Countess of Southesk, granddaughter of Edward VII (born 1893)
  • 26 December – Roger Keyes, 1st Baron Keyes, admiral (born 1872)
  • References

    1945 in the United Kingdom Wikipedia

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