While reporters of the Free Press often enthusiastically described the arrival of soldiers at York station as an “unforgettable scene” where crowds fervently welcomed returning troops, some Londoners felt more could be done to greet returning veterans. On June 26th, 1945, the London Free Press published an anonymous letter by a mother of three service members disappointed in the enthusiasm of a crowd a few days earlier. Encouraging Londoners to “loosen up,” the woman argued that all returning troops deserved “a real hearty welcome.”
Come on, folks, loosen up and show the boys we are glad to have them home, to live again as human beings. While we pay tribute to the thousands who are not returning, we must also express our appreciation to the returning ones. After hearing the noise of guns and bombs for so long a little cheering would be music to these fellows’ ears. There were enough people at the station to make the city shake…So let’s welcome them home with a cheer and smile.