Joel Callen


Tue, 23 Jun, 2015

70 years on, the young women in this VE Day photo at Trafalgar Square are tracked down

70 years on, the young women in this VE Day photo at Trafalgar Square are tracked down

The Imperial War Museum has turned to Twitter to solve a decades-old mystery about the identity of two young Land Girls pictured dancing in Trafalgar Square’s fountains on VE Day. Less than 24 hours after the appeal was launched, the two women were identified and tracked down.

Joyce Digney was only 18 when she and her friend, Cynthia Covello, joined in the joyous celebrations in London on May 8, 1945. Now living in Canada, Mrs Digney was identified by a relative, who saw the picture online. Mrs Digney revealed the story behind the iconic image: “My very dear friend Cynthia and I were working in the Land Army and we said that if we were still alive when this is all over, we want to go to London, like we’d seen pictures from the end of the First World War, and celebrate.”

And celebrate they did. After stopping at St Paul’s Cathedral to say a prayer for the brothers each had lost, the two friends joined “the longest conga line you could ever imagine”, before climbing into the fountain. A pair of sailors joined them for the picture, but Mrs Digney said she has no idea who they are.

Not long after the war, both friends married Canadian soldiers and moved to Canada. Mrs Covello died in 1983, but Mrs Digney believes her friend would have thought all the fuss over their picture “a hoot.” Now 89, Mrs Digney has three sons, eight grandchildren, and one great-granddaughter.

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