It was the day everyone hoped would arrive.
Families who'd surrendered their loved ones to an unknown horror, at last, had reason to celebrate.
Mothers no longer had to dream of holding their children again.
The sons of the Wimmera, though battered and bruised, were coming home.
The settings are familiar, from Firebrace Street to the old town hall, but back on August 15 1945, they may as well have been a world away.
Immerse yourself in the festivities with reporting from the era, as Horsham marked the end of the Second World War and the first "Victory in the Pacific Day".
After days of suspense waiting for the official announcement, the news, in some measure, took the town by surprise.
People were arriving at work when Prime Minister of the United Kingdom Clement Attlee was concluding his dramatic announcement.
Residents took a while to come to the realisation that it was all over.
A few who had heard Mr Attlee's broadcast excitedly told others, and as the good news spread like wildfire, it was not long before the whole town stirred as never before in its history.
A car - horn loudly and continuously tooting with several exuberant youths sitting on its body - raced up and down Firebrace and Wilson Streets, and it was not long before others similarly displayed their joy.
Before shops closed for the day they were besieged by hundreds of shoppers anxious to buy miniature flags and red, white and blue ribbons.
From 10am crowds began to pour into Firebrace Street, where the celebrations reached their peak.
Overcrowded trucks and cars of yelling and cheering revellers, some of whom had precarious seats on the sides of the vehicles, raced up and down the street.
Some dragged along tins of various sorts just to add to the din.
Both the Horsham Town and Pipe Bands turned out and wherever they went large crowds followed.
Some danced to the music at the corner of the White Hart Hotel, while others joined hands and sang when the Horsham Town Band played popular patriotic tunes.
A small boy with a drum almost as big as himself was having the time of his life, and he certainly contributed his share of the noise.
Several children hurried up and down Firebrace Street ringing bells, and the staff of a hotel were seen banging a tray.
The siren of the Horsham Fire Brigade sung throughout the day and into the night, and the bells of the school and the Horsham churches sent forth their victory peals.
Revellers, many of whom had never before met, joined hands and danced. Boys appeared with decorated bicycles, tins dragging behind.
A big, white bulldog with a Union Jack in its collar watched the crowd milling up and down Firebrace Street. It typified the Victory spirit and gave the impression that is was ready for any future eventuality.
At midday, the mayor addressed the crowded Wilson Street from the balcony of the Town Hall.
The mayor, dressed in his robes of office, said: "I am sure you are all delighted with the glad news that peace has at last been declared and at the cessation of hostilities in both Europe and in the Pacific.
"We all rejoice at Victory and eagerly look forward to the near future when our loved one will again be home with us.
"This is a time of thanksgiving and rejoicing for many, but let us also remember those who need our sympathies and prayers."
The mayor called for three victory cheers, which were loudly given.
The furore rang through into the courthouse.
During a hearing at the Horsham Court of Petty Sessions, a solicitor said to the magistrate that the noise made it hard to concentrate.
The magistrate replied that he appreciated the position, but was prepared for the court to continue.
The magistrate was informed that the cases to come would last another couple hours, to which he said: "I think we have had enough today. No doubt those present want to see some of the fun going on outside."
The court was quickly deserted.
People thronged Firebrace Street at night when shop window and verandah lights and neon signs were lit.
The Horsham Pipe Band and Apex Club held hurriedly arranged dances at the Masonic Hall, which was crowded.
All profits from the evening were devoted to the Horsham Free Kindergarten movement.
Many groups celebrated in hotels and numerous parties were held long into the night.
Horsham hailed victory and the war's end.
- This article is built on reporting from The Horsham Times in 1945. The Horsham Times merged with the West Wimmera Mail in 1959 to become the Wimmera Mail-Times.
Have a VP Day story you'd like to share? We'd love to hear it! Get in touch at email@example.com
While you're here...
If you are seeing this message you are a loyal digital subscriber to the Wimmera Mail-Times, as we made this story available only to subscribers. Thank you very much for your support and allowing us to continue telling the Wimmera's story. We appreciate your support of local journalism.