“I AM looking out of the window, every house seems to have the Union Jack flying. We have one out of the bedroom window, they are on motor cars, trams, babies’ prams and the town is all flags also.”

Josephine Waring’s son, Roy, was serving in Germany when the Second World War came to an end, but in a letter to him written on Victory in Europe Day she evokes the high spirits back home in Bradford.

She writes: “The Town Hall is all going to be lit up tonight, they have an illuminated sign, ‘1939 to 1945’, and also an illumination of Churchill with a cigar in his mouth.

“There is a parade in town this morning, the Lord Mayor and the town councillors are going in full regalia to the Cathedral for a Service of Thanksgiving, then this afternoon there is a band in Town Hall Square (the Police Band), they erected a bandstand and all the shops are closed.”

In the letter to her beloved Roy, who was still a teenager when he was serving in Europe, Josephine writes of waiting to listen to Churchill’s VE Day speech at 3pm, then the King’s speech at 9pm that evening. And she lets him know that she is planning to send him a “Victory issue from last night’s Telegraph”.

“Nobody went to work this morning...and they are all to be paid. I wonder what you are doing Roy, are you in Germany? Are you having any celebrations for VE Day?” she writes. “I hope you are because it is you fellows out there that’s made it possible.”

This handwritten letter - which creates a vivid picture of the end of war celebrations in Bradford - was among letters from his mother which Roy treasured.

Now they’re cherished by his daughter, Christine Hutchinson. “My mum died last year, I was going through their things and found an envelope with ‘VE Day Mother’s letters’ written on it,” says Christine, of Menston. “Dad had kept them all those years. When I read her letters I was struck by how much my grandmother, Josephine, brings the feel of Bradford and the celebratory mood of that time to life.

“She writes of Union Jack flags flying out of all the windows, and on cars, trams and prams, and she mentions the lights going on in town.

“You can almost picture the streets alive with celebrations as she’s writing the letter. She had five children and brought them up largely on her own. She had quite a tough life, yet she writes so eloquently.”

Roy grew up in Barkerend Road. One of five siblings, he had a twin sister, Renee. He served with the Kings Own Yorkshire Light Infantry in France, Belgium, Holland and Germany and was still in Europe when the war ended.

“He was in Germany at the time. I don’t know what he did on VE Day, whether he was able to celebrate or not, because he never talked about the war,” says Christine. “Like a lot of men who came home from the war, he just go on with the rest of his life. That is what was expected of them. He went on to work for YEB and the Gas Board.

“He seemed reluctant to talk about his experiences in the war. I suppose when you consider what those men went through, and the things they saw, they didn’t want to dwell on it all afterwards. He was born in 1925, he was only 20 when the war ended.

“He was once in a trench, the men on either side of him were blown up, and he was told, ‘If you can get through that you can get through anything’. He just felt grateful for getting through it all.

“He served as a corporal. He was very proud to have done his service and he made some great friends. He and his sergeant, Jack Whitehouse, used to ring each other every Sunday morning.”

In later years Roy, who lived to be 91, was awarded the Légion d’honneur, the highest French order of merit for military service. “For us as a family, that was something we were very proud of,” says Christine, the eldest of Roy and his wife Marjorie’s eight children.

The couple had 10 grandchildren.

“One of Dad’s greatest pleasures was seeing his grandchildren going to university, something he had never done,” says Christine.

Josephine died in 1961. Her letters are a reminder of the celebratory atmosphere in Bradford when the war ended, and of the enduring connection of mothers and sons during the war.

“Don’t forget to take good care of yourself for me won’t you and I’ll always say a prayer for you,” she writes. “Now I’ll say goodnight and God bless. Best of love and good luck from all at home. Your loving mother.

“PS the kittens are running all over the place and keeping us busy looking after them.”

Says Christine: “When I read her letters I think how awful it must have been for the mothers of these men, who were such a long way from home, for such a long time. We hear so much about the soldiers, but not so much about the mothers they left behind.

“Letters from home would have been all these men had to look forward to. In her letters, Josephine gives Dad a taste of life back home.

“She writes of expecting him home for leave in the summer, she mentions little details of domestic life - family and neighbours coming and going, his sisters, Rene and Gladys, getting ready to go out, the kittens causing mischief.

“She wonders if he will be able to listen to the King’s speech, and that she’s staying in to listen to Churchill. She writes of his brother Jack’s training in Norfolk, and of going to visit his injured friend Rowland - ‘I hope he isn’t too badly wounded, yes I remember you showing us his photos when you were on leave’ - and taking biscuits in for him, at St Luke’s Hospital.

“I find the letters, and the detail in them, very poignant.

“Dad was very close to his mother. Her letters would have meant the world to him.”