The Story of Susan Hibbert: Death of the Last British Witness to the Signature of the German WW2 Surrender
SOURCE: History Today (3-17-09)
Susan Hibbert is believed to have been the last British witness to the signing of the German surrender in Reims, in May 1945. She died at the beginning of last month, on February 2nd, aged 84. An obituary was notably published on the website of The Telegraph. The surrender was signed in the temporary headquarters of General Dwight Eisenhower, commander-in-chief of the Allied Forces, in a room in what was Reims’ technical college. At the time, Hibbert was a British staff sergeant in the Auxiliary Territorial Service (ATS) and working at the Supreme Headquarters Allied Expeditionary Force (SHAEF), which had been moved to Reims in February 1945. Hibbert was responsible for typing the English version of the Act of Military Surrender. The document itself was allegedly quite short although it included numerous attachments. She was thereafter also given the task to type the signal informing the War Office in London that the war had come to an end - “The mission of this Allied Force was fulfilled at 0241, local time, May 7th, 1945”.