A PENSIONER couldn’t believe his eyes when he spotted himself celebrating the end of the war as a boy – 75 years after the classic film was shot.

Tony Lister, 80, of Windmill Road, Halstead, was shocked to stumble across historic footage of himself from when he was just five years old.

The octogenarian was looking back on the filmed celebrations of VE Day on May 8, 1945, when he made the amazing discovery.

In London, huge crowds had gathered in Trafalgar Square and up the Mall to Buckingham Palace, where King George VI and Queen Elizabeth, accompanied by Prime Minister Winston Churchill, appeared on the balcony of the palace.

In an old BBC recording from the historic day, Tony can be seen clinging to the railings at the gates of the palace.

Tony said: “I was born on February 28, 1940, during World War Two.

“My mother and grandmother took me to London on VE night in 1945 and we got to the railings of Buckingham Palace amidst the celebratory crowds.

“I remember cheering when the King and Queen came out on to the balcony.”

“For the last 40 years I have watched the films of the VE night celebrations on the television and this year I happened to record the BBC programme.

“After watching for about five minutes I suddenly realised there I was on the television screen!”

Tony managed to grab a picture from the recording.

He can be seen as a small boy clinging to the palace gates’ railings and wearing a paper hat.

To his left is his grandmother and to her left is Tony’s mum.

VE Day commemorates the formal acceptance of Germany’s surrender by the allied forces.

Tony’s family had been bombed out of their east London home by the Luftwaffe during the Blitz.

Dad Dennis served in the RAF during the war.

Tony remembers seeing German “doodlebug” flying bombs on their way to attack London. If he heard the engine cut out, he would run for cover in the air-raid shelter.

After the war, the family moved to Halstead where he attended Earls Colne Grammar School.

Tony later joined the Merchant Navy, serving first on the Queen Mary on trans-Atlantic crossings.

He met future wife Rosemary at the Halstead Empire Cinema and they were married during a snowstorm in 1969.

They had two children – Sandra and Christopher – and four grandchildren.

Tony is a life-long supporter of Halstead Town FC and was made chairman of the club in the 2000s.

He has now decided to get the VE Day picture enhanced and blown up to a bigger size.