At 11am on the 11th November 1918, the First World War ended with an armistice signed by both sides in a railway carriage in Compiègne, France that came to be known as the ‘Treaty of Versailles’.
At long last one of the worst wars in human history had come to an end and people could return to their homes, many of which had either been damaged by war. In addition, over 17 million people had died, 7 million of which were innocent civilians and 10 million of which were soldiers from all sides.
This terrible ‘cost’ of the war is still felt now, one hundred years later, when families recall Great Grandparents and other ancestors who either died, were injured or were otherwise affected by the war.
During war time, families from both sides had been separated from their loved ones, who had often had to endure the most horrible conditions of trench warfare, machine gun fire and constant shell bombardment, while their loved ones had to wait at home in fear of a telegram boy bringing a telegram to say that their Brother, Father, Son or Uncle had died.
Meanwhile, back home, families had been forced to endure incredible hardship without income from the men in the family, with mothers and daughters working in factories and farms, and children having to grow up without their Father helping to raise them in the house.
Unfortunately the killing of the First World War lasted right up until the last minute, with the family of the War poet Wilfred Owen, receiving news that he had died just as the church bells started ringing to signal the end of the war at 11am on the 11th November 1918.