Armistice Day 2023 falls on a Saturday. Five years ago I wrote a piece for this blog about the evolution of remembrance ceremonies since the end of World War 1.
Armistice Day was the first – on Tuesday 11th November 1919, in the grounds of Buckingham Palace. It specifically commemorated the signing of the document which ceased hostilities on the Western Front. It was the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month of 1918.
Big Ben, silent since 1914, chimed again in London. The next morning, Tuesday 12th November, the front page of The Daily Mirror showed photographs of jubilant people, some in uniform, waving flags and cheering.
But it was a pause, rather than the end
It took another 7 months before the (arguably disastrous) Treaty of Versailles ended the war between the European Powers. And it was yet another 4 years until the Treaty of Lausanne ended hostilities between the Ottoman Empire and an alliance of Britain. France, Italy, Greece, Romania and Japan.
The Oxford English Dictionary defines “armistice” as “an agreement made by opposing sides in a war to stop fighting for a certain time; a truce.” Continue reading