Armistice Day 2018: Remembering 100 Years Ago

At the 11th hour of the 11th day of November in 1918, the First World War – ‘The War to End All Wars’ – ended; this day is known as Armistice Day. The 11th of November 2018 marks the 100th anniversary of this day. 18,200 New Zealanders died and 41,300 were wounded. Let’s take this opportunity to remember the millions of people worldwide who lost their lives in the First World War, and remember how horrible this event was — in the hope that such large-scale war never happens again.

World War One was the first modern war that made use of modern advancements in technology and machinery. This led to wholesale destruction across greater Europe, Northern Africa, and areas of the Middle East that would sow the seeds for not only World War Two, but the years of conflict in various parts of the world to come. Working class people from all around the world were conscripted to fight in World War One, in what was almost certainly an invitation to go die on foreign soil for an empire.

In remembering the 100th anniversary of the end of The Great War, let’s remember the human cost of war, not just for the soldiers involved, but for entire communities, cities, and the generations that came after.

So at 11 a.m., on the 11th day, 11th month, let’s not glorify this tragedy, but remember the lives and generations lost to it.

Get involved with these events across Christchurch and Canterbury

At the Field of Remembrance in Cranmer Square, a field of white crosses marks the centenary of the Great War. 4389 crosses and one Star of David depict the heavy losses suffered by Canterbury families.

Nationwide Armistice Day events

You can see a full list of events across the country at the WW100 Armistice Day events website.

Crowd in Cathedral Square, Christchurch, celebrating Armistice Day. Head, Samuel Heath, d 1948 :Negatives. Ref: 1/1-007108-G. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand. https://natlib.govt.nz/records/22898377
Crowd in Cathedral Square, Christchurch, celebrating Armistice Day. Head, Samuel Heath, d 1948 :Negatives. Ref: 1/1-007108-G. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand. https://natlib.govt.nz/records/22898377

Armistice Day and the First World War

Web pages

Just some of the resources on WW1 that Christchurch City Libraries has to offer on display at Spreydon Library.

Books

eResources

Britannica
Online and interactive version of Encyclopædia Britannica. All branches of knowledge are covered in this resource aimed at older students and adults. You will require a library membership to access:

  • Remembrance Day: An Article on Remembrance Day, the British Public Holiday that has its origins in the original Armistice Day celebration in 1919.
  • World War 1: The Britannica online article on World War 1

World Book

  • World War 1: A good comprehensive overview of World War 1 and its background.

Armistice Day and the First World War resources for kids

Britannica Kids A great resource to help kids with homework and other school work.

World Book Kids Online encyclopedia with short and easy to understand articles.

More Armistice Day and the First World War resources

Armistice Day is the last day of the Canterbury Museum exhibition Canterbury and World War One: Lives Lost, Lives Changed.

Canterbury Museum has launched an online version Canterbury and World War One: Lives Lost, Lives Changed.Canterbury Museum Acting Director Jennifer Storer says this will give visitors ongoing digital access to content and stories after the physical exhibition closes on Armistice Day, 11 November.

WW100 Infographic on World War 1
This is an interesting and easy to understand infographic that aims to prevent key information about WW1 in regards to its effect on New Zealand.

The New Zealand history page on Armistice DayWorld War 1, and Māori and the First World War

Armistice Day – Will you remember them?

Now more than ever it is important that we remember. As we approach the 99th anniversary of Armistice Day, on Saturday 11 November, it is good to reflect on the enormous sacrifice of our forebears, lest we ever find ourselves at war again.

Armistice Day – Wreath Laying Ceremony
Bridge of Remembrance, Christchurch. Saturday 11 November

  • 10.45am Gather with the veterans if you wish to walk in the procession up to the bridge for the ceremony.
  • 10.50am Viewing public gather for ceremony at the bridge.
  • 11.00am 2 minutes silence will be held.
Crowd in Cathedral Square, Christchurch, celebrating Armistice Day. Head, Samuel Heath, d 1948 :Negatives. Ref: 1/1-007108-G. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand. https://natlib.govt.nz/records/22898377
Crowd in Cathedral Square, Christchurch, celebrating Armistice Day. Head, Samuel Heath, d 1948 :Negatives. Ref: 1/1-007108-G. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand. https://natlib.govt.nz/records/22898377

I grew up in Australia and I can still remember being told at school to sit in silence for a minute – and not fully understanding why. This followed by many silent but awkward looks around the classroom as one and all struggled to either remain silent; or willfully goaded their classmates into doing something that they would be reprimanded for. It wasn’t lost on me that it was out of respect for people that had fought in the war but what that means to me now is vastly different to what it meant to me then.

Fortunately, most of our children today have very little concept of war and the suffering it brings; as it is something far beyond their living memory. Even their grandparents are now the baby boomers rather than coming from a generation that lived through either of the world wars. Maybe because of this, you get the sense that recent years have seen a decline of recognition of such solemn occasions as Armistice Day. I honestly can’t recall a time in the last few years that I paused at work to mark the moment. With all of us attending to busy lives, 11am has simply passed without comment from everybody in the vicinity. And this is rather sad.

Armistice telegram. Kete Christchurch. Armistace_telegram.jpg
Armistice telegram. Kete Christchurch. Armistace_telegram.jpg Creative Commons License

I think we need to bring Armistice Day back into the spotlight. I think it would stand us all in good stead if we do have timely reminders of the loss, misery and horror that war represents. So let us not forget, let us always remember, let us instill these values into our children so they can lead the way for theirs.

Come down and see us at the library and we will be more than happy to share our numerous Armistice Day resources with you. Then gather up your loved ones and head over to the Bridge of Remembrance on Saturday 11th November. Arrive in plenty of time to get a good spot where you can share in this solemn occasion and quietly reflect at 11am for a minutes silence.

Lest we forget…

CoverCoverCover

Armistice Day

Armistice Day 2016

This year marks 98 years since  “The eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month” – the moment when First World War hostilities ceased on the Western Front in 1918, with the signing of the Armistice.

The 2016 Armistice Day RSA service in Christchurch is at 11am Friday 11 November on the Bridge of Remembrance. This is the first Armistice Day service on the Bridge since the earthquake of 2011. It’s a most appropriate location, since the Bridge of Remembrance was opened on Armistice Day 11 November 1924. The Bridge is dedicated to the memory of those who took part in World War I, with further plaques added later to commemorate the battlefields of World War II.

Bridge of Remembrance rededication
Anzac Day, Monday 25 April 2016. Flickr 2016-04-25-IMG_3756

More about Armistice Day and the Bridge of Remembrance

CoverCoverCover

Photo of Crowd in Cathedral Square, Christchurch, celebrating Armistice Day.
Crowd in Cathedral Square, Christchurch, celebrating Armistice Day. Head, Samuel Heath, d 1948 :Negatives. Ref: 1/1-007108-G. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand. http://natlib.govt.nz/records/22898377

Armistice Day in the news

Wednesday 11 November is Armistice Day, when we remember New Zealanders and others who served in the First World War and other conflicts since. 2015 is 97 years since the agreement that ended fighting in the First World War came into effect on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month.

The Bridge of Remembrance with Cashel Street in the background [193-?] CCL PhotoCD 10, IMG0073
he Bridge of Remembrance with Cashel Street in the background [193-?] CCL PhotoCD 10, IMG0073
While Anzac Day has become the main memorial day in New Zealand and Australia, events still take place on Armistice Day. Using resources such as Papers Past we can find out more about how the day has been celebrated and then commemorated over time.

On 13 November 1918, in a article called ‘the city rejoices with wild enthusiasm‘ the Star records:

Never before in the history of the city has such intense enthusiasm been displayed as yesterday, when the news of the signing of the armistice with Germany was received. The people streamed into the town, leaving the suburbs all but deserted. Throughout, the tramwaymen stuck heroically to their tasks, this factor being a large one in the general success of the celebrations.

A year later the Press laments how long it took to move from an armistice to a final peace treaty:

Just as nobody imagined, when the war broke out, that it would last for over four years, so few people, on November 11th last year, supposed that the world would, after twelve months, be as far as it is from a return to normal conditions.

By 1935 another article in The Press states:

The celebration of Armistice Day this year will show, as previous celebrations have shown, that the anniversary does not grow less poignant or less significant with the passage of time.

This sentiment is still true.

Lest we forget – 11/11/11

The eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month – Armistice Day –  commemorates the armistice signed between the Allies and Germany in 1918. In 2011, Armistice Day commemorations will be held on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month, and also the eleventh year of the century (11am, 11 November 2011).

Photo

Before the earthquake,  the bells of the ChristChurch Cathedral would ring at 11 o’clock in the morning to mark the time, something we will be missing this year.

Instead, following the observation of a two-minute silence at 11am, a service will held at the Henry Nicholas V.C. M.M. statue in Remembrance Park, on the corner of Hereford Street and Cambridge Terrace (adjacent to the Bridge of Remembrance). The service is to commemorate those members of the armed forces who were killed during World War I .