This year we are commemorating the 100th anniversary of the end of the 1st World War. Now, more than ever we have a duty to honour the men, women and even animals who lost their lives in the defence of our country, allowing us to be the free country we are today. We would like to encourage as many residents of Stalbridge as possible to join the parade or line the streets on the parade route on the morning of the 11th November. Please buy a poppy and wear it with pride on the day.
For those of you who are not aware- The armistice (the formal end of hostilities) was signed at the 11th hour on the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918 in Compiegne, France. This was according to French time - in Germany it was 12 noon. The German delegation headed by Matthias Erzberger crossed the war's front line in five cars and was escorted for ten hours across the devastated war zone of Northern France, arriving on the morning of 8 November. They were then taken to the secret destination aboard General Foch of France's private train, parked in a railway siding in the forest of Compiegne. Foch appeared only twice in the three days of negotiations that took place: on the first day, to ask the German delegation what they wanted, and on the last day, to witness the signatures. The Germans were handed the list of Allied demands and given 3 days to agree. The Armistice demanded complete German demilitarization, with next to no promises made by the Allies in return. There was no question of negotiation. The Germans were able to correct a few of the demands (for example, the decommissioning of more submarines than their fleet actually possessed) - they also extended the schedule for the withdrawal and registered their formal protest at the harshness of Allied terms, but, in effect were in no position to refuse to sign. On Sunday 10 November, they were shown newspapers from Paris, informing them of the abdication of the German Kaiser. The Armistice was agreed at 5:00 a.m. on 11th November, to come into effect at 11:00 a.m. Paris time (noon German time), for which reason the occasion is sometimes referred to as "the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month". Signatures were actually made between 5:12 a.m. and 5:20 a.m., Paris time.
By the end of the 4 year conflict The United Kingdom had lost 2% of its population to the war. This amounted to almost 1 million killed in action and nearly 2 million wounded. In total, the allies, consisting of The British Empire, Belgium, France, Greece, Italy, Japan, Montenegro, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Serbia and The United States of America lost nearly 13 million people.