The Armistice was a culmination of four years of total war after an autumn of collapsing opposition to the Allies. News of peace came in many forms, from jubilant newspaper coverage and the ringing of bells around the UK, to more straightforward and pragmatic communications on the battlefields. In many ways the end of the war marked a new beginning - one of both celebration and of grief, and a shifting emphasis toward memory and commemoration. Survivors were also faced with a new foe in the form of the Spanish Influenza pandemic, while many of the societal changes made during wartime were confronted once the boys came home.
It is estimated that 17 million soldiers and civilians died in the conflict. Many millions more were wounded and suffered terribly from mental trauma. The land was devastated and the scars can still be seen across Europe 100 years on. A century has passed since the guns were silenced and yet, as military historian Peter Doyle writes in Victory 1918, World War I has left a long shadow over us.
The Armistice began on 11 November 1918 at 11 a.m. (French time) - the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month. The Armistice itself was agreed 6 hours earlier at 5:12 a.m. with the first term of it being that fighting would end at 11 a.m.