Event    From 4/8/1914  To 11/11/1918

World War 1

Categories: Armed Forces, Tragedy

We'd always assumed that this war was known as the Great War until WW2 came along at which point it was renamed as World War One or the First World War. But the term was first used in print in 1920 as the title of a book, 'The First World War' by Charles à Court Repington. He was using it to emphasize the global nature of the war rather than its sequential nature.

Different memorials give different years for the end of WW1. The Armistice came into force at 11am on 11 November 1918 and fighting ceased on the western front but hostilities continued elsewhere. The Treaty of Versailles, signed by Germany and some of the allied powers following the Paris Peace Conference, was not until 28 June 1919.

The war did not officially end in the UK until 31 August 1921, as explained at the Commonwealth War Graves Commission: "When the Termination of the Present War (Definition) Act 1918 was passed by Parliament, it gave discretion to His Majesty in Council to declare the date of the termination of the war. Consequently, war with each of the Central Powers ended close to the date of the ratification of the various peace treaties. Although a treaty with Turkey had yet to be ratified, it was decided that 31 August 1921 ‘should be treated as the date of the termination of the present War’. As the Imperial War Graves Commission (IWGC) was charged with responsibility for the graves of service personnel who died between the outbreak and end of the War, this meant that those casualties of the First World War who died after 31 August 1921 fell outside the remit of the Commission."

Note - it seems to be just a lucky poetic chance that the Armistice coincides with "the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month". Kaiser Wilhelm abdicated on November 9th, presumably not thinking "just in time for a poetically-timed Armistice".

For some signs of WW1 on buildings in London see Spitalfields Life.

2024: We've just come across the London World War 1 Memorial - looks like it could be a great resource.

This section lists the memorials where the subject on this page is commemorated:
World War 1

Commemorated ati

24th London Division - memorial

These 3 figures are said to be modelled on the soldier poets: Robert Graves, ...

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8th London Howitzers

The way this monument meets the sloping ground has been well thought out: a s...

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Abney Park - CWGC war memorial

The screen wall at the back, south, of the memorial carries a number of bronz...

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African and Caribbean Armed Forces

Unveiled on Windrush Day. A very simple design, we think the horizontal obeli...

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Air raid

Very small plaque on the doorframe.

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Other Subjects

King Edmund II, Ironside

King Edmund II, Ironside

King of England, also known as Edmund Ironside. Born c.990. Became king after the deaths of his two elder brothers, although at the same time, the Danish Canute was chosen as king by opposition fac...

Person, Armed Forces, Royalty

1 memorial
Metropolitan Police

Metropolitan Police

Founded in 1829 by Robert Peel under the Metropolitan Police Act 1829 and on 26 September of that year, over 1,000 men were sworn in in the grounds of the Foundling Hospital. (From Sarah Wise's boo...

Group, Armed Forces

13 memorials
Lord Louis Mountbatten

Lord Louis Mountbatten

Admiral of the Fleet. 1st Earl Mountbatten of Burma. Grandson of Queen Victoria and uncle of Prince Philip. Born Frogmore House, Windsor and known by family and friends as Dickie. His wife's, Edwi...

Person, Armed Forces, Politics & Administration, Tragedy, Burma, Germany, India, Ireland, Pakistan

5 memorials
E. Wass

E. Wass

Co-partner or employee of the South Suburban Gas Company. Served but did not die in WW1.

Person, Armed Forces

War served, WW1
1 memorial
23rd Battalion

23rd Battalion

London unit which served in WW1.

Group, Armed Forces

1 memorial