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

F. L. Lean

F. L. Lean

R.A.F.. Fought but did not die in WW1

Person, Armed Forces

War served, WW1
1 memorial
3rd County of London Yeomanry (Sharpshooters)

3rd County of London Yeomanry (Sharpshooters)

On 23 July 1901, the 3rd County of London Imperial Yeomanry (Sharpshooters) was formed and on 1 April 1908, the regiment was renamed as the 3rd County of London Yeomanry (Sharpshooters) and transfe...

Group, Armed Forces

1 memorial
Sir Edward Henry

Sir Edward Henry

Metropolitan Police Commissioner 1903 - 1918, pioneer of fingerprint identification and saw the introduction of dogs into the force. Born Shadwell. Trained for the Indian Civil Service and went th...

Person, Armed Forces, Indian Sub-continent

1 memorial
West Hampstead Fire Station

West Hampstead Fire Station

The station itself is nearby, in West End Lane, close to West End Green.

Group, Armed Forces

1 memorial
Heroes of Telemark

Heroes of Telemark

In 1943 Norwegian resistance commandos sponsored by the SOE raided the enemy-occupied Norsk hydro plant in the Telemark region of Norway. This successful raid sabotaged the machinery that was produ...

Group, Armed Forces, Norway

2 memorials