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, ...

Read More

8th London Howitzers

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

Read More

Abney Park - CWGC war memorial

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

Read More

African and Caribbean Armed Forces

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

Read More

Air raid

Very small plaque on the doorframe.

Read More

Load next 200 of 384

Other Subjects

Private John Lynn, VC

Private John Lynn, VC

Soldier. Born in Forest Hill, London. On 2nd May, 1915 near Ypres, the enemy was advancing behind a wave of poison gas. In spite of being almost overcome by the fumes, he turned his machine-gun aga...

Person, Armed Forces, Belgium

1 memorial
Humphrey Firman, VC

Humphrey Firman, VC

Seaman. Born Humphrey Osbaldston Brooke Firman in Kensington. In April 1916, British forces were trapped in the Siege of Kut in what was then known as Mesopotamia. Firman, in command of the ship Ju...

Person, Armed Forces, Iraq

War dead, WW1
1 memorial
7th (Southwark) Battalion, The Queen's Royal Regiment (West Surrey)

7th (Southwark) Battalion, The Queen's Royal Regiment (West Surrey)

Formed in 1937 by renaming the 24th (County of London) Battalion, The London Regiment (The Queen's). The Queen's Royal Surrey Regimental Association website gives an outline of this battalion show...

Group, Armed Forces

1 memorial
Police Sergeant Noel Lane

Police Sergeant Noel Lane

Andrew Behan has researched this man: Police Sergeant Noel Joseph Lane was born on 7 November 1955, the son of Ernest George Lane and Mary Teresa Lane née Christmas. His birth was registered in the...

Person, Armed Forces, Tragedy

1 memorial
Serjeant George William Tofery

Serjeant George William Tofery

George William Tofery was born in Bromley, Kent, a son of John and Ellen Maria Tofery. When he enlisted for 7 years, with a further 5 years in the Reserves, on 3 April 1907 in the East Surrey Regi...

Person, Armed Forces, France

War dead, WW1
1 memorial