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CarylW

Celebrating the Armistice: Liverpool 1918

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CarylW

The following appeared as an article in the Liverpool Echo May 7th 1945 in the edition announcing that "War in Europe is over",

"What happened in Liverpool in 1918"

Within one minute of Mr Lloyd George's announcement in the commons at 10:20 a.m on Monday, November 11, 1918, that an armistice

had been signed with Germany and that hostilities would cease at 11. a.m, the Echo was on sale in the streets giving the great news

Even the then unthought of BBC could hardly have done better than that. The Echo - well prepared - gave the first news, and newsboys were

swept off their feet. Men rushed into cafes and restaurants shouting the glad news. Strangers on the street shook hands with each other and then , the sirens of every ship on the Mersey proclaimed the news in a glad "Cock-a-doodle-do" call.

Crowds began to collect in the streets. The town hall drew hundreds, and the hoisting of the flag was the signal for the Lord Mayor (Colonel John Ritchie)

to come to the balcony accompanied by the ex- Lord Mayor, (Alderman Utting) and the Father of the Council, Sir William Forwood. A short speech, and the venerable Sir William led the singing of the National Anthem.

On all the commercial exchanges there were speeches, singing of the National Anthem, and wild cheering. The Cotton Exchange closed down there and then remained closed until the following Thursday. At the G.P.O. telegraphists at 11 a.m rose as a body and well led, sang with enthusiasm "God Save the King," followed by prolonged cheers.

By this time people all over Liverpool had trooped out onto the streets. Work was abandoned for the day, and althouh offices and shops remained open there was practically no-one to serve or buy.

Lord Street and Church street was the venue for parading, cheering, singing throngs, and trams threaded their way with difficulty through the crowds

Lorry loads of American soldiers from the camp at Knotty Ash celebrated the occasion in their own way discharging guns and revolvers in the air. The Lord Mayor sent the city's congratulations to the King by telegram and received a reply of thanks.

A thanksgiving service was immediately announced for the next day at St Nicholas Church, and wa duly attended by the Lord Mayor who heard Bishop Chevasse preach.

Jubilation was kept up during the evening. Little bodies of celebrators marched about the city singing and playing mouth - organs gravely disturbing the cloistered atmosphere of the Yamen cafe in Bold Street where the Catterall Quartet was discoursing chamber music at a Rodewald concert. They invaded the theatres and badinage between the stage and the "front of the house" was reported, though not a single instance is there a report of an untimesly word" (performers at the Halls that week included: Empire, Two Rascals, Frank van Hoven; Hippodrome, G. P. Huntly, Finlay Dunn; Olympia, the evergreen Albert Wheelan and the Elgar Hudson Quartet)

Liverpool, indeed seems to have behaved itself with due moderation and kept rejoicing within the bounds of propriety, for next day the Daily Post was able to say ; " There was no excess, no drunkeness, no undesiranle horseplay, np 'mafficking' such as marked the end of the South African War, though wounded soldiers were kissed in the streets by bevies of young ladies

Things soon settled down to normal. There was some attampt to keep up the revelry the next day, but it did not become general.

.....................................................................................................................................................

Caryl

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David_Underdown

Bishop Chevasse is of course actually Francis James Chavasse, second Anglican Bishop of Liverpool, and father of twins Noel Chavasse VC & Bar, MC, and Christopher Chavasse OBE MC ED (later Bishop of Rochester)

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CarylW

Bishop Chevasse is of course actually Francis James Chavasse, second Anglican Bishop of Liverpool, and father of twins Noel Chavasse VC & Bar, MC, and Christopher Chavasse OBE MC ED (later Bishop of Rochester)

Yes, and also father of Aidan.

Lieutenant AIDAN CHAVASSE

17th Bn., The King's (Liverpool Regiment) who died age 26 on 04 July 1917

Son of the Rt. Rev. Francis James Chavasse, Bishop of Liverpool, and Mrs. Edith Jane Chavasse, of The Palace, Abercromby Square, Liverpool. His brother, Noel G. (double V.C. holder) also fell.

Remembered with honour

YPRES (MENIN GATE) MEMORIAL

Just out of interest, the celebrations in Liverpool for VE day in 1945 were reported as being quieter than the celebrations for the end of war in 1918

Caryl

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michaeldr

How did your area celebrate at the time?

In Jerusalem they celebrated with champagne and bells

regards

Michael

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vico

buckley flintshire north wales :-

The Chronicle reported spontaneous scenes in Buckley when news of the Armistice was received: Jubilant street scenes. Buckley received the good news about 11 o’clock on Monday morning. At most of the works the news gained currency that an armistice had been signed; but although the morning papers conveyed no tidings of good news, the telephones were busy. The children at the county school were granted a holiday, but, still there was a feeling of doubt until the hooter at the Castle Fire Brick Works was heard, followed by the one at the Catherall’s works. Gibson’s joined in the chorus, and then the big bell and St. Matthew’s pealed forth the glad tidings.

By dinnertime everybody was convinced of the accuracy of the report and almost without exception all the employees at the local brickworks, potteries, collieries etc. ’rang off’ and marched home. The streets were soon filled with a thoroughly cosmopolitan crowd. Bunting was flying everywhere. Indeed, one wondered where all the flags came from. Children sang lustily and bands added to the harmonies. As evening drew near, the crowd became denser, and many of the shops had their windows lit with gas jets for the first time in many a month. The two picture house has their exterior electric lamps lighted. At Brunswick Road picture house the manager Mr Wilcox, invited his audience to sing the National Anthem and the Marseilles. In a short speech he referred to Mr Lloyd George as the greatest man breathing, and said that had it not been fo him we might have been serfs under the heels of the Prussians.

In the streets the Royal Town Band and the Volunteer Band united, and parading the principal streets, played national melodies, and the crowds who followed joined in the choruses. Not since the relief of Ladysmith and Mafeking has there been such a carnival of rejoicing in Buckley. When the band finished playing at the Cross, the people joined in singing the National Anthem and Land of My Fathers, and the bands of St. Matthew’s Church Lads’ Brigade and the Tabernacle boys’ Brigade accompanied the celebrations.

At the Conservative Club the evening was spent in honouring the Allies in speech and song. Solos were sung by the Rev. Father Pochard (The French Roman Catholic Priest), the Rev J. S. Richards (the curate of Emmanuel), Mr J. Cartwright, and Mr C. Beavan. Speeches were made by Mr W. C. Colin, the Rev. Father Pochard and others.

At St. Matthew’s in the evening, a service of thanksgiving for cessation of war was largely attended, the Rev. Gilbert Heaton officiating. At the close, the organist, Mr William, played the ’Dead March’ for the fallen, followed by the ’hallelujah Chorus’. At most of the Nonconformist places of worship prayer meeting were held. Much amusement was caused by a squad of airmen who paraded the street behind one of the bugle bands. Most of the works were idle the following day though the shortage of hands. A service of thanksgiving was held at Bistre Parish Church on the following Sunday when the Church Lads’ Brigade paraded at 10 o’clock and proceeded to the Council Chambers to escort the Chairman and Members of the Urban District Council to the church where the sermon was preached by the Rev. O. E. Gittins, Chaplain to the Forces, who was home on leave from Palestine.

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centurion

In Salford the ships on the Manchester ship canal also played their hooters, sirens, horns etc. I was once told by someone who was there that they could be heard in Altrincham and beyond

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