On the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month in the Year of our Lord 1918 the guns fell silent. The War to End all wars was over. It was now time to count the cost of this most bloody of conflicts and mourn the dead.
888,246 British men and boys had fallen in service.
1,663,435 had been wounded.
Never before and never since has war taken such a toll on countries, entire generations of men gone. Victims of the industrial machine that war had become.
Sadly, this would not be ‘the War to End all Wars’ as was the contemporary thought at the time. Indeed Marshal Ferdinand Foch called the Versailles Peace Treaty in 1919 “An armistice for 20 years”; how right he was.
20 years and 65 days later, Germany invaded Poland.
British soldiers have been as lions throughout the ages fighting for the British Empire, standing up for the sovereignty of allied nations in two World Wars and peacekeeping in the post-Second World War years. It is as important as ever to remember their sacrifices on this day.
But let us also not forget the great benefits and experiences these wars and conflicts have given us. Now, more than ever before servicemen and women are surviving wounds that would have previously been fatal. Our modern world enjoys the best healthcare ever thanks, in large part, to war time developments. Humanity is more united in common goals than it ever has been. It has seen the massive decline of armed conflict across the globe, to the point where we live in, statistically, one of the most peaceful eras in human history.
Rest in Peace to all those who have died in service of our country.
The following are a few pictures from our local parades near our office, in Trowbridge and Melksham: