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Saturday 16 November 1918 – The armistice and abdication of the Kaiser

Category World War I: The Home Front
The Evesham Journal
Transcription of article




When we went to press the news was hourly expected that Germany had bowed to the inevitable and had instructed her plenipotentiaries to sign the armistice terms laid down by Marshal Foch, who was accompanied by Admiral Wemyss, no matter how hard they were. The news failed to come through on Saturday, when it was reported that in consequence of the destruction of the bridges by the German artillery the German envoy who was despatched to German Headquarters with the terms laid down had been delayed. Any doubt that the terms would not be accepted was set at rest on Sunday morning when it became known that the Kaiser had abdicated and that the Crown Prince had also relinquished any claim to the succession either as German Emperor or King of Prussia. The spread of revolution throughout the Empire was also very rapid, and it was clear that the German people had abandoned any hope to getting easier terms by delay.

A long and eagerly expected news that the French Generalissimo’s terms had been accepted reached this country on Monday morning and spread with wonderful rapidity. Then followed scenes of unbounded thankfulness. Practically all industry was at a standstill, business premises were closed, and all gave themselves to celebrating the joyful news. In London and in all parts of the country scenes of the greatest excitement were witnessed, but beneath the more uproarious indications of joy was the yet deeper feeling of profound thankfulness that the horrible bloodshed had ceased. Even deeper still lay the unspoken thoughts for those thousands of gallant lads who had laid down their lives that England may live.