November 1918: This month last century

92 years ago – an armistice (truce) between Germany and the Allies was signed in a railway carriage in Compiègne Forest in France (11 November 1918).

The armistice marked the end of fighting in World War One on the Western Front in France and Belgium. This occurred on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month. Back home, New Zealanders took to the streets to celebrate the event.

The armistice marked the end of fighting in World War One on the Western Front in France and Belgium. This occurred on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month. Back home, New Zealanders took to the streets to celebrate the event.

Mr W G Vickers dressed up as John Bull at Levin's Armistice Celebrations, 13 November 1918, Leslie Adkin (1888–1964), Levin. Gift of Adkin Family, 1997. Te Papa

However, the joyful moment was diminished by the influenza pandemic sweeping through the country and the loss of over 12,000 lives during the war.

Peace with Germany was not officially settled until the Treaty of Versailles was signed on 28 June 1919. New Zealand photographer Bert Green was in London at the time at and took photos of the celebrations.

Untitled (women dancing), 1919, Bert Green, Green and Hahn. Purchased 1999 with New Zealand Lottery Grants Board funds. Te Papa

Two women celebrating the signing of the Treaty of Versailles, 28 June 1919, Bert Green. Purchased 1999 with New Zealand Lottery Grants Board funds. Te Papa

See a pressure sprayer that was used to fight the flu in 1918

See a poster that celebrated the Peace in 1919

Read more about events and objects from November 1918 in Collections Online

9 Responses

  1. adele

    need a trip to Te papa then! see the new exhibition Slice of Heaven..

    Reply
  2. Kirstie

    And Te Papa has some very moving film footage of soldiers in playing in the snow at Featerston, in the new exhibition ‘Slice of Heaven’.

    Reply
  3. adele

    Auckland War Memorial Cenotaph have all the photographs of Featherston Headstones, also Gunner R. Compton buried in Korea.. Featherston soldiers came from all over NZ, and overseas, ie London… I have the full lists here at home.. also Heritage Museum in Featherston have it, gave it to them.

    Reply
  4. adele

    I handed the photographs over to Lake Ferry Hotel, what a lovely thank you from the owner, she said never expected them in a frame, I said to give you something as special as this, it looks better framed. Now talking to two folk today, they are sure that Bob Compton was a cousin of the Carterton Compton family, if Aaron would like to contact me off list, or ring me at Clareville about Gunner Bob Compton thanks..

    Reply
  5. Kirstie

    HI Adele
    I dind’t realise there were so many flu victims buried in Featherston’s military cemetery. I’ll be interested to see the two stories on Maori TV next Anzac Day.

    An amazing story änd coincidence about Gunner Compton.

    Kirstie

    Reply
  6. Aaron Compton

    Yeah Gary was Erl’s son and my Dad. I’ll have to ask Mum about that. Cheers Adele

    Reply
  7. adele

    if that is late Garry Comptons family, his wife said didnt think a relation… but time will tell… Adele

    Reply
  8. Aaron Compton

    Adele, do you know if Bob was any relation to Bill Compton (my great grandfather) and his son Erl?

    Reply
  9. adele

    Sad when one walks along rows and rows of soldiers graves, looking at their ages, some as young as 18. 20…. war is such a waste, not only for humans but history, buildings.. So many soldiers died at Featherston Military Cemetery here in Wairarapa due to Influenza, 150 of them, there are more graves there of soldiers and nurses who died with other causes. I am researching the back ground of these soldiers, two will feature on Maori TV next Anzac Day. Will be laying a Wreath at Carterton Memorial early Thursday, as going to Lake Ferry Hotel with a photograph of a Grave in Korea for Gunner R. E. Compton, as he left a pound on the Bar for drinks all round when he returned, sadly…. died.. managed to obtain the photograph through wonderful contacts in Canada who were visiting War Graves in Korea… Couldnt think of a better date to hand this over to the Hotel, as a display is down there, Blessed by Rev Keith Elliott. VC.. handing over 11.11.2010. So near the date Bob Compton died too, 24th November 1951. age 24.

    Reply

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