Documents to download

On 11 November 1918, an armistice between the Allied Powers and Germany was signed, ending the fighting on the western front during the First World War. The armistice was signed at 5am in a French railway carriage in Compiègne, and the guns stopped firing six hours later, at 11am. Under the terms of the armistice, Germany was to relinquish all the territory it had conquered since 1914, as well as Alsace-Lorraine. The Rhineland would be demilitarised, and the German fleet was to be interned in harbours of neutral countries or handed to the British. Announcing the terms in the House of Commons, the British Prime Minister, David Lloyd George, expressed relief at the “end[ing of] the cruellest and most terrible war that has ever scourged mankind”.

The centenary of the signing of the armistice will be marked on 11 November 2018 by a series of events. The traditional national service of remembrance at the Cenotaph will take place, as well as the Royal British Legion’s veteran dispersal and march past the Cenotaph. The veterans’ parade will then be followed by a ‘people’s procession’ made up of 10,000 members of the public. During the day, church and other bells will ring out as they did in 1918 to mark the end of the war. The Government is supporting the Central Council of Church Bell Ringers to recruit 1,400 bell ringers (the number of bell ringers that were lost during the war). They will ring on armistice day alongside existing bell ringers across the country. The commemorations will conclude in the evening with a national service of thanksgiving at Westminster Abbey in London. Similar services will also take place in Glasgow, Cardiff and Belfast.

In addition to the national events, other commemorative projects are continuing in 2018, such as the Victoria Cross paving stones programme, where commemorative stones are being laid for those who were awarded the Victoria Cross during the First World War.

This briefing provides an overview of the events leading up to the signing of the armistice, and a summary of the terms agreed. It then provides a brief description of some of the commemorative events taking place in the UK to mark the centenary of the signing of the armistice.

Documents to download

Related posts

  • The impact of gambling marketing

    The gambling industry has expanded over recent years and increased attention is being paid to the issue of gambling-related harms and the role that the marketing of gambling services plays in exacerbating them. The House of Lords is due to debate these issues on 25 April 2024.

    The impact of gambling marketing
  • UK aid for marginalised groups and minority communities in Pakistan

    The UK is one of the largest donors of overseas aid to Pakistan. However, despite a planned increase in the forthcoming financial year, the aid budget that the UK has allocated to Pakistan has declined notably in recent years. This has led to calls for the aid that the UK does provide to be focused more effectively on marginalised groups and minority communities in Pakistan.

    UK aid for marginalised groups and minority communities in Pakistan
  • Questions to the foreign secretary: 16 April 2024

    Members of the House of Lords will ask Foreign Secretary Lord Cameron of Chipping Norton a series of oral questions on 16 April 2024. Topics include the current state of freedom of religion or belief in India; what is being done to maintain support for Ukraine; when the UK will next hold a bilateral meeting with France on security issues; and whether the UK will mark the 75th anniversary of the Council of Europe.

    Questions to the foreign secretary: 16 April 2024