Centenary of the end of The First World War – Remembering the Fallen.

Notwithstanding the Armistice of 11 November 1918, today marks the centenary of the date on which the First World War actually ended.

When the Termination of the Present War (Definition) Act 1918 was passed by Parliament, it gave discretion to His Majesty in Council to declare the date of the termination of the war. Consequently, war with each of the Central Powers ended close to the date of the ratification of the various peace treaties. Although a treaty with Turkey had yet to be ratified, it was decided that 31 August 1921 ‘should be treated as the date of the termination of the present War’.

The Imperial War Graves Commission (IWGC) having been charged with responsibility for the graves of service personnel who died between the outbreak and end of the War, this meant that those casualties of the First World War who died after 31 August 1921 fell outside the remit of the Commission. Records identify 24 casualties, across the globe, who succumbed on the 31 August 1921 (India 8; Australia 2; South Africa 1; Canada 1; Egypt 1). Of these 11 are buried in the UK.

To mark this centenary, Gareth Davies a member of the Anglia Guide Team and Forces Liaison/Education Officer for the Great War Group, came up with the idea of visiting the cemetery in which each the servicemen who died in the UK on 31 August 1921 is buried. Aided by the efforts of Emrys Jones, one of Anglia’s original guides and now Chair of the Cambridgeshire WFA, and with the support of an enthusiastic group of guides, friends and colleagues, we not only managed to visit each cemetery and take a photograph of each headstone or memorial, we also managed to unearth information which has subsequently enabled the Commission to update their records a hundred years on.

Starting at 08.00 today, we will be posting a profile of one man, each hour on the hour, on the Anglia Tours’ Facebook page and Twitter feed. The collected profiles and photographs will also be posted on the Anglia Tours website. We really hope that posting these profiles will encourage anyone who has further information or documentation relating to these men will share it so that, collectively, we can keep their memory alive.