Commemorating the End of World War One
Commemorating the End of World War One

Commemorating the End of World War OneThe Armistice of 11 November 1918 was the armistice that ended fighting on land, sea and air in World War One between the Allies and Germany. Previous armistices had eliminated Bulgaria, the Ottoman Empire and the Austro-Hungarian Empire.

Also known as the Armistice of Compiègne, from the place where it was signed, it came into force at 11 a.m. Paris time on 11 November 1918 ("the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month") and marked a victory for the Allies and a complete defeat for Germany, although not formally a surrender. It was an agreement to end fighting as a prelude to peace negotiations. Although the armistice ended the fighting, it needed to be prolonged three times until the Treaty of Versailles, which was signed on 28 June 1919, took effect on 10 January 1920.

Although "armistice" is used as a term to describe any agreement to end fighting in wars, "The Armistice" commonly refers to the agreement to end the fighting of the First World War.

DatestampThe signing of The Armistice took place in Ferdinand Foch's railway carriage in the Forest of Compiègne, about 37 miles (60 km) north of Paris. The location was chosen as it was remote and discreet. Ferdinand Foch was a French military commander who was one of the people who signed the Armistice. The Armistice itself was agreed at 5am with the first term of it being that fighting would end at 11am. The actual terms, largely written by the Allied Supreme Commander, Marshal Ferdinand Foch, included the cessation of hostilities; the withdrawal of German forces to behind the Rhine; Allied occupation of the Rhineland and bridgeheads further east; the preservation of infrastructure; the surrender of aircraft, warships, and military material; the release of Allied prisoners of war and interned civilians and eventual reparations. No release of German prisoners and no relaxation of the naval blockade of Germany was agreed to. If Germany broke any of the terms of the Armistice, such as not evacuating areas they were ordered to evacuate, not handing over weapons or prisoners of war in the timescales given or causing damage to any individual or their property, fighting would begin again with 48 hours’ notice.

By signing The Armistice and the Treaty of Versailles, Germany was made to accept the blame for the First World War and would have to pay reparations for the damage caused, estimated to total about £22 billion ($35 billion, €27 billion) in current money. Germany viewed the terms of the Armistice, and the Treaty of Versailles signed the following year, as too harsh and the French saw it as too lenient.

The ending of the War and signing of the Armistice was welcomed around the world, particularly by the Allied countries and especially in the United Kingdom where huge crowds in London rushed out into the streets to be greeted by church bells ringing and widespread celebrations. Masses congregated at Trafalgar Square and Buckingham Palace and parties carried on into the night. Many commemorative events are planned for through to November 2018 to mark the 100th anniversary.

Commemoration of the WW1 fallen has continued ever since. Nations have built monuments to the dead and the heroic and unknown soldiers and services are held annually on the 11 November under various names such as Armistice Day, Remembrance Day, and Veterans Day. In New Zealand and Australia ANZAC Day is held on April 25th.

Commemorating the End of World War One FDC

Commemorating the End of World War One
Please Note: All prices are in New Zealand Dollars
Sheetlet with 6 stamps
Stamps only on First Day Cover

Technical Details

Denise Durkin, Wellington. New Zealand

Pitcairn Stamps
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Bounty Post
Printer: Southern Colour Print, Dunedin, New Zealand

Process: Offset Litho
Stamp size: 40.00 mm x 48.00 mm vertical
Sheetlet Size: 185 mm x 90 mm vertical
Format: 6 stamps within one sheetlet
Denominations: $1.00 x 2; $2.00 x 2 and $3.00 x 2
Paper: 104gsm Tullis Russell Red phosphor gummed stamp paper

Period of Sale:
11 November 2018 for a period of 2 years