This year, Remembrance Day services being held all across Canada will hold a very special significance, as November 11, 2018 marks 100 years to the very day that the First World War came to an end.
In many communities, branches of the Royal Canadian Legion will hold a unique ‘Bells of Peace’ ceremony just before dusk in which a bell will be tolled 100 times to mark this monumental occurrence.
Here at The Outlook, we’re fortunate and honored to have a vast library of history at our very fingertips by way of our newspaper archives. Whether it’s news from the local level or covering a national or even international perspective, your trusted community newspaper has seen and covered the happenings of some of the world’s biggest events in its century-plus existence.
This, of course, includes breaking news and happenings during World War I, and sadly, all too often these ‘headlines from the frontlines’ included the tragic news of local men coming home injured, or missing a limb, or having been killed in action. Back then, The Outlook was everyone’s link to what’s happening “over there”, and it was the job of this publication to give people all the news – the good, the bad, and the downright ugly.
Over a hundred years later, we still carry that mindset.
With that, I thought I would share with everyone the news surrounding the end of World War I, as told by The Outlook to its readers at the time; specifically, headlines and news bits from the Thursday, November 14, 1918 issue, three days after the First World War had finally reached its end.
END OF WORLD WAR ASSURED
Armistice Terms Signed and Germany Kneels to Allies
“The German delegates signed the armistice terms at six o’clock (French time) and hostilities end at eleven o’clock this morning.”
This message heralded throughout the world Monday morning announcing that hostilities had ceased was received with acclamation by all countries at war.
The welcome message was received in Outlook early in the morning, but as the citizens had been hoaxed by the fake message of Thursday, the celebrating was held over until the daily papers arrived giving fuller particulars; although there was no doubt as to the authenticity of the latest news
During the evening, several bonfires with an effigy of the Kaiser as centerpiece were lighted, and while whistles blew and guns were fired, there were shouts of joy as the image of the hated war lord was burning fiercely. The roundhouse employees started a huge bonfire just outside the building, blew their whistles and made things generally lively which was greatly appreciated by the crowd present.
Saturday the message announcing the abdication of the Kaiser was received so the message of Monday created no surprise, the signing of the armistice being expected.
Reports from Germany stated that nearly the entire German empire is in revolution with the Socialists in power, and that the ex-emperor together with Crown Prince, Von Hindenburg, and others of his staff had fled to Holland Sunday morning. Several of the German kings have left their thrones and with dukes, princes and other luminaries have gone to neutral countries or in hiding.
Just before the cessation of hostilities the Canadian captured the city of Mons, from where the big allied retreat was made.
A notable feature of the Kaiser’s abdication is that he relinquished his throne on the anniversary of the late King Edward’s birthday (Nov. 9).
The terms of armistice which the Allied powers made Germany sign prior to the cessation of hostilities are now published. They include, on the military side: Cessation of all military operations, Evacuation of all invaded territory, Repatriation of all inhabitants of invaded territory, Surrender of 5000 heavy guns, 30,000 machine guns, 3000 minenwerfer and 2000 airplanes, Occupation of countries on left of the Rhine, No evacuation of inhabitants, no damage done to property during evacuation, the right of requisition in all occupied territory, Sick and wounded to be cared for by Germany, All German troops shall withdraw from frontiers, Allies to have access to all evacuated territory, Unconditional capitulation of German forces in East Africa, Financial reparation for all damage done, restitution of all valuables, including gold.
On the naval side the terms cover also the cessation of all hostilities, All naval prisoners of war to be repatriated, Surrender to the Allies 160 submarines, six battleships, eight light destroyers, two minelayers, 50 destroyers, The right to sweep all mine fields, Freedom of access to the Baltic, All Black Sea ports to be evacuated, Germany to reveal all mines and help to destroy them, All merchant ships belonging to the Allies to be restored, No transfer of German merchant ships to neutral flags, The duration of the armistice is to be for thirty days with option to extend, with 48 hours to denounce on the part of contracting parties.
ILLNESS, INJURIES & DEATHS
From that same issue, there was news pertaining to a number of local people who either served in the war, or even helped on the home front. These tidbits ranged from people falling ill, to coming home with injuries sustained on the warfront, and even those losing their lives.
The next few paragraphs help shine a light on what life was like at the time for those who were impacted by the events of the First World War.
W.S. Longhurst, of Broderick, who did much excellent work canvassing for subscriptions to the Victory Loan fund, making it possible for Broderick to be the first place in the province to win the honor flag, also four crowns, was taken ill with the flu during the latter part of last week, and taken to the Outlook hospital. We are pleased to state he is getting along fine.
Marcus Madsen, son of Jorgan Madsen, who lives on the farm north of Outlook formerly owned by Kenneth Macleod, died at St. Paul’s hospital, Saskatoon, Thursday last from pneumonia following an illness with influenza. The deceased was drafted in the summer, but shortly returned home with an infection in one of his feet, and a short time ago was taken to Saskatoon to undergo an operation. It was while in Saskatoon that he contracted the flu.
Mrs. Guy Watson last week received from her husband, Sapper Watson, a German soldier’s helmet and cap. The helmet is a steel affair and as heavy as a coal scuttle and about the same shape. Instead of being polished the outside surface is camouflaged in different colors. The cap is a round affair, in grey cloth with a red band.
Word was received here recently of the death of Donald Galbraith at the front. Galbraith came here from Carman, Manitoba about seven years ago and worked at the harness making trade for C.J. Rollefson, later working in Conquest. He enlisted with the 27th battalion at Winnipeg and had been overseas only one year.
One week later, in the November 21, 1918 issue, the front page detailed how the Town of Outlook raised its Victory Loan Honor flag.
VICTORY LOAN HONOR FLAG RAISED
The flag presented by the Governor General of the Dominion in honor of raising $50,000, the sum allotted to be raised by the Outlook subdivision of the Outlook division in the Victory Loan campaign, was received Wednesday of last week and Thursday afternoon it was publicly raised on the square at the intersection of Saskatchewan and Franklin streets.
It was intended to have a more pretentious function, but on account of the prevailing epidemic the unfurling ceremony was of an informal nature.
Before the raising a fife and drum band, composed of Messrs. Jacklin, Partridge and Hagen brought forth people from the business places by the playing of stirring and patriotic airs, and it is no exaggeration when we say that this small but efficient band created as much enthusiasm as did the war scarred trio who majestically played the blue garbled warriors to victory at the battle of the Rappabannock during the civil war – all have seen the picture of the war scarred bunch.
Mayor Evans was given the honor of raising the flag and he explained that it had been presented by the Governor General because Outlook had overtopped its allotment in the Victory Loan drive.
The flag has one crown attached, but three more are to be added, the town having doubled its quota.
This being the fifth loan floated by the government, the five are signalized by blue bars across the white.
In his remarks Mayor Evans paid a glowing tribute to the town of Broderick, which has been the banner subdivision of the district, subscribing a total of $160,000, or just double what it had been allotted, and was the first place in the province if not in the Dominion to win the honor.
The flag was raised on a temporary staff and remained flying until the close of the drive. It will be hung in the council chamber to be used on public occasions as a memento to show that Outlook more than did its share when money was wanted to defray the expenses of the war.
Certainly, the pages of The Outlook gave readers headlines and news that would go down in human history, even if the writers and editors didn’t know it at the time. We can only hope today that our world doesn’t once again find itself in such violent turmoil in the future.
To those who’ve served, we thank you. To those we’ve lost, we can’t thank you enough.