Armistice Day an extract from “The Family That Went to War

# ArmisticeDay #WWI


……………..In Basel, they were informed that the armistice had been signed at 11.00 a.m.
The terms of the Armistice were very hard. Though they were theoretical only, the Armistice terms practically embodied many of the peace terms. Peace and the date on which it was expected to be consummated depended on the stability of the German Government. There existed some doubt to the German Government’s stability. Also, as they were uncertain as the ability and willingness of the enemy to carry out the terms of the Armistice, they had to carry out certain lines of action. This was necessary on their part as there was always a possibility of fighting to restart at any time.
The most outstanding feature was that the evacuation of occupied territory must be completed by 26th November. With this in mind, the allied troops were expected on the frontier at the Rhine by 2nd December.
The army of occupation had two functions; –
First, it was to occupy the territory to reduce the German ability to resume hostilities. Then it needed to enforce the terms of peace.
To do this it was necessary for the Armies of Occupation of Belgium, Britain, America and France, to work from north to south. Each had a definite frontier on the Rhine to hold defensively and to administer their allotted piece of territory.
The British Army of Occupation comprised a total of nine Dominion Divisions (4 Australian, 4 Canadian and 1 New Zealand) and 4 British Corps comprising 4 divisions each.
To be in place on time, the Company moved on the 13th to Busigny, where they camped until the 21st before they moved to Prisches. After a day’s rest, they then marched on to Semeries via Catignies and Avesnes.
It was now as they marched through the villages, they were cheered and in many cases; the locals offered the men, cheese, and wine. Many of the local women threw their arms around the soldiers.
They stayed at Prisches until 17th December and, while they were vigilant in watching the former enemy, there was a genuine air of peace, hope, and relaxation.

The Family That Went to War is available in both Kindle and paperback editions from AMAZON

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