At last, the war is over!
November 11 1918
LAST week closed and this week opened upon an expectant world! The shadow of a great defeat was over Germany — the arrogant. Would the ‘blonde brute’, dripping blood, acknowledge defeat or must some further blood be shed before the convincing point was reached? The answer was awaited almost breathlessly by a war-weary world. In the Allied countries, intermingled with anxiety, born of the hope that the end of human sacrifice was near, there was a deep feeling of confidence that Germany was beaten, whether acknowledgement came or not.
The 11th day of November, 1918, will live in history as the day upon which profound confusion and humiliation overtook the self-styled supernation — the teachers and disciples of the doctrine of ‘might is right’. The news of the signing of the armistice reached Rochester at about a quarter to nine on Monday evening. The ringing of the fire bell and the church bells brought a crowd together as if by magic, patrons of the Lyric Theatre emptying themselves into the street to join the throng. ‘‘The armistice has been signed — the war is over!’’ Nothing else counted. Cheer upon cheer rent the air, the national anthem and God Bless Our Splendid Men were sang with full hearts, and the band played Rule Britannia, La Marseillaise and other rousing patriotic airs. The crowd then made its way into the Shire Hall, where, acting on behalf of the shire president, Mr. H. T. Downe (shire secretary) reannounced the great news. He accompanied the announcement with a few appropriate words concerning the fall of the curtain on the final act in the great war drama, and gave some particulars as to the arrangements for next day’s celebrations. The crowd drifted again into the street, and an army of girls struck up several patriotic songs, singing lustily the while they formed themselves into a procession.
When breath failed, kerosene and other tins and hand bells were utilised to keep up the note of jubilation. Towards midnight the crown thinned, but the bells sounded intermittently into the early hours of the morning.
November 4, 2008
WHEN Rochester resident Jack Goddeb was born on October 19, 1918, the world was still at war and the Russian revolution had barely begun.
Last month, he celebrated his 90th birthday with family and friends in Rochester.
As a young man, he experienced the hardship of the Great Depression and served in Borneo in World War II.
On his return, Jack married Desma West in December 1947 and the couple had six children.
Jack worked as a drover for many years and later became the market inspector at the Rochester saleyards.
Jack retired when he was 65, but still milked 20 cows on a hobby farm on High St.
Shamrock Hotel, late 1800s-1902 — submitted by Stan Hogarth of Elmore. If you have a photo for Reflections, bring it to the office between 9am and 3pm or email email@example.com