Church bells rang as war was fi­nally over

Coventry Telegraph - - NEWS -

wid­ows and or­phans, and for those who had been dis­abled.

But the main event was the tra­di­tional Coven­try Go­diva pro­ces­sion, which left Bar­rack Square at 3pm for a tour of the city cen­tre.

Around 150 his­tor­i­cal char­ac­ters were rep­re­sented, in­clud­ing Lady Go­diva, played by Gla­dys Mann.

Some peo­ple in the crowd com­plained that the pro­ces­sion was too short and passed so quickly that they had no time to work out who the his­toric fig­ures were.

But a far more se­ri­ous crit­i­cism was the omis­sion from the pro­ces­sion of sol­diers and fac­tory work­ers who had been so cru­cial to the war ef­fort

Tem­pers flared that night, spark­ing three days of ri­ot­ing in the city cen­tre.

Win­dows were smashed, shops were looted and more than 100 peo­ple were in­jured.

At the height of the trou­ble, 7,000 peo­ple were in­volved, with 100 ba­ton-armed po­lice­men try­ing to re­store or­der.

Some peo­ple blamed fac­tory work­ers who could no longer af­ford to pay their rent while oth­ers ac­cused ex-ser­vice­men, who were strug­gling to find work and who had been crit­i­cal of the money be­ing “wasted” on the fes­tiv­i­ties.

The af­ter­math of the war saw dras­tic po­lit­i­cal, cul­tural, and so­cial change across Eu­rope, Asia and Africa. Four em­pires col­lapsed, old coun­tries were abol­ished, new ones were formed, bound­aries were re­drawn, and in­ter­na­tional or­ga­ni­za­tions were es­tab­lished.

Near-uni­ver­sal vot­ing was in­tro­duced in Bri­tain and Ger­many, turn­ing them into mass elec­toral democ­ra­cies for the first time, but it all came at a very high price.

Ten mil­lion ser­vice­men were dead, 20 mil­lion were in­jured and 7.5 mil­lion were miss­ing.

Nearly 1,000 Coven­try-born men died in the con­flict, but there are nearly 2,600 names on the main war me­mo­rial, mark­ing those who also lived or worked in the city and sur­round­ing ar­eas.

It was meant to be “the war to end all wars” but the con­clud­ing peace treaty ac­tu­ally set the stage for World War Two 20 years later as Nazi Ger­many sought to take back what it had lost, and more.

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