Armistice Day centenary liftout
After four terrible years, World War I finally came to a close with the signing of an armistice between Germany and the Allied powers on November 11, 1918. On the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month, the guns famously fell silent.
Ceremonies to mark Armistice Day 100 years ago on November 11, 1918 at 11am will be held in the Tararua District. ■ In Dannevirke assembly time is 10.45am at the Dannevirke Cenotaph with all the community welcome to attend. An Honour Guard will be formed by the 1st Battalion, Royal New Zealand Infantry Regiment (light infantry.) Seating will be available for senior members of the public. A siren will be sounded and then a minute’s silence observed at 11am. At the Dannevirke Service & Citizens’ Club a World War I concert will be performed at 1.30pm with Dannevirke Brass Band, El’s Belles and other artists.
■ In Woodville four books about the last Battle of Lequesnoy were presented to Woodville School, and two each to Papatawa School and Kumeroa School. Three army Pinzgauers with the Royal New Zealand Army 2nd Workshop Company made visits to the schools lastFriday: Papatawa at 9.15am, Kumeroa 10.30am and Woodville at 11.45am.
A Civic Service will be held at 10.50am in Fountaine Square on November 11 with seating being provided and wreaths to be laid. Woodville School pupils have made 87 poppies to be tied to posts — to represent each of the fallen soldiers from Woodville who lost their lives in battle — and 100 year Armistice Day souvenir poppies will on sale. Doves will be released at the conclusion of the service.
A World War I display will be held at the Woodville Museum, open from 10am-4pm. Around 130 invited guests (over 70s both present and former Woodville residents) will be having lunch in the Woodville Stadium, arranged by Woodville Districts Vision.
A Memories Concert will be held at the Anglican Church at 1.30pm followed by afternoon tea.
■ In Eketahuna Royal New Zealand Army 10th Transport Company will be sending 10 soldiers to commemorate the 100th year of Armistice Day celebrations along with Eketahuna fire brigade members, police and ambulance officers. Tararua District Council will be represented. Members of the public are invited to attend, assembly prior to 11am on November 11.
■ In Pahiatua a mystery trip will be held on Saturday, November 10 for returned servicemen’s spouses, including a visit to Pahiatua’s RSA Cemetery. High tea will be held on return at the Union Church.
On November 11 a service will be held at Pahiatua’s Cenotaph to mark the 100th anniversary of Armistice Day celebrations, with assembly at 10.45am.
July 19-21, 1919
Once the ‘peace’ was signed, the Government declared that peace celebrations would be held in towns throughout New Zealand on July 19, with a combined thanksgiving service the following day.
In Woodville celebrations were organised by the Patriotic Society.
On July 19, schoolchildren assembled at the school at 11.30am and given a feast. The main procession began at 12.30pm from the Post Office. All children were dressed the colours of the Allies and bore the national flags.
While the procession was in Vogel St, the fire bell was solemnly tolled and the procession halted for five minutes, everyone standing with bowed head in memory of the fallen.
During the addresses to the crowd it was proclaimed: “All should do their best to smooth the lot of the returned men.”
At 4.30pm there was a free picture show for the children. At 8pm there was a concert at the Alexandra Hall or a dance at the Foresters Hall for those who could not get in to the concert.
On Sunday a United Thanksgiving Service was held in the Drill Hall at 2.30pm. On Monday there was a welcome home for returned soldiers at the Drill Hall, and later a social and dance at 8pm. A chain of bonfires lit the hills from Wellington to Napier, with Woodville lighting fires on Hall Block, Chapel Hill and Hardings Hill.
Woodville Fire Brigade engine decorated for the 1919 celebrations.
Celebrating peace in Woodville, 1919.
Woodville’s Vogel St decorated for Peace Celebrations in 1919.