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Dundee was far ahead of London in learning that the armistice had been signed at five o’clock on Monday morning. Before the workers left the mills and factories at breakfast time the joyful tidings had been signalled, and were radiating throughout the city. At once women left the spinning frames and the looms, workmen downed tools, and there was a general trek to the centre of the city.
Towards noon the Lord Provost announced to a dense crowd assembled in front of the town hall the fact that the armistice had been signed, an announcement which called forth round upon round of enthusiastic cheers. Cheers were given for Sir Douglas Haig and the troops, and the National Anthem was sung.
The young folks and large numbers of citizens of all ranks had secured flags, and the streets became gay with Union Jacks, Scottish Standard, Stars and Stripes and flags of the Allies. From the Old Steeple the flags of all the Allied national fluttered, and the bells rang out peels of victory. Bluejackets, soldiers, students and girls joined in dances here, there, and everywhere. The cars and vehicles of all descriptions were crowded with flag-bearers and beaters of everything that served as tom-tom.
The behaviour of the crowds during the day was admirable throughout. There was realisation of all that the war had cost and of the tragic memories of many. The public houses opened at noon, but did not remain open, as stocks were low, and the license-holders deemed it best to close and to remain closed. In the evening places of amusement blazed forth their electric illuminations, rockets blazed, and burst squibs and crackers flew about, and impromptu torchlight processions paraded the streets. The flotilla of patrol boats in the river made a great display of searchlights and rockets, and the sirens sounded telling and triumphant shrieks.
We are hastening with giant strides to the end of the Great War. Germany is in the inexorable grip of circumstances, and the decision by her rulers have ceased to be important, save to themselves. They have a choice between accepting whatever terms of surrender the Allies care to demand and accepting defeat which will be crushing and will bring in its train all the horrors of a revolution in Germany. The forward movement which has brought the Americans into Sedan has effectually broken the German armies in two. The hammer blows of the French and British, especially on the centre of the northern mass, are producing demoralisation which will almost certainly develop. In the German press even a week ago various military writers were discoursing with a despairing vigour on the necessity of going on with the war rather than submitting to humiliating terms. Humiliating term they described as any which would take from Germany the power of continuing the war. When the armistice is signed it will be the representatives of an army which is defeated and incapable of continuing the war.
The events now reported from Kiel and the other Baltic seaports and from Hamburg happen in circumstances which give the highest probability to the accounts of them, and are accompanied by explanations which harmonise with information which reached ourselves several days ago. An extensive mutiny has taken place at Kiel, and the great German naval port is in the hands of revolutionary sailors, who have control both of the war vessels and of the fortifications. Soldiers of the garrison have apparently joined with the sailors, and infantry sent to quell the revolt joined the rebels. The prompting cause of the revolt is said to be knowledge on the part of the sailors that their commanders were hostile to the peace plans of the government and intended in some way to use the navy to continue the war. The all-significant thing it that the mutiny has not been put down, and that the German Government, instead of taking the way natural to it – ruthless suppression of indiscipline – is actually using the Socialist leaders as emissaries and go-betweens. It means that Germany has no longer at her disposal the instruments for suppression of indiscipline in the old manner.
The bearing on the armistice question of the Kiel and other outbreaks is obvious. While the hard-bitten militarists would go on fighting and go down fighting rather than accept humiliating terms, the rank and file will no longer fight with them on points of pride. If the Navy is ready to revolt rather than continue the war, we may assume with confidence that the rank and file of an army exhausted, and bleeding from a long series of defeats, are no more willing to be the tools of militarist vanity. On this ground alone we should say that the act of asking for conditions of armistice has become for the German Government very much the same thing as accepting any conditions that may be imposed. Whether acceptance of the conditions will avert revolution is a question for the future. Some at any rate, of the elements of revolution exist in abundance.
The Prime Minister has given his consent to the suggestion, now that the war is over, that all discharged and wounded men shall be given a gratuity. A telegram to that effect from Mr G.N. Barnes was read at an entertainment in London to wounded officers and men, and details of the scheme are to be issued shortly. The gratuity, it is stated, will be a lump sum, not an annuity. There is also a proposal to add a further war bonus to the pensions of men discharged for wounds or disablement.
What a week of it we have had and we have not yet got our rejoicing over. Well, the occasion was worthy of celebration in right royal stay, and nobody can say that we did not rise to it. After all, as an Irish friend said to me “The greatest event in history does not happen every day”.
Was there every before so much red, white and blue ribbon sold? The shops must have had a big stock, for practically every man, woman and child in the place, not to mention the cats, dogs and horse had a gay bow. In one of the big shops this ribbon was on sale at every counter, and even at that the customers where standing six deep!
In view of the Armistice and the consequent Return of our Prisoners, the Central Prisoners of War Committee has issued an order to us to cease the dispatch of parcels to individual prisoners.
The Dundee Prisoners of War Help Committee, therefore, will not require any further financial aid.
They desire to offer there sincere thanks to the Public for the continued help they have provided for over three years, and especially to the Mills, Factories, Foundries, Shipbuilding Yards and other Business Houses, which, through the generosity of their Proprietors and Employees, greatly assisted in meeting the cost of sending parcels of food to local prisoners.
All parties have claims against the committee are requested to lodge them forthwith.
Nov. 19th, 1918.
Dundee Parliamentary Election
The Right Hon.
Winston S. Churchill,
Minister of Munitions,
Will address the electors
In the Kinnaird Hall,
On Tuesday, 26th November 1918,
At 8 o’clock p.m.
Doors open 7 o’clock p.m.
A good way of economising on stove polish, and incidentally on “elbow grease”, as far less labour is needed to obtain a good polish, is to mix the past with dry soap powder. Any sort of soap powder answers the purpose, and the shine obtained if far better than the polish alone gives.
Splendid opportunity for lads of 15 to 17½ years for important
Particulars of Special Classes
Fees &c., on application to:-
The North British Wireless Schools Ltd
11, Nethergate, Dundee.
Pte R. Wilkie, M.M., Border Regiment, whose home is at 8, Rosebank Street, has distinguished himself once more on the battlefield, and earned the appreciation of the General Commanding his division.
The act of bravery was that he volunteered to go into action as stretcher-bearer although excused all duty owning to an accident to his eye. Throughout the operations he showed great gallantry.
The General says: - “I congratulate you upon your performance, and thank you for the credit you have brought to this division.”
Eight “turns” of high-class vaudeville are on the programme for the King’s Theatre next week. The leading item will be provided by Will Van Allen, a comedian with a musical bent, and the other artistes will be Tom D. Newell, in feminine character studies and burlesque dances; Paul Stephens, in an American novelty; Olive Wright, mezzo-soprano, for the Queen’s Hall, London and late principal of Sir Thomas Beecham’s Opera Company; Mark Anthony, in “jokes and jingles”; Violet Levy, comedienne and Frank Keith, the new light comedy star.