The end of the First World War was a moment imprinted on the lives of an entire generation. I Was There: Room of Voices at IWM London featured the personal reflections of 32 people who experienced it - from those who celebrated the end of four difficult years to those for whom the end of the conflict was a solemn occasion.

Explore the stories behind the voices and listen to recordings from the IWM Sound Archive by clicking on the links below. You can also visit Lives of the First World War to discover more. 

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  • Portrait of Dolly Shepherd Q 98454
    Dolly Shepherd

    Civilian balloonist and parachutist, Volunteer with Women's Emergency Corps and Women's Volunteer Reserve in London area 1914-1917. Driver mechanic with Women's Auxiliary Army Corps at Queen Mary's Camp, Calais, France, 1917-1918.

    In France when Armistice declared. Age 31.

  • Lieutenant H. F. Phillips with the gun which fired the last shot on the American front.
    © US Government
    Sidney Woodcock

    Served as a Holt Tractor driver with Mechanical Transport Section; Army Service Corps attached to Siege Batteries of Royal Artillery in GB and on Western Front, 1915-1918.

    In France when Armistice declared. Age 25.

     

  • Song sheet for 'When the war is over mother dear'
    © The Star Music Publishing Co. Ltd, 1915
    Ivor Watkins

    Swansea born NCO, served with 15th, 2nd and 6th Bns, Welch Regt on Western Front and Germany, 1917-1919.

    At Sambre-Oise Canal, France when Armistice declared. Age 20.

     

     

  • oluntary Aid Detachment, Order of St John (VAD) nurses and convalescents in a ward in the Duchess of Westminster's (No.1 Red Cross) Hospital at Le Touquet (Le-Touquet-Paris-Plage), 18th June 1917.
    Ethel McCann

    Nurse, served with Red Cross Voluntary Aid Detachment in Camiers, France, 1915-1919.

    At VAD hospital in Camiers, France, when Armistice declared.

     

  • Western end of road across the Mormal Forest to Jolimetz, 1920.
    Harold Bashford

    NCO served with Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire Regt in GB and on Western Front, 1916-1918.

    In Mormal Forest, France, when Armistice declared. Age 21.

     

  • British dead waiting to be buried at the Windmill British Cemetery, near Monchy-le-Preux
    George Archer

    Served with 15th Bn Durham Light Infantry on Western Front, 1917-1918.

    At Engelfontaine, France when Armistice declared. Age 19.

     

  • The "Cease Fire", Artists' Rifles, 11th November 1918. © IWM (Q 42481)
    Victor Lansdown

    Served with 16th Bn Welch Regt in GB and on Western Front, 1915-1916; NCO served as driver of water carts with Army Service Corps on Western Front, 1917-1918.

    In France when Armistice declared.

     

  • Schneiders Garment Factory, Durward Street, Stepney, London, c. 1917. © Museum of London
    © Museum of London
    Jane Cox

    London born Civilian who worked at Schneiders Garment Factory in Mile End, London, 1914-1919.

    In London when Armistice declared. Age 18.

     

  • Street party in Hull, 1918. © Streetlife Museum of Transport, Hull, UK / Bridgeman Images
    © Streetlife Museum of Transport, Hull, UK / Bridgeman Images
    Clara Thompson

    Schoolchild in Hull, GB, 1914-1918; nurse with Hull Royal Infirmary, Swansea General Hospital and Dewsbury Hospital, GB, 1939-1945.

    In Hull when Armistice declared. Age 13.

  • © IWM (Q 65858). A group of happy girls in an American automobile in London on the day the Armistice was signed, 11 November 1918
    © US Government
    Eileen Larkin

    Schoolchild in Bushey, Hertfordshire, 1914-1918.

    In Trafalgar Square, London, on Armistice Day. Age 10.

     

  • Captain A W L Paget MC and Second Lieutenant P R J Barry MC of the 1st Battalion Irish Guards reading news of the Armistice to their men at Maubeuge, 12 November 1918.
    Frederick Plimmer

    Served with 17th Machine Gun Coy, Machine Gun Corps on Western Front, 2-11/1918.

    In Bavai, France when Armistice declared. Age 20.

     

  • © IWM (Q 9576). French civilians feting British soldiers in the Grande Place of Lille, 18 October 1918.
    George Lineker

    Served with 2/5th Bn Warwickshire Regt and 2/5th Bn Lancashire Fusiliers on Western Front, 1916-1918.

    In Maubeuge, France when Armistice declared. Age 22.

     

  • Helen Bowen Pease 821 TS
    Helen Pease

    Civilian pacifist organised women's trade unions in GB, 1910-1922.

    In Newcastle-under-Lyme when Armistice declared. Age 23.

  • Oddicombe Beach, Torquay. Postcard - Excel Series 6572.1
    Excel Series
    Rosemary Powell

    Schoolchild in London and Torquay, 1915-1921.

    In Torquay when Armistice declared. Age 3 years.

     

     

  • Church Parade, Scarborough. Postcard 6572.2 The 'Milton' series, Woolstone Bros. (London)
    Woolstone Bros. (London)
    Sydney Smith

    Civilian in Scarborough, Yorkshire, 1914-1918.

    In Scarborough when Armistice declared. Age 9.

     

  • Wilfred Ernest Littleboy 485 PH
    Wilfred Littleboy

    Civilian absolutist conscientious objector imprisoned in Warwick Barracks, Wormwood Scrubs and Dorchester Prisons, 1917-1919.

    In Wormwood Scrubs Prison, London, when Armistice declared. Age 33.

  • British soldiers loaded with kit, as they arrive at Victoria Station, London, at the start of a period of leave. © IWM (Q 30505)
    Norman Booth

    NCO served with 1/7th Bn Duke of Wellington's (West Riding) Regt in GB and on Western Front, 1914-1918.

    On leave in Huddersfield, Yorkshire, when Armistice declared. Age 22.

  • Telegram informing next of kin of the death of Captain E R Cooke, Irish Fusiliers, killed in action, 26 April 1916. Q-111597
    Dorothy Lester

    Schoolchild in London, 1914-1918.

    In London when Armistice declared. Age 11.

     

  • Ernest Charles Kelway Argall 18725 PH
    Ernest Argall

    Sapper served as signaller with Royal Engineers on Western Front, 1918.

    In Cornwall when Armistice declared. Age 19. 

  • Caroline Rennles 566 TS
    Caroline Rennles

    Civilian munitions worker at Slade Green and Woolwich Arsenal, London, 1914-1918.

    In London when Armistice declared. Age 19.

  • Canteen at Telton POW camp, Germany
    George Douglass

    Served with 15th Bn Durham Light Infantry on Western Front, 1918; POW in Belgium and Germany, 1918.

    POW in Germany when Armistice declared. Age 19.

     

  • IWM NTB 320-2 (Film) Still frame at 00:51. Ex-servicemen receiving their discharge papers.
    Edwin Bigwood

    Served with 7th Bn Worcestershire Regt in GB and on Western Front, 1916-1917.

    In Bristol when Armistice declared. Age 21.

     

  • IWM 457 (Film) still frame at 05:11. Ex-servicemen in their demob suits.
    Rose Kerrigan

    Civilian involved in anti-war movements in GB during First and Second World Wars.

    Working in father’s tailoring shop in Glasgow when Armistice declared. Age 15.

  • IWM 486 (Film) still frame at 01:11. Demobilised soldiers being issued with civilian clothes
    William Holbrook

    Served with 4th Bn Royal Fusiliers in GB, on Western Front and in Germany, 1909-1919.

    In Germany when Armistice declared. Age 26.

     

  • Victor Stanley Kerridge 18836 PH
    Victor Kerridge

    Served with 14th Bn London Regt (London Scottish) in GB, 1914-1916; 1st Bn Gordon Highlanders on Western Front, 1916-1918. 

    Near Boulogne, France when Armistice declared. Age 20.

  • Unemployment Insurance Stamps. Documents.5250 (MISC 144/2251)
    William Gillman

    Served with 2/4th and 2/2nd Bns, London Regiment (Royal Fusiliers) on Western Front, 1918.

    In Belgium when Armistice declared. Age 19.

     

  • Ruby Ord 44 TS
    Ruby Ord

    Clerk, served with Woman’s Army Auxiliary Corps and Queen Mary’s Auxiliary Corps in GB and France, 1917-1919.

    In Calais, France when Armistice declared. Age 22.

  • Harold Boughton 8667 TS
    Harold Boughton

    Served with 2/1st Bn City of London Regt in GB, Malta, Gallipoli, Egypt and on Western Front, 1914-1916.

    At Royal Defence Corps POW Camp, Leigh, Lancashire when Armistice declared. Age 23.

  • Nurses including members of the Voluntary Aid Detachment (VADs) and blind soldiers at St Dunstan's Hospital for the Blind, First World War. Q106201
    William Wood

    Officer served with Machine Gun Corps in GB, Palestine and on Western Front, 1916-1918.

    In Huddersfield when Armistice declared. Age 21.

     

  • Making an artificial leg for a wounded serviceman at Roehampton Hospital in Surrey.
    © IWM Q 33687
    William Towers

    Gunner, served with B Battery, 245 Bde, Royal Field Artillery in GB and on Western Front, 1914-1917. Leg amputated, 1917.

    In Leeds when Armistice declared. Age 22.

  • The Supreme Sacrifice (O Valiant Hearts) © Copyright 1962 Novello & Company Limited.
    © Copyright 1962 Novello & Company Limited. All Rights Reserved. Used by permission of Hal Leonard Europe Limited.
    Ariel Crittall

    British civilian artist in Ugley, Essex, 1914-1918.

    In Ugley, Essex, when Armistice declared. Age 4.   

  • St Andrew's Parish Church, Backwell, Somerset. The Nave (original photo in colour)
    © Cornish Churches Photography Project
    Vera Waite

    British schoolchild in village of Backwell near Bristol, 1904-1919

    In Blackwell when Armistice declared. Age 14.

     

Related content

Service men piled up on a car during Armistice celebrations in Birmingham, 1918.
Armistice celebrations in Birmingham, 1918 IWM (Q 63690)
I Was There: Behind the Voices
Explore the stories of the people and events featured in I Was There: Room of Voices at IWM London.