ARMISTICE EVENTS

The Council are holding a number of events to commemorate the 100 years anniversary of the end of World War 1. They are also interested to know about other events that they can publicise as part of the programme of events. Details of how to get involved are below. If you would like me to send you the full current programme of events please email me barry.anderson@leeds.gov.uk

“As I am sure you are aware, almost 10,000 Leeds citizens were killed during the First World War, including George Edwin Ellison, the Leeds-born army private who was the last British soldier to die.  The streets of Leeds erupted in celebration at the news the war was over in 1918. Many men and some women were still mobilised and away from Leeds, so the responses to the Armistice were led by workers, many of them women, and by some university students, who made or bought flags to wave.

Local news organisations reported the Armistice with great enthusiasm, with the Yorkshire Evening Post writing: “The first effect of the news of the Armistice in Leeds was to empty the munitions factories and to fill the streets with crowds of women and girls and men in overalls singing and cheering and waving little flags. By noon the centre of the city was as crowded as during the promenade hours on Saturday and Sunday nights. Long queues were stood outside the shops where flags were sold.” 

Remarkably one of these original flags has recently come to light and has been acquired by Leeds Museums and Galleries. It is being used as the inspiration for work with local communities to produce textiles and banners on the theme of peace, which will be on display at the City Museum over the Armistice.

Co-ordinated by officers in the Culture and Sport service, we have in fact identified a programme of over 30 events taking place across Leeds to mark the centenary of the Armistice of 1918.

As well as services of civic remembrance at the war memorials in Victoria Gardens and elsewhere on 11 November, there will be a special display celebrating peace at Leeds City Museum as well as a number of concerts and performances taking place at Leeds Town Hall and elsewhere in collaboration with Opera North and Leeds Playhouse.   The web team is preparing a collective location for all the Armistice 100 events on What’s on Leeds, and this will be supported by a printed brochure containing the highlight events. A list of the events we are currently aware of is appended.

A call for information about local community events has been issued to the local media and also communicated to area teams. We would welcome support from you in identifying local activities we have not heard about.

If you are aware of other events I would be grateful if you could assist by sending details to  john.donegan@leeds.gov.uk with details including:

  • Date and time
  • Location
  • Details
  • Organisers
  • Contact (suitable for members of the public to use)
  • Price
  • Accessibility