This war memorial says that the Great War (WW1) lasted from 1914 to 1919:

I was always taught the war was 1914 to 1918. Which 1919 event is this memorial referring to?

  • 8
    The fighting stopped Nov. 11, 1918, at 11:00 am. The war properly ended with the signing of the Versailles Treaty. Jun 21 '17 at 22:25
  • 1
    Just remembers me on the TV ad of the computer game world of warships last year, where they started to advertise it with the catch phrase "it is 1913 and the world war just started..." How that can make it into TV without anyone noticing that there is something wrong.... sigh
    – Zaibis
    Jun 22 '17 at 7:18

I would say the 1919 date references the signing of the treaty ending the war (emphasis mine) :

A formal state of war between the two sides persisted for another seven months, until the signing of the Treaty of Versailles with Germany on 28 June 1919.

Even though the actual fighting stopped in 1918:

On 11 November, at 5:00 am, an armistice with Germany was signed in a railroad carriage at Compiègne. At 11 am on 11 November 1918—"the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month"—a ceasefire came into effect.

This was, as noted a ceasefire, so the war did not 'officially' end until the signing of the Treaty of Versailles:

The Treaty of Versailles (French: Traité de Versailles) was the most important of the peace treaties that brought World War I to an end. The Treaty ended the state of war between Germany and the Allied Powers. It was signed on 28 June 1919, exactly five years after the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand


British troops continued to operate in north Russia through to early 1919 as an aftermath of the eastern front and Russian revolution. One of my ancestors died in February 1919 near Murmansk during these operations. Where local regiments were involved memorials often show the dates as 1914 to 1919.

  • 4
    Technically a separate war, against the nationality of a former ally under new rule, which continued into the 1920's. Oct 23 '18 at 20:25
  • indeed, that was the Russian civil war. There was also a short civil war in Germany following the end of WW1 as communists tried to stage a revolution there as well. Neither is part of WW1, though both are related to it historically (but then, so is WW2, and some scholars postulate that maybe both should be counted as a single war lasting from 1914 (if not earlier) to 1945 (if not later)).
    – jwenting
    Oct 24 '18 at 7:52

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