'War to end wars' is over

November 11. At the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month, the "war to end wars" came to a close with the signing of the Armistice.

Bridge in CologneThe year began disastrously for the Allies when a surprise German offensive in March - the "Kaiser's Battle" - tore into the unsuspecting British Fifth Army through a sea of fog and poison gas.

The German stormtroopers swept past the British positions. For a while it looked as though the war could yet be lost. But the British line held and the advancing Germans found they had left good defensive positions behind and their lines of communication began to break down. By May the Allies were striking back. In the last 100 days of the war, the old trench stalemate was forgotten. In a series of brilliant set-piece battles involving artillery, tanks, infantry and aircraft, the British Army swept back across France.

December 28. Women got the vote. Or at least some of them did. For the first time, women over 30 were entitled to vote - and to stand as candidates - in General Elections.

April 1. The Royal Air Force was born out of the amalgamation of the Royal Flying Corps and the Royal Naval Air Service. The merger was thought necessary to concentrate forces against the growing threat of air raids by German heavy bombers.

July 16. In an act of cold-bloodied barbarity, Russia's Bolsheviks murdered Tsar Nicholas II and his entire family.

July 1. Sex as the nation knew it would never be quite the same again. Dr Marie Stopes published her controversial book, Married Love, which suggested that there was more to sex than having babies. In order to get the most out of a relationship, she urged, ordinary people should have access to the latest contraceptive advice.


In brief

September 30.
A major War Exhibition opened in Wolverhampton. Exhibits included the VC won by flying ace Albert Ball and "a Hun helmet, adhering to the top of which is human hair."

October 10.
Dudley Prisoners of War Market Week, featuring stalls, sideshows and mock auctions, raised 3,500 in its first two days.

November 12.
Coseley Council decided to set up a memorial and get as many street lights as possible lit as quickly as possible.

November 23.
The Freedom of Wolverhampton was conferred on the Prime Minister, David Lloyd George, at the council chamber. Looking back on the war, Lloyd declared: "I knew we should win." (applause)