News of returning soldiers

Finally, the success of the British blockade of German sea ports and the arrival of American troops began to turn the tide of the war and Germany and the Central Powers had to admit defeat, or at least agree to an armistice. The Armistice was signed on the 8th November and it was agreed that all fighting would end at 11.00am on 11th November 1918.

Many soldiers were killed and injured in the last few days of fighting, including local men such as William Coppock whose death from gunshot wounds was reported in the St Neots Advertiser for 15th November 1918. Others died from their wounds in the coming weeks and many were struck down with influenza which swept across the world at the end of the Great War killing many who had survived the fighting.

As men began to return from abroad they brought graphic stories with them, including some who had been prisoners of war, but many were unable to talk of the horrors they had experienced and never spoke of the war again.

St Neots Advertiser report, 15th November 1918

East Street, St Neots, about 1900

Charles Colbert of Offord Cluny, centre back row, 1915

St Neots Advertiser reports the death of Private Colbert, 13th December 1918

News of returning soldiers, St Neots Advertiser, 6th December 1918

Southoe with the church of St Leonard in the distance, about 1905

A report about Prisoners of War, St Neots Advertiser, 29th November 1918

Postcard of Italian Prisoners of War, 1917

Medicine advert from St neots Advertiser, 29th November 1918