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Victory, peace and port - the untold story of the Armistice

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Victory, peace and port - the untold story of the Armistice

Peace celebrations (WORK 21-74)

Peace celebrations (WORK 21-74)

11 November 2008

As Britain marks the 90th anniversary of the First World War Armistice, The National Archives brings to life a fascinating, unofficial account of the negotiations that ended the Great War.

From the bottle of port and biscuits produced upon the signing of the armistice agreement, to the shouts of "La Victoire! La Victoire!" on the streets of Paris, this first-hand account gives a detailed insight behind the scenes of one of the most important meetings in history.

As of 11 November, Commander Walter Theodore Bagot's words will be available for a worldwide audience to hear online as part of The National Archives' season of First World War podcasts - Voices of the Armistice.

Commander Bagot was a qualified German interpreter who accompanied the British negotiating team to France in November 1918. While he may not have been a key player at the talks, Commander Bagot's first hand account of events puts the listener right in the middle of the action.

Born in Chiswick, Commander Bagot joined the Royal Navy in 1900 and spent most of the First World War with Naval Intelligence.

His account begins with the British delegates' arrival in France on 7 November 1918, ready to be taken to the train of the Allied Supreme Commander, Marshal Ferdinand Foch, which was to be the modest venue for the talks. It continues in great detail, covering the intense discussions as the two sides try to come to an agreement. The account ends with the final signing of the document at 5am on 11 November, and the final departure of the British delegation.

The Voices of the Armistice series includes other fascinating podcasts, including private soldiers' war diaries, letters and cards. New podcasts, including extracts from the Treaty of Versailles, will be added online up until 21 November.

The National Archives has a huge collection of records dealing with Britain's military history. Details of the records held, which include individual service records and medal rolls, can be found on our Military History pages, along with details on how to carry out research.

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