Sunday, 12 June 2011

Victory Day WWI

The Daily Mirror dated Monday July 21st 1919

The First World War is sometimes referred to as the 1914-18 War, sometimes the 1914-19 War and even the 1914-20 War. The killing officially ended on the 11th November 1918, Armistice Day. The War officially ended on 28th June 1919 when the Versailles Peace Treaty was signed, but the treaty didn’t come into force until 1st January 1920.

Meanwhile the British Government under Lloyd George decided a Victory Day was needed to provide ‘closure’ – 19th July 1919 was selected. A huge Victory parade was held in London and Victory celebrations were held throughout the Kingdom.  The London Parade centred on the Cenotaph (or Empty Tomb) Memorial designed by Edwin Lutyens. The Cenotaph used on the day was actually a wood and plaster mock-up which was replaced by the permanent Portland stone structure seen today.

“Jazzing”?!?   By Jove, Sir, didn’t we just fight a War to stop that sort of thing?

Not everyone was happy about the Victory Day celebrations. Many ex-soldiers were out of work. Others just wanted to forget the horrors they'd been through. There were protests up and down the land and some ex-servicemen associations refused to take part. 

French boxer George Carpentier (1894-1975) was at various times Middleweight Champion of Europe, Light-heavyweight Champion of Europe and Heavyweight Champion of Europe.

The meeting with Jack Dempsey mentioned in the article finally took place on 2nd July 1921 in Jersey City USA in a bout for the Heavyweight Championship of the World. Carpentier was soundly beaten in 4 rounds that ended in a knockout.
He went on to appear in vaudeville as a song and dance man(!), he appeared in a few films and then spent the rest of his life running bars and restaurants in Paris.

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