Home Society Armistice Day, 1918, Day of Remembrance

Armistice Day, 1918, Day of Remembrance


Waffenstillstand_gr (1)2

by Mary W Maxwell

Imagine it. On “the eleventh of the eleventh at eleven o’clock,” the nations that had fought in the first ‘world war’ signed the armistice. Shown in the picture, standing, is Marshal Foch in French uniform. Across from him is Matthias Erzberger, head of the German delegation. To Foch’s right hand is the British Rear-Admiral George Hope.

In 2014, just 96 years after that eleven-eleven meeting, two disgruntled Scotsmen came out with the real story of World War I in their book Hidden History. I say ‘disgruntled’ in that they had long since learned that what we were all taught in school — that the shooting of the Archduke Ferdinand was the cause of the outbreak of war – is a crock from start to finish.

Earl Grey, Viscount of Something or Other, said “The lamps are going out all over Europe; we shall not see them lit again in our lifetime.” Luckily we have now seen them lit again, right there on the desk of scholars Docherty (a teacher) and Macgregor (a physician). The person they blame the most for the war is none other than Earl Grey, Viscount of Something or Other.

On August 3, 1914 he more or less singlehandedly informed the House of Commons that the show was on. A discussion followed which, Docherty and Macgregor say, the government tried to curtail.

The rank and file Liberal and Labour members stood their ground. They desperately insisted on an immediate debate. Percy Molteno, the Liberal MP for Dumfriesshire, was first on his feet to lament the lies that had passed as assurances from his own government over the years.

“They have brought us to the brink of disaster without our knowing, and without our being warned. I say that at the last moment, they should give the people of this country a chance to decide. This is a continuation of that old and disastrous system where a few men in charge of the State, wielding the whole force of the State, make secret engagements carefully veiled from the knowledge of the people, who are as dumb driven cattle without a voice on the question.” (page 342-5)

Wouldn’t it be nice if that last sentence had been carved in stone and set where everyone could see it – including in Parliament House, Canberra?

The authors note:

Another Liberal, W. Llewellyn Williams, accused Sir Edward Grey of disguising his motives and falsely arousing war fever: “If you had asked any man in this country, whatever his politics, whether he would calmly contemplate the entrance of his country into this quarrel, he would have said No.

As each and every contributor attacked government policy, challenged every step, asked more and more telling questions, it became ever more evident that there was a very strong body of articulate opinion ranged against Sir Edward Grey.

At which point, Arthur Balfour (1848-1930) rose menacingly. He had heard enough. Balfour derided their objections as the “very dregs and lees of the debate, in no way representing the various views of the Members of the House.” With consummate arrogance [he said] what they were engaged in was a ‘relatively impotent and evil debate’.

Fancy that.

Docherty/Macgregor emphasize the role of Lord Grey and Lord Esher, and the young Winston Churchill. Surprisingly they pin a lot on the king. Queen Victoria’s son had been known as Bertie the playboy. He reigned as Edward VII from 1901 to 1910. These authors show that his playboy image covered up the fact that he worked hard to plot World War I. They also say that “Natty” Rothschild supported the king’s gambling addiction.

The authors remark on the significance of the Order of Bath, but I surmise that a greater role is played by the Most Noble Order of the Garter, which began in 1348. It always includes the sovereign of Britain as its head plus a select few others. In the last 20 years there has been a new category of members: Stranger Knights and Ladies, bringing in the royalty of Sweden, Netherlands, and Japan.

The motto of the Garter is “Honi soit qui mal y pense” – roughly:

“Don’t you dare say what we do is evil.”

Some bishops are members of the Garter. What does that tell you? A former chief justice of Australia is there, too, Sir Ninian Stephen.

Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall are visiting Australia this week and on Remembrance Day they will lay a wreath at the Australian War Memorial in Canberra. They will meet Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull. I wish they would all sit down and have a nice, calm talk about how best to prepare the world for the next generation. Stewardship sort of thing.

charles camilaPrince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall

Note: I am sorry to be the one always throwing a wet blanket on everything. But I know we could do a lot better than we are doing. Facing up to errors of the past is a big step to fixing up the future.

Since today is Remembrance Day, we may as well make an effort to remember.

–Mary W Maxwell lives in Adelaide. Her PhD is in Politics.


  1. Armistice Day evolved into Rememberence Day

    Armistice… A state of peace agreed to between opponents so they can discuss peace terms.. and it has somehow evolved into a glorification of those in uniform, regardless of the morality, or honesty, of the reasons they went to war.

    while we are at it, we may as well remember the lies that have dragged us into todays illegal war mongering too..


    so much for the war to end all wars, seems we just can not get enough.. on and on and on it goes.. all based on lies.

    and just how should we remember those that might die over there, when they have chosen freely to go fight, willfully ignorantly, blindly patrioticly, or mindlessly stupidly, to attack those that never posed a threat to anyone? should we thank them for their service? bow our heads in silent respect? a hundred years ago, it would have been much easier for those in power to hide the truth, there is no excuse today, they surely can not say they didnt know..

    I find it hard to hold in my contempt, and disgust and ill wishes on them and their families for generations to come for their unconscionable, shameful actions.

    bring on the wet blankets i say, the best way to truly honour those, if that is what one wants to do, would be to stop this shit once and for all, stop brainwashing the kids and wearing stupid poppies.. tell the truth and stop the murdering.

      • Dear Fair,
        I find it fascinating that in my whole life I have never heard anyone put the argument that you have put.
        Goes to show you how our brains preclude certain ideas from cropping up!
        I agree with you, and Ned, that bad wars are bad. Still, Old Mrs Wetblanket here does not espouse pacifism. I think there is a place for group protection. (I even want men to protect women, however politically incorrect that may sound.)
        Maybe Gumshoe should devote a fresh article to this subject.
        I shrink from developing another Thrilla in Manila in the Comments. (Nothing wrong with Thrillas, this is just personal – I’m exhausted from my Thrilla in Isrilla last night!)
        Thanks for your fairness. Please keep enlightening us.

        • to be honest, i have only just mustered up the courage to come back here and see what kind of respose there was to my rant, i was fearful of causing offence.. i dont like to start rumbles in the jungle either ( not on your website anyway ) , nor particularly upset anyof your readers, but unless i can get it out, it eats away at me. thanks for the opportunity and the understanding.

          mary, my comments were not complete, and not being as lucid a writer as you, i often miss out things i want to say, and be utterly superfluous at other times.. if i can try be succinct now..

          albert jacks.. the epitome of bravery, i bet he was as much a gallant gentleman that there ever was.. and if anyone come to threaten me or mine, i suppose, all my pacifism would go flying out the window, i guess it is all a matter of time and place.

          i dont doubt the bravery of the defense force, people that put on a uniform .. to protect the rest of us.. it is just, that it is not like that..

          they are fighting, and dying, and killing, for lies.. and doing no service to their countrymen, their country, or themselves.


          whatever way there is to expose the truth, that will get through to people, i dont know, but gumshoe news is about the only honest aussie website i know of, that is up for the fight,

          you Ladies desreve comendations for courage, tenacity, excellence, above and beyond. you are fighting the good fight.

          • First of all, thanks. There are other websites that I make comments on, to which I never dare go back to see the results.

            Recently I went to a campus intending to visit some academic journalists, bearing pretty copies of Gumshoe’s book. When i got as far as the door i totally chickenened out. Trudged home.

            Just sayin’.

            Re the lies of war. A few minutes ago I clicked on the Amazon reviews of a book by Thomas Barnett. I had read his 2004 book and freaked out. The 2009 book is way worse, but all the reviews make it sound good. If the reviewers were to use straight languge they would be saying “We love genocide — beautiful, beautiful genocide.”

            i hadn’t realized things had got so bad.

            Hang in there, Fair. And please see my new article tonight re “Zionism.”

  2. Look up the words of the speech by Major General Smedly Butler from about 1933 ‘ War is a Racket’ on u tube.
    Also go over to http://www whatreallyhappened.com and view Mike Rivero’s revised video: ‘All wars are banker’s wars’.
    Both videos should be compulsory to watch by every politician in the country and every student from year 10.
    Both videos should be broadcast on the eves of ANZAC day and rememberance day.

  3. Mary, this is an important book. I think, with great respect, that you miss the main point. Docherty and McGregor document very carefully that planning for the war began in the 1890s because Britain realised that Germany would continue its rise as an industrial power and challenge Britain’s position as the major power in Europe, buttressed as it was by colonial possessions around the world (a source of cheap resources). The way to stop or slow the German advance was by war.
    The second important lesson I drew from the book is that all of the planning took place between a very limited number of members, the so-called secret elite. They included in their number people who could influence both the debate (newspaper proprietors) but also select members of the aristocracy, the military and the senior public service.
    There are modern parallels. Peter Dale Scott has written extensively on the ‘Deep State’. They are a modern variation on Eisenhower’s military industrial complex (1961) to which one should add the intelligence complex. Together they drive US foreign policy. I suspect that most of the major countries have a comparable group of individuals who dictate policy.
    One inference to draw is that what we are pleased to call ‘democracy’ is a sham, where the people are given the illusion of choice, but the policy outcomes are always the same.

    • I grant you are right that the ‘pre-empt Germany’ case was made in the Docherty book. Similarly, but later, the US’s Treasury man, Henry Morgenthau wanted to cut Germany down, and the US took ruthless measures to do that.
      Yet yours truly thinks it was something else that inspired the “Viscounts”. I can’t state it here. I’ve gone all shy. (What!)
      imagine if Germany were great and happy. What if ANY poeple proved to be happy, even the Papuans.

      “We can’t have that.”
      Nuf said.

    • The pressing question is what philosophy, what belief system, what point of view, what conception of reality brings forth the collectivist result that James describes?

      The purpose of communities and humans in association is directed towards the ends of a self selected tiny minority who by their fruits self evidently claim self supremacy in choosing purpose above the conscious will of the masses who are manipulated.
      This driving principle is their will to power and their policy is monopoly in every aspect of human affairs.

      This self chosen ruling class have very obviously discovered and applied techniques of association that deliver concentrated power by methods that generate a multitude of complimenting narratives and agencies that are designed and operated with an appearance that masks the reality.
      A key aspect of their technique, as James stated, is the magician like ability to perform their feats of illusion before the public space craftily disguised to gain tolerated cooperation.

      This conspiracy against the fully conscious right of all individuals genuine freedom to choose purpose and priorities in life is defeated by exposing the evil intent and flawed morality/results in the supremacy belief system and policies, combined with discovering, formulating and working towards the implementation of the correct beliefs regarding our purpose, correct behavior consistent with those beliefs, and the correct social and economic policies that can be conceived to release our prosperous stable freedom potential.

      The practical realities of this task and all the components and elements are filled with many integrating complexities but they can all be interrogated and stated with reasonable clarity assuming the belief that in the essence of reality power rests with individual freedom not beyond the individual.
      The individual is subject only to the authority of human nature and the physical nature we exist within. It is the disciplines imposed upon us by the absolutes of the realities of these natural laws that reveal to us the equations, principles, morals, values and all their relations that allow us to formulate and state the fixed principles of human beings in association that work best over time.

      The truth of a thing can be ignored, it can be confused, it can be transgressed, but in the wisdom of time it cannot be escaped and the experienced satisfaction over time of the results of any thing is the truth of that thing.

      All of our troubles in the world derive from denying this absolute authority in the warp and woof of the universe and all of our solutions and opportunity for maximizing the efficiency of our humanity lie in growing our understanding of this very personal relation to an authority separate from us, but still within our being.

      That is my philosophy, my point of view, my motivating conception of reality.

      It is totally incompatible with any belief system based on ideas of the supremacy of some humans over others.

  4. From a wonderful book that is a free download, “Inside the Paris Peace Conference,” by Emile Dillon (who was present in 1921):

    “At the new Palace Theater, Paris, last night…. President Wilson, Mr. A.J. Balfour, and Lord Derby all remained until the fall of the curtain at 12.15 … and … were given cordial cheers.

    “Juxtaposed with the grief, discontent, and physical hardships prevailing among large sections of the population which had provided most of the holocausts for the Moloch of War, the ostentatious gaiety of the prosperous few might well seem a challenge. …
    “When the masses stare at the wealthy with the eyes one so often noticed during the eventful days of the armistice one may safely conclude, in the words of Victor Hugo, that “it is not thoughts that are harbored by those brains; it is events.”

C'mon Leave a Reply, Debate and Add to the Discussion