Why don't all war memorials say 1918
October 2, 2007 8:09 AM   Subscribe

Why do some war memorials (I've noticed dozens in West Yorkshire) say 1914-1919? I'm pretty sure the first world war ended in 1918...
posted by itsjustanalias to Society & Culture (8 answers total)
Because the Treat of Versailles was not signed until June 1919.
posted by greycap at 8:13 AM on October 2, 2007

Err... make that Treaty.
posted by greycap at 8:13 AM on October 2, 2007

It depends on how you define the dates. The ceasefire was in 1918, but the Treaty of Versailles was not signed until 1919. I would assume that some people who carve dates in stone are sticklers for the details and technically the war was still in force until 1919.
posted by Lame_username at 8:13 AM on October 2, 2007

Influenza epidemic killed millions. The UK deployed troops to Russia to fight the Red Menace.
posted by Ironmouth at 8:39 AM on October 2, 2007

I always assumed (assumed) that they include those poor sods who died of their wounds after the conflict ended.
posted by Jofus at 8:41 AM on October 2, 2007

Ironmouth has it, the Yorkshire regiment, the Green Howards, were deployed in North Russia fighting the new Bolshevik regime in 1919.
posted by Flitcraft at 8:50 AM on October 2, 2007

The Green Howards were indeed deployed in Russia in 1919 but this dating is common across the UK's war memorials, and in other contexts too (eg medals). It relates to the "official" ending of the war as opposed to the armistice of November 1918 - there are a couple of references to this scattered throughout the Q&A section of the site for the Centre for First World War Studies at the University of Birmingham.
posted by greycap at 9:10 AM on October 2, 2007

Funny, this exact same question was on BBC Radio 4's 'Making History' at 3pm BST on 2/10/07. The gist of the answers was the same too - the ending of the fighting (1918) v the legal end of the war (1919).
posted by muckybob at 11:39 PM on October 2, 2007

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