The first war of the Industrial Age, the war that should have ended all wars, ended at the 11th Hour of the 11th Day of the 11th Month. At precisely two minutes to 11h00, Private George Lawrence Price 256265 of the 28th North West Battalion, 6th Canadian Infantry Brigade, 2nd Canadian Division was shot, and killed, by a sniper.
What went through that sniper’s mind at 10h58? The end of the war was planned. The Kaiser went into exile on the 9th. The humiliation of Versailles was still to come in 1919. Europe lay exhausted and horrified. 40 million were dead. A further 20 – 40 million died in the influenza epidemic that followed returning soldiers home.
Nothing shows the ignominy, horror, futility and waste of war so much as that moment at two minutes to the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month.
They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years contemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.