How Pambula celebrated the Armistice

Pambula organised a War Chest Day Carnival in December 1918. The street parade featured, among other things, decorated motors and vehicles.
Pambula organised a War Chest Day Carnival in December 1918. The street parade featured, among other things, decorated motors and vehicles.

Extracts from the Pambula Voice in November 1918

On Monday night last the news was flashed throughout Australia the armistice had been signed by the German delegates, which means the unconditional surrender of the last of the allied enemies. On the news being posted on the Voice telegram board the citizens, young and old, big and little, took possession of the street, armed with every description of article that would make a noise.

The excitement was intense when the school children under the management of their teachers marched into the street, led by the Australian flag and a number of prominent ladies of the town each with a tin can and drum stick.

The band then joined in and for several hours the pandemonium was continued with intermittent selections by the band under the various business place. Everybody joined in the great demonstration. At 3pm the crowd met in the School of Arts when speeches and songs were delivered as a thanksgiving that the greatest war in the world’s history had been brought to an end after four years and three months of frightful carnage and slaughter and terrible anxious times for the mothers, sisters and daughters of those brave boys who went forth to fight for freedom and justice.

Welcome home parade in Bega for returning WWI servicemen.

Welcome home parade in Bega for returning WWI servicemen.

At night the School of Arts was crowded to excess when a free and easy social was held in favour of the returned soldiers’ fund, when about £15 was taken.

The celebrations were continued on Wednesday when a large crowd lined the main street.

In the afternoon the Kaiser was brought forth in a dray under the charge of Sgt F. P. Matthews, Mr. English acted as a clerk of the court while Mrs. Haywood occupied the judge’s seat with six ladies as a jury.

After several witnesses had come forth and tested to the criminal’s past atrocious deeds, the verdict was that he first be crowned, then quartered and burnt at the stake!

The judge stepped forth and in a clear voice announced: “You are the greatest danger/The world has ever met/I crown you with the “chamber”/Your deeds we’ll n’er forget.” He was then marched to the stake and burned to ashes, amidst a tumult of cheering and music.

At night a large crowd again attended at the School of Arts, when £7 was added to the Returned Soldiers Fund. For two days all business premises remained closed, even the pubs and everybody had a right royal time, which we think will never be forgotten by young and old.

(Pambula Voice, November 15, 1918)

How Nethercote celebrated the great war news

In a few hours about 90 persons gathered together in spite of inclement weather.

Rumours were afloat that the Nethercote Red Guards had unearthed the world’s greatest tyrant in a melon field.

They quickly summoned the court and tried him by court-martial and publicly hung him (he is still hanging) so now we can rest.

The occasion was further celebrated by cheering all the allies and especially our own gallant men, who of course made it possible for the war to end by winning it. Speeches, songs and recitations followed and all joined in singing the National Anthem.

(Pambula Voice, November 15, 1918)

Information courtesy of the George Family Collection

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