At 5am Paris time on 11 November 1918, representatives of France, Germany and Britain met in a railway carriage parked in a French forest and signed the Armistice that ended World War I. It followed a difficult year for both sides, in which German military leaders came to believe they could not win the war. The cease-fire came into effect along the entire Western Front six hours later, at 11am.
As the guns fell silent and the news broke, rejoicing erupted from Paris and London to the cities and towns of Australia. The reaction was understandable. After more than four years of bloody conflict and countless casualties, the war was at an end. But for many Australians the effects of World War I remained with them for the rest of their lives.
In 2009 the National Archives created the touring exhibition Shell-shocked: Australia after Armistice. View the tour schedule, buy the catalogue from our online shop or download the education kit below. A sample of documents and photographs from the exhibition are showcased here. Click on an image to view the enlargement.
See other features in the project Shell-shocked: Australia after Armistice.