Peace has broken out.
Loading the player...
Peace has broken out - the road back of fifty years ago.
A radio programme produced by Jim Henderson to mark the 50th anniversary of the 1918 Armistice, in 1968.
It includes recollections of the Armistice announcement, the outbreak of the influenza epidemic and the problems facing returned soldiers adjusting to life back in New Zealand.
Archdeacon James Young of Nelson recalls hearing about the Armistice in a ruined farmhouse in northern France. There was very little show of excitement by the men. He explains the rage he felt at war on finding the body of a crippled peasant boy for whom the armistice had come too late.
In New Zealand, peace celebrations came amidst the outbreak of the influenza epidemic.
An unidentified woman describes collapsing at work.
A nurse describes being unable to get supplies or get influenza patients into hospital because of Armistice celebrations.
Another nurse, Isobel Haresnape recalls the excitement in Auckland streets, impromptu bands in the streets, people kissing and dancing and a holiday was declared. She still clearly recalls the influenza cases which came in that night, to Seddon Memorial Technical College which had been turned into a makeshift hospital. She describes the patients, who all died.
Edward Dowsett, a conscientious objector, recalls hearing about Amistice in Waikeria Prison, and singing in his cell.
John A. Lee was in London and recalls a drunken, hysterical mob running riot with bonfires in Trafalgar Square.
Song:' When This Cruel War is Over'
Major Fred Eustace of Tauranga enlisted in London and served as an engineer in the 1st Indian Army Corps in Mesopotamia. It took him twenty years to get back to New Zealand. He recalls being sent to fight Afghans in the North-West Frontier after World War I and bombing of Kabul. He then served in India until 1932 when he returned to New Zealand.
Excerpt read from Charles Carrington's book "Soldiers from the War Returning" about demobilisation.
Jim Forsyth of Christchurch remembers returning to his homeland, Scotland at the end of the war. They were treated as heroes for a brief while but then ex-servicemen began to be made unemployed as industry ground to a halt. He looked for work for a year and then saw passages to New Zealand for ex-servicemen and signed up, as he had like the New Zealanders he had served beside during the war.
New Zealand was unprepared for the masses of returning men.
Song: 'Johnny I hardly Knew Ye'
Advertisements aimed at returned soldiers are read.
Returning soldiers were disgusted to find hotels were now closing at 6pm.
J.Archibald on early closing.
The Prohibition referendum was nearly passed until overseas soldiers' votes were counted.
Advertisements for and against prohibition, aimed at Diggers are read.
Returned men became bitter and disillusioned at the country they had fought for.
Song: 'I wore a Tunic'
The newly formed Returned Soldiers Association held a mass meeting in Wellington September 1919 and then marched on Parliament.
Ernie Golding recalls the march.
Men recalled medical staff who treated them fondly:
Frank Broad recalls his treatment the the King George Hospital in Rotorua.
The biggest mistake was the hurried resettlement of returned men on unsuitable farmland.
J. Archibald recalls how he went orcharding in Nelson and many returned men found it hard to make a go of it.
Reference number 247792
Media type AUDIO
Collection Sound Collection
Documentary radio programs
Nonfiction radio programs
Henderson, Jim, 1918-2005, Producer
Gwynne, Peter, Narrator
Young, James Rarity (b.1891, d.1972), Speaker/Kaikōrero
Haresnape, Isobel, Speaker/Kaikōrero
Dowsett, Edward H., Speaker/Kaikōrero
Lee, John A. (John Alexander), 1891-1982, Speaker/Kaikōrero
Eustace, Fred, Speaker/Kaikōrero
Forsyth, Jim, Speaker/Kaikōrero
Archibald, Jack, Speaker/Kaikōrero
Golding, Ernest Alexander, Speaker/Kaikōrero
Broad, Frank, Speaker/Kaikōrero
Date 11 Nov 1968