Armistice, 100 years on

Eighteen photo boards were on display, telling the story of Le Quesnoy’s liberation by Kiwi troops at the end of WWI. Photo – Michael Jeans.

A week of commemorations for Armistice got underway on Sunday, with crowds flocking to the Town Hall for a WWI art exhibition and a photographic display of the liberation of Le Quesnoy by Kiwi troops a century ago. There were games for the kids, face painting and a festival atmosphere as locals of all ages gathered to mark the occasion.

Armistice in Cambridge organiser Julie Epps said it was an excellent turnout, with more than 600 free hot chocolates handed out over the course of the afternoon. “It was a great crowd,” Julie said.

Fonterra came to the party, donating 500 free ice creams for the event, which were enthusiastically received despite the chilly temperatures. “And Cambridge Lions were stars too on the night, as they always are, providing hot food from their caravan,” Julie added.

Songstress Katie Trigg provided vocal entertainment, with songs from the era interspersed with more recent offerings as people checked out the 18 photographic boards around the plaza.

The Town Hall was the backdrop for a light and sound show that will be running nightly until Sunday. Photo – Michael Jeans.

At nightfall a four-minute light and sound show premiered, using the Town Hall as a massive screen, telling the story of the liberation of Le Quesnoy. A French girl had been recorded reading passages about the four-year occupation of the walled French town and its liberation by New Zealand soldiers, as footage and photos from the time were projected onto the hall. One week after the liberation of Le Quesnoy, on November 11, 1918, the Armistice was signed that ended World War I.

Julie said there had been huge interest in commemorations this year, including this weekend’s Armistice in Cambridge, probably due to the fact it has been 100 years since the end of the war.

The light and sound show will be running outside the Town Hall every night from 8.45pm until around 9.30pm on Sunday, November 11.

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