London’s “Peace Day”, 19th July 1919, in colour

“As preparations were made for the Victory Parade in London, a huge military camp grew up in Kensington Gardens, with large numbers of Allied troops bivouacking there. The population of London swelled, with thousands of people coming into the capital on Friday’s overnight trains.

Hundreds of people spent the night in the parks or streets to be sure of a good place. Women climbed on top of the high wall round the Victoria memorial gardens and sat there for fifteen or sixteen hours.

The rush for places on the processional route was in full swing by six in the morning, and by eight o’clock it was almost impossible to cross Trafalgar Square.

“On the morning itself King George V issued a message to the wounded:

“To these, the sick and wounded who cannot take part in the festival of victory, I send out greetings and bid them good cheer, assuring them that the wounds and scars so honourable in themselves, inspire in the hearts of their fellow countrymen the warmest feelings of gratitude and respect.”

“The crowds continued to pour in looking for vantage points on the route of the parade. The official programme (price 1 penny) sold in hundreds of thousands. Pubs near the main route ran dry very early on and had to close.”


All pictures (c) Musee Albert-Kahn. For more of Albert Kahn’s images, see David Okuefuna’s “The Wonderful World of Albert Kahn“.

Thank you to Aftermath WW1

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1 comment to London’s “Peace Day”, 19th July 1919, in colour

  • 1919 Thomas G Winning | Hawick Common Riding Cornets

    [...] here a film of Kilmarnock’s Peace Day. [Peace Day was not just a day of parades and bonfires - Luton Town Hall was burnt down during a riot by ex-servicemen unhappy with [...]

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