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The inside story of the last week of the First World War, in the words of its soldiers

This week we commemorate the ending of the First World War: four years of fighting; 10 million soldiers dead, including almost one million from the British Empire. In Britain alone about three million people lost a close relative.

The armistice that brought the war to an end was signed at 5.10 on the morning of 11 November 1918. But to give time for the news to reach the front line, the ceasefire did not come into force until 11am. On that last morning, 2,738 men on all sides lost their lives.

In the previous weeks the Bulgarians, the Turks and Austria-Hungary had collapsed. The German army was in retreat, the revolution started by mutinying sailors was spreading fast and demands for the Kaiser’s

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