10th Jan                          Fakhri Pasha surrenders at Medina


18th Jan                          Peace Conference for the Treaty of Versailles opened in Paris

25th Jan                           Proposals to create the League of Nations accepted

28th June                        Signing of the Treaty of Versailles

8th July                            Germany ratifies the Treaty of Versailles

21st July                          The United Kingdom ratifies the Treaty of Versailles


21st June                        The German fleet scuttled at Scappa Flow


10th to 11th Nov           Banquet and the first Armistice Day





Medina was the last city of the Turkish Empire to fall to the Allies and the Arab states in the Great War. Fakhri Pasha was the commander of the Turkish army and Governor of Medina from 1916 to 1919. From 1916, Medina had been besieged by the Arab armies, who had previously been a part of the Turkish Empire and had revolted against the Turkish Sultan. Pasha had been ordered to defend the holy city of Medina and to protect the single-track narrow gauge Hejaz Railway on which his entire logistics depended. The railway was constantly subjected to sabotage attacks by Arabs led by Lawrence of Arabia (T.E.Lawrence). When the Turkish Empire withdrew from the Great War on the 30th October 1918, it was expected Pasha would also surrender. He refused to do so and simply refused to accept the Armistice of Mudros. He is reputed to have had a vision, in a dream, from the Prophet Mohammed who had ordered him not to submit. He refused the direct order, from the Turkish Minister of war, to hand over his sword. The Turkish Government was upset by his behaviour and he was dismissed from his post, but he again refused to obey the decision. He kept the flag of the Turkish Sultan high in Medina until 72 days after the end of the war between Turkey and the Allies. Eventually Pasha and his men were faced with starvation and the remaining garrison surrendered on the 10th January 1919. Abdullah I of Jordan and his troops entered Medina on the 13th January 1919.


The Peace Conference opened on the 18th January 1919 in Paris. Initially delegates from twenty seven nations participated in the negotiations but Germany, Austria, and Hungary were excluded. Russia was also excluded as they had negotiated a separate peace with Germany in 1918 when they signed the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk. The conference eventually comprised delegates from Britain, France, the United States and Italy. The four main negotiators of the “big four” were: – David Lloyd George of Britain, Georges Clemenceau of France, Woodrow Wilson of the United States and Vittorio Orlando of Italy. Negotiations between the “big four” did not go smoothly. Wilson believed the fourteen point plan he had proposed would bring stability to Europe and Germany expected a treaty based on these fourteen points. The French wanted the defeated nations to be severely punished and believed Wilson’s plan too lenient. The British public also wanted Germany to be severely punished although Lloyd George had similar views to Wilson. An agreement was finally reached after prolonged discussions but it was a compromise that left nobody happy with the outcome. One of proposals was to create the League of Nations, which was accepted on the 25th January 1919. When Germany complained about the severity of the Treaty of Versailles, they were reminded of the harshness of the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk they imposed on the Russians in March 1918.  Germany tried to have a number of articles withdrawn in June 1919 but they received a reply that they would have to accept the treaty within twenty four hours, or face an invasion of Allied armies across the Rhine. Germany reluctantly agreed to sign the treaty.

The Germans were summoned to Versailles to sign the treaty (Treaty of Versailles) on 28th June 1919, which was officially the end of the Great War.  The signing date was significant as it was five years to the day that Franz Ferdinand of Austria was assassinated in June 1914. During the war, John Pershing, the American commander, continued his American offensive against the Germans on the 11th November 1918 until the 11.00 am ceasefire. He was convinced that unless Germany unconditionally surrendered on German soil they would not accept they had lost the war. With this in mind he argued that within twenty years Germany would become a warring nation again and the war would have to be fought a second time. After the signing of the Treaty of Versailles, Winston Churchill came to a similar conclusion but for a different reason. He argued Germany would end up bankrupt if the financial reparation terms were implemented, another regime would rise up to take Germany to war again. Both arguments were ignored and the treaty conditions were imposed. Indirectly, the signing of the Treaty of Versailles was the beginning of the Second World War although hostilities did not begin until September 1939.  The final treaty bore little resemblance to Wilson’s fourteen points.

Germany ratified the Treaty of Versailles on the 8th July 1919 and the United Kingdom ratified the Treaty on the 21st July 1919. However, as later events were to establish Germany was neither pacified nor conciliated, and the subsequent political events would lead to the Second World War.


On the 21st June 1919, the scuttling of the German fleet took place at the Royal Navy’s base at Scappa Flow in Scotland, after the Great War. The German High Seas Fleet was interned there under the terms of the armistice whilst negotiations took place over the fate of the ships. The German High Seas Fleet had surrendered and been escorted into the Firth of Forth on the 21st November 1918 and moved to Scappa Flow between the 25th to the 27th November 1918. During the negotiations over the fate of the ships and fearing the ships would be seized and divided amongst the Allied powers, German commander, Admiral Ludwig von Reuter, decided to scuttle the fleet. When the scuttling was carried out on the 21st June 1919, intervening British guard ships were able to beach a number of the ships, but 52 of the 74 interred vessels sank. Many of the vessels were salvaged over the next two decades and were towed away for scrapping.


A Banquet in Honour of The President of the French Republic was hosted by King George V and held at Buckingham Palace during the evening of the 10th November 1919. The very first Armistice Day was held in the Grounds of Buckingham Palace on the morning of the 11th November 1919. This set the trend for a day of Remembrance or Remembrance Day for decades to follow. However, a wood and plaster temporary Cenotaph was erected in Whitehall, London, following an outbreak of national sentiment in 1919. It was replaced by a Portland Stone structure and built between 1919 and 1920 as the United Kingdom’s national war memorial. The Remembrance Day ceremony, to commemorate the Armistice, is conducted on the Sunday closest to the 11th November each year.



War Diary of AA Laporte Payne Jan 1919

War Diary of AA Laporte Payne Jan 1919




Brigade Diary, Personal Diary, Operation Orders, Note Books, Memoranda




January 15, 1919


Everything here is in chaos. I have 1200 men in the wing which I have to look after.  The returns are enough to frighten a whole division.  My best sergeant-major has gone to England which is annoying.  The demobilisation question is a hard nut.  You can imagine the conditions in a base camp like this.  We shall be broken up soon I hope.  Then I may get up the line.


January 28 1919

I am the last major to stay on here, and the Colonel and I probably leave on Sunday. The Depot is to be closed down.  Last night I dined in Havre with the Colonel.


The weather is foul again. It is very cold and it has been trying to rain again snow.


HA Titcomb letter 30 January 1919

HA Titcomb letter 30 January 1919










R.A.F. Repatriation Records,

43 St Cross Road,

Winchester, 30th Jany 1919

F.W. Lanchester Esq., M. Inst. C.E.

41 Bedford Square, London W.C. 1.


My dear Lanchester,


I have had a most exciting experience in the R.A.F. As you know I was offered a Commission by General Trenchard for the purpose of undertaking intelligence observation work for one of his bombing wings in the I.A.F.  I gladly accepted this but after signing up the papers and going through as a “special case” of the M.G.P. (General Branker) I was called back and informed that no Commissions could be given to Aliens so they offered me the next highest rank, that of Warrant Officer 1st class being informed that this would make no change in the kind of work I was to attempt.  You are now hearing from me a fully fledged Sergeant Major.  I went over to France and reached the Antigny-la-Tour about three hours after General Trenchard had made his farewell to that Headquarters.  The Armistice was on, and so I was returned to England.  In order to enable me enter the Air Force, someone had me down as having the trade of a “Master Clerk” so my present work consists in an attempt to learn routine clerical work appertaining to the service.  I am doing this as best I can; but, as I informed my Commanding Officer (Major Moser) who is a very fine man, I feel I am unable to do him justice as a pen-pusher.


In some way it seems a pity that the war did not last a little longer so that the Germans could have had the thorough thrashing which was just about maturing. In that case perhaps our Armies would have occupied Germany or large portions of it, and this might have delayed or obviated the feeling that the War is over entirely.  This feeling, I am sorry to say, prevails to a great extent amongst all ranks as far as I can see; and you are doubtless aware of this from the ordinary statements in the press.  The men feel that the fighting is really over and that therefore they ought to be demobilised more rapidly than is being done.  The poor chaps are tired out and “fed up” with things in general and are anxious to get back to their jobs again.  One would think that if a very large percentage of the Forces could be demobilised and allowed to have a month or two holiday in civil life, there would then be a fair chance of recruiting a volunteer Army which could handle the situation and permit the rest of the Forces to be demobilised in their turns.  Meanwhile I do not see why it would not be a possible solution to the difficulties with clerical staffs to substitute for them civilian clerks; otherwise there is bound to be discontent among such clerks who through no fault of their own were put into the positions they now hold and feel they are absolutely the last on the list for demobilisation.


What is your opinion of the future outlook for business in England.  I have found that the present elements and factors are so numerous and contain so many unknown quantities that I am unable to write any equation which could be solved by mental process of my own; and this applies not only to Great Britain but also to the rest of our civilised World.  The present epidemic of strikes, if carried to logical conclusion, might result in every one of us demanding, no work, double pay and as a minimum that each and every human being in the World ought to have breakfast in bed each morning at, say, 9-O’clock: I think I shall start agitating for this.


If you ever see Sir Arthur Duckham please give him my kind regards and tell him I would not have missed meeting any of the fine men I have come across in the Air Force for anything.  I consider it a privilege to have met them in the ranks, and also the many fine Officers with whom I have come in contact.  Everyone has treated me splendidly.


I hope this finds you well and flourishing. I shall give myself the pleasure of seeing you when next I have a chance to come to town.  My own office is closed for the present so that you had better address me here or to my home in Kensington.


Sincerely yours

Harold A. Titcomb

No 306596 (!).

S/M R.A.F.

Report of Drifters off Cape Helles 22 January 1919

Report of Drifters off Cape Helles 22 January 1919


S.O. 9th Div of Drifters

D “Northesk” II No 2022

Cape Helles.

Jan 22nd 1919

Captain K

H.M.Y. “Paulina”




I have the honour to enclose herewith copy of a letter I sent to S.N.O. (H) H.M.S. “Pelorus” regarding vessels in my Division. To this letter I have received a reply that the S.N.O. will come to Helles on Friday and discuss the subject.


Since reporting to you on January 3rd the following vessels have been blown down in turn and cleaned their boilers: –

“Northern Scot” No. 2425.

“Comely” No. 2387

& since advising the new S.N.O. I understand “Ebenezer” No. 2294 has commenced.


It is difficult to clean boilers successfully at Chanak owing to having no proper tools and in some cases the boilers are bad due to being considerably overdue.


Knowing the quantity of vessels requiring boiler-cleaning at Mudros I am anxious that the vessels in my Division shall clean their own boilers and make good defects whenever it is possible, but I feel it my duty to advise you of defects which require immediate attention and which cannot be done by the enginemen.


With the exception of Drifters “Ten” No 1052 and “Victoria II” No 766 – who have been to Mudros for boiler cleaning and defects – my Division have had no opportunity of getting necessary defects done or engines overhauled and since Oct 24th they have been running continuously.


All vessels are continuing to carry-on with their duty but these defects are now giving trouble and demand “little stand-offs” which have hitherto never been necessary.


There is no defect which could not be made good in 2 or 3 days at the most & if arrangements could be made for one vessel at a time to go to Mudros or Aquarius (Ismud) and have their defects done I feel safe in saying the Division will be able to carry on as a whole as long as they are required.


The list of more or less important defects as given me by the Enginemen are appended, but the principle defects which are known to me are as follows: –


“Northesk II” No. 2022.  Last Boiler cleaning Oct 20. (now nearly 2 months overdue).

Defects: – Flange of Main Steam pipe cracked.  This was cracked by                       H.M.S. “Abercrombie” while grinding in the seat & valve of Engine                        Stop valve.

This crack is getting worse and is almost sure to break in time and will                    probably do serious injury (if not fatal) to the engineman working the                  lever.

L.P. Piston to be drawn for examination – has not been drawn for 15                      months.  M.P. Slide Valve and Spindle Bracket – the bracket is                              knocking & wearing valve.


“Northern Scot” No. 2425.  Defects: – Capstan requires new pinion wheels, as                                difficult to anchor.

Two or three small grinding-in jobs.


“Prime” No. 2289. Last Boiler cleaning Sept 24th 1918.

Defects: – Main & Intermediate stop valves leaking badly; joints gone,                    rapidly becoming worse and requires urgent attention.

Several other small defects.


“Ten” No. 1052.  Has boiler cleaned & has no defects.


“Hopeful” No. 2386.  Last Boiler cleaning Oct 20th 1918.

Defects; – nothing important, but has three or four small jobs requiring                    attention.


“Comely” No. 2387.  Defects: – Capstan, 2 new pinion wheels required; this vessel can                  now only use her capstan by hand power and cannot anchor in bad                              weather.

The nature of present duty & the exposed anchorages makes it                                important this capstan should be attended to.

No engine defects.


“Ebenezer” No, 2294.  Now boiler-cleaning; this vessel should be boiler cleaned                           every six weeks without fail as she carried no fresh water boiler tank;                        until she blew down yesterday (Jan 21) she had been running on salt                water since Oct 24th last & her boiler is in very bad condition.

Defects: – several minor defects as per list; has had no overhaul since                      1917 (May.)


“Victoria II” No. 766. Has boiler cleaned & has no serious defects.


“Northesk II” & “Prime” have the defects which may be dangerous to the enginemen & as both require boiler cleaning, I suggest they may receive first attention.


I have given particulars at length as I am anxious to keep the Division going as long as they be required.


I have the honour to be


Your obedient servant

Reginald H. Palmer.

Lieut. R.N.V.R.

S.O. of Div.

Report of Drifters off Cape Helles 22 January 1919

Report of Drifters off Cape Helles 22 January 1919


S.O. 9th Div of Drifters

D “Northesk” II


Jan 22nd 1919

Capt A.P.

H.M.S. “Europa”




It is requested that a 2nd Engimeman may be sent to

H.M.D. “Prime” No. 2289 at Cape Helles vice John B. Thompson 2nd Engn. who has been discharged to H.M.S. “Pelorus” sick & unable to carry on duties owing to private troubles.


This Drifter is engaged escorting between Cape Helles & Pos Z Imbros.


R.H. Palmer.

Lieut. R.N.V.R.

S.O. of Div.

Report of Drifters off Cape Helles 22 January 1919

Report of Drifters off Cape Helles 22 January 1919


S.O. 9th Div of Drifters

D “Northesk” II


Jan 22/19

Div II Pay Office.

H.M.S. “Europa”


I beg to notify the following alteration in the personnel of crew of one of the vessels in my Division.


H.M.D. “Prime” No 2289.

John B. Thompson, 2nd Engineman discharged (unable to carry on duty owing to private troubles) to H.M.S. “Pelorus” Chanak.

Jan 20th 1919.  A.M.


R.H. Palmer.

Lieut. R.N.V.R.

S.O. of Div.