Memories of parade that never was, in homeland not fit for returning heroes

The uneasy peace that followed the armistice is the subject of a new exhibition to be mounted in Bradford to mark its centenary.

The Peace Museum exhibition in Bradford
The Peace Museum exhibition in Bradford

A copy of the Treaty of Versailles, passed down through the family of city politician Meredith Farrah Titterington, is among the exhibits at the city centre Peace Museum from November 1.

It concludes on Armistice Day with an event recalling “the parade that never happened” – a civic celebration planned for July 1919 but called off after questions were asked about the amount of money the council was proposing to spend on it.

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“It was to be a march through the streets to mark the signing of the treaty, with all parts of the military represented,” said historian and author Dr Kathryn Hughes, who will speak at the event.

“But the military organisations all pulled out in protest at inadequate pensions, allowances and other grievances.

“It was felt that the expenditure wasn’t appropriate when so many were unemployed.

“People were still grieving, a lot of the soldiers hadn’t come home yet and those that had were often struggling to find work.”

Shannen Lang, at the Peace Museum, said: “It is a reminder that the world didn’t get back to normal on November 11. The peace process took much longer, and the world took longer still to recover.”