On Remembrance Sunday tomorrow, the Echo looks back on World War I and Armistice Day in the region.
The destruction had been on a colossal scale – a generation decimated as the human race teetered and then retreated from the brink of total annihilation.
Then, on November 11, 1918, after more than four years of horrific fighting and the loss of millions of lives, the guns of the Western Front fell silent.
Despite continued fighting elsewhere, the armistice between Germany and the Allies marked the beginning of the end of the First World War.
Peace had returned and Hampshire and Dorset celebrated and gave thanks for the victory.
The counties and their people have played a valiant role throughout these terrible times. The local population had reacted magnificently. They have contributed to social welfare funds, volunteered to help injured soldiers and hosted young people in their homes.
Everyone did their “part” for the war effort and no one shirked their responsibility. Not a hamlet, village, town or city in Hampshire or Dorset had escaped paying a terrible price as local families mourned their husbands, sons and brothers who had made the ultimate sacrifice in the trenches of the Great War.
A crowd gathered outside the Daily Echo’s Bournemouth offices to hear news of the armistice read by General Manager HJ Cheverton.
The Bishop of Winchester led a hastily assembled civic procession into the square for a service of thanksgiving.
In 1914 Bournemouth had celebrated the centenary of its founding by Lewis Tregonwell, but on the August Bank Holiday the crowds on the seafront began to dwindle as the threat of war grew stronger.
On August 14, 1914, no one with German nationality was allowed to stay without a permit from the police, resulting in the exclusion of around 1,300 residents who had made a life for themselves in the coastal town.
The Home Office has asked resorts like Bournemouth to provide accommodation for wounded or sick soldiers. A quick response was given by the city, with beds provided at Royal Victoria and West Hants hospitals in Boscombe.
By winter, hospitals would prepare to care for at least 10,000 more Territorial soldiers.
Boscombe Beach was equipped with deckchairs for picking up soldiers and Bournemouth Pier had a canteen which served 2,000 teas in its first 10 days of operation.
When 1915 came, the blackout did the same.
All lights running along the coast from Littlehampton to Portland Bill had to be completely extinguished during hours of darkness.
In April, Undercliff Drive and the cliffs had no light. A shaded top was even installed on the trams, to prevent zeppelins from bombarding the city – although no zeppelins ever approached the city.
By 1916, between 2,000 and 3,000 soldiers had been stationed in areas such as Southbourne, Westbourne and Pokesdown.
They were trained for trenching, shooting, stable and drilling.
It was during this time that Bournemouth was declared one of the most desirable places to live in Britain. Bournemouth’s first Chamber of Commerce meeting saw the mayor stress that the town had just one main industry – tourism.
A shortage of food in the region and throughout the country hit in 1917.
The December 20 Bournemouth Echo included an announcement from the Butchers’ Association, which stated that ‘it will be impossible for them to guarantee anything like the usual supply to their customers after Christmas’.
But the end of the war in 1918 left Bournemouth with a sense of well-being and things for the town were up.
The long-awaited Bournemouth Girls’ School was opened and the Town College began courses to help disabled ex-soldiers.
The December edition of the Bournemouth Guardian concluded with the words: ‘To all appearances this is a more old-fashioned Christmas than for many years…the national spirit seems to be reviving’.
And this “buoyancy” can be seen in these images from the time.