Remembering night World War1 ended

A HAMPSHIRE author and poet whose earliest memory is the night World War One ended has celebrated her 102nd birthday.

Joan Stephens shared her recollections as family and friends gathered for her party at Colten Care’s Belmore Lodge care home in Lymington.

Born in Pennington village in August 1912, Joan was six years old on the day the momentous news came through that the Armistice had been signed, bringing to an end four years of conflict.

The evening of 11 November 1918 saw spontaneous street parties and festivities break out across Britain and France.

“My earliest recollection is being in the High Street in Lymington on that night,” said Joan. “My parents and their friends were there. My father Herbert worked in a solicitors’ officer but he was also a singer and musician. There was a lot of music and it was all jollification. I was with my brother David who was 15 months younger than me and someone gave us a wooden jigsaw as a present. Then I remember people going very quiet as my father gave a speech and asked us to take a moment to remember those who had died. I suppose it was everyone’s first experience of observing a minute’s silence for remembrance of the war.”

Live updates

Remembering the night war ended!

Joan celebrates her 102nd birthday with family Credit: Joan Stephens

A HAMPSHIRE author and poet whose earliest memory is the night World War One ended has celebrated her 102nd birthday.

Joan Stephens shared her recollections as family and friends gathered for her party in Lymington.

Born in Pennington village in August 1912, Joan was six years old on the day the momentous news came through that the Armistice had been signed.

The evening of 11 November 1918 saw spontaneous street parties and festivities break out across Britain and France.

My earliest recollection is being in the High Street in Lymington on the night the war ended.

My parents and their friends were there, my father was a singer and musician. There was a lot of music and it was all jollification. I was with my brother David and someone gave us a wooden jigsaw as a present.

Then I remember people going very quiet as my father gave a speech and asked us to take a moment to remember those who had died. I suppose it was everyone’s first experience of observing a minute’s silence for remembrance of the war.”

– Joan Stephens
Joan celebrates her 102nd birthday with family Credit: Joan Stephens
Back to top