Bugle from the Armistice, 11 November 1918

On 9 November 1918, the German Emperor Wilhelm II abdicated. After negotiations with Marshal Foch, the Supreme Allied Commander in France, German parliamentarians signed the armistice in a glade near Rethondes in north-eastern France. At 11 a.m. on 11 November 1918, the guns fell silent on the Western front after 1561 days of war. The terrible death toll was almost 1.4 million men, out of the 8 million soldiers who were mobilised. 300,000 men were mutilated and 2 million suffered invalidity of at least 10 %.

Bugle from the Armistice, 11 November 1918
© musée de l'Armée (Dist. RMN-Grand Palais) photo Emilie Cambier

 

On 7 November 1918, the 171st Infantry Regiment was in position at La Capelle (Aisne). At about 2 p.m., a German officer introduced himself and announced that the official mission of German parliamentarians would be arriving along the road from Haudroy. At 8.20 that evening, the convey came into sight with a white flag floating on the first car. A bugler standing on the running board played the "ceasefire". Captain Lhuillier made a sign for the convoy to stop. 

 

 

The corporal bugler, Pierre Sellier, who was born on 8 November 1892 in Beaucourt (near Belfort), took over from the German bugler and sounded the ceasefire on the running board of the first car, as is shown by the inscription on the bugle bell: "Bugle of victory/La Capelle/7 November 1918 - 21.00 hours / Pierre Sellier corporal /in the 171th Infantry Regiment". On 11 November 1918, Pierre Sellier again sounded the ceasefire at Pierre d'Haudroy, as did all the other regimental buglers on the front.

 

Bugle from the Armistice, 11 November 1918
© musée de l'Armée (Dist. RMN-Grand Palais) photo Emilie Cambier

 

 

 

Label

 


Author :  Pélisson, Guinot & Blanchon (Lyon – Paris)

Inventory no. : 03705 C1

Materials : Copper

Techniques : Nickel-plated

History : Donation by Pierre Sellier (1926)

Place of creation : France