SCENES of jubilation greeted the end of “the greatest and most terrible war in the world’s history.”

Schools and factories were abandoned across Ilkley and Aireborough as young and old took to the streets to celebrate.

The Ilkley Gazette and Wharfedale Observer reported on the wild rejoicing, with flags, dancing and fireworks- as well as more sober thanksgiving services in local churches.

The Gazette said: “News of the signing of the Armistice only became known with any certainty in Ilkley about eleven o’clock on Monday morning when Mr. W. Dobson displayed the news on a blackboard in front of his shop in Brook Street, with the addendum - official; but in a very short time after flags were everywhere in evidence and the streets became very lively.

“The wounded soldiers at the Ilkley Military Hospital were the first to “jump the traces”so to speak, and taking possessions of a tradesman’s dray, some of these drove round the town in merry mood. Later a much bigger batch of these, together with several soldiers and sailors, broke into the Volunteer Bugle Bandroom, in Bridge Lane, and secured a number of drums and one or two bugles, and to the accompaniment of these paraded in the town. In the afternoon they were joined by some of the volunteer buglars and not only did they do another parade around the town, but paid a visit to Addingham, with one of the wounded soldiers dressed up to represent Britannia.”

It added: “With such a holiday spirit in evidence, a good deal of the business of the town was suspended at mid-day, and a number of shops closed.

“The Parish Church bells were rung at both at noon and in the evening, and the Volunteer Bugle Band continued to peregrinate the town in the evening after the wounded soldiers were obliged to be indoors.

“The youngsters had the time of their lives and although the National Schools continued open in the afternoon, there were many absentees.

“As night closed in upon the scene fireworks began to be let off in parts of the town. The pyrotechnic display in Brook Street was of a character never before attempted; not would it have been allowed. D.O.R.A (Defence of the Realm Act) and the Police were not to be met in authority, and squibs, crackers, rockets, maroons and Roman candles repeatedly mingled together in blazes of light and noise for several hours.

“The thanksgiving services held at the Parish Church and St Margaret’s Church were very largely attended.”

In Otley work was abandoned at most of the factories and workshops as soon as the news was received, shortly before 11am on Monday, November 11. Some cases they remained closed until Wednesday morning.

The Ilkley Gazette described the “great jubilation”, adding: “Throughout the remainder of the day the streets were the scene of considerable animation, flags being flown from all the public buildings, and most of the private houses displayed some amount of bunting, while a merry peal was rung on the Parish Church bells.

“The local branch of the Discharged and Demobilised Sailors and Soldiers’ Association arranged for a dance in honour of the occasion, which was largely patronised.”

But tragically for some the end of war came just a few days too late.

Private J W Wright, was killed in action on November 1, leaving a widow and two children.

The 34-year-old former shop assistant, of East Parade, was praised in a letter to his widow from his commanding officer Captain H. Hopwood.

He wrote: “He was a splendid fellow, always cheerful, even in the face of danger, and never shirked any hard or dangerous duty. We all feel his loss very keenly.”