Centenary of the WWI Armistice

Supported by the National Lottery
through the Heritage Lottery Fund

To mark the centenary of the Armistice which ended the fighting in World War I, North Queensferry Heritage Trust presented an exhibition focussed on a major event which took place on our doorstep, with national and international significance. . .

Destination Forth

– WWI –

The Last Act and Beyond



The Surrender of the German High Seas Fleet in the Forth, November 1918

The Exhibition was hosted in North Queensferry Railway Station until March 2019, and drew national Press and Media Coverage

The exhibition is now on-line

An expanded version is available on-line HERE

Exhibition Material

This on-line version incorporates all of the images and text used in the exhibition and copies of the following artefacts that were displayed.

Facsimiles of the Armistice Documents in French and English.

Facsimiles of Historic booklets which showed how the news was reported.

A copy of Beatty’s sailing orders to the Grand Fleet revealed the detailed planning of “Operation ZZ”

Replicas of the log-book of HMS Cardiff which led the High Seas Fleet from “Rendezvous X” to their anchorage in the Forth, reveal the mix of everyday operations and high excitement experienced at the time.

The detailed orders issued to the Armed Trawlers from Granton which guarded the German ships at anchor in the Forth.

Extracts from the diary of W.B. Adam, who spent his gap year between school and university as a midshipman on a mine-layer that took part in the Surrender pageant.

Newsreel footage captured by news reporters on board the ships in the Forth and Submarines at Harwich.

Audio Recordings of first-hand accounts of the surrender from W.B. Adam a lowly midshipman,

Commodore Tweedie in charge of the destroyer flotillas of the Grand Fleet,

his eight-year-old daughter Mona,

and Lord Cameron, who was then a Midshipman RNVR.

Exhibition Topics

Background material related to the events of 1918

The stories of the fallen who died in WWI and WWII commemorated on the North Queensferry War Memorial

Communications and Codes in WWI – wireless, Aldis lamp, signal flags, codes.

The progression of Naval Warfare from the Victory at Trafalgar to the mighty Dreadnoughts of WWI.

The Emergence of Germany as a nation state with global ambitions, and a plan to defeat the Royal Navy.

The creation of new Naval Bases particularly Rosyth and the evolution of their defences in response to the growing threat in the North Sea.

The genesis of Naval Air Power, and the first Naval Air Station in Scotland at North Queensferry. The Royal Naval Air Service and The Royal Flying Corps amalgamated to form the R.A.F. in 1918.

The outbreak of war, and highlights of key Naval Battles of WWI

1918 – the Armistice and Surrender

The events leading to the signing of the Armistice on 11th November 1918

The Surrender of Germany’s High Seas Fleet in the Forth, and their submarines at Harwich.

1919 Scuttling in Scapa Flow

The subsequent Scuttling of the surface fleet at Scapa Flow, and how this accelerated the negotiation of the Versailles Peace Treaty in 1919.

Raising the scuttled ships

Ironically many of the ships ended up back in Rosyth where the were broken up for scrap after being raised from Scapa Flow.

Links to external reference material

Newsreel accounts of the proceedings on the website of the Imperial War Museum.

The triumph of Britain’s Sea Power
(There are two reels of film – look below the video screen to select reels 1 and 2)

Surrender of the German Fleet

Gaumont Newsreel – The Surrender of The German Navy

The events of WW1 from The Times newspaper.

If you would like to learn more about World War 1, you can sign up at Extracts from The Times History of the War to see a weekly digest of coverage of the events from The Times newspaper.

There are more than 220 articles in the archive. Here are links to a selection, in chronological order, relating to the War at Sea in WWI. With thanks to The Times for permission to use these articles.

The War at Sea – 1

The East Coast Raids – November 1914

The War at Sea – Part 2

The Submarine and its work

The Dardanelles Campaign

The Navy’s Work in 1915

The work of the Mercantile Marine

Sea Power and neutrality

Fishermen and the War

The Battle of Jutland

The Navy’s Work in 1916

The Shipping Problem August 1914 to February 1917

Work of the Mercantile Marine – part 2

Fishermen and the War – part 2

The Work of the French Navy

The Evolution of Naval Engineering

The Work of the Italian Navy

The Navy’s Work in 1917

The Navy’s Work in 1918

The Anti-submarine War 1915 to 1918

The Navy’s Work Completed – this article includes the surrender and scuttling of the German Fleet.