The Imperial War Museum has released a recording of the moment World War I ended, patched together using recordings from their collections. It was done as part of the lead up to the 100th anniversary of Armistice Day and is a powerful moment to imagine what that experience would have been like.
This rare document from IWM’s collections shows the moment the First World War ended. The artillery activity it illustrates was recorded on the American front near the River Moselle, one minute before and one minute after the Armistice. #Remembrance2018
— Imperial War Museums (@I_W_M) November 6, 2018
Though according to the museum it is not a recording of the actual sounds at the time, but a recreation. They explained on twitter in reply to the BBC original tweet.
“This is not an actual sound recording made at the time, it is a purely visual representation of the noise made by the guns captured on photographic paper.” said IWM “We worked with sound and music designers Coda to Coda, who interpreted this graphic from IWM’s collections to produce a re-imagining of what the end of the First World War may have sounded like.” they continued. “They used recordings of artillery fire, which were multi-tracked, synthesised, slowed down etc and some purely electronic noise added. The birdsong is a modern sound effect, and was added to emphasise the silence after the guns stopped firing.”
While the audio may not be an actual recording, the concept alone of the change from constant barrage of sound and death from the guns of war to the stillness and quiet of peacetime should stand as a start reminder of why we must never forget the horrors of war.
Lest We Forget.