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It was called “the war to end all wars” – but history would prove otherwise.

On the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month in 1918 the guns fell silent in Europe, ending what was the world’s first truly global conflict, World War 1.

The conflict’s impact on New Zealand is writ large on the war memorials to be found in every corner of the country including Central Otago and the Upper Clutha.

Brothers in arms . . . Alexandra-Clyde RSA member Tom Woodford with vice-president Jerry Sutherland, and committee members Kevin Harding, Ron Hallberg and Richard Davidson. PHOTO: SHANNON THOMSON

Covid-19 restrictions meant commemorations across Central Otago were pared back with commemorations taking place on November 11 and the cancellation of Remembrance Sunday.

The sound of three blanks fired from a QF 25-pounder field gun reverberated across Alexandra.

The shots were followed by two minutes of silence for the about 30 people gathered in Pioneer Park as the Alexandra/Clyde Returned Services Association (RSA) marked the end of hostilities 103 years ago.

Ron Halberg delivered the Ode before Christine Wright, of the Roxburgh Pioneer Energy Brass Band, played the last post.

Moving moment . . . Ron Hallberg stands with Christine Wright of the Roxburgh Pioneer Energy Brass Band as she plays The Last Post. PHOTO:SHANNON THOMSON

Alexandra-Clyde RSA vice-president Gerry Sutherland said while Armistice Day took a back seat to Anzac Day commemorations in both New Zealand and Australia, it was important to come together and remember.

A similar service took place in Cromwell.

Armistice Day was brought on by King George V on the first anniversary of the armistice on November 11, 1919, when the first two-minute silence was held commemorating those who fought and died.

The end of hostilities ushered in a period of global prosperity and optimism known as the Roaring Twenties but by the 1930s the spectre of war again loomed over Europe and would eventually lead to the even more devastating World War 2.