The Treaty of Versailles/ Started in Paris in January 1919

The peace conference that led to the Treaty of Versailles began its deliberations in Paris in January 1919. The proceedings were dominated by the French Premier Georges Clemenceau and the British Prime Minister David Lloyd George - both of them pushed by vengeful electorates to make somewhat harsher demands of their adversaries than they might otherwise have made.

The Italian Minister President Vittorio Orlando and the American President Woodrow Wilson were also members of the Council of Four, where the most important issues were discussed.

The German government was informed of the Allied peace terms on 7 May, shortly after the counter-revolutionary bloodbath in Munich that put an end to a Quixotic socialist experiment. The proposals exceeded the worst fears of the direst of pessimists. That Germany should lose Upper Silesia, a large chunk of West Prussia, Danzig, Memel, and that East Prussia should be separated from the rest of Germany came as a devastating blow.

Things were hardly better in the west. The Saar, on the borders of France, was to be placed under the League of Nations for 15 years, the left bank of the Rhine permanently demilitarised, the entire Rhineland occupied for up to 15 years. Eupen-Malmedy was to be handed over to Belgium. An Anschluß with Austria was expressly forbidden. Germany's colonial empire was to be dissolved, as the Weimar Republic took shape.

The army was not to exceed 100,000 men. Military aircraft, submarines, and tanks were among a number of outlawed weapons. The fleet was to surrender, but it was scuttled before it reached the naval base at Scapa Flow. Ninety per cent of the merchant navy had to be handed over, along with 10 per cent of the cattle and a substantial proportion of the rolling stock of the state railway.

The victors were unable to agree on a final sum for reparations, but 40 million tons of coal were demanded annually. Germans were particularly incensed by article 231, which demanded of them to make good the damage caused by a war which they and their allies had begun.

A deliberate mistranslation of this article (ie 231), making it refer to Germany's 'sole guilt' (Alleinschuld) (as opposed to the joint guilt of Germany and her allies, which was the wording in the original text) further inflamed a consternated public and set off an ever increasing wave of righteous indignation about the 'war guilt lie'.

Source BBC


Lemsford local History Group WW1 Records

Memories & Letters

Memories from the people of Lemsford Parish – letters from the Front and home and much, much more

Local Parish Magazine

From the Bishop's Hatfield Parish Magazine 1914 to 1918, Church- Social - War Records

Servicemen of Lemsford

War records from 98 men who went to war. We show their memories images and why we should never forget them.

5 Facts the Great War

The total number of deaths includes about 10 million military
The total number of deaths includes about 7 million civilians.
98 Servicemen/Women went from lemsford
78 returned back to Lemsford Parish
20 men Never came back

Battles of WW1

Style Switcher

Predefined Colors

Menu Style

Background Image