My grandfather served in the Royal Horse Artillery, and fought on the western front for the entire duration of the Great War. This is taken from his account of the cease fire on 11 November 1918.
"At 6pm on that day, I got a message which read as follows:
CEASE FIRE AT 11AM TOMORROW NOVEMBER 11TH STOP AT THAT HOUR TROOPS WILL STAND FAST ON THEIR POSITIONS STOP ALL MILITARY PRECAUTIONS WILL BE TAKEN END
Next day I did a rather stupid thing. We had been fighting continuously for nearly four and a half years. I had been commanding troops in the front line for almost all that time, and we had all been living to a great extent on our nerves. I gave an order that every gun under my command on the 16th Division front was to be fired at 10.55 am.
There was a terrific din such as we had often heard before a battle. I doubt if many Germans were killed - they had nearly all retired to beyond gun range. Looking back after this lapse of years, I think perhaps it was rather a stupid order, but it was to some extent excusable and it made an impressive thunder.
Suddenly, dead silence came over the land. We had not experienced such a thing since the war began. We could hardly realize that the chance of being sent to eternity at any moment of the day or night was over."