As Monday, November 11 got underway those wanting to find out all about the biggest news story of the time would have had to wait until page seven to see news the First World War was over, as many newspapers published their adverts on the front.
Up until that point the Hundred Days Offensive - a series of successful Allied battles which had pushed the Germans back to the battlefields of 1914, had been dealing the enemy a series of catastrophic blows since August.
There had been anticipation across the weekend of November 9-10, 1918 that peace could be very near in sight.
There were even mutinies and revolts at Germany's ports in the days leading up to the signing of the Armistice. Many of Germany's allies had already given up by this time, such as Bulgaria at the end of September and Austria-Hungary had signed their own treaty with Italy on November 3.
However, "a certain subduing doubt" was noted in the attitudes of people. The reasons for this were partly an "incredulity the Germans would, even in such a hopeless hour, ignominiously yield to the drastic terms which it was presumed we had presented to them." Morale had also been lowered by the spread of a deadly influenza pandemic, which was widely reported.
The Kent Messenger's report further states: "The fact of peace seemed so enormous that the dull human brain seemed incapable of appreciating it. We wanted another faculty to help us assimilate it. So little had we risen to the occasion that we even argued that an armistice did not necessarily mean peace; it was possibly only a temporary cessation of the grim carnage of war."
On that momentous Monday we know news began filtering through Kent several hours before Prime Minister David Lloyd George officially announced the war was over. The first report reached the town of Walmer near Dover, where a nurse at St Anselm's VAD Hospital received a phone call at 8am from Deal Pier informing her the Armistice had been completed in the earlier hours of the morning. The message peace was finally on the horizon swiftly spread between staff and patients at the hospital.
Our reporters stationed in the Maidstone offices were eager "to be the first in the field, and the official message reached our Head Offices at 10.45 on Monday morning, only 25 minutes after the Prime Minister had announced the news to a few Press Representatives in Downing Street." Then finally, before 11am, "the Kent Messenger had the satisfaction of communicating official news of the armistice to the townspeople and the authorities."
The atmosphere immediately shifted from one of uncertainty to unequivocal joy and celebration. Efforts to recruit ceased and call-up notices had all been cancelled. The bells could now be rung, clocks were able to chime in the day and strike at night. One particularly moving excerpt from our reports captured the mood.
"Then the whole atmosphere changed; and we realised to the full, as with one swift and indisputable revelation, that the war had indeed come to an end – that we could watch the moon rise this week without trepidation; that again we should soon be children of the light instead of human moles groping about in the darkness; that our lads at the front, millions of them, could lift their eyes to the autumn skies and find them clear of the devastating Bosche – that they would lie down that night without the lullaby of the roaring cannon, either far or near.
"We have said nothing of the shriek of the steam whistles from the various factories, or of the siren of the Electric Works – that ominous sound which has so often filled the stoutest spirits with fear. But these were, about 11 o’clock, let off at full blast, and inharmonious as they were, they were welcomed; they seemed to supply that fierce shriek of joy which everybody yearned to give, but which to human throats seemed impossible."
The reaction was hastily thrown together as the article continued: "And what was our outward and visible manifestation of this feeling? We had evidently not prepared for the occasion. How could we improvise? At first out came the flags – the public flags over the Town Hall, the Church, and various other buildings.
"Then the tradespeople produced similar symbols and arrayed the fronts of their premises. Then scurrying motor-cars appeared, apparently from nowhere, similarly decorated; and meanwhile the pedestrian was making a frantic raid on a well-known emporium near the Post Office, so that the colours of England and the Allies, in all sizes, soon dominated the scene.
"But we were still voiceless. We seemed to be acting a hymn without a tune. Some great musician was needed to touch the chords of our emotions and draw out the music. And more and more we felt that this was an occasion to vociferate as the crowds swelled and swelled. Every shop turned out its staff, and the men and boys, women and girls, from every large establishment, poured forth into the Broadway, over the Bridge, and into the High Street."
Just at the right time, the Gloucester band played to the people of Maidstone, who "marched in step with the band" and "danced in and out of tune". The music had to be stopped for the Mayor of Maidstone to speak. Another fascinating sight "before noon was the passage through the High Street of several German prisoners under an armed escort" who were "regarded with pity mingled with scorn."
The community was reminded of the sacrifices made during the war during the afternoon, as a "funeral cortege passed through Week Street, the deceased being a member of the R.A.F." At 2pm, officers and men of the Wiltshire Regiment in Maidstone paraded on the Barrack Square and were addressed by Major Spillar.
On Monday evening, a huge thanksgiving service was held over at All Saints' Church.
"With a congregation of not less than 2,000 citizens there was about the proceedings a dignity and fervour which perhaps have never been surpassed in the church. Thoroughly representative, the congregation ranged from the chief citizen of the town to many humble cottagers, and included gallant lads who had been wounded at the front, soldiers in training, and members of the Women’s Land Army, as well as Volunteers and Cadets", most of whom stood throughout the entire service.
Celebrations also broke out among those in school and in industry.
Log books from Snodland Hook's School said: "During the Morning (at 11 am) the long continual whistling of the sirens of various cement works, paper mill etc, announced the eagerly expected Armistice had become an actual fact. Scholars displayed lively interest and resulting excitement.
"The school flag was speedily unfurled above the school – The scholars, before dismissal, were assembled and suitably addressed by the Head Master and Mr. Clegg, while finally, the National Anthem was sung.
"Half-holiday given this afternoon."