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Essex town remembers German surrender for Armistice Day

PUBLISHED: 11:30 01 November 2018

Three abandoned U-boats moored off Harwich. The view is angled from the deck of one of the U-boats in the right
foreground. Picture: IWM

Three abandoned U-boats moored off Harwich. The view is angled from the deck of one of the U-boats in the right foreground. Picture: IWM

© IWM (Art.IWM ART 2401)

As East Anglia prepares to mark the centenary of The Armistice on Sunday, November 11 the people of Harwich will have one eye on those events a week later in 1918.

German sailors stood on top of their submaries to surrender. Picture: IWMGerman sailors stood on top of their submaries to surrender. Picture: IWM

The deadly war beneath the waves came to an end and the German U-Boat fleet surfaced outside the Harwich Haven and prepared to surrender.

On November 17 and 18, Harwich Haven: Surrender and Sanctuary, a National Lottery-funded project, will mark the 100th anniversary of a momentous but almost forgotten episode at the end of the First World War - the start of 168 German U-Boats surrendering on the Harwich coast, their crews shipped back to Germany and the vessels broken up.

The project team has put together a range of public events throughout the weekend, including themed trains bringing passengers to Harwich with a submariner re-enactor, expert talks and theatre from Eastern Angles Theatre Company and a new exhibition of First World War art from the Imperial War Museum.

There will also be history walks, a lightbox trail around the town and archive film shows plus a parade of flags to the completed stunning willow U-Boat for the commemoration on November 18.

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