THE Northern Echo’s editorial of November 12, 1911, is a fascinating, historical record of the time – this is what it felt to be here in the North-East when the war came to an end.

But it is not a triumphalist editorial. The best news, it says in a glass-half-empty style, is that the enemy has been so badly beaten that it could never try such a trick again without being quickly defeated.

And it is not a jingoistic editorial. It is not a British victory and it is not a German defeat, it says, but “the victory of Right over Wrong”.

It is a very sober editorial, comparing the “glorious news” of victory with the ghosts of the “husbands, fathers, sons or lovers who have made the supreme sacrifice”, a sacrifice which it can now truly be said was not in vain.

The editorial hints at the great social changes that the war has wreaked on Britain. It notes that the class system is breaking down, that the role of women has changed, and that the difficulties of reconstructing the country are going to be great.

Video: Chris Lloyd tells the story of the "Fighting Bradfords"

More than anything, it doesn’t want a general election. It sees it as too soon as there aren’t competing visions of the future for the electorate to choose between, and it worries that political conflict will break up national unity.

It didn’t get its wish. Two days later, Prime Minister David Lloyd George called a general election and, dogged by Spanish flu, it was a most curious affair. Lloyd George was a Liberal who had split his own party and so led a coalition government of Liberals supported by Conservatives.

Candidates, both Liberal and Conservative, who supported him in the election had a coupon to prove their allegiance.

The election was held on December 14, with votes not being counted until December 28 so – to allay the Echo editorial’s fears – the votes of men overseas could be counted. It was, of course, a landmark election as the first eight million women – property-owners over 30 – had the vote.

It was a landslide for the coalition. The two parties had 520 seats, although the Conservatives were by far the largest party. It was really a landslide for Lloyd George, as he had hoped, but how would he fare in the new, post-war world where the working-classes, who had shed so much blood for their country, were increasingly in conflict with old powerful interests and increasingly in contact with the new socialist ideas from the continent?

The post-war election of 100 years ago still has an impact on our post-Brexit world. In Ireland, Sinn Fein won 73 seats with the Unionists clinging to just 22 in the north – the break-up of the island was imminent, and we are still struggling to work out its borders.