Our archive manager Melanie Bryan picks out some extraordinary images that show what Britain was like 100 years ago, with life going on despite the war raging in France and Belgium.

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Life in 1918 (©Country Life Picture Library)

Life in 1918 (©Country Life Picture Library)

As women filled all manner of roles in society that would have been hard to believe before 1914, attitudes changed – and quickly. Women were first granted the right to vote in February 1918, albeit with age and property restrictions at first. Equal suffrage for men and women would not come until 1928.

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Life in 1918 (©Country Life Picture Library)

Life in 1918 (©Country Life Picture Library)

The Old Khan in the Syrian captial of Damascus, used for storage during the war.

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Life in 1918 (©Country Life Picture Library)

Life in 1918 (©Country Life Picture Library)

If you think that the price looks low, you’re right – even for the era. A combination of death and hefty death duties saw many country houses and estates come to the market during the war at knock-down prices. £18,500 in 1918 is equivalent to around £950,000 in today’s money.

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Life in 1918 (©Country Life Picture Library)

Life in 1918 (©Country Life Picture Library)

German prisoners of war didn’t just sit in camps – here are some pictured helping to bring in the harvest in the summer of 1918.

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Life in 1918 (©Country Life Picture Library)

Life in 1918 (©Country Life Picture Library)

Observation balloons being made for the Western Front at the Sidney Davidson Factory in London, which opened in April 1918. After the war it was sold to the Kiwi boot polish company.

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Life in 1918 (©Country Life Picture Library)

Life in 1918 (©Country Life Picture Library)

Millions of horses helped the war effort, and keeping them healthy was an important task.

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Life in 1918 (©Country Life Picture Library)

Life in 1918 (©Country Life Picture Library)

The signing of the Armistice was celebrated by crowds gathering at Buckingham Palace, and recorded in Country Life a few days later.

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Life in 1918 (©Country Life Picture Library)

Life in 1918 (©Country Life Picture Library)

The Armistice was signed on November 11, 1918, but it was 10 days later that the Royal Navy earned it’s greatest victory. The surrender of the German fleet – in which the entire German Imperial Navy was handed to the British without a shot being fired – was recorded in this specially-commissioned picture by B. F. Gribble for Country Life.

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Life in 1918 (©Country Life Picture Library)

Life in 1918 (©Country Life Picture Library)

Country Life did its it bet to help raise morale in the First World War, thanks to a scheme which allowed people to post their copies free of charge to the men on the front.

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Life in 1918 (©Country Life Picture Library)

Life in 1918 (©Country Life Picture Library)

Country Life wasn’t alone in carrying on as normal throughout the war. It seems hard to believe now, but normal life continued in all sorts of ways despite the war raging – even including holidays for those who wished to winter on the Mediterranean, as evidenced by this January 1918 advert.

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Life in 1918 (©Country Life Picture Library)

Life in 1918 (©Country Life Picture Library)

Life continued as normal not just for well-heeled holidaymakers but also for drivers across Britain.

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Life in 1918 (©Country Life Picture Library)

Life in 1918 (©Country Life Picture Library)

Bathurst House Auxiliary Hospital in Belgrave Square hosted recovering soldiers – it’s hard to imagine what arriving in such a place must have been like for men who had spent years in the trenches.

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Life in 1918 (©Country Life Picture Library)

Life in 1918 (©Country Life Picture Library)

This beautiful place was another wartime property bargain. Today, it’s a nursing home.

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Life in 1918 (©Country Life Picture Library)

Life in 1918 (©Country Life Picture Library)

Unlike Blackwater Covert (above), Chilham Castle remains a private home – today, it’s owned by millionaire financier-turned right-wing activist (and Brexit backer) Stuart Wheeler.

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Life in 1918 (©Country Life Picture Library)

Life in 1918 (©Country Life Picture Library)

Copped Hall had been featured in Country Life in 1910, and despite being put on the market in 1918 it’s believed to have remained in the Wythe Family for a further 30 years. The house fell into disrepair in the 1950s, but was restored following a huge effort that began in the 1990s. The Hall itself is just one of many beautiful homes within the property – singer Rod Stewart lived in a mansion on the estate for 30 years before selling up in 2016.

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Life in 1918 (©Country Life Picture Library)

And finally, with the war over, what better to do than put some music on and throw a party to celebrate? HMV splashed out on a full-colour advertisement in Country Life to help prompt people to do just that.