In 1918, at the eleventh hour on the eleventh day of the eleventh month, the guns fell silent on the Western Front. The Armistice signed only six hours earlier took effect. On 28 June 1919 the First World War was formally concluded with the signing of the Treaty of Versailles. The war that so many optimistically hoped would be the war to end all wars was over.

The signing of the peace treaty was followed by nationwide Peace Day celebrations on Saturday, July 19, 1919, with a wooden catafalque erected where the marching troops could salute the dead. Four months later, the anniversary of Armistice Day was marked by the introduction of a two minutes' silence, in the words of King George V, to perpetuate the memory of the Great Deliverance, and of those who have laid down their lives to achieve it'.

On Armistice Day 1920 the body of an Unknown Warrior was buried at Westminster Abbey and at 11am the King unveiled the Cenotaph in Whitehall in place of the earlier, wooden structure. In November 1921 the first of the annual Services of Remembrance in the form that we now know them was held at the Cenotaph. Ever since, the month of November has been associated with Remembrance as people across the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth remember those who have given their lives for their country since 1914.

During the First World War three regiments of the British Army had their headquarters and depot at Winchester - The Hampshire Regiment in the Lower Barracks fronting Southgate Street, and The King's Royal Rifle Corps and The Rifle Brigade in the Upper Barracks off Romsey Road.

These regiments suffered greatly during the Great War. Out of the three-quarters of a million British servicemen who died, 7,541 were from The Hampshire Regiment, including 460 citizens of Winchester; 12,824 from The King's Royal Rifle Corps; and 11,575 from The Rifle Brigade. Each one is remembered in a seemingly endless list of names in the Rolls of Honour in Winchester Cathedral. The war dead of The Hampshire Regiment are also commemorated on the county memorial outside the West door of the cathedral, with The King's Royal Rifle Corps memorial War Rifleman nearby.

Reading the individual names and reflecting upon the sacrifices made by ordinary men and their families in the pursuit of war is both humbling and salutary. It was not, though, just the cost of war in human terms that concentrated people's minds in 1919.

The economic and social repercussions were huge. The thought of fighting further wars on such a grand scale, if at all, was unthinkable. While future generations should never be allowed to forget the sacrifice of lives in the cause of freedom, they also needed to be exposed and educated to the horrors, futility and consequences of war as a step towards preventing a recurrence.

In 1917, before even the fighting had concluded, the Cabinet decided that a National War Museum should be set up to collect and display material relating to the Great War. The interest taken by the Dominion governments led to the museum being given the title of the Imperial War Museum. Established by Act of Parliament, the museum was opened in the Crystal Palace by King George V on 9 June 1920.

The creation of the Imperial War Museum was the catalyst for many regiments in the British Army to start accumulating their own collections of war artefacts and archival material. The King's Royal Rifle Corps and The Rifle Brigade both did so during the 1920s. It is these collections which now form a substantial part of the material on display in The Royal Green Jackets Museum in Peninsula Barracks, Winchester.

Today, the primary purpose of military museums is educative. They record for the benefit of others the history and achievements of their regiments and corps and make use of their collections to inform, educate and inspire visitors of all ages and backgrounds. They are a national resource and play an important part in supporting delivery of the National Curriculum.

Winchester has six military museums, the largest grouping of military museums on one site in the country. In addition to The Royal Green Jackets Museum, there are four other museums in Peninsula Barracks - The King's Royal Hussars Museum, known as Horsepower, the regimental museums of The Light Infantry and the Gurkhas, and the Adjutant-General's Corps or Guardroom Museum.

A sixth military museum, The Royal Hampshire Regiment Museum, occupies the ground floor of Serle's House in Southgate Street.Winchester's Military Museums are individually governed by boards of trustees but operate collectively as a partnership, employing a part-time education officer. Over the past three years the museums have been developing their links with primary and secondary schools in Hampshire, hosting school-children's visits, organising activities and providing fact sheets addressing such themes as Citizenship and Remembrance.

During 2004/6 the museums participated in the first phase of the Government-inspired programme, Their Past, Your Future', designed to raise public awareness of the Second World War and its consequences. The museums are now engaged in the second phase of the programme from 2007/10, which is intended to broaden people's understanding of the impact and significance of past and present conflicts, especially post-1945. A key feature of Their Past, Your Future' is to bring young and old together, and to provide opportunity for the young to learn at first hand from the experiences of veterans.

Winchester's Military Museums have long attracted a wide range of visitors - around 50,000 in 2006 - from those with a particular interest in military history to those with no more than a passing curiosity. Almost without exception, visitors depart more knowledgeable than when they arrive and are inspired by the deeds of past generations.

In this month of November and of Remembrance, it would be as well to reflect upon and rejoice that military museums continue to respond to the bidding in the immortal words of the Epitaph on the memorial at Kohima: When you go home tell them of us and say, For their Tomorrow, we gave our Today.