In the year 1918, during World War 1, American soldier Bill Wilson who was stationed in England, visited Winchester Cathedral and while strolling through the churchyard afterwards his eye was caught by the wording on a gravestone. This inscription made a profound impact on the young soldier as over twenty years later, the inscription appeared on the first page of the book that he authored.
The veteran of the U.S. Army went on to experience years of struggle with alcoholism before finding sobriety in 1934 and founding Alcoholics Anonymous in 1935. Many know the story of Bill entering Towns Hospital in New York City for the last time in December 1934. Below you can listen to the rare recording of Bill telling the story of the spark that started his last period of drinking on Armistice Day in 1934.
Bill tells the story of Armistice Day 1934 during his talk on November 9th, 1954.
Here is his version of the story from page 8 in Bill’s Story in the Alcoholics Anonymous Big Book: