Saturday, December 25, 2010

The Christmas Truce, 1914

"The Christmas truce was a series of widespread unofficial ceasefires that took place along the Western Frontaround Christmas of 1914, during the First World War. Through the week leading up to Christmas, parties ofGerman and British soldiers began to exchange seasonal greetings and songs between their trenches; on occasion, the tension was reduced to the point that individuals would walk across to talk to their opposite numbers bearing gifts. On Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, many soldiers from both sides – as well as, to a lesser degree, from French units – independently ventured into no man's land, where they mingled, exchanging food and souvenirs. As well as joint burial ceremonies, several meetings ended in carol-singing, or – famously – games of football." (Wikipedia)

"As Mr Felstead remembered it, the peace overture came on Christmas Eve from enemy lines. Soldiers there sang, in German, the Welsh hymn “Ar Hyd y Nos”. Their choice of hymn was taken as a much-appreciated acknowledgment of the nationality of the regiment opposing them in trenches about 100 metres away, and the Royal Welch Fusiliers responded by singing “Good King Wenceslas”."
Read The Economist's profile of the last known survivor, Bernie Felstead, here:

From Dark Threads, to the troops:
Where ever you are, we wish you peace, and a safe return home!

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