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The Christmas truce

From The Great War 1914-1918
File:A Christmas Incident in the Trenches in the West.jpg
A Christmas Incident in the Trenches in the West. Sketch by Frederic Villiers.

The Christmas truce: The exceptional occurrence of Christmas Day, 1914, in some sectors of the Western Front. A sort of fraternisation took place here and there in front line trenches between the British and Germans, the men meeting in No Man's Land and exchanged cigarettes etc., "It began," Lord French, in his book, "1914," says "by individual unarmed men running from the German trenches across to ours holding Christmas trees over their heads." The British authorities issued stringent orders against the recurrence of anything of the kind, and certain officers in charge were severely called to account for what happened. On Christmas Day, 1915, at one or two points the Germans sang carols and tried to come out into No Man's Land, calling on British men. Staff Officers, however, had been posted in the trenches to prevent fraternisation and shells from British artillery quickly made the enemy run back. [1]

References / notes

  1. Edward Fraser and John Gibbons (1925). Soldier and Sailor Words and Phrases. Routledge, London p.55.
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