The Great War’s Christmas Truce of 1914: not unique?


Speaking in 1963 for a BBC series on the Great War, the late author Henry Williamson, whose best-known work probably remains Tarka the Otter, gave some fascinating details about what he witnessed in December, 1914, when he was serving as a private in the British Army on the Western Front.

Williamson recalled that, starting late on Christmas Eve, 1914, the guns fell silent and a strange calm fell over the battlefield. Williamson was also surprised to see a Christmas tree go up on the German trenches, and to then hear the enemy soldiers singing Christmas carols. British soldiers sang carols in return. Moreover, at first light the very next day, on a cold Christmas Day morning, soldiers from both sides emerged from their trenches and went out into the frozen areas of ‘No-Man’s Land’, which became, he said, ‘khaki and grey as far as the eye could see’.

christmas-truce-1914 Christmas Day…

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