Christmas in the trenches

An interest story from the Daily Mail:

"Christmas Eve, 1914, and not a shot fired. The Germans ask to play football and hand out drink and cigars. They are eager to swop almost anything for our bully beef."

It was possibly the most poignant moment of the Great War - when for a short time, the killing stopped and foes became friends, playing soccer instead of firing guns.

Continued here.

Thank you to RSM Beck's grand-daughter for giving his diary to the general public. Lest we forget...
A similar story from Iraq:

The afternoon was growing darker as evening approached. Friday prayers had ended hours before. But the streets of Baghdad remained eerily quiet. No car bombs booming. No echoing rounds of small arms fire. And, most unusually, no reports of deadly IED's, mass kidnappings, or summary executions. In fact, there was not even ONE story slugged VIOLENCE--IRAQ--WRITETHROUGH on the news wires. Something was afoot.

All Iraqis eyes, it seemed, were fixed on one collective screen, watching, live via satellite, as Team Another crew went to a local coffee-shop at a nearby hotel. ''Football is the only thing that can unite Iraqis,'' offered up teenager Hassan Hadi, a Shiite, during the match. Omar, the waiter and, at 33, an opinionated Sunni, had this advice, ''I wish that Iraqi politicians would deal with politics the way Iraqi people deal with a soccer championship, and just clear their hearts.''

There were no celebrations. But, within minutes of the whistle, the explosions began. First a car bomb. Then a mortar round. Before long the war we seem to hate to call “civil” was back to normal. And the news wires started to turn out the routine stories -- a tribal sheikh with ties to British forces is murdered in a drive-by shooting in Basra; two U.S. Marines die from their wounds in al-Anbar combat, etc, etc.

For a respite of 3 hours, the Killing Fields became a kind of Field of Dreams. Iraqis fantasized about winning, about being the best, and -- even better -- forgot about their wretched state.

There is hope yet for humankind.
I have my Great Uncles letters to his parents from 1913-1918, which include the '14 Christmas, and his war diary '39-'45,

which I hope to post on here in the New Year. I'm just not certain which format they should be in. Advice anyone?
One of the best documented xmas day truces involvd a Capt Sir Edward Hulse of the Scots Guards and his men. I work for the current Sir Edward also ex Scots guards.

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