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WW1 Christmas match detailed in letter

Posted on Monday, 24 December, 2012 | Comment icon 41 comments | News tip by: Still Waters

Image credit: CC 2.0 Andrew Dunn

A letter has been discovered that describes the famous truce that took place in the trenches in 1914.

The letter was written by Staff sergeant Clement Barker who sent it home just four days after Christmas almost a century ago. The truce was initiated by a German messenger who walked across No Man's Land to broker a temporary cease-fire. Sure enough, both the German and British soldiers honored the agreement and not only stopped fighting but also met up to share cigarettes and to play a game of football.

"A German looked over the trench - no shots - our men did the same, and then a few of our men went out and brought the dead in (69) and buried them and the next thing happened a football kicked out of our Trenches and Germans and English played football," Sergeant Barker had written in the letter. Sadly the cease-fire didn't last beyond Christmas - the war was to continue for another four years, a conflict which cost a further ten million lives.

"The disclosure emerged in a previously-unseen letter describing the famous match."

  View: Full article |  Source: Telegraph

  Discuss: View comments (41)


Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #32 Posted by monk 56 on 31 December, 2012, 8:49
Hi Helen, It wasn't my intention to offend if i did, but to put no pressure on you, sadly yesterday i picked up a bug so felt groggy, so is why i didn't post, now time is short. I must say sorry to Still Waters that this thread has got slightly off topic. It is great Helen that you know what i'm talking about, now you only need a compass at midnight, look to South along horizon at midnight, then start drawing an imaginery straight line upward from that point, at some point it will cut through Sirius, this is intentional by how our calendar works. Now in Sydney, Australia, the belt of Orion wil... [More]
Comment icon #33 Posted by monk 56 on 31 December, 2012, 10:34
Hi Helen, Top picture on link below is for you, look to horizon at midnight tonight at SOUTH using compass, then think of a straight line from that point upwards in the sky, you will find it nearly cuts through Sirius, as Rijeka, Serbia is 14*E24'33" Longitude, slightly out of every 15 Degrees. Picture below, also bottom picture for Sydney Australia at 1am due to Summer Time:-
Comment icon #34 Posted by Helen of Annoy on 31 December, 2012, 11:23
Hi, monk, Donít you worry, no offence whatsoever. Especially since itís a picture for Helen, mind you, now itís guaranteed Iíll remember to check it out tonight. Itís also funny how Croatia is just in 15 degrees section and Serbia out of it. Donít get me wrong, just because I dislike politics doesnít mean I dislike my neighbours. I wish them the same prosperity that I wish for myself, but it sounded for a moment like the situation on Earth is determined by stars. Not by stars themselves, but by people who obviously take great care of celestial situation.
Comment icon #35 Posted by monk 56 on 31 December, 2012, 12:20
Hi Helen, I hope you get my humour, i know my humour is nutty English, and people all over the world laugh at different things, perhaps we should follow the philosophy of Jiminy Cricket in Pinocchio, ha ha! Lyrics below:- I don't want to spoil New Year for any, Perhaps Pope Gregory XIII was wishing on a star when he created the Gregorian Calendar, it is what i would like to show over our celebrations, however you may want to walk like an Egyptian at midnight ha ha!
Comment icon #36 Posted by Helen of Annoy on 1 January, 2013, 10:45
Hi, monk, Life would be unbearable without humour. Light is fine, but the more morbid, the better, if you ask me, since this existence tends to look morbid from common perspective. Anyway, weather was perfect, and I actually remembered to take conscious look at the sky at midnight. Fireworks were in the distance, didnít affect the view at all. It was just like in your picture... well, of course it was, I meant to say Iím astronomy-challenged so I wasnít sure if Iím going to mix something up. I didnít. Orion is so characteristic, no matter how much it ďmovesĒ you can always recognize it. Only I... [More]
Comment icon #37 Posted by The New Richard Nixon on 1 January, 2013, 11:53
Can we get back on track?
Comment icon #38 Posted by monk 56 on 2 January, 2013, 12:35
I now have left this thread, The New Richard Nixon, Helen knows where to find me as you do! I need not to say sorry to you but Still Waters, that i have already posted, go open a hotel called Watergate Hotel, open to non-residents....oops to non- presidents Ha ha!
Comment icon #39 Posted by MindfieldzX on 29 January, 2013, 20:28
luls @ the mega-off-topic-explosion. Goodgame!
Comment icon #40 Posted by TheLastLazyGun on 30 January, 2013, 16:49
I disagree with the truce. This was a war, not a happy get together. The two sides should have been striving to obtain their objectives rather than putting down their weapons and playing football. It's no wonder than leaders on both sides were unhappy with the truce.
Comment icon #41 Posted by ealdwita on 31 January, 2013, 13:05
I disagree with the truce. This was a war, not a happy get together. The two sides should have been striving to obtain their objectives rather than putting down their weapons and playing football. It's no wonder than leaders on both sides were unhappy with the truce. In a post-1914 sense, you are quite correct, but in December 1914,despite the Battle of the Marne (where 6000 French troops arrived by taxi!) and various other punch-ups,(Ypres and Aisne) the vast majority of front-line troops on both sides were relatively green recruits after the first battle of Ypres (where the professional Old ... [More]

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