Christmas Day Truce 1914: Volunteers re-enact football game on Belgium fields

Men gathered in authentic uniforms to play football with their German counterparts

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The Independent Online

Volunteers dressed as First World War soldiers from the British and German armed forces took part in a re-enactment of the Armistice truce in Belgium.

Men in authentic period uniforms of the Lancashire Fusiliers and Seaforth Highlanders re-enacted the moment on Christmas Day 1914 when silence fell and men climbed out of mud-filled trenches on both sides to play football together.

The brief ceasefire has become enshrined in the collective British memory as a rare moment during the vicious conflict that claimed 37 million civilian and military lives.

Although fighting did continue elsewhere along the frontline in Belgium, in small spots a brief ceasefire allowed both sides to retrieve their dead and rescue their wounded from the swampy no-mans’ land.

 

After reports of the unofficial ceasefire emerged, military leaders on both sides of the conflict were enraged by this apparent “softening” of attitudes.

The following Christmases shellfire was continuous, preventing a similar brief period of peace to descend upon the trenches again.

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