“Dearest Mother, I think I have seen today one of the most extraordinary sights that anyone has ever seen.

About 10 o’clock this morning I was peeping over the parapet when I saw a German, waving his arms, and presently two of them got out of their trench and came towards ours.

We were just going to fire on them when we saw they had no rifles, so one of our men went to meet them and in about two minutes the ground between the two lines of trenches was swarming with men and officers of both sides, shaking hands and wishing each other a happy Christmas.

I went out myself and shook hands with several of their officers and men. From what I gathered most of them would be glad to get home again as we should – we have had our pipes playing all day and everyone has been walking about in the open unmolested.

We exchanged cigarettes and autographs, and some more people took photos. I don’t know how long it will go on for – I believe it was supposed to stop yesterday, but we can hear no firing going on along the front today except a little distant shelling.

We are, at any rate, having another truce on New Year’s Day, as the Germans want to see how the photos come out!

This extraordinary truce has been quite impromptu. There was no previous arrangement and of course it had been decided that there was not to be any cessation of hostilities.”

– Captain Chater, 1914. Western Front.


This story was documented by Battles and Beers. Every soldier has a story, and every story deserves to be told.

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