The Chistmas Truce of 1914 : The True Sprit of Christmas

Posted on 25th Dec 2021

As the end of 1914 approached the Great war had developed into a stalemate with trench warfare the norm , the much talked about " .....War over by Christmas " mantra pf  August 1914  was taking on a rather hollow tone .

On December 7, 1914, Pope Benedict XV suggested a temporary hiatus of the war for the celebration of Christmas. The warring countries refused to create any official cease-fire, but on Christmas the soldiers in the trenches declared their own unofficial truce


.The  Christmas Truce of 1914 came only five months after the outbreak of the  War  and was  one of the last examples of the outdated notion of chivalry between enemies in warfare. It was never repeated—future attempts at holiday ceasefires were quashed by officers’ threats of disciplinary action—but it served as heartening proof, however brief, that beneath the brutal clash of weapons, the soldiers’ essential humanity endured.

Here is an account of that day from a   Whitehaven soldier Private Dixon, 9100, D Company. Head Quarters Staff, 2nd Border Regiment British Expeditionary Force, writes 

 "Just a line from a few of the Whitehaven lads out at the front. We get your paper sent to us every week, and are very pleased to read the news of the dear old home. There is quite a good number of Whitehaven lads out here, but a few have "gone under." Our regiment has had it very tough since they came out. We numbered about 1,300 when we left home, and now there is only about 150 left, and I happen to be one of the lucky ones. I am proud to say our regiment heads the list in our brigade for distinguished conduct medals.

At Christmas we got quite friendly with the Germans. There was no firing on both sides for about ten days, and we used to go over the trenches and talk to them and exchange souvenirs, but every one we spoke to that could speak English said they wished it was over."

The Chistmas Truce of 1914  : The True Sprit of Christmas