New research has uncovered the most detailed account yet of the banned 1915 Christmas Truce where British and German soldiers defied official orders to make peace in No Man’s Land
As night descended over the Western Front on Christmas Eve, the guns fell silent and carols drifted across no man’s land. The Germans opened up first, singing hymns learnt in their native Rhineland and Bavaria, before the British responded, belting out Good King Wenceslas.
At first light on Christmas Day, the soldiers emerged unarmed from the trenches and met halfway across the muddy killing fields, shaking hands, exchanging buttons, sausage and tins of bully beef. There was even a raucous football match, 50-a-side. That night fairy lights and braziers were hauled over the parapets for the singing to continue.