Merry Christmas

Rather than writing a blog article for 24 December I thought I would explore a day in 1914, when German and British soldiers on the western front of World War One decided that they would put their arms down for 24 hours and meet their foes on in the trenches opposite them. It was a time in World War One when the soldiers, the sailors and the airmen who were fighting in atrocious conditions in northern Europe realized that there would be no peace in 1914.

How different this was to World War Two or the more recent conflicts. In World War Two in 1940 the Germans bombed London on Christmas Day. In 1941 the Japanese occupied Hong Kong on Christmas Day. Two years later 1944, the Germans and the Americans were locked in a bitter struggle for Bastogne in the Ardennes. But on this day in 1914, two foes divided by everything except perhaps the common knowledge that their trenches and the conditions in it were probably no better than those in the opposing trenches, decided on a spot of humanity where they would bury their dead, have a game of football and sing a few carols. They might swap cigarettes and a few rations.Christmas Truce

If these foes could manage it in 1914, why can’t the conflict in Syria and Iraq be put on hold for 24 hours in a show of humanity?

Merry Christmas. Back on 29 December.

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