Christmas Truce Centenary for 1914...
THIS Christmas will see the centenary of the 1914 truce so I'm hoping there will be many enw additions to the site in the next few weeks. I have now launched a page devoted to centenary events. Feel free to email me details of your events so I can share them with everyone else. My email is firstname.lastname@example.org.
PTE HEATH: THE MAN BEHIND THE LETTER
THERE is one letter that stands out from the crowd among the hundreds of truce letters on this website: the remarkable Pte Heath letter. It is a letter which describes the truce from beginning to end and it's one which is beautifully written. The letter was unearthed by volunteer Marian Robson and first appeared in the North Mail of January 9, 1915. But sadly we knew nothing about Pte Heath. He was obviously well educated but did he survive the war? Now, thanks to the diligent work of Charles Woollam and Gill Joye, his story can be told. It's quite a story. Read his biography here.
A CHRISTMAS TRUCE SONG
The Christmas truce has inspired many songs, stories and plays. Here's one delightful song composed by Alan Gray: The Reserve.
IT'S ALL FREE!
A reminder to anyone visiting this site that all the material on it is free to use - either word for word or adapted to suit your own needs. The material is either out of copyright or, in the case of the pictures, given away free. The importance of the message of the Christmas Truce and the men who lost their lives in World War One, would make it an insult for us to add any copyright to their remarkable letters!
CHRISTMAS TRUCE PLAY
I was delighted to hear from the Royal Shakespeare Theatre at Stratford-upon-Avon that they are performing a play, The Christmas Truce, written by Phil Porter. It looks superb and is suitable for families (recommends children over nine). See other Centenary events..
Truce poem :
I received an email from Gordon Hutchins telling me of a book of his poems he has had published to raise money for a good cause. One of the poems concerns the Christmas Truce. Read more...
Heath letter now available in German
We are grateful to Mathias Probst for translating the remarkable Pte Heath letter into German. You can read the letter in English here and there is a link at the top of the page to the German translation.
Children to mark truce
The Duke of Cambridge is leading a campaign to get children involved in commemorating the truce. See Guardian newspaper article.
National War Memorial
There are plans to erect a monument to the Christmas Truce at the National Arboretum in England. This will be the first memorial to the truce in the UK. See more details.
Read some of the letters
THE main purpose of this website is to serve as an archive for many of the letters written by soldiers who experienced the truce first-hand. The letters are out of copyright and you may use the material as you wish. Start reading the letters...
MASTHEAD PICTURE courtesy of The Salient Remembrance Detachment.