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Remembered Today:

Letter Christmas Truce Graham Price


RichardJPrice

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If this is of any interest to forum members there are a few more interesting letters I could publish on the forum

29th December 1914 4th Division Headquarters

B.E.F. Overseas

Dear Mother

Just a line to let you know received the handkerchiefs alright thank you for them. They up very useful. While on the subject of same you may be interested to know that I haven’t had any colds yet (touch wood), and put it down to the open air life. There has been more or less of a truce this Xmas between our men and the Germans, not officially recognised but just friendliness between the men. Our trenches here are only 75yd. from the Germans (as we captured their original first line of trenches) and therefore when our fellows started singing carols on Christmas eve the Germans (who could hear quite easily) cheered, and then sang one of their own, which are men cheered. On Christmas morning, two of the Germans got up with their hands above their heads and shouted to two of our men to go and meet them and drink their health. So two of our men of volunteered to go and meet between the trenches, and before the sight of the whole line, shook hands with them and drank their health. Soon there were lots of our men walking up and down with the Germans between the two opposing lines of trenches, and then the officers did likewise, and things progressed very amicably. Meanwhile the artillery was still bombarding various places on both sides, but as I explained previously our position is unique as it is sheltered by a wood, and therefore out of range of artillery.

Well, The truth of lasted for three days, and two of our operators went over to speak to the Germans; but it all ended at 12a.m. last night. It is almost unbelievable, so I am enclosing you the summary of the information which is printed each night. You will notice in this summary, a paragraph stating that the Germans advise the Hants (they are in our Brigade) that hostilities will break out again at mid-day. Please keep the summary as a souvenir (See Appendix C). It is unique for this reason. Please thank the Flo for her magazines and letter, much appreciated, also Jeanie for punch. I look forward to it. The cigarettes, however, haven’t arrived yet, but I will write and thank her when they do. Please thank Laura and Mabel for their letters. I also received a letter and a box of cigarettes from Moore. If you see him, please thank him. By the way, I was sent to General Headquarters at Omer about 35mi. from here and stayed at the night, and slept in a real bed, the first time for about ten weeks. The Elmfieldian was very interesting although there were one or two editorial blunders in the despatch riders account, still it doesn’t matter much.

With very best love to you and all at home.

Yours affectionately

Graham

28th December, 1914.

SUMMARY OF INFORMATION.

1. The 106th Saxon Regiment was identified yesterday East of PLOEGSTEERT Wood.

During the last few days men, apparently of other units, have been noticed in the trenches held by the l07th Saxon Regiment, viz., 20th, 22nd, 24th, 77th, 78th, l02nd, l44th.

22 is probably the 22nd Pioneer Battalion of the XIX Corps. 24 the Divisional troops of the 246h Division, XIX Corps. 77 and 78 the artillery regiments of the XIX Corps. 102 should belong to the XII Saxon Corps. Those men may have been sent to the XIX Corps as reinforcements. Cases have been noticed where men who have recovered from wounds have been sent to units other than their own, but retain their own uniforms. Men of the Artillery, Pioneers, Train, etc., have distinctive markings. If these can be noticed identification is much facilitated. For instance, artillery and pioneers have their collars and cuffs odged with black piping. Train with light blue piping.

The following message was sent by the Saxons to the Hampshire’s:-

"Gentlemen. Our automatic pistol has been ordered from the Colonel to begin the fire again at midnight, we

take it an honour to award you of this fact.

NORTH OF THE LYS.

There is no change.

3. SOUTH OF THE LYS. The French made considerable

progress in the neighbourhood of CARENCY (6 miles North of ARRAS) yesterday, After a very heavy bombardment an attack was launched and seven German trenches were taken. .

4. A hostile airship is reported to have been seen last week near SERQUEUX on the railway between AMIENS and ROUEN.

On the 25th a Zeppelin flew over NANCY and threw

13 bombs on the town, killing two inhabitants and wounding two.

On the same day four hostile aeroplanes made an attack on FURNES. They dropped several bombs without doing any damage.

RUSSIA.

5. Again there is little news from Russia. The Russian

General Staff on the 26th state that there is no essential change on the left bank of the VISTULA. Between the lower course of the VISTULA and the P1LICIA the fighting on the 25th instant was less desperate, with the exception of that in the region adjacent to the PILICA, where violent fighting went on all day and night.

In GALICIA the fighting is described as "favourable

to the Russian arms".

6. ASIA MINOR. Last week Turkish troops, numbering some

20,000, attacked the Russians in the district of VAN. The

enemy were counter attacked and put to flight.

W.W.Pitt-Taylor

Captain, G.S.

III Corps.

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