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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Remembered Today:

1914 xmas truce


eskimo

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Pals,

Had the family round for lunch today and my grandson was asking about the football match that went on between soldiers of both sides on xmas day 1914.

I remember reading somwhere that some Nco's were disciplined for the fraternisation that went on, can anyone clarify this for me?

eskimo.

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Eskimo,

The most authorative work I have read on the Truce is the Imperial War Museum Book written by Malcolm Brown and Shirley Seaton.

There were certainly repercussions,dished out to Officers for participating,but I have no recollection of it extending to NCOs.

My Uncle,certainly did not lose one or both his Corporal stripes but the fragmentary evidence that remains records that his Battalion met "the Enemy" in No Man's Land to wish them all the best for the Festive Season and they then returned to their respective trenches to resume "normal business".

I should add that the Book, I have referred to,records that prior to Christmas 1915 the Battalion(8th Royal Scots) received a stern warning, from their Colonel,who stressed that any repeat of the previous year's activities would not be countenanced.

George

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As George said the battalions were given stern verbal warnings, and moved to other parts of the line. By Christmas 1915, I believe that a standing order was given to all front line units to ensure that the morning 'hate' at stand to was rigorously enforced. Haven't come across any specific NCOs blamed or punished.

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Geraint,

I'm not certain all Battalions who "truced" were moved to different parts of the Line.

From the History I recently sent you.

"The Battalion remained in the region of their first experiences(Fleurbaix) until March 1915.Companies usually relieving each other in the line."

I accept,of course,this may not be the norm.

George

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Yes George, you're right. I've had a quick look up and quoting from Silent Night, Stanley Weintraub it should be "most"!

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Geraint,

Don't start John Hartley or me off,on Stanley Weintraub's Book on the Truce. :D

Suffice to say I(We) prefer the Malcolm Brown/Shirley Seaton one.

George

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Pals,

Thanks for your replies.

I remember now where it was I got it from. a book called "When the guns fall silent" by James Riordan. A mixture of fact and story, in his account a sergeant had his stripes removed by his coronel for Frat-ern-iz-ation, and was removed from his battalion, never to be seen again. Charged with dishonourable conduct and shot.

eskimo.

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George

I know; I agree! But I 've only just read Weintraub and the fact sort of stuck in the mind!. :blush:

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"A mixture of fact and story, in his account a sergeant had his stripes removed by his coronel for Frat-ern-iz-ation, and was removed from his battalion, never to be seen again. Charged with dishonourable conduct and shot."

Doesn't sound much in the way of fact there... !

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