In these years of the ANZAC Centenary, the legendary “Christmas Truce” has again received attention. In 1914, as Christmas approached, there were numerous unofficial cease-fires occurring along the Western Front. In these German and British soldiers crossed lines and exchanged Christmas wishes, food, and in some cases, engaged in a friendly game of football.
Local newspapers recorded the heart-warming story of the 1914 Christmas Truce in articles similar to this in the Geraldton Guardian on Tuesday, January 5, 1915:
“A colonel states that the Germans and his men rushed out spontaneously. He at first suspected treachery, but afterwards he permitted the fraternisation and took part in it. The English helped to bury the German dead and attended a church service a German captain reading the service in German and English.”
Sadly, those in command positions were not
as pleased about this fraternisation and as the war continued, bitterness and anger at opposing forces meant that the Christmas Truce was not to be recreated in subsequent years.