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Christmas truce :: a series of widespread unofficial ceasefires that took place along the Western Front around Christmas 1914, during the World War I. Through the week leading up to Christmas, parties of German and British soldiers began to exchange seasonal greetings and songs between their trenches; on occasion, the tension was reduced to the point that individuals would walk across to talk to their opposite numbers bearing gifts.

British and German soldiers exchange cigarettes, gifts, and addresses during Christmas Truce, 1914

Studio Portrait -WWI German Soldier. The flowers tucked into his uniform indicate he will be sent to the front soon.

The Christmas truce was a series of widespread, unofficial ceasefires that took place along the Western Front around Christmas 1914, during World War I. Through the week leading up to Christmas, parties of German and British soldiers began to exchange seasonal greetings and songs between their trenches; on occasion, the tension was reduced to the point that individuals would walk across to talk to their opposite numbers bearing gifts.

First World War, mobilization, declaration of war: a group of soldiers with a cloth to throw one of them into the air during preparations for the battle at the front. England, 1915

Over ninety years ago during World War I, British and German soldiers put down their weapons, walked out into the desolation of No-Man’s Land and shook hands. This was the Christmas cease fire of 1914. In a moment unique to the First World War, troops were given a moment of respite from the horrors of the war when soldiers exchanged gifts, looked at each others’ family photographs and played friendly games of football with the enemy.