On a very special Christmas during WWI something extraordinary happened. German soldiers began lighting makeshift Christmas trees along their trench lines. Graham Williams, a British soldier, on one of the holding lines along The Western Front, reported ” that as more trees were illuminated, our opponents began singing ‘Silent Nacht, Heilig Nacht’… they finished their carol and we thought that we ought to retaliate in the same way, so we sang, ‘The First Noel,’ and when we finished, they started clapping. And so it went on an on, the German’s would sing one of their carols and we would sing one of ours, until we started up, ‘O Come All ye Faithful,’ and the German’s immediately joined in, singing the latin words, ‘Adeste Fidelis.”
But the story doesn’t end here. The next morning the German soldiers noticed that a board was being held up by the British soldiers with the words MERRY CHRISTMAS written on it. Further down the same holding line, another board on the German side read, YOU NO FIGHT WE NO FIGHT.
Soon after, a Junior British Officer remembered , “they waved and we waved back, after all it was Christmas Day. Some moments passed without anyone exchanging a shot, and both sides a little hesitantly, began mingling in what was called ‘No Man’s Land, exchanging handshakes and sharing cigars and other foodstuffs.” For over four hours this scene was reported up and down the Whole Western Front.
Merry Christmas everyone!