Over By Christmas: This sequence from Oh, What A Lovely War re-enacts the informal Christmas truce of 1914. The generals had said that the conflict that became the First World War would be over by Christmas - and if it had been left to the ordinary men in the trenches, it would have been.
IN THE FROSTY EVENING AIR of Northern France, on 24 December 1914, British troops, hunkered down in their trenches, heard their German enemies' voices raised in song. Peering across No Man's Land they saw lights twinkling from the branches of scores of Christmas trees raised high above the German parapets.
After several tentative approaches, soldiers from both sides met in the middle of No Man's Land where they exchanged cigarettes and shared a swig or two of liquor from proffered bottles.
For close to a week, an informal truce kept Death at bay along miles of the Western Front. "Hey Fritz!" cried the English Tommies, "Merry Christmas!" Out of the mist came the reply: "English soldier! English soldier! Happy Christmas!"
The song the men were singing on both sides of the line that special Christmas Eve was the hauntingly beautiful "Silent Night".
In the spirit of that miraculous moment, 100 years ago, may I wish all the readers of Bowalley Road a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
Video courtesy of You Tube
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