A Christmas truce during World War One

December 26th, 2007 - 2:38 pm ICT by admin  

London, Dec.26 (ANI): A diary belonging to a World War One British Army captain has revealed some poignant moments relating to Christmas truces on Western Front battlefields in 1914.
According to Captain Robert Hamilton, one of the officers in charge of the First Battalion of the Royal Warwickshire Regiment, a 48-hour armistice was negotiated between him and his German equivalent in no-man’s land near the Belgian hamlet of St. Yvon.
The armistice inspired truces up and down the trenches in which soldiers from both sides sang carols, played football and exchanged small presents of food, cigars and tunic buttons.
Hamilton’s diary - revealed by his grandson more than 90 years after it was written - runs from August 5, 1914 to January 12, 1915.
The Telegraph quotes Captain Hamilton as saying that on Christmas Eve, he received a message that “the Germans wanted to talk to us”.
The Germans sought know whether they were interacting with the Warwicks, and were told to Come and see.
They suggested that both sides come half way, and we will bring you some cigars.”
Captain Hamilton says that he first sent his orderly, Private Gregory to meet the enemy, and then agreed to meet a German officer at dawn the next day.
On Christmas Day, he wrote: “I found a Saxon officer of the 134th Saxon Corps, who was fully armed. I pointed to his revolver and pouch. He smiled and said, seeing I was unarmed, ‘Alright now’.
“We shook hands and said what we could in double dutch, arranged a local armistice for 48 hours and returned to our trenches.”
He concludes his entry for Dec 25: “A very merry Xmas and a most extraordinary one, but I doubled the sentries after midnight”.
His neatly typed account of the Christmas truce was among 20 volumes of diaries handed down to his grandson, Andrew Hamilton, of Warwick.
Hamilton said that, like most of those who fought in the First World War, his grandfather, a farmer and landowner from Okehampton, Devon, never spoke of his experiences.
He says that his grandfather felt extremely close to the soldiers under his command, believing the war was very difficult for them, as most of them were uneducated and from poor backgrounds. (ANI)

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