Secrets of 1914 Xmas truce revealed

April 28th, 2009 - 2:20 pm ICT by ANI  

London, Apr.28 (ANI): One of the architects of the First World War has revealed the existence of a Christmas Day truce in 1914 between German and British soldiers.

Captain Robert Hamilton, of the 1st battalion Royal Warwickshire regiment, was at the heart of those magical few hours, the Daily Express reveals.His grandson, former history teacher Andrew Hamilton, was inspired to collate his relative’s diary and other illustrations and documents after his daughter visited the battlefields with her school.

He and historian Alan Reed have drawn on more than 100 photographs, cartoons, maps and sketches to write a book.

Hamilton’s daughter Alice took the diary with her on a school trip to the battlefields of France and Belgium. Reed was one of the tour organisers. She gave him the diary to look at.”We found we both shared a deep interest in the First World War and agreed to research my grandfather’s experiences,” Hamilton, a resident of Walton in Warwickshire, said.

“For me it was fascinating following my grandfather’s campaign footsteps and pinpointing the exact spot where he met a German officer, two miles from the Belgian hamlet of St Yvon on Christmas Day.”

Writing in his small, leather-bound journal for December 25, 1914, Captain Hamilton wrote: “A day unique in the world’s history. I met this officer and we arranged a local armistice for 48 hours.”He added: “The soldiers on both sides met in their hundreds and exchanged greetings and gifts.”

Captain Hamilton returned to England in 1915 after being made deaf by shell fire. (ANI)

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