It is difficult to believe that it is almost 100 years since the outbreak of the First World War, yet, the spirit of the unofficial Ceasefire, on the first Christmas Eve of the War, continues to capture the imagination of many.
The singing of Christmas Carols brought the two sides together that night and led to many soldiers meeting in “No Man’s Land” to exchange gifts, hold burial ceremonies, and, famously, to play football.
The current Poet Laureate, Carol Ann Duffy, captures the spirit of the event in ‘The Christmas Truce’, her latest poem. The transformation of the night from one of quiet and homesickness to that of a celebration between the two sides is wonderfully described. Beautiful illustrations by David Roberts also help to bring the moment alive.
Through Duffy’s work the event becomes all the more poignant for us, looking back, and knowing that the fighting would resume. Yet, there is a hopeful message too, that even in the midst of the misery of war, a moment of joy was shared by all.
You can find further details of The Christmas Truce on our catalogue.
We’d like to wish all of the readers of our ‘New to the Catalogue’ Blog a ‘Merry Christmas’!