The Christmas Truce – Saturday 27 December 1pm
The Christmas Truce
Saturday 27 December 1pm
Christmas 1914, the first Christmas of The First World War and an event that one British soldier at the time described as "a day unique in the world's history." There are many accounts of that day and many disputes about what really happened, but what we do know is that British and German soldiers in various places along the front line put down their weapons, exchanged simple gifts, sang Christmas carols and buried their dead. There are even accounts of football matches. In this programme, Nelufar Hedayat explores what is really known about The Christmas Truce – through accounts of the men who were there and the reactions of children hearing the story for the first time. We'll also be hearing how the story has been used in pop songs and a TV commercial, how present-day Germans respond to it (among them the great-great-grandson of Emperor Wilhelm II, Prince Philip Kiril of Prussia) and how young footballers from across Europe are experiencing the spirit of the Christmas truce at Ypres, re-creating the kick-about on the battered land above the trenches.