Great War Xmas Truce of 1914 Was No One-Off. and I Have Evidence to Prove It; SOLDIERS' LETTERS REWRITE HISTORY Historian Uncovers Truth Officers Tried to Cover Up

Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland), December 20, 2016 | Go to article overview

Great War Xmas Truce of 1914 Was No One-Off. and I Have Evidence to Prove It; SOLDIERS' LETTERS REWRITE HISTORY Historian Uncovers Truth Officers Tried to Cover Up


Byline: c.gall@dailyrecord.co.uk CHARLIE GALL

A HISTORIAN has found evidence the famous Great War Christmas truce of 1914 was not a one-off.

Soldiers crossed no-man's land to exchange gifts during the first winter of World War I. Generals clamped down on British and German troops' festivities on the Western Front.

But an Aberdeen University professor found evidence in troops' letters home that they went on even after the carnage of the Somme in late 1916.

Professor Thomas Weber said: "I came across a surprising number of references to Christmas truces beyond 1914.

"It goes against our standard understanding of the war and I was fortunate to be given access to private accounts of those who fought in the trenches.

"We need to reconsider the view that combatants during the Great War were driven by a brutalising cycle of violence and a radicalisation of minds which made this type of truce impossible after 1914.

"A hundred years on, it's important to focus on what drove soldiers to continue trying to fraternise with their opponents during Christmas as well as other times of the year."

Weber's research reveals a century-long history of cover-ups where official records conflict with the testimonies of ordinary soldiers.

In 1916, a truce between German and Canadian troops at Vimy Ridge was recorded by Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry as a German's attempt to interact to which no-one responded.

But a letter by Ronald MacKinnon, the son of a Scot from Levenseat, near Fauldhouse, West Lothian, tells a different story. …

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