Articles in The Guardian and in The Observer provide fresh detail on the famous Christmas Truce of World War I, when German and British troops stopped shooting and played football on Christmas day in 1914. The reports are from a new book about the truce, the first one from the German perspective, and from an interview with Alfred Anderson, the last living veteran (aged 108) to remember the truce.

Anderson still treasures the gift package sent to every soldier a few days before the first Christmas of the war from the Princess Royal. The brass box, which is embossed with a profile of Princess Mary, was filled with cigarettes.

It also contained a cream card, with 1914 on the front, which says: ‘With best wishes for a happy Christmas and a victorious New Year, from the Princess Mary and friends at home.’

…To his delight, he discovered that his most treasured possession – a New Testament given to him by his mother before he left for France and inscribed with the message: ‘September 5, 1914. Alfred Anderson. A Present from Mother’ – fitted the box perfectly.

(As seen linked on Emergesque.)

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