In 1914 a series of widespread unofficial ceasefires took place along the Western Front around Christmas time, during the First World War. Through the week leading up to Christmas, parties of German and Allied soldiers began to exchange seasonal greetings and songs between their trenches. At times the tension of war was reduced to such a point that individuals would even walk across to talk to their opposite numbers bearing gifts.
On Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, many soldiers from both sides independently ventured into “No man’s land“, where they mingled, exchanging food and souvenirs. As well as joint burial ceremonies, several meetings ended in carol-singing. Troops from both sides had also been so friendly as to play games of football with one another.
The truce is seen as a symbolic moment of peace and humanity amidst one of the most violent events of modern history in the 20th Century.
Soldiers, Sailors and Airmen all knew that they were doing their duty for their country and that their enemy was doing the same for his. In todays complex world where the boundaries of International conflict are blurred with ideological conflicts and it is no longer one nations soldiers fighting the soldiers of another, it is unlikely that we would ever again see a repeat and such empathy being shared by soldiers across the battlefield.
This year has been a difficult one for us a nation particularly with flood and cyclones, casualties in Afghanistan and ongoing uncertainty in the economy of the world at large. We truly wish everyone in the Kenmore Moggill sub-branch district a joyous Christmas and a all the very best for a prosperous New Year in 2012.
This Christmas when we are sharing the day with our families and friends, spare a moments thought for our servicemen and women who are spending this day in war zones or on peace keeping duties overseas, separated from their families, safeguarding our freedom to enjoy our lives each and every day.
“Lest We Forget”