WESTBURY’S Church of All Saints will continue First World War commemorations on Friday with a talk on the Christmas Truce.
The presentation on 5th December will focus on the Christmas Truce of 1914 where widespread, unofficial ceasefire took place on the Western Front during World War One.
Through the week leading up to Christmas, parties of German and British soldiers began to exchange seasonal greetings and songs between their trenches; on occasion, the tension was reduced to the point that individuals would walk across to talk to their opposite numbers bearing gifts.
On Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, many soldiers from both sides—as well as, to a lesser degree, from French units—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 were also friendly enough to play games of football with one another, in one of the truce’s most enduring images.
The presentation will begin at 7.30pm and end at 9pm with refreshments available from 7pm and at an interval.
The church is presenting a programme of talks over the centenary years which cover 1914-1919.
The programming of the talks will mirror the events of one hundred years ago. These will include:
2016 The Somme
2017 Ypres (Paschendaele), Palestine and Mesopotamia
2018 The German Spring Offensive, The 100 Days and the Armistice
2019 The North Russia Expedition, Versailles and the end of the War.
Other talks will be thematic covering subjects such as the Home Front, Women at War, War Horses, the War at Sea and War in the Air.
Tickets can be obtained from the parish office (01373 859450) Mon, Weds and Fri: 1.30-4.00pm; Westbury Visitor Centre (01373 825784); the Laverton; or on the door.
The cost is £8 which includes wine, tea or coffee.