Following on from the success of the First World War commemorative programme of events in August, Birmingham City Council is continuing to commemorate the First World War with an event marking the 100th anniversary of the Christmas Truce of 1914.
Late on Christmas Eve 1914, men of the British Expeditionary Force heard the German soldiers singing carols and patriotic songs and saw lanterns and small fir trees along their trenches.
Messages began to be shouted between the trenches. The following day, British and German soldiers met in No Man’s Land and exchanged gifts, took photographs and some played football. They also buried casualties and repaired trenches and dugouts.
Some officers viewed the truce as a chance to improve living conditions in the trenches, while others worried that such unwarlike behaviour would undermine fighting spirit.
The High Commands on both sides took measures to ensure such fraternisation would not happen again, and the 1914 Christmas Truce remained a unique event on the Western Front.
Birmingham Cathedral Choir and Frankfurt Cathedral Choir will join together singing Christmas songs in English and German to mark the iconic moment in World History when ordinary soldiers from opposing nations were united in the desire for peace in a time of conflict.
Imagineer Productions will perform ‘War Bride’ a visual / physical choreographed performance with an emotive underscore representing ideas of peace and reconciliation.
Andrew Hamilton has written a book about his Grandfather’s experience of the Christmas Truce in the trenches and will be reading an excerpt at the event.
The Dean of Birmingham Cathedral, Catherine Ogle will say prayers at the event and the Deputy Mayor of Frankfurt, Michael Paris will also attend alongside the Deputy Lord Mayor of Birmingham, Councillor Mike Leddy.
The event will take place in Cathedral Green, Birmingham Cathedral with two performances:
6.30pm and 8.00pm
The event is Free
The Event Officers are:
Lisa Kennedy, Tel: 0121 303 3836 / Mob: 07766 925 334 (Mon – Weds) and Lee Tomkinson, Tel: 0121 303 4468 / Mob: 07766 925 336