By: R. Yahya
The First World War is considered one of the world’s most devastating war. However, it is the only non-religious war to have a religious-based ceasefire. In the first year of the war, 1914, was expected to end by winter (4 months), but the soldiers were still there, homesick and hopeless.
The British trench was singing Christmas carols to boost their morale until they heard the German trench singing the same song in German. A German soldier from the other trench cried out “Tomorrow, you don’t shoot, we don’t shoot,” in a thick German accent. The British trench accepted this and, consequently, no shots were fired on the following day. All over the Western Front, British and German officers would hold personal ceasefires and shake hands in solidarity.
On Christmas day, British, German and every other nation's soldiers on the Western Front were excited for one day of no fighting and no slaughter. Everywhere on the Western Front, people were climbing over the trenches and meeting each other. At first, the British even thought it was a trick, but, as they were just about to fire, realised no one carried rifles.
They played football over No-Man’s Land with the British team winning by 2-1, and even exchanged gifts like chocolate and cigarettes. Some sang carols, others shared meals, and a British soldier allegedly even gave haircuts. Later, the British commanders caught wind of this and both sides, German and British, started to fire warning shells from the sky. There was some resistance (several were injured by warning signals, shot by officers), but eventually the soldiers were forced to go back to their trenches.
This was a miracle with only a few people survived to tell the tale; no more celebrations were held on Christmas day throughout the war, except for another ceasefire held on Christmas day, one year later, to collect the bodies of fallen comrades.