The Illustrated London News illustration of the Christmas Truce

Saturday, December 13, 2023 at 6pm

Join the Herkimer County Historical Society as Joe Schmidt presents 1914: A World War Stopped for Christmas. What would prompt soldiers on both sides of the trenches to put down their weapons? Joe shares what happened during World War 1 and how their action reverberated around the world.

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On Christmas Eve and Christmas Day (24 and 25 December) 1914, Alfred Anderson’s unit of the 1st/5th Battalion of the Black Watch was billeted in a farmhouse away from the front line. In a later interview (2003), Anderson, the last known surviving Scottish veteran of the war, vividly recalled Christmas Day and said:

I remember the silence, the eerie sound of silence. Only the guards were on duty. We all went outside the farm buildings and just stood listening. And, of course, thinking of people back home. All I’d heard for two months in the trenches was the hissing, cracking and whining of bullets in flight, machinegun fire and distant German voices. But there was a dead silence that morning, right across the land as far as you could see. We shouted ‘Merry Christmas’, even though nobody felt merry. The silence ended early in the afternoon and the killing started again. It was a short peace in a terrible war.[Wikipedia]