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Wessex FM News

WW1 Christmas Truce Remembered

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Published at 7:17am 23rd December 2014.

It's one of the most iconic moments in modern history and this week we're being given the chance to look back at the World War One Christmas Truce through the eyes of a Portland solider who was there.

Regimental Sergeant Major George Beck was on the Western front when British and German troops stopped fighting and came together to play football, sing carols and exchange gifts.

Writing on 24 December, RSM Beck noted: "Germans shout over to us and ask us to play them at football, and also not to fire and they would do likewise. At 2am (25th) a German Band went along their trenches playing "Home Sweet Home" and "God Save the King" which sounded grand and made everyone think of home."

On 25 December he added: "Christmas Day. Not one shot was fired. English and German soldiers intermingled and exchanged souvenirs. Germans very eager to exchange almost anything for our "Bully Beef" and jam."

RSM Beck's granddaughter Caroline Milverton, who lives on Portland, said: "As my grandfather did not expect his diaries to be read by anyone other than himself or his family if he died while fighting, he had no reason to write anything but the facts; the Christmas Truce 1914 was a remarkable event."

The diary entries are available to view at http://news.dorsetforyou.com/rsm-beck-diary and on Twitter @RSM_GBeck.

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