Alfred Anderson, 109, Last Man From 'Christmas Truce' of 1914, Dies
"Christmas Truce" of World War I.
Born June 25, 1896, he was an 18-year-old soldier in the Black Watch regiment when British and German troops cautiously emerged from the trenches that Christmas Day in 1914. The enemies swapped cigarettes and tunic buttons, sang carols and even played soccer amid the mud, barbed wire and shell holes of no man's land.
The informal truce spread along much of the 500-mile Western Front, in some cases lasting for days - alarming army commanders who feared fraternization would sap the troops' will to fight. The next year vast battles of attrition began, which claimed 10 million lives, and the Christmas truce was never repeated.
More than 80 years after the war, Mr. Anderson recalled the "eerie sound of silence" as shooting stopped and soldiers clambered from trenches to greet one another Dec. 25, 1914.
comments powered by Disqus
- Priests race to save manuscripts from jihadists in Iraq
- Where Mud Is Archaeological Gold, Russian History Grew on Trees
- Conflict Uncovers a Ukrainian Identity Crisis Over Deep Russian Roots
- Heirs Claim Bank Made Off with Nazi-Looted Art
- Add the University of Virginia to the list of universities actively confronting their association with slavery
- Stanley Kutler’s book on Nixon Watergate abuses has been turned into a show on the web
- China bans books by pro-Hong Kong historian who retired from Princeton
- Fordham Historian Lambasts ‘Shabby Treatment’ In Row Over Israel Boycott, Vows to Continue Fighting Anti-Semitism
- George Mason's digital history program is 20 years old -- and celebrating
- Watergate researchers can now see the materials — including tapes — Len Colodny used in writing "Silent Coup"