In the winter of 1914, The Great War had barely begun, but the soldiers in the trenches were cold, dark, and lonely. It was Christmas Eve when the German soldiers began to sing the well-known carol, “Stille Nacht, Heilige Nacht,” composed nearly one hundred years before. British soldiers joined in singing in English, and soon a few soldiers from either side beckoned the others to “come over.”
No one knows for sure what exactly happened next, but as the night progressed, the men began to leave their trenches and walk across “no man’s land” to see just who their enemy was. Soldiers lit candles on hastily erected Christmas trees and shared tins of biscuits, and as the sun shone on Christmas Day, some men played football, while others gave haircuts for cigarettes.
Then, as mysteriously as it had begun, the soldiers returned to their sides.