Baylor College Medical School

54 2. Christmas, 1914 By Frank Richards

54.2 Why are the French angry with the British soldiers after the Christmas Day cease-fire?

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This is the only text I have found.

The report by Second Lieutenant M.S. Richardson, dated 31 Decem­ber 1914, was filed in the Public Record Office with the Battalion War Diary:

‘I will tell you of the extraordinary day we spent on Christmas Day. On Christmas Eve we had a sing-song with the men in the trenches, (this all applies to our com­pany, A). We put up a sheet of canvas, with a large ‘Merry Christmas’, and a portrait of the Kaiser painted on it, on the para­pet. The next morning there was a thick fog, and when it lifted about 12, the Germans (Saxons) who were only about 150 yards in front of us saw it, they began to shout across, and beckoning to our men to come half way and exchange gifts. They then came out of their trenches, and gave our men cigars and cigarettes, and 2 barrels of beer, in exchange for tins of bully beef. The situation was so absurd, that another officer of ours and myself went out, and met seven of their officers, and arranged that we should keep our men in their respective trenches, and that we should have an armi­stice until the next morning, when we would lower our Christmas card, and hostili­ties would continue. One of them presented me with the packet of cigarettes I sent you, and we gave them a plum pudding, and then we shook hands with them, and saluted each other, and returned to our respective trenches. Not a shot was fired all day, and the next morning we pulled our card down, and they put one up with ‘thank you’ on it’.

I see no reference to the French in this entry.