One of the most touching events of World War One, written by a soldier in a letter home to his “dear mater,” will be auctioned Tuesday.

The rare letter, which describes Christmas Day truce in 1914, is one of the few uncensored accounts of life in the trenches.

he identity of the writer is virtually unknown, more so his fate after the war, if he survived its horrors. He referred to himself only as “Boy.”

In five penciled pages of an Army-issue notebook, he gives account on how the guns fell silent on Christmas Eve across No Man’s Land on the Western Front.

He writes how the troops played football during “one of the most memorable Christmases I’ve ever spent or likely to spend.”

German and British soldiers set aside killing for one day and exchanged cigarettes and sang carols. On one part of the Western Front, they have been described as playing football, though it appears “Boy” just knocked a ball around with fellow Tommies.

He describes how, as night deepens, he observed the Germans placing lights along the edge of the dugouts before moving towards the British lines.

The letter continued: “They also gave us a few songs so we had quite a social party. “Some of our chaps went over to their lines. I think they’ve all come back bar one. They no doubt kept him as a souvenir.”

Josephine Olley, senior press officer at Bonham’s, where the letter will be auctioned, explained: “This letter is highly unusual in that it has not been censored, and also in the terms of camaraderie it describes between the German and British troops.

“It was written quite early on in the war, so the full horror of the trenches has yet to come through, and the authorities had not become so strict with censoring.” http://www.spiritualityguide.com

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