Christmas in the Trenches: Cigarettes and gifts exchanged by the tropps

Sainsbury's and The Royal British Legion partner to bring  First World War Christmas truce story to life http://youtu.be/NWF2JBb1bvM ANL-141219-123125001
Sainsbury's and The Royal British Legion partner to bring First World War Christmas truce story to life http://youtu.be/NWF2JBb1bvM ANL-141219-123125001

This letter was printed in the Lynn Advertiser in early 1915.

Mr R Bloom, of 18 Checker Street, Lynn, has received the following letter from his brother, lance-corporal H. Bloom, of the 1st Battalion, Norfolk Regiment:

My dear brother Reggie, you ask me to tell you about the war. Well, we spent Christmas looking over the ground. Of course, I must be very thankful it was not under it. I think the Germans are about done.

About 8 o’clock on Christmas morning they showed themselves above ground. They were unarmed and they wanted us to go half-way between the trenches. Of course we did, just to have a good look at them. They did look a very sorrowful lot and they told us they were fed up completely. They seem to know there is not a chance for them.

But of course you have to be very much on the alert as they are very crafty and you cannot trust them. We had two hours of that. Our own artillery was going all the time. They gave us little souvenirs and we gave them cigarettes which they enjoyed.

They then wanted to play football, but we did not have one, so we passed our time away talking.

I expect they would have liked to play some of their little games, but we were all prepared for that. One thing about them, their Jack Johnsons [large German guns] are not so bad now.