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Christmas Truce in Plugstreet Wood

Christmas Truce in Plugstreet Wood

World War Christmas truce memorial in Plugstreet

The British army ruled Ploegsteert woods throughout World War I, except from April to September 1918, when the German army held Ploegsteert for six months.

Ploegsteert Wood is, therefore, still littered with World War I shelters and - inevitably - several military cemeteries, including Ploegstreet Wood Military Cemetery, Toronto Avenue Military Cemetery and Rifle House Military Cemetery. You can reach the three cemeteries via the forest path.

At the wood edge is Mud Corner Cemetery, a modest cemetery reserved for New Zealanders and Australians.

Christmas Truce

Right next to Prowse Point Military Cemetery, you can visit a monument commemorating the Christmas Truce. At this site, the guns remained silent for several days in December 1914. At Christmas, the Germans began decorating their trenches with Christmas trees and singing carols, and the British sang along.

Playing football

Thereupon, soldier after soldier scrambled out of the trenches along both sides of the front. Remarkably, the guns remained silent. The soldiers stepped towards each other and shook hands.

The British and Germans even played a football match. The Christmas truce lasted only a week. One hundred years after the Christmas Truce, UEFA and President Michel Platini inaugurated a monument commemorating the football-playing soldiers.

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