|Image from the Illustrated London News, 9 Jan 1915|
The notion is somewhat controversal:
Historians occupy the field of battle because all the eye witnesses are now long dead. All that we have are stories from those who remember those witnesses.Mark Connelly, Professor of Modern British History at the Center for War, Propaganda and Society at the UK's University of Kent believes the entire episode has been romanticized in the intervening years.The notion of two sets of soldiers simply laying down their arms and waltzing out of the trenches ready to play an organized game of football is not one he subscribes to.In fact he says "there is no absolute hard, verifiable evidence of a match" taking place and says the event has been glorified beyond recognition.
This Christmas Eve, remember those caught up in the killing fields of Flanders, and the Ardennes, or Khe Sanh. And remember those who still stand post far from home and family tonight.