In December 1914 the field behind the cross contained a crop of turnips, but that didn’t stop men of the German and British armies playing football between their front lines.
The author Henry Williamson, who served with the London Rifle Brigade, was nearby and he describes how the truce began.
‘From the German parapet a rich baritone voice had begun to sing a song I remembered from my nurse Minne singing it to me after my evening tubbefore bed. She had been maid to my German grandmother, one of the Lune family of Hildesheim.
‘Stille Nacht! Heilige Nacht! Tranquil Night! Holy Night! The grave and tender voice rose out of the frozen mist; it was all so strange; it was like being in another world, to which one had come through a nightmare: a world finer than the one I had left behind in England, except for beautiful things like music, and springtime on my bicycle in the country of Kent and Bedfordshire.’
I know this story and it warms my heart.
They didn’t play football here though.If anywhere it was at Freilinghien.