Could it ever happen again?
Brigade HQ cabled him: “It is thought possible that enemy may be contemplating an attack during Xmas or New Year. Special vigilance will be maintained during this period.
Nonetheless, Col Laurie…gave orders not to fire on the enemy the following day, unless they fired first. At 8.30pm on Christmas Eve, he signalled brigade HQ: “Germans have illuminated their trenches, are singing songs and are wishing us a Happy Xmas”
Compliments are being exchanged but am nevertheless taking all military precautions.” No shots had been fired since 8pm, he added.
Col Laurie went on to describe how soldiers from both sides were mingling. The Germans, he wrote, were “fine men, clean and well clothed. They gave us a cap and helmet badge and a box of cigars. One of them states the war would be over in three weeks as they had defeated Russia!”
Brigade HQ replied at 12.35am – Christmas Day – saying: “No communication of any sort is to be held with the enemy, nor is he to be allowed to approach our trenches under penalty of fire being opened.”