Between 2014 and 2018 the UK, and other countries, will mark the centenary of the First World War, a global conflict that killed more than 15 million people. Interpretations of the war continue to divide historians and politicians today, and debates about how to mark it remind us that memory is inevitably political.
To help negotiate these debates, the Peace Committee has prepared separate packs of resources for school teachers and church ministers to mark one of the most remarkable events in the annals of modern warfare: the December 1914 Christmas Truces. Following weeks of fraternization, men right down the Western front from the North Sea to Switzerland laid down their arms to mark Christmas. These spontaneous acts of festive goodwill directly contradicted orders from high command, and offered an evocative and hopeful – albeit brief - recognition of shared humanity.
The Peace Committee has created two different resource packs to help mark the 1914 Christmas truces in the run up to Christmases from 2014 until 2017.
The first is for schoolteachers and includes ideas, lesson plans, hand-outs, and Powerpoint slide shows for lessons across a wide range of subjects (aimed primarily at 8-14 year olds), assemblies, and carol services.
Download the flyer about the resouces for schoolteachers (PDF409KB)
Download the resource pack for teachers (PDF7MB)
Download the Christmas Truce Slideshow for schoolteachers (PPT4.2MB)
Download the Arts Project Slideshow for schoolteachers (PPT2MB)
Download the Perspective Slideshow for schoolteachers (PPT1.4MB)
Download the Carol Service Text for schoolteachers (PDF1MB)
The second set of resources is for church leaders, with ideas for Advent/Christmas church services, carol services, Sunday School activities, and school assemblies.
Download the flyer about the resources for Church Leaders (PDF307KB)
Download the resource pack for Church Leaders (PDF6MB)
Download the Sunday School slideshow (PPT2.5MB)
The resource pack for Church Leaders is also available in text formats for easier use with copy-and-paste. There is an Open Document format file, a Rich Text file and a Microsoft Word file. Both are readable by most common word-processing applications. Odt is a non-proprietary format and preferred by professional archivists.
All of the above resources are available for free download. We have a limited number of hard copy editions available for those who are unable to download them. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Northumberland Hussars fraternising with German soldiers, Christmas Day 1914.
The Officer 2nd from right is 2nd Lt. Harold B. Robson.