Christmas Truce remembered with football match

By Joseph Yeh, The China Post

TAIPEI, Taiwan — A commemorative football match organized by United Kingdom’s de facto embassy in Taiwan was held yesterday in Taipei to mark the 100th anniversary of the Christmas Truce in the first year of World War I. During his address before the match held at the Taipei European School (TES), Chris Wood, director of the British Trade & Cultural Office (BTCO) that organized the event, highlighted the warmth and humanity shown in the Christmas Truce.

��The Christmas Truce wasn’t planned or recorded, but it is remembered,�� he said. �� The football event was meant as a celebration of the fact that ��even in the coldest, darkest depths of a brutal war, soldiers’ common humanity and desire for peace were able to shine through,�� he added. According to the BTCO, the Christmas Truce was a series of widespread but unofficial cease-fires along the Western Front around Christmas 1914 when soldiers from both sides battling on the Western Front spontaneously, and without receiving orders, stopped fighting on Christmas Day.

Each side emerged from its trenches, met in no man’s land, buried their dead, exchange gifts and played football together. This tale provides a ray of hope from what was otherwise a dark time in world history. It is symbolic of mankind’s common humanity and desire for peace, the BTCO said. In this spirit, the BTCO organized this friendly football match between a team of TES students learning about the World War I and a team consisting of foreign representatives in Taiwan, including those from Germany, Austria, Spain, Netherlands, Denmark, Luxembourg, the United States, Australia and the UK. Two opposition lawmakers, the ruling Kuomintang spokesperson, and representatives from Taiwan’s national soccer team, also joined the foreign representative team yesterday. The student team ultimately won the friendly matchup with a score of 4-0.