Thursday, 1 January 2015

New Year’s Day


Friday 1st January 1915: The commanding officer of 2nd Battalion has told us that there has been no repeat of the fraternisation with the enemy which happened over Christmas. The Battalion is once again in the front line near Fleurbaix and last night they heard the Germans singing songs and saw lighted Christmas trees on the enemy parapets. They evidently welcomed the New Year in by Berlin time because at 11 o’clock they rang bells in the villages behind their lines.

One or two of the Battalion’s companies decided to respond to the Germans’ festivities and did this to the tune of a burst or rapid fire from their rifles aimed at the enemy positions. Indignant yells were heard from across the way.

The 1st Battalion is behind the lines at the moment. It is billeted in the French town of Bailleul near the Belgian border and is in Divisional Reserve. The men are given exercise in the form of short route marches and drills.

Sources: X550/3/wd; X550/2/5; The Story of the Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire Regiment (The 16th Regiment of Foot) Volume II 1914-1958

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