Christmas is a time for coming together, sharing gifts, and exchanging laughter. None of this would seem likely during a brutal global conflict. But a peculiar and now fabled event, known as The Christmas Truce, took place during World War one.
Live and let live
Despite the brutal fighting that took place between the trenches, the artillery and gunfire would pause during quiet periods, and both sides took the opportunity to collect their dead and conduct necessary repair work. This was known as the ‘Live and Let Live’ system, which ultimately gave rise to the famous 1914 Christmas Day truce.
Just a merry myth?
It would seem bizarre to spend months or years shooting at an enemy, only to talk and laugh with your deadly foe for a day, catching up like old friends. Yet, on Christmas Day 1914, warring British and German soldiers met on no man’s land to exchange gifts, sing songs, and play an infamous game of football. Claims about who won the game vary. British poet and war veteran, Robert Graves, awarded a 3-2 victory to England in his 1962 short story, Christmas Truce.
Not all commanding officers approved of the mutual truce, fearing it would have a detrimental effect on soldiers’ mentality towards the enemy. In fact, the fighting failed to cease on some parts of the Western Front. Instead of swapping gifts and mutual merriment, these areas exchanged Christmas Day casualties.
A collective spirit
The Christmas Truce represents the fundamental warmth and good nature that still endures to this day. It shows the best of humanity and how, even in the face of insurmountable adversity, we can come together to exchange happiness. And what better way to celebrate this enduring spirit with a coin struck in the same year?
The 1914 Sovereign
Struck from 22 carat gold, the 1914 Sovereign features Benedetto Pistrucci’s iconic St George and the dragon design on its reverse. With an image that symbolises the conflict of good overcoming evil; the coin is a fitting tribute to the events that took place during one of the greatest wars of our time. Add the coin to your collection this Christmas, or gift it to a friend or loved one.