In an otherwise devastatingly violent and inhumane war, the Christmas truce was a series of widespread and spontaneous truces that arose along the Western Front in 1914. Becoming one of the most famous and romanticized events of the First World War, it is said that enemies met in no man’s land, exchanged gifts, took photographs, and played impromptu games of football. In the hundred years since, the truce has lived on as a Christmas miracle. But what was a Christmas truce really like- and how widespread was it actually?
The First World War period in Canada, an across the British Empire, saw an unprecedented amount of activity by charitable organisations towards the war effort. Groups like the Imperial Order of the Daughters of the Empire (IODE), and the Red Cross raised millions of dollars for medical supplies and for the care of prisoners of war. Others were more concerned with the welfare of the young men fighting in Europe, particularly the YMCA and the Salvation Army. Continue reading “Wholesome entertainments: The YMCA in the First World War”