British and German soldiers fraternising at Ploegsteert, Belgium, on Christmas Day 1914, front of 11th Brigade, 4th Division
It had been five months of battle since the eruption of the Great War in August 1914, when the Christmas truce occurred. On 7 December, Pope Benedict XV himself suggested that opposing sides put down their weapons for the celebration of Christmas, and while the warring countries refused an official cease-fire, the soldiers themselves created an unofficial truce. On Christmas day itself, both German and Allied troops left their trenches, stepping into no mans land to greet each other. They sang carols together and exchanged gifts of cigarettes and puddings. Reports reveal that there was event friendly game of rival soccer against one another. However, the truce was not complete across the Western Front, as in some parts weapons continued to be fired and deaths still occurred.