Christmas Day, 1914: German and British troops are out of their trenches, playing soccer, bartering goods and singing songs. For a brief moment, the fighting has ceased.

The previous night, soldiers on both sides had begun singing Christmas songs in their respective languages — but under a unified melody. Music was often a commonality between soldiers in opposing trenches, tying them together beyond the language barrier and transcending beyond the short but deadly distances between the trenches.

On Christmas morning, several German soldiers emerged from their fighting positions, unarmed, calling out, “Merry Christmas!” in English. One must wonder whether they had that much trust in the honor of their fellow, opposing infantrymen; or if they were simply reserved to the fact that if the enemy takes advantage of a Christmas offering to kill opposing soldiers, then they would rather die anyway. Either way, they took to the “no-man’s land” in an offering of temporary peace, and the English met them there.

Captain A. D. Chater of the 2nd Battalion Gordon Highlanders wrote in a letter to his mother,