A Scottish regiment threatened to shoot German troops if they left their trench during a famous Christmas truce newly discovered letters have revealed.
During the Christmas truce of 1914 troops from both sides famously took part in an impromptu game of football during an unofficial ceasefire on the Western Front.
The game has gone down in history as a rare moment of humanity amid the bloodshed of the Great War.
But letters which will go under hammer at Bonham’s in London however show that not all troops supported the short truce, and that the Seaforth Highlanders – who had suffered heavy losses in the opening battles of the war at Le Cateau, the Marne, the Aisne and Messines – simply didn’t want to play ball.
One letter states: “The Seaforths… would have none of it and when the Germans in front of them tried to fraternise and leave their trenches, the Seaforths warned them that they would shoot.”
The letter was written by Major Hawksley – who was serving with the Warwick regiment – and is dated December 27, 1914.