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Embossed brass tin with a hinged lid with the profile head of Princess Mary in a circular wreath, with the letter 'M‘ each side. There is a decorative border with military devices, and the words 'IMPERIUM BRITANNICUM', 'CHRISTMAS 1914', and the names 'BELGIUM', 'JAPAN', 'FRANCE', 'RUSSIA', 'SERVIA' and 'MONTE NEGRO'.

Princess Mary's gift tin was distributed to all British, Commonwealth and Empire soldiers and sailors who were serving on Christmas Day, 1914. WHY?????

HRH Princess Victoria Alexandra Alice Mary was responsible for a public appeal to ensure that 'every Sailor afloat and every Soldier at the front' received a Christmas present. 

This pencil was contained in a Princess Mary's Christmas Gift box. Sterling silver, Wood in a brass bullet cartridge containing a small pencil. Impressed on edge of the cartridge is Princess Mary's crest. The 'head' of the bullet is made of sterling silver and holds a small pencil which fits into the body of the cartridge.

Boxes such as this one, would originally have contained a New Year's greeting card, a small pencil in the form of a .303 bullet and cigarettes.

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Christmas in the trenches 1914

KNOW: WHAT HAPPENED IN THE TRENCHES ON THE WESTERN FRONT CHRISTMAS 1914.

UNDERSTAND: THE EXPERIENCE OF THE SOLDIERS ON BOTH SIDES.

BE ABLE TO: EVALUATE HOW IT WAS POSSIBLE FOR THIS TO TAKE PLACE.

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The story of Christmas in the trenches 1914

Listen carefully to the story of Christmas in the trenches during 1914 on the Western front.

You need to make sure you listen very carefully as we will be re-enacting the story after we have heard it.

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Re-enactment

Silent Night

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Christmas in the trenches 1914

  • Christmas Eve 1914- German troops light candles and hold up Christmas trees.
  • German troops sing “Stille nacht, heilige nacht” (Silent Night) and allied troops join in in English.
  • All soldiers place down their weapons.
  • All soldiers walk into no mans land, meet in the middle and shake hands. They even have a game of football.
  • They sit around a camp fire, exchanging small gifts and talking about home.
  • December 26th 8:30am- shots fired into air by both sides- the war was on again.
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Plenary

  • Watch and listen to the short video on Christmas in the trenches.
  • Using what you have learnt in today's lesson and the video make notes around a spider diagram like below on:
  • What happened in the trenches Christmas 1914
  • How the soldiers may have been feeling

Christmas 1914 in the trenches

Christmas 1914