English : Unit 7 : Supplementary : The Christmas Truce – by Aaron Shepard
* Name one festival which you like the most.
* How do you celebrate that festival?
* Narrate a memorable incident which happened during that celebration.
truce (n) – an agreement to stop fighting or arguing for a period of time
dugout (n) – a trench that is dug and roofed over as a shelter for troops
carols (n) – a religious folk song or popular hymn, particularly one associated with Christmas.
trenches (n) – a long, narrow ditch
maim (v) – injure or wound seriously and leave permanent damage to body or parts
splatter (n) – a small quantity of something moist or liquid
slog (v) – work hard over a period of time
muck (n) – dirt, rubbish, or waste matter.
stumble (v) – trip or momentarily lose one’s balance; almost fall
bewilderment (n) – a feeling of being perplexed and confused.
Do you know?
“Aung Lang Syne” is a Scots poem written by Robert Burns in 1788 and set to the tune of a traditional folk song. In many English-speaking nations, it is traditionally sung during the New Year’s Eve. The song’s title may be loosely translated as “for the old times” or “long long ago”.
A. Choose the correct answer.
1. The story is set during the World War I.
a. World War I
b. World War II
c. Kargil War
d. Indo-China War
2. The story is about the celebration of Christmas festival.
3. Tom called the incidents happened there as a fairy tale.
a. fairy tale
4. The Germans had placed Christmas trees in front of their trenches.
5. One of the German soldiers worked as a porter at Victoria Station.
d. shop keeper
B. Identify the character, speaker or both of the following lines.
1. Our first complete silence in months! Answer – Character : Tom
2. Come and see! See what the Germans are doing! Answer – Character : Tom’s friend John
3. Hold your fire. Answer – Character : Captain of British troop
4. You no shoot, we no shoot. Answer – Character : A German officer
5. My God, why cannot we have peace and all go home? Answer – Character : An old German soldier
C. Answer the following questions in about 100 – 120 words.
1. Narrate the Christmas celebration as happened in the war field.
PARAGRAPH FOR TOPPERS:
Title : The Christmas Truce
Author : Aaron Shepard
Character : British and German Soldiers
Period : During world war I (1914)
Theme : War and peace
The German and British troops celebrated Christmas together during a temporary cessation of world war I. It is called Christmas Truce. On a clear morning 100 years ago, thousands of British soldiers laid down their rifles, stepped out their trenches and spent Christmas mingling with their German enemies along the western front. The next morning in some places, German soldiers emerged from their trenches calling out “Merry Christmas” in English. Allied soldier came out wearily to greet them. In others, Germans held up signs reading “You no shoot, we no shoot”. Over the course of the day, troops exchanged gifts of food, buttons and hats. The Christmas truce also allowed both sides to finally bury their dead comrades whose bodies had lain for weeks on “no man’s land,” the ground between opposing trenches. The British and German army soccer teams played a friendly match. The incident speaks to the fact that at its heart it symbolizes a very human desire for peace, no matter how fleeting. Still the truce has been remembered as a testament to the power of hope and humanity in a truly dark hour of history.
“Never wage a war but peace”.
PARAGRAPH FOR AVERAGE STUDENTS:
The British and Germans celebrated Christmas during a temporary cessation of World War I. On the Christmas Eve, the Germans invited the British to come out to celebrate Christmas. The Germans placed Christmas trees in front of their trenches, lit by candle or lantern, like beacons of goodwill. They sang, “Silent Night, Holy Night.” It was lovelier and more meaningful. The British soldiers applauded Germans!. Then the British soldiers sang “The first Nowell, the angel did say ….” Britain and Germany were harmonizing across ‘No man’s Land.’ They exchanged gifts – tea with coffee, corn meat for sausage. The narrator traded a jack knife for a leather equipment belt to keep as a fine souvenir. “Why cannot we have peace and all go home?” was a far cry of every soldier.
“Peace begins with a smile” – Mother Teresa.
“Never wage a war but peace”.
PARAGRAPH FOR LATE BLOOMERS:
• The Christmas Truce occurred during World War I.
• It means cease-fire of a war at Christmas.
• Tom, a British soldier wrote this letter to his sister, Janet.
• He narrated how the British and German soldiers celebrated Christmas together.
• They sang Christmas carols’ near their trenches.
• They gathered around the bonfire. They gave gifts to each other.
• They celebrated Christmas like friends forgetting their enmity.
• It shows that Christmas is meant for spreading the mission of love.
• Why cannot we have peace and all go home is the cry of every soldier.
D. Think and answer.
1. Do you envision a similar truce taking place in any wars or fighting today? Explain.
It is interesting to envision a truce taking place in any war as it happened in World War I in 1914. Often I used to think about the war between India and Pakistan. It is a never ending war between the two countries. These no nations declare cease fire or cessation of wai temporarily. The common festivals like Diwali or Ramzan are celebrated by the soldiers in No man’s Land between the borders of two countries. They exchange their gifts and their love for one another. Though they enjoy the fervour of peace and harmony, war is unavoidable as they have to obey the orders and go ahead in war. They could not help it and go with it. But it is exciting to envision the enemies in the battle field befriending and celebrating Diwali or Ramzan or any other festival for that matter.
“Peace can end war but war can’t bring peace”.
2. Today, much of what we know about the truce comes from soldiers’ postcards home. In the postcard given below, write a short message home, imagine that you took part in the 1914 Christmas Truce.
Christmas Day, 1914.
I can’t help writing to you about what happened here. You may wonder that we had a break in the battle field. It was because of Christmas Eve. To our surprise, the Germans came out of their trenches. They called us to come to the ground between the trench called ‘No man’s Land’. They had the preparation for Christmas celebration. They placed the Christmas trees in front of the trench lit with candles and lanterns.
The Germans sang ‘Silent Night, Holy Night”. It was very lovely. We applauded their singing. Then we sang “The First Nowell, the angel did say…….. ” They responded with their applause.
We exchanged our gift in food, buttons etc. No one wanted war but peace. Even the Germans want to end war and go home. We hope to see you all soon.
Your loving son,