The outbreak of war in 1914 was greeted with euphoria by many in Europe, and it was widely believed that the conflict would be 'over by Christmas'. In the event, millions of men and women were destined to spend the first of four festive seasons away from their families and loved ones, many on active duty overseas on the front line. Amid the shortages, tedium and dangers of life in the trenches, those at 'the sharp end' remained determined to celebrate Christmas as a time of comradeship and community, a time when the war could be set aside, if only for a day. Alan Wakefield shows how Christmas was celebrated by British, Dominion and Empire troops in the front line on the Western Front, in the Middle East, the Dardanelles, Italy, Salonika and Africa, and the British intervention in Russia from 1918 to 1920. What was the weather like? What news, both of loved ones and about the war itself, was reaching the front line? What kinds of food - and drink - were available to those in the trenches?
Textual and illustrative material for the book will be drawn from the Imperial War Museum Photograph Archive; personal recollections and interviews; contemporary newspaper articles, magazines, comics, leaflets and advertisements; and postcards and personal photographs.
Buy Christmas in the Trenches book by Alan Wakefield from Australia's Online Independent Bookstore, Boomerang Books.
(244mm x 172mm x 10mm)
Sutton Publishing Ltd
Publisher: The History Press Ltd
Country of Publication:
Author Biography - Alan Wakefield
ALAN WAKEFIELD is a curator in the Photograph Archive of the Imperial War Museum. He is a member of the British Commission for Military History, the Society for Army Historical Research, the Western Front Association and the Gallipoli Association. Alan's first book for Sutton, with Simon Moody, was Under the Devil's Eye (October 2004).