Keele students to recreate WWI Christmas Truce football match


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Posted on 09 December 2014
The young men in this venture are proud to be involved with this small act in remembering those who paid the ultimate sacrifice.

As part of the Keele University's WW1 Centenary Remembrance programme Keele Uni FC visited Belgium and Germany to replay a football match against Aachen University to remember the front line soldiers who came together on Christmas Eve 1914 in No Man’s Land.

Project organiser Dr Keith L. Harrison, the Keele Uni coach, who is himself a veteran of both Army and RAF said: "I was invited to join the Keele WW1 project and thought of the impromptu Christmas truce and the match that took place.

"The Keele students were very keen, as ever, to pursue the venture. Arrangements were quickly concluded with the help of Mike Huss, the Sports Centre assistant manager. Aachen University is very keen to host the event. I will probably be the only War Veteran involved, which is a blessing, as the fewer people who do experience war will suggest that we are learning more lessons about living.

"I am so very excited about this project and have named it 'Operation Friendship'.

Students left Keele on 16 December, travelling via Dover/Calais through to Aachen before visiting the world famous Aachen Christmas market. The game was played in Aachen on the 17th, with the team returning on the 18th via the Tyne Cot Cemetery in Belgium. 

Keith added: "The young men in this venture are proud to be involved with this small act in remembering those who paid the ultimate sacrifice in the knowledge that they will all be going home."


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