FWW Christmas truce game to be recreated

The unofficial ceasefire, frowned upon by military authorities, was marked by the exchanging of gifts and impromptu football matches. One of these was witnessed by Newark soldier William Setchfield, who served with the Royal Warwickshire Regiment, and relayed the news to his brother, before the authorities censored further information. A German soldier, Kurt Zehmisch, recorded the event in his diaries. "The English brought a football from the trenches and pretty soon a lively game ensued. This Christmas, the celebration of love, managed to bring mortal enemies together as friends for a time."

The centenary will be marked by a match between an Under 21 team from Newark Town and their counterparts from FC03 Emmendingen, Newark’s twin town and is planned for August 24th next year, taking place near the original site at Ypres in Belgium.

Money from the grant will also be used to create a memorial garden at Sconce and Devon Park, and the holding of a centenary memorial service on Christmas Day 2014. Further research into the Christmas truce football matches will lead to an exhibition in Newark and the club also plan to bring out a commemorative programme.

Club chairman Paul Baggaley said: "We are honoured and delighted that the Heritage Lottery Fund has given us this award. The project has generated a great deal of interest. The Christmas Truce memorial game will not only be good for Newark Town FC and the players that take part, it will also benefit the town and the Newark and Sherwood district."

Further information

Robert Smith, Communications Manager for the Heritage Lottery Fund East Midlands on 020 7591 6245 or email: roberts@hlf.org.uk.