Prince William lays a wreath at the memorial to the Christmas truce, National Memorial Arboretum, Staffordshire (Photo: courtesy of National Memorial Arboretum)

Christmas truce: Prince William unveils 'Football Remembers' tribute in UK

Posted on centenarynews.com on 18 December 2014
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The Duke of Cambridge has unveiled a memorial to the 1914 Christmas truce as part of the 'Football Remembers' tribute in the UK to those who fell in the First World War.

Prince William said the new monument, at the National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire, captured the 'very essence' of the truce and would serve as a permanent reminder of one of the key moments in the war.

Two hands, clasped together, are encircled in a wire framed football.

The Prince congratulated the designer, ten-year-old Spencer Turner, for creating a 'stand-out winner.'

The Newcastle schoolboy's idea was chosen by Prince William and the England footballer, Theo Walcott, from entries in a competition open to more than 30,000 schools in the UK.

The Duke of Cambridge is introduced to Spencer Turner by FA Chairman Greg Dyke (left) and England Manager Roy Hodgson (Photo: National Memorial Arboretum)

The service of dedication on December 12th 2014 included a performance of Stille Nacht (Silent Night) by the Repton School Chamber Choir, along with a reading of the Ode To Remembrance by Brigadier Steve Vickery.

First-hand accounts left by soldiers of the Great War describe how the singing of 'Silent Night' in the German trenches on Christmas Eve 1914 heralded overtures for a truce.

Prince William, who's President of the Football Association, said the truce remained 'wholly relevant today as a message of hope and humanity, even in the bleakest of times.'

He was joined at the National Memorial Arboretum by FA chairman Greg Dyke; the England team manager Roy Hodgson; Mike Foster, the Premier League’s director of football; Shaun Harvey, chief executive of the Football League; and Sir Martin Davidson of the British Council. 

'Football Remembers' is a series of events being delivered jointly in December 2014 by the Premier League, The FA and the Football League in partnership with the British Council, to commemorate the Centenary.

Information & images supplied by the National Memorial Arboretum

Posted by Peter Alhadeff, Centenary News