Ancre Somme Association

 

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The Christmas Truce

 

One of the most fabled moments from the First World War is to be re-enacted at and Irish League Football ground.

 

The football match that reportedly took place in no-man’s-land between Allies and German soldiers marking a Christmas in 1914 was recreated at Mourneview Park, Lurgan on Friday December 16, with proceedings starting at 7.15pm.

 

The charity commemoration was in aid of the Poppy Appeal and involved a team of veteran footballers from Northern Ireland going up against the Royal Irish Regiment’s Second Battalion.

 

The veterans’ line-up included former Glenavon strikers Stephen McBride and Raymond McCoy and ex-manager Terry Nicholson.

 

Before the game members of the Ancre Somme Association re-enacted the Christmas truce, backed by the choir from Lurgan College, who sang Silent Night in German, followed by an act of remembrance by Lurgan & Brownlow Royal British Legion.

 

The Pipes and Drums of the Royal Irish Regiment led the teams onto the pitch and then played again during the half time interval.

 

Many footballers went to fight during World War One. Players from Glenavon, where the match was played, as well as other teams throughout the United Kingdom. We thought something linked to the footballers who gave their lives would be a worthy event and one that would engage with the younger generation.

 

The Royal British Legion was also heavily involved in the organisation of the event. Working in Partnership with the Ancre Somme Association the Royal British Legion played a key role ensuring that what was initially just an idea soon became a reality.

 

Chairperson of Lurgan & Brownlow Royal British Legion, said: “Believe it or not but this started off as a football match between RBL members and Ancre Somme members, and it has spiralled to the big event that it has become, we are overwhelmed at the number of people who wanted to be involved.”

 

As well as the many local school children who attended this event we were also honoured to have in attendance the First Minster of Northern Ireland, Arlene Foster MLA and Colonel Hubert McAllister OBE.

 

This worthwhile cause really captured the imagination of the whole community and gave them a better unstanding of the sacrifice that was made by many sportsmen during the Great War.

 

Help teach our young people about the Christmas Truce. Visit here.

Photographs

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Photo Gallery available here.

Christmas Truce Programme