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The Rock-itt : January 2012
potentially mutiny. The easiest way on instilling the offensive spirit was to recomm ence the bombardment and on Boxing Day 1914 the big guns reopened their own version of music effectively bringing to an end any Festive Season spirit that might have been brewing. Of course British and German High Commands were awake to the desires of front line men to celebrate Christmas in 1915 and this activity was strictly forbidden. W ith the war dragging on with little hope of an end in sight, and firing squads an ever more present feature at this time, soldiers were acutely aware that if they stepped out of line or more importantly, OVER the line without a weapon in their hands or with serious intent on killing the enemy, they risked court-martial and the inevitable conclusion. Some Aussie soldiers were in France by Christmas 1916 having fought hard in the Battle of the Somme having gained their first gruelling experience of trench warfare in sand and flies of the Gallipoli hills; the following Christmas, the mid winter of 1917-18 they were in trenches for what must have been the toughest cold snap and it would have been a miserable time; far way from home, far away from the glamour of war that they joined up for and huddled in a barn or trench, freezing cold without adequate clothing or food to keep them warm. Some images of Empire troops at this time makes it hard to believe how these m en survived such shocking conditions. So as you think of your Christmas Turkey and pudding in your warm NSW homes this Christmas time, take a moment to realise how lucky YOU are that you didn’t have to fight in the War to end all Wars at all let alone at Christmastime and spare a prayer for those who went before to make sure you could live in the manner you have become accustomed. HAPPY CHRISTMAS German front line troops singing the carol 'Silent Night' in a trench Soldiers celebrating Christmas in the trenches Food packages sent by loved ones with extr a things for Chr ist mas