Memorial is a tribute to truce

Mildenhall Christmas Truce project official unveiling ANL-140812-175943001
Mildenhall Christmas Truce project official unveiling ANL-140812-175943001

Students from a college in Mildenhall joined those from a school in Germany on Saturday to officially unveil a memorial dedicated to the 1914 Christmas Truce.

Representatives from Mildenhall College Academy and the Gymnasium Theodorianum in Paderborn, came together alongside other dignitaries, including Vicky Ford, MEP for the East of England to officially unveil their joint project, which was put up in the summer and is thought to be the first of its kind in Europe, at the Peace Village of Mesen, in Belgium.

The sunset ceremony featured renditions of Oh Come All Ye Faithful, and Silent Night, while Alison Rose, the UK ambassador to Belgium and her counterpart from Germany Eckhart Cuntz, tied football scarfs together, which were then placed on the monument by pupils.

To further mark the centenary of the event 100 candles were placed on the memorial, which was sculpted by Valerie Leverett, and cost in the region of £10,000 to construct, by pupils from both sites.

“We are all deeply honoured to have been involved in creating a fitting tribute to the spontaneous act of humanity that was the 1914 Christmas Truce,” said Richard Kerridge, humanities faculty leader at Mildenhall College Academy.

“The ceremony was a fitting end to what has been a fantastic project, one that has allowed both our pupils, and those in Germany, to make a wonderful contribution to the First World War centenary.”