Tyne & Wear

School pupils re-enact WW1 Christmas truce

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Media captionSeaham School of Technology invited pupils from a school in German to take part in a football match on its own version of no man's land.

Pupils at a County Durham school have re-enacted a football game said to have taken place during the 1914 Christmas ceasefire of World War One.

Seaham School of Technology hosted a match against pupils from Realschule Alpen in Germany.

The 14 and 15 year olds climbed out of a specially built replica trench and greeted each other in a reconstruction of no man's land.

As they played, carols were sung in both languages by the school choir.

Image copyright Seaham School of Technology
Image caption Hundreds of children have visited the structure, which features replica machine guns, plastic barbed wire and model rats

Afterwards they were served a meal based on soldiers' rations from 1914.

The project aims to bring history to life and explore the human consequences of the conflict.

Image copyright Seaham School of Technology
Image caption The trench looks out across a patch of "No Man's Land", where the game will take place

Key to the re-enactment was the 39ft (12m) long replica trench, which has been used for history lessons and visited by hundreds of pupils from around the region.

David Shield, the school's head, said: "It has been amazing to see the creation of an authentic historical landscape which is now a focal point for living history and a visual reminder of one of the key moments in the conflict."

Image copyright Seaham School of Technology
Image caption Smoke grenades and "flash bangs" add to the experience for visiting schoolchildren

Councillor John Robinson, chairman of Durham County Council, said: "This historical re-enactment reflects the moment when fighting troops recognised their adversaries as human beings and for a moment let a glimmer of friendship shine on a bleak and foreboding landscape.

"This project helps encourage reflection and promote humanity in our young learners by working in partnership from our friends from Germany."

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