100 Years Ago: Quiet Christmas on Battlefront

The Intelligencer December 28, 1917 (page 4)

“Canadian Headquarters in France, via London. Christmas has come and gone. The front line was quiet Christmas Day, which was wet and stormy. …  Behind the firing line the officers and men celebrated the day in wooden Armstrong huts or iron Nissen dwellings, or in the basements of shattered French houses or deep dugouts won back from the enemy.

They paused in the midst of action to drink old toasts, to celebrate old customs, and remember old associations. …

Stricken fighting men at the rest station in the green hills amidst the quiet surroundings of a quiet old chateau, celebrated the season at a happy banquet in a great hut which was cool with evergreen, brightened with innumerable red, white and blue and green streamers, lightened by many Red Cross lamps and Chinese lanterns and warmed by two big stoves. …  There were maple leaves to decorate the walls and many flags to add to the cheeriness of the room, and a real Christmas tree, groaning under a load of presents from home.”