Latics fans band together to mark 1914 truce

The battlefield truce and football game between British and German soldiers on Christmas Day in 1914

The battlefield truce and football game between British and German soldiers on Christmas Day in 1914

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ONE of the most poignant moments to come out of the horror of WW1 is to be remembered in a moving ceremony.

The battlefield truce and football game between British and German soldiers on Christmas Day in 1914, will be marked at the DW Stadium on Saturday.

In 1914 soldiers in Flanders from both sides shook hands, shared gifts and played a game of football.

The touching event was repeated a year later on many more battlefields. It emphasised the humility of the innocent men losing their lives.

Latics, along with other Premier League and Championship teams across the country, will mark the 100th anniversary of the truce with a moving day of music and events before, during and after their game against Rotherham.

Fans are advised to get to the DW Stadium early.

Music will include the Pipes and Drums of the Scots Guards Association (Manchester Band) playing in the town centre and in and around the stadium before the game.

Local school children will be singing a specially created song called We Will Remember Them, with singer Sarah Dennis.

Outside the stadium will be nostalgic attractions, evoking the era of the First World War, and food and drink stalls will create a festive feel.

There will also be free entrance to the game for serving military personnel and military veterans.

German schoolchildren, who attend an international school in London, are also being invited to a pre-match football tournament at the Youth Zone and will attend the Latics game.

Paul Dandy, Wigan Council’s World War One project leader, wants people to go to the game and savour the special atmosphere.

He said: “It is only right that we commemorate such a historic day in the history of football with a special event at Wigan Athletic.

“It will be a wonderful atmosphere on the day and I hope people of all ages come along and enjoy it.”

The whole event will start at 10am when stalls open at Robin Park with the marquee open selling Gluhwein and a vintage plane located in the South East corner.

As kick-off approaches, Scots Guards pipes and drums enter stadium to front of West Stand and will play in the minutes leading up to kick-off.

Timing of events:

10am: Food and drink stalls open at Robin Park. Krobar marquee open selling beer & Gluhwein at £3.50 a pint

Noon: Scots Guards arrive on site to perform toward Robin Park. Cadets on site distributing info leaflet about the story of the truce. DW Sports Lounge and Marquee open to the public. Wigan Athletic Community Trust staff with placards bearing old news headlines. Royal British Legion attendance doing collections

1pm: Combined army band to play outside stadium and at Robin Park.

2.10pm: DW Sports brass band to take to the field and play Christmas carols

2.35pm: Sarah Dennis to take to the pitch to sing “I Will Remember You”

2.45pm: Gun wheeled in to the stadium. The Mayor of Wigan, standard bearers, military band and Scots Guard band to march and perform in the stadium.

2.52pm: Players walkout to marching music and fanfare. Minute’s silence commencing and ending with the firing of the gun, and sounding of the last post.

3.50pm: Half time. Up and coming girlband to perform Silent Night. Community Trust staff take to the field for the Community Club of the Year. ‘Where have all the flowers gone?’ A new charity track recorded in Wigan by The Armstice Pals to be played on the PA.

Don’t miss our 8-page Christmas truce special in Tuesday’s Wigan Evening Post, featuring a poignant look at events 100 years ago and also from the DW on Saturday.