Historic football match between British and German troops at Christmas to be recreated in 2014 to mark the centenary of First World War

  • Six state occasions, exhibitions and school  trips to battlefields and graves
  • Government backs commemorations with £50  million
An historic football match between British  and German troops on Christmas Day in 1914 is to be recreated under plans to  mark the centenary of World War One. There will be six state occasions, school  trips to battlefields and exhibitions backed by historians and the government  who have set aside £50million for the commemorations. A number of debates about the reasons why the  war started have also been planned. Almost a million British soldiers lost their  lives in the four-year conflict.
Truce: A depiction of British and German soldiers playing football in 'No Man's Land' on the battlefield in World War One. It will be be recreated next year

But much of the interest will centre on  football because of that poignant meeting in 'No Man's Land' in Flanders between  the trenches that signalled a Christmas truce along the western  front. Children from the UK and Germany may be  involved in any match, or tournament, staged next year, said Andrew Murrison,  the minister in charge of overseeing the  commemorations. The Football Association and the National  Children's Football Alliance have been approached and are 'enthused' about the  project. Mr Murrison told the Guardian: 'I think  football has a particular part to play. It is clear the Christmas truce is going  to be  commemorated in a very significant way. 'It had no real relevance  to the outcome of  the war but at that deeply, intensely, personal level, it is something that  people really do latch on to.'
A moment of peace: The warring sides stop firing to shake hands and talk during the Christmas truce in 1914 along the western front.

Two pupil 'ambassadors' and a teacher from every  state secondary school are expected to be sent to battlefields in northern  France. Mr Murrison said that seeing the names on  tombstones was 'very powerful' and it made a 'big impact on children who had  visited the graves of the fallen. The biggest collection of documents and  memorabilia about the Great War is being set up in a digital archive by the  Imperial War Museum. It will open new galleries, said the paper,  and show a new film about the battle of the Somme in 1916 in which more there  were one million casualties on both sides. The BBC is expected to commission programmes  telling the stories of individual soldiers. Author Sebastian Faulks, who wrote about the  war in his bestseller Birdsong, is one of a number of experts advising ministers about the  commemorations. They include  historians Professor   Michael Burleigh and Sir Hew Strachan, and Lord Stirrup and Lord Guthrie, both  former chiefs of  the defence staff. A  number of German officials will be part of  a national church service  held in Britain to commemorate the beginning of the  conflict on August,  4, 1914. The events proposed over the coming  years include marking the battle of  Gallipoliin in April 2015, the first day  of the Battle of the Somme on 1 July 2016, the  naval battle of Jutland in May/June 2017, the battle of Passchendale in  June/November 2017. The final 100 days leading to Armistice Day on 11  November   Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk    
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