In Football Remembers week, Wester Hailes Education Centre reenacted a little of the football match which everyone knows about from the First World War.
Private William Tapp wrote in his diary “It doesn’t seem right to be killing each other at Xmas time.” I don’t know what our General would say if he knew about this.”
In December 1914, thousands of soldiers around Ypres in Belgium took part in a spontaneous and informal truce – a moment of humanity from history. It was made all the more poignant as so many were to fall in battle, including Tapp, who was killed a few weeks later. Football Remembers focuses on the games of football played in No Man’s Land in the context of the Christmas truce.
Earlier today pupils at WHEC put on uniforms, greatcoats and helmets to play with a vintage football, and footballing legend John Robertson of Hearts was there to offer his thoughts on going to Contalmaison this summer and some keepie-uppie skills. Stuart Sinclair who is the teacher in charge of Modern Studies and History has led the children through the curriculum to learn about the atrocities of war one hundred years ago.
Contalmaison is the village in France where the sporting battalion known as McCrae’s led the vanguard on 1 July 1916 where they were mown down by machine gun fire and three Hearts players died.