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Vet of Christmas truce during WWI dies at 106

SHARE Vet of Christmas truce during WWI dies at 106

LONDON — Bertie Felstead, one of the last survivors of the informal Christmas truces between British and German soldiers during World War I, has died. He was 106.

The veteran died Sunday at a nursing home in Gloucester, his family said.

Felstead, a private with the Royal Welch Fusiliers, was one of the soldiers who crossed into no-man's land to celebrate Christmas morning with the Germans during an unofficial truce.

The soldiers exchanged holiday greetings, swapped cigarettes and played soccer — before being ordered back to their trenches to resume hostilities.

Felstead recalled that on Christmas morning, "all the soldiers were shouting to one another, 'Hello Tommy, Hello Fritz,' and we gradually got to know each other this way.

"The Germans started it, coming out of their trenches and walking over to us. Nobody decided for us — we just climbed over our parapet and went over to them. We thought nobody would shoot at us if we all mingled together."