We celebrated Coleshill WI’s 95th anniversary with sparkling wine and a splendid cake on the very day, October 10th, that our Institute was founded back in 1922.  Our speaker, the renowned war historian Sir Andrew Hamilton gave a fascinating illustrated talk based on his book “Meet at Dawn Unarmed, the Christmas Truce of 1914”. His grandfather Robert Hamilton, a captain in the Royal Warwickshire Regiment, helped to instigate the World War I Christmas Truce with the Germans plus the exchange of greetings and gifts between the two sides and kept a vivid diary of his experiences during the first few months of his active service. Sir Andrew exploded the romantic myth of a football match on the Front Line between the British and the Germans. This was proposed but did not happen for logistical reasons and because the area was pock-marked with shell holes and piles of rubble. However the real story was just as strange.

“The two sides came together and exchanged cigarettes and cigars plus buttons and badges and wished each other a merry Christmas” he said. “It also gave them the chance to bury their dead safely. Many people saw it as a ray of hope in a dark time. My grandfather was hugely impressed by it and wrote that it was ‘a day unique in the world’s history’ and that they enjoyed ‘a very merry Christmas and a most extraordinary one’ but he also recorded ‘I doubled the sentries after midnight’, so he wasn’t taking any chances!”

We had been asked to donate a number of brightly-coloured mugs and Christmas gifts and after the talk we filled 50 mugs with a variety of presents and sweets and wrapped them in cellophane and ribbons to sell on our stall at the Christmas Fair in Coleshill Town Hall, on December 2nd.

Mavis Gordon won the competition for a late rose, with a perfect pink specimen.

The Group Carol Service will be held at Wishaw Church on December 5th

On 14th November we will have our Annual Meeting when we elect the committee for the following year. Afterwards we will be playing some traditional games. The competition is for a drawing of an animal. Visitors welcome as always.

The pictures show:

  1. Coleshill WI’s celebration 95thanniversary cake
  2. President Elaine Partridge cutting the cake.
  3. Members celebrating Coleshill’s WI’s 95thanniversary with sparkling wine and cake

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