Alfred Anderson during the warAlfred Anderson on his 108th birthday

Alfred Anderson

Alfred Anderson during the Great War and on his 108th birthday .


No More Truce Survivors

Alfred Anderson, the last known survivor of the 1914 "Christmas Truce" that saw British and German soldiers exchanging gifts and handshakes in no man's land, died in November 2005. He was 109.

Anderson died in his sleep at a nursing home in Newtyle, Scotland.

Born June 25, 1896, Anderson was an 18-year-old soldier in the Black Watch regiment when British and German troops cautiously emerged from their trenches on Dec. 25, 1914. The enemies swapped cigarettes and tunic buttons, sang carols and even played soccer amid the mud and shell-holes of no man's land. The informal truce spread along much of the Western Front, in some cases lasting for days.

"I remember the silence, the eerie sound of silence," Anderson told The Observer newspaper last year. "But there was a dead silence that morning, right across the land as far as you could see. We shouted 'Merry Christmas,' even though nobody felt merry. The silence ended early in the afternoon and the killing started again".