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Prince William plea to design war memorial

By Burton Mail  |  Posted: June 19, 2014

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YOUNGSTERS across Burton and South Derbyshire are being urged to help design a national memorial to an iconic moment in the First World War.

The Football Remembers design project was launched in a bid to create a monument to honour the Christmas truce – which saw soldiers put down their weapons in 1914 and play football with their enemies.

The Duke of Cambridge – president of The FA – and Arsenal and England star Theo Walcott will help judge the winning entry, which will be built at the National Memorial Arboretum at Alrewas.

Prince William said: “We all grew up with the story of soldiers from both sides putting down their arms on Christmas Day, and it remains wholly relevant today as a message of hope over adversity, even in the bleakest of times.

“It promises to be a powerful way to engage and educate young people about such an important moment in our history.”

The unique project has seen the Premier League, Football League and The FA Join forces with the British Council.

More than 30,000 education packs have been distributed to schools across the country as part a nationwide commemoration this year marking 100 years since the start of the First World War.

It includes resources to help children learn about the truce – including eye-witness accounts, photos, drawings and letters from soldiers, some of which have never been published before.

Football Association (FA) chairman Greg Dyke, said: “The scale of the loss is unthinkable and it is only right and fitting the game comes together to pay tribute to those that made the ultimate sacrifice.”

Pupils, and football clubs registered with the FA, are also to be invited to take part in a series of other activities to commemorate the First World War between now and December, which have yet to be revealed.

The British Council’s chief executive Sir Martin Davidson said that the truce match was an illustration of how “people-to-people connections can triumph at a time of global crisis.”

Football Remembers will see every team in the Premier League and Football League, as well as all 24 England sides, mark the centenary of WW1.

The winning design is set to be unveiled in December.

More information on how to enter is available at http://schoolsonline.britishcouncil.org/classroom-resources/football-remembers/competition

Late on Christmas Eve 1914, British soldiers heard the Germans singing carols.

They later challenged them to the match.

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