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Building a bridge of peace to the future from a Christmas trench back in 1915

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An English soldier having a bowl of soup in a trench, in 1915 Photo: Maurice-Louis Branger/Roger Viollet/Getty Images

An English soldier having a bowl of soup in a trench, in 1915 Photo: Maurice-Louis Branger/Roger Viollet/Getty Images

Richard Schirrmann

Richard Schirrmann

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An English soldier having a bowl of soup in a trench, in 1915 Photo: Maurice-Louis Branger/Roger Viollet/Getty Images

Christmas Day 2015 marks the centenary of a little-known World War I truce - in the Vosges Mountains, a 60-minute drive from Strasbourg - that inspired one of the great youth movements of all time, of which Ireland was a founding member.

Few realise that Ireland's youth hostelling movement, An Óige, and the youth hostelling movement worldwide, emerged from a spontaneous truce inspired by the ringing of church bells on Christmas morning 1915, rising from towns and villages below French and German trenches.


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