Carol service pays tribute to brave WWI soldiers

The choir sing O Holy Night as military veterans place photographs of WWI ancestors on the Christmas tree

The choir sing O Holy Night as military veterans place photographs of WWI ancestors on the Christmas tree

Share this article
0
Have your say

One church in Chorley has staged a carol service with a difference.

One hundred years ago on Christmas Day, First World War troops on the front line walked across No Man’s Land and exchanged greetings, shared gifts and even had a football match.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints wanted to commemorate these events and integrate them with their annual Christmas carol concert at the temple in Chorley.

Over two evenings, more than 1,500 people gathered to enjoy the tributes to the war heroes and sing the popular hymns celebrating Christmas.

The whole congregation were encouraged to join in the singing of Pack Up Your Troubles and It’s A Long Way To Tipperary to get them into the spirit of the era.

Members of the audience and choir who had ancestors who fought in the war were encouraged to wear their medals and poppies, and some of the young men and women even wore military costumes.

Speakers were invited to read letters from World War One servicemen written just before they went into battle.

Guest speakers included Chorley MP Lindsay Hoyle, Chorley Mayor Coun Roy Lees and Cyril Goulbourne BEM, representing the Royal British Legion.

Interspersed with the carols, the church played video footage showing the circumstances of the first Christmas at war in 1914, including the sharing of some journal entries and letters written by those involved on both sides.

The 80-strong choir comprised of singers of all ages from 12 to 75. They sung a range of carols.