The two sides continued by shouting Christmas greetings to each other. Soon thereafter, there were calls for visits across the “No Man’s Land” where small gifts were exchanged — whisky, cigars, and the like. The artillery in the region fell silent that night. The truce also allowed a breathing spell where recently-fallen soldiers could be brought back behind their lines by burial parties. Proper burials took place as soldiers from both sides mourned the dead together and paid their respects.
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, in his history of 1914, called the Christmas truce “an amazing spectacle” and in a memorable description, saluted it as “one human episode amid all the atrocities which have stained the memory of the war”.