U's to welcome 3 Para soldiers to weekend cup game.
Clubs competing in the Barclays Premier League, the Sky Bet Football League and the Second Round of the FA Cup, will be commemorating the centenary of one of the most iconic moments of the First World War - the 1914 Christmas Truce – as part of a week of remembrance activity in December 2014.
Members of the Army Parachute Regiment will be guests of Colchester United for their FA Cup game against Peterborough this weekend, as the U's participate in 'Football Remembers Week'.
'Football Remembers Week' will take place from 5th-14th December. A joint collaboration between The FA, the Premier League, the Football League and the British Council, the aim is to engage football fans and players at every level about what took place on Christmas Day one hundred years ago on the battlefields in Belgium.
On 25th December 1914, soldiers from both sides put down their weapons and crossed into 'no man's land’'to share in an impromptu ceasefire. First-hand accounts from the time include references to football being played and photographs taken.
All photos uploaded to social media using #footballremembers will be automatically uploaded to a special website – www.footballremembers.com
The site shall act as a moment of record of football in 2014, a century on from the First World War, and will be preserved for future generations.
The U's will be welcoming members of the 3 Para football team to the Weston Homes Community Stadium for Sunday's game against Peterborough, where they will perform the guard of honour before joining the two teams for a pre-match photo.
"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."
HRH The Duke of Cambridge, President of The FA, said: "It promises to be a powerful way to engage and educate young people about such an important moment in our history.
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 Remembers kicked off in May 2014 when the four partners launched a Football Remembers education pack that was sent to more than 30,000 schools across the UK.
A key element of the Football Remembers education pack was a competition for schools and football academies to design a permanent Christmas Truce memorial for the National Memorial Arboretum. The competition was judged by HRH The Duke of Cambridge – President of The FA – and Arsenal and England forward Theo Walcott.
The winning design was drawn by 10-year-old Spencer Turner from Farne Primary in Newcastle, and he will attend a special service later in the year to mark the unveiling at the Arboretum, near St. George's Park.