A sculpture commemorating the famous truce of Christmas Day 1914 was unveiled at Liverpool’s Bombed Out Church.
The statue, named All Together Now, was designed by sculptor Andy Edwards and depicts a British and a German soldier greeting each other with a football by their side.
It captures the remarkable moment in December 1914 when enemy soldiers along the Western Front laid down their weapons and emerged from their trenches to shake hands, sing carols, exchange rations, and even take part in smallscale kickabouts.
One hundred years on, the memory of the brief transformation of No-Mans land into a football field remains an enduring symbol of the triumph of peace and common humanity over conflict, and Tom Calderbank, the Liverpool creative activist who curated the display in the church, hopes the visiting public will take the message of peace away with them.
Mr Calderbank said: “The sculpture is a symbol of hope and peace and is about the gap between where we want to be and where we are.
“160 million people have been killed worldwide in conflict since the truce which this statue commemorates. We cannot allow the next 100 years to be like the past 100 years, and I hope that the people who touch this statue will leave transformed and work for peace.”
The unveiling of the statue came on the same day as the launch of the Peace Collective’s charity single, also entitled All Together Now.
Mr Calderbank explained that the sculpture is connected to the song in more than just name: “The artist’s inspiration for the sculpture didn’t just come from events 100 years ago but also from that song, and we really hope that All Together Now will make it to Christmas number one.”
The statue will remain in the church all week and is open to members of the public from 12-6pm.
One visitor, Steven Parkes, described the sculpture as “simply amazing”, adding: “It just sums up the need to bridge the gap.
“We won’t stop war but we can reduce its frequency, and that is what it’s all about.”
In addition to hosting the statue, the church is also draped in football scarves from clubs all across the world which were donated to LFC for the 25th Hillsborough Memorial Service earlier this year.