Great War Christmas lecture at Military Museum

Okanagan Military Museum's history interpreter presents the story of a most memorable Christmas at the First World War front lines.

The Kelowna Museums’ World War 1 lecture series wraps up for the year with Keith Boehmer presenting The Christmas Truce of the Great War.

The First World War is so long ago.  What is fact and what is fiction?  Could warring soldiers have really, at one point, ceased fire and actually exchanged gifts, sang Christmas carols and played football together?

On Tuesday, Dec. 2, Boehmer will discuss the series of widespread, unofficial ceasefires during the war. Boehmer is the military history interpreter at Okanagan Military Museum. He describes these cease fires as a “flash of chivalric civility” and explains exactly how this dreamlike, somewhat bizarre interlude came to be.

“We’re finishing strong with this lecture,” said Christina Neale, Kelowna Museums programming coordinator, “in that it captures such compelling, distinct moments in that first year of war.” She said the focus will be on the Okanagan contribution: “It’s so powerful, has such local resonance and meaning, you’ll definitely want to be back for the next series.”

The Dec. 2 lecture is from 7 to 8 p.m. at the Okanagan Military Museum., inside the Kelowna Memorial Arena, 1424 Ellis St.

The Okanagan Military Museum is a facility of the Kelowna Museums Society, a non-profit, charitable organization dedi­cated to a greater awareness of the agricultural, wine-producing, military, and cultural heritages of the Okanagan. For more information please visit www.KelownaMuseums.ca.