Mynydd Isa school re-enacts First World War football match


Robert Doman

A SCHOOL has commemorated the centenary of the First World War by re-enacting the famous Christmas Day truce football match of 1914.

Pupils at Argoed High School in Mynydd Isa decided to stage the Remembrance Match in honour of the soldiers who gave their lives in the conflict as they continue to raise funds for various services charities.

Complete with a handlebar-moustached referee, they took to the school playing fields to represent Germany and the Allied Forces – and the whole school turned out to cheer them on following a minute’s silence to remember the fallen.

Pupils played the parts of soldiers who took part in the famous match, when gunfire temporarily stopped and fighters ventured out of the Trenches and played a friendly against their enemies on no man’s land.

The event was part of the school’s marking of the 100 year anniversary of the break out of the Great War.

Argoed High assistant headteacher Alan Coppack, who played the part of the referee, complete with baggy shorts, blazer and hip flask, said: “You have to do something as a school to commemorate the centenary of the First World War.

“Pupils have done a good bit of work on the topic in lessons and in school assemblies.

“We’ve got two GCSE history classes and they decided to come together to re-enact the Christmas football match.

“But the whole school is taking part in events to mark the centenary.”

The match was arranged by pupils who have become ‘history leaders’ at Argoed, taking history into the community and promoting learning about the past.

The event included the national anthems complete with live commentary.

Before the kick off, the history leaders took time out to explain their decision to stage the game.

Thomas Hayes, 15, said: “It’s important to commemorate the First World War and we thought this was something everyone would enjoy.”

Jack Davies, also 15, added: “The soldiers emerged from the Trenches during the first Christmas of the war.

“There was an unofficial ceasefire and we wanted an activity to commemorate that.”

History teachers Leon Southgate and Sarah Salisbury confirmed the school has so far raised more than £1,000 this year through a series of activities for the Royal British Legion and an appeal by veterans’ charity Combat Stress.

Pupils have also helped count up more than £10,000 from poppy donation boxes for the area’s Poppy Appeal.

They were raising money at the football match through the sale of refreshments, many of them made by the pupils.”

See full story in the Leader

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