Y LANFA Powysland Museum is looking to decipher a letter sent from the frontline of the First World War.

The letter is dated from December 27, 1914, and was written by Private John Morris from Buttington near Welshpool. While parts of it have been transcribed, some words remain difficult to decipher and the museum is asking for anyone who can interpret them to get in touch.

In the letter, John recounts the Christmas truce of 1914 to his father, stating: “Xmas is here now, and our chaps are the Germans are shaking hands, running to meet each other, between the trenches.”

Though the Christmas Truce is most famously depicted as the football match organised between British and German troops, December 25, 1914, saw a series of unofficial ceasefires between the two sides where they met in No Man’s Land to exchange seasonal greetings.

These greetings are what John describes within the letter, adding “We were shaking hands with the Germans and Xmas day and had a beer with them, it’s a fact.”

According to the museum, John enlisted with the Royal Welch Fusiliers and was posted to India. He was a regimental boxer and won the Feather Weight Cup in 1909. During World War 1 he saw action in the trenches and was killed in the Battle of the Somme on the 18th of July 1916.

The original letters can be viewed on the museum’s Facebook page with this link https://www.facebook.com/112609680498898/posts/442642770828919

Private John Morris in 1909

Private John Morris in 1909