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Christmas 1914: the Tale of Johannes Bartels

The events of the 1914 Christmas truce and the first poison gas attack of April 1915 are here recalled by German soldier Johannes Bartels.

Video: Jeremy Hawthorn


The monologue is set against the statue All Together Now which stood for a week in December 2014 in St Luke's 'bombed-out' church in Liverpool. This performance was part of a series of events at St Luke's to commemorate the Christmas truce of 1914.

Note: Johannes Bartels is a fictional character, but the Christmas truce and the gas attack took place as described. 'Uncle' Carl Bartels was a Stuttgart-born sculptor who designed Liverpool's famous Liver Birds but never got the credit for doing so and indeed spent four years interned on the Isle of Man as an enemy alien.

Research and performance: Jeremy Hawthorn
Photography: Helen Marks
Production co-ordinated by: Thomas Calderbank