Bringing it up to date
It is impossible to know how many troops had doubts about the war after they had seen the humanity of their enemies on Christmas Day. A number of former soldiers denounced the war after it was over. Harry Patch, who the last surviving British man to have fought in World War I before his death in 2009, described it as “legalised murder”.
Today, the group Veterans for Peace brings together former members of the British armed forces who are now committed to working nonviolently for peace. You can watch a three-minute clip about Veterans for Peace, and read more about their campaigns, at http://veteransforpeace.org.uk.
Laurence wrote to his parents from a Friends Ambulance Unit station in France on Boxing Day 1914, picking up themes that had been cut short in his last letter. Here's an abridged version of his letter.