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"The truce probably bypassed the Hertfordshire Regiment because they were with the Guards Brigade who were incredibly professional and were highly unlikely to have fraternised."The story Percy and Tom's tragic demise on that day serves to highlight that December 25, 1914, was just another day on the Western Front for some."I have already asked, dear mum, that you will spend as happy a Xmas as possible and I will do the same." Shortly before dawn on Christmas Day, Corporal Clifford Lane, of H Company Hertfordshire regiment, recalled how the Germans hoisted their lanterns above the trenches and called out to the British as a overture for a temporary truce.The British responded by shooting at the lights, putting an end to any prospect of a Christmas Day ceasefire - one that could have spared the lives of Pte Huggins and Sgt Gregory."After this we began to study the art of sniping and the tactics of the hunter were added to the science of shooting." It is thought the families of both soldiers received news of their deaths some time in early January.The two men were buried side by side at Le Touret Military Cemetery in Bethune, France."I greatly regretted it afterwards because it would have been a good experience." The regiment ate a Christmas breakfast of bread and jam, cheese and a piece of cold bacon.By the time the men tucked into their dinner of cold meats and Christmas pudding, Pte Huggins and Sgt Gregory were dead.
He was married to wife Jeanette and they had seven children; Charles, Evelyn, Bill, Doris, Herbert, Fred and Lille who was born on December 18, 1914, a week before his death.
"I long for the day when this terrible conflict will be ended.
You consider war a terrible thing but imagination cannot reach far enough for the horrors of warfare that can be seen on the battlefield are indescribable and I pray this may be the last war that will ever be." He explained he was proud to serve his King and country, adding: "I can only hope by the grace of God to acquit myself honourably and be permitted to return to all the dear ones in safety.
He thanked her for sending him a Christmas pudding which he explained he would have to eat cold but was still very much looking forward to it.
Clearly missing his family, he wrote: "I know you all must miss me and no doubt can to some extent realise what my feelings are for I cannot express them.
Pte Huggins, from Ware, Hertfordshire, worked in his family's upholstery business before he joined the Hertfordshire Regiment, which was one of the first Territorial Army units to be called up to the regular army in the First World War.