December 17, 2016

Christmas Cakes in the Trenches

From the Library of Congress: Poster shows a Christmas tree decorated with candles in front of a red cross. Text: Christmas in the field! 1914. Donate gift packages for our warriors!
When Europe went to war in the fall of 1914, many were sure that soldiers on both sides would be "home by Christmas."  Then the first ugly battles took place, and that thinking changed.  World War I would see not one but four Christmases, and many soldiers were still in France and Germany for the Christmas after Armistice Day in 1918.

British "Tommies" received Christmas cakes from home, recipe reflecting wartime rationing plus the need for these cakes to survive the trip to the trenches. Hence the Trench Cake, egg-free and as every fruitcake eater knows, indestructible.

I follow up on these Tommies, American Doughboys, French nurses and more in my latest
book on the Great War. Pick it up from your library or bookstore. Reviews are posted here:

"....An ideal introductory work about the war, and even adults well read in the subject may find this of interest." --New York Military Affairs Symposium Review

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