A PROFESSOR at the University of Bradford has made an integral contribution to a national project marking the infamous Christmas truce during the First World War.

Football Remembers, a joint initiative between the British Council, Premier League, Football League and the Football Association, is commemorating the moment in 1914 when British and German soldiers left their trenches and weapons and mingled in no-man’s land to chat, exchange gifts and, in some instances, play football.

The week-long tribute starting tomorrow will see footballers at matches pose together as a mark of respect.

Clubs involved in Premier League, Football League and FA Cup matches right through to grassroots will unite to create a series of joint team photographs, honouring the way the British and German forces came together on Christmas Day in 1914.

There will also be a football tournament in Ypres, organised by the Premier League.

And the University of Bradford is playing its own part thanks to Tom Woodhouse, a professor of peace studies at the university.

The British Council approached Prof Woodhouse and asked him to contribute to an education pack for schools nationwide. He created a conflict resolution simulation game called Friend or Foe.

Based around the Christmas truce, the game involves two teams using Friend and Foe cards. It challenges students to think about their actions as well as the cause and effect of conflicts. It explores a process two sides might use to reach a truce and how that might succeed or break down.

The game also includes regimental and personal diaries from the time and has been made available to 30,000 schools.

Prof Woodhouse said: "The aim of the week is to use football to highlight what happened during the Christmas truce. Friend or Foe particularly highlights the value of peace and peace-making and gives pupils the opportunity to reflect not only on what happened in 1914 but also on how they approached the issues presented by the game."

Schools and workplaces in the UK, along with British military bases and embassies around the world, will also unite for their own mixed team photos, which will be posted at footballremembers.com.

Also, as part of the project, more than 30,000 schools across the UK received a British Council education pack with resources to help children learn about the truce, including eye-witness accounts, photos, drawings and letters from soldiers.

Vicky Gough, schools adviser at the British Council, said: "It’s amazing to see so many schools across the UK joining in this national act of remembrance.

"The planned activities we have heard about from schools paint a powerful picture of teachers working with young people exploring questions of war and peace. The games of football played during the Christmas Truce of 1914 tell the human stories of World War One and schools are engaging with it through truly remarkable projects."

See Prof Woodhouse's game at https://schoolsonline.britishcouncil.org.