DESCENDANTS of Scottish and German First World War soldiers who took part in the historic 1914 Christmas Day Truce are coming together to remember them in a special service in Musselburgh next month.

In what has been described as a “unique” memorial, relatives will gather at Loretto School to pay tribute to the men who took part in the extraordinary day 100 years ago.

One of the leading figures involved in the moment was former Loretto pupil Lieutenant Colonel Archibald Buchanan-Dunlop, who was serving on the frontline at Ypres on Christmas Day 1914.

Lt Col Buchanan-Dunlop, who established the school’s Officer Training Corp and returned there to teach following the First World War, was the son of the 15th Laird of Drumhead and served firstly in the Royal Berkshire Regiment, then the Leicestershire and Lancashire Fusiliers, the Royal Scots and the Leicestershire Regiment.

He had a distinguished military career and on his return home became an active member of the Musselburgh community, serving not only as the school’s bursar but as Master of St John Fisherrow 112 Masonic Lodge.

The Christmas Day Truce, which saw some soldiers from both sides leave their trenches to exchange festive greetings and even play football together, made international headlines, with Lt Col Buchanan-Dunlop described in the Daily Sketch as “one of the moving spirits in this wonderful Christmas truce”.

On Saturday, December 20, his descendants will attend commemorations at the school – alongside 80 children from Germany and Belgium.

Lt Col Buchanan-Dunlop descendants and those of Baron Hauptmann Freiherr von Sinner, the commanding officer of the Machine-gun Company of the Prussian 6th Jäger Battalion – who was also involved in the Christmas Truce – will unveil a stained glass window in the school chapel in their honour.

The unveiling will take place during a commemoration at which the Rev Norman Drummond, the Queen’s Chaplain in Scotland, will speak.

Jonathan Hewat, director of external affairs at Loretto School, said: “The weekend of events promises to be a powerful way to engage and educate people about such an important moment in our history.

“We all grew up with the story of soldiers from both sides putting down their arms on Christmas Day, and it remains wholly relevant today as a message of hope over adversity, even in the bleakest of times.

“The Christmas Truce was never repeated.

“Evidence of football matches, exactly where they took place and between whom, is fragmented.

“Reports of frontline matches between enemy troops emerged in letters home on both sides.

“Other accounts include those of trench-weary troops taking advantage of the unofficial ceasefire to kick a ball among themselves.”