As Silent Night drifted across the freezing air to the British trenches, soldiers from both sides clambered from their dark trenches onto the icy mud of No Man's Land to play football in what is one of the most iconic images in military history.

The Christmas truce of 1914 provided a brief pause in the carnage of the First World War allowing ordinary soldiers from both sides to take part in a kick-about before returning to their labyrinth of ditches and resume fighting for four more bloody years.

According to accounts from both sides, the game finished 3-2 to Germany, but this is just one of many links between the Beautiful Game and the Great War.

At the outset of war in 1914, the football authorities agreed that regular competition should continue in order to sustain national morale and as a result the 1914/15 season went ahead as scheduled.But as it became clear that the conflict would not be over by Christmas, as first thought, The Football League and FA Cup were suspended.

Many footballers volunteered or were conscripted to the Armed Forces during this period; 11 members of the Tottenham Hotspur squad tragically lost their lives during World War One.

But in addition to individuals, there are examples of whole teams joining-up. A famous case is that of Leyton Orient - then known as Clapton Orient - who were the first English football club to enlist together, forming one of many 'Pals Battalions'.

In total, 40 members of the club - including both payers and staff - followed their captain, Fred Parker into the enlistment office to join the 17th Battalion of the Middlesex Regiment which was quickly dubbed the 'Football Battalion'.

Across the country, team camaraderie transcended into the Armed Forces as scores of professional footballers volunteered to fight for King and Country. Many never came back, including Orient's leading goal-scorers Richard McFadden and William Jonas who fell during the Battle of the Somme in 1916.

But others did return. Second-in-Command of the 'Football Battalion', Major Frank Buckley went on to manage Wolverhampton Wanderers after the war despite being wounded in the shoulder and the lung in 1917.

In 1939, the impossible happened again as war broke out for a second time in just over twenty years.

And once again, football did its part with icons of the game such as Billy Wright (Wolves), Denis Compton (Arsenal), Wilf Mannion (Middlesbrough) and Bill Nicholson (Tottenham Hotspur) all answering the call.

Preston North End and England legend, Sir Tom Finney joined the Royal Army Corps in 1942 and was shipped to North Africa with the 8th Army.

There are countless connections between football, war and the Armed Forces, with similar football games to the Christmas truce of 1914 being recorded during the Boer War towards the end of the 19th Century.

Arsenal famously draw their name from the munitions workers that created the club in 1886 whilst working in the Royal Arsenal at the club's original home in Woolwich, South East London.

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