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Image courtesy Australian War Memorial.

  • Day 1245 of the war
  • The Australian Red Cross distributes 50,000 Christmas boxes to patients in almost 400 hospitals, casualty clearing stations and command depots in France and Great Britain. The contents generally included a pipe, tobacco, cigarettes, chocolate, playing cards, a match-box, handkerchief and card.
  • Australian destroyer HMAS Huon transports the Greek Prime Minister Eleftherios Venizelos and his staff from Taranto in southern Italy to Pireaus in Greece. A crewman later recorded:

As we passed the British cruisers they gave us three cheers for going to sea on Christmas Day

Christmas 1917, Phil Harum, Parkes

‚ÄúPeace on earth; goodwill to men.”
A scrap of paper. But its surface bears
A wish that neither Time nor Tide impairs;

A prayerful wish that never can grow cold
While Faith and Hope the souls of men uphold.
And Charity sends forth her soft’ning rays
To pierce the darkest of our gloomy days.

Amidst the thunder of a thousand guns,
Where clouds of hate obscure the rising sun.
Or in this land, remote from War’s alarms,
Where Peace, though sullied, still retains her charms;

No sweeter message ever flowed from pen
Than that of “Peace on Earth, Good will to men.”