ACTOR Robert Hardy will be among the famous faces marking the 1914 Christmas Truce this weekend at an Oxfordshire museum.

A special Remembrance of Christmas in the Trenches service will be staged in Woodstock by the new Soldiers of Oxfordshire Museum on Sunday.

In the run-up to Christmas 1914, German and British soldiers ventured into No Man’s Land for a series of ceasfires.

Instead of fighting they famously put aside their countries’ differences, playing games of football and exchanging season’s greetings.

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The hour of readings and music at St Mary Magdalene Church will feature Mr Hardy, who played Winston Churchill in the 1980s ITV serial Winston Churchill: The Wilderness Years.

He will be joined by the Woodstock Music Society and the choirs of Woodstock and Bladon.

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The 89-year-old visited the museum last week ahead of the service.

He said: “I am delighted to be participating in this imaginative and very relevant commemoration of Christmas 1914, a time when the country was realising that – far from being ‘over by Christmas’ – the war would be long and its ravages costly in the extreme.”

The Duke of Marlborough will also be reading, along with Royal biographer and broadcaster Hugo Vickers, actress Marsha Fitzalan, star of ITV sitcom The New Statesman, and professor of Military History and Woodstock resident Ashley Jackson.

Blenheim Palace head guide Veronica Thorneloe, whose son Lieutenant Colonel Rupert Thorneloe was killed in Helmand in 2009 while commanding 1st Battalion The Welsh Guards, is also expected to give an emotional reading.

The event will raise money for the Royal British Legion and for the museum, which was opened in September by Princess Anne.

Kate Burrows, fundraiser for the museum, said: “The whole weekend is a remembrance weekend. It’s the centenary of the First World War and soldiers coming together to play football matches during a truce in No Man’s Land.

“It’s to remember the soldiers who were there, whether they made it back or not – and also a reminder that conflict is still going on today.”

The museum will be holding a ‘Brilliant Baubles’ event later today for children to get involved in the commemoration.

Children will make festive football boots and footballs to hang on the tree, inspired by the No Man’s Land matches.

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