The first organised trench raid by a British Army unit ….

During the War at night each side would sometimes carry out raids on the enemy trenches. Because of this, sentries were trebled at night. The first organised trench raid by a British Army unit was carried out by Lieutenant F. C. Roberts and 25 men of the 1st Battalion, Worcestershire Regiment, on the night of the 3rd January 1915.
At 8.45pm they were sent over the top to clear out a new German trench which had been dug only about 50 metres from their own lines.Trench raids were usually terrifying affairs for both sides, involving hand-to-hand fighting in cramped spaces and the pitch dark. This time, however, the German’s were caught by surprise and the trench cleared after a short fight. Two of the Worcesters were killed, and Lt. Roberts was awarded the Distinguished Service Order. Three men – Sergeant H. Edwards, Lance-Corporal G. Darby and Private H. Evans – all won the DSM , Distinguished Conduct Medal. The DSO was only awarded to officers, but the DCM was its equivalent for the other ranks, and the two medals were second only to the Victoria Cross.

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