Defence of Festubert

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This article is about an engagement in 1914. For the British attack in spring 1915, see Battle of Festubert.
Defence of Festubert
Part of First World War
Defence of Festubert 23-24 November 1914.png
Defence of Festubert 23–24 November 1914
Date 23–24 November 1914
Location Festubert, France
50°32′39″N 02°44′15″E / 50.54417°N 2.73750°E / 50.54417; 2.73750Coordinates: 50°32′39″N 02°44′15″E / 50.54417°N 2.73750°E / 50.54417; 2.73750
Units involved
Infantry Regiment 112 7th (Meerut) Division
Festubert is located in France
Festubert, commune in the Pas-de-Calais department and Nord-Pas-de-Calais region of France

The Defence of Festubert was an engagement early in the Great War when Indian and British battalions of the 7th (Meerut) Division, Indian Army defended the village of Festubert against a German attack from 23–24 November 1914. It is notable for being one of the first actions in the war in which an attack was made against a prepared defensive position, thus foreshadowing the years of trench warfare which were to come.

The British and Indian regiments that took part were awarded the battle honour Festubert 1914.


23–24 November[edit]

The fighting around Ypres subsided in mutual exhaustion by 22 November and for about three weeks bad weather also inhibited operations apart from artillery-fire, bombing and sniping. At the end of the month the British made several night raids and on 23 November, the German Infantry Regiment 112 captured 800 yards (730 m) of trench east of Festubert in the Indian Corps area.[1] The Indians counter-attacked through the night and recovered the trenches. The Defence of Festubert was one of the first attacks on an organised trench system. Most notably a night attack also occurred, involving mainly Mazhabi Sikhs of the 34th Royal Sikh Pioneers Regiment and the 1st Battalion Manchester Regiment. The battle was a costly British victory, the lost trench was recaptured but there were many casualties in the Mazhabi Sikhs and the 1st Manchesters.[2]

Order of Battle[edit]


  1. ^ All data from Edmonds, Military Operations, 1914, Part II, 1925.[3]


  1. ^ James 1924, p. 6.
  2. ^ Edmonds & Wynne 1927, p. 4.
  3. ^ Edmonds 1925, pp. 482–483.


Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]