Defence of Festubert

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Darwan Singh Negi was awarded a Victoria Cross for his actions at the Defence of Festubert. He is seen here being taken to the Royal Pavilion for treatment of the injuries received from leading the charge around each traverse as they cleared out the Germans from the trenches.[1]

The Defence of Festubert was an engagement early in the Great War when units of the British Army and Indian Army defended the village of Festubert against a German attack on 23–24 November 1914.[2][3] 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.[4]

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

The defense of Festubert commenced on 23 November 1914 and the battle saw 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 alongside the 1st battalion Manchester Regiment. The battle resulted in a British victory with lost trenches retaken although at a heavy cost from the Mazhabi Sikhs and the Manchesters.[5]

This engagement should not be confused with the Battle of Festubert which took place in the following spring for which the honour Festubert 1915 was awarded.