On this day 22nd December 1917 – a raid by Lieutenants Lake and Barham

barham and lake

Cecil Fisher Barham and Thomas Ashton Lake

barham-lake-raid-december-1917

g12c-19172/Lt: LAKE and myself proceeded from No. 7 LOOKOUT round outer edge of LOOKOUT CRATER to point G.12.c.52.82 when we entered enemy’s trench. After examining the right sap we returned and crawled over block in enemy trench on the left of point of entry and crawled along the trench running in the direction of QUARRIES.

At a point about 15 yards along we found enemy trench was in good condition and good repair, also a latrine recently used. Following trench to the right we suddenly came on a German dugout, the entrance facing his own line, and a sentry emerging from dugout at the moment of our arrival.

He turned suddenly and saw us (we were then at a distance of 3 yards from him) and he put up his hands in token of surrender, but apparently altering his mind, he suddenly reached for his rifle, which had bayonet fixed, and attempted to turn on us.

We fired at very close range with our revolvers, the German being apparently hit low, twice in the stomach, and the second time we fired he fell with a hit in the left cheek and fell headlong down the dugout steps.

Immediately after our opening fire two shots were fired at us from the left by enemy behind barricade in trench with wire in front of it, followed by rapid rifle fire and we consequently were unable to follow up our advantage as the shots were very close, we were obliged to retreat hastily, being in a very exposed position and managed to jump into crater and return quickly to our own lines.

Immediately after shooting the German there were shouts on stairway of dugout which apparently contained a good number of the enemy.

We found that trench at point G.12.c.51.86 was completely blocked with barbed wire and handbags, the wire crossing the trench – this was the point the enemy opened fire on us and obliged us to return – his distance from us being 20 to 25 yards. The sap facing LANCER is apparently not used and is in bad condition. We were unable to obtain any information as to identify as we were already heavily fired at

The German was in full equipment as if moving, mess tin strapped to his back with other things.hordenLake Jan 1918Barham Dec 1917

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