Zeebrugge raid centenary

Events over ten days will mark the centenary of the attack on Zeebrugge, the 'first commando raid', which took place on the night of 22-23 April 1918, under the command of Commodore Roger Keyes.

Commemorations will take place on both sides of the Channel to honour the British and Commonwealth sailors and marines who sought to bottle up enemy submarines in their Belgian base – and the German troops who fought to try to stop them.

Although the raid failed – the blockships did not stop U-boat traffic – and cost the attackers heavily (of the 1,700 sailors and Royal Marines taking part, more than 580 were casualties, 227 of them killed, while there were 24 German casualties), it was hailed as a success thanks to a propaganda campaign by the Admiralty.

Centenary events begin with two of those Victoria Cross (VC) awardees being honoured in their home towns: Capt Alfred Carpenter in Richmond and Royal Marine Capt Edward Bamford in Haringey, on 16 and 17 April.

Citations for the VC recipients can be found in Gazette issue 30807 and 31236.

Find out more: Royalnavy.mod.uk