A creeping barrage was the “name given to an artillery method of covering infantry in an attack by a moving wall of fire, shelling each successive enemy position immediately ahead, sweeping the ground over which the troops had to advance, according to the infantry rate of progress. The barrage moved forward by "lifts" usually fifty yards at a time, the shelling between "lift" usually lasting a minute and a half. Watched from a distance, in rear, the barrage seemed to "creep" forward, hence the name. It was first used in the Battle of the Somme, 1916.” 
References / notes
- Edward Fraser and John Gibbons (1925). Soldier and Sailor Words and Phrases. Routledge, London p.66.
Glossary of terms and customs
This page forms part of our glossary of words and phrases of the Armed Forces of the United Kingdom of Great Britain during the Great War, which also includes: technicalities, trench slang, expressions in everyday use, nicknames, sobriquets, the titles and origins of British and Commonwealth Regiments, and warfare in general. Please feel free to help expand and improve this content.
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