The First World War
War Diary of The Royal Canadian Regiment

Transcription by Captain Michael O'Leary, The RCR.

JUNE, 1916

1.6.16. - Trenches

Situation quiet. Little hostile Artillery, registering.

2.6.16. - Trenches

Weather fine. Night of 31ST/1ST very suspiciously quiet. At about 8.45 a.m. 2ND June enemy started violent bombardment which lasted about five hours. This was a concentrated bombardment principally directed on SANCTUARY WOOD and MAPLE COPSE. At about 3 p.m. the enemy attacked and drove our front line back which had been levelled to the ground. P.P.C.L.I. suffered tremendous losses their right being obliged to fall back on the Reserve line, but their left still held on to the APPENDIX thus keeping out right intact. The enemy made two attempts to come across to our trenches 70 to 74 but on both occasions were driven back the men behaving splendidly. Reinforcements were sent up about 8. p.m., 60TH, & 52ND Bns. And two Co's of K.R.R. These were sent into the "R" Line. A Counter attack was planned to commence at 2 a.m. 3RD inst. By the 69TH Bn. (Col GRIESBACH) with the 52ND and 60TH in support but owing to the latter Regiments not getting up in time it had to be postponed. At 5.30 p.m. one platoon under Lieut. HERON was sent to support P.P.C.L.I. on our right it arrived 6.05 P.M. under heavy shell fire but was told that its services would not be required. This platoon then returned. At 8.30 p.m. a terrific Artillery and rifle fire opened up again but lessened considerably about 9.15 p.m. and from then on steady Shrapnel fire continued on our support line. At 1.30 a.m. 3.6.16. a terrific bombardment commenced again.

Major General MERCER was killed in the front line. (pdf)

Brigadier General V. WILLIAMS was wounded and taken prisoner.

3.6.16. - Trenches

Weather fine. Wind W. At 9. a.m. the enemy drove the remainder of the P.P.C.L.I. from the APPENDIX this leaving our right flank in the air.

Nothing of importance took place during thre remainder of the day with the exception of the intermittent bombardments.

Lieut. F.R.L. De SALIS was killed by H.E. Shrapnel. (CVWM)

Lieut. E.E. McCALLUM was badly but not dangerously wounded while endeavouring to obtain information concerning the relative positions of the enemy's and our own line. He took two men with him, one of which was killed, the other badly wounded. The latter Lieut. McCALLUM bandaged as best he could and carried him back to R.H.Q. and then collapsed before his own wounds could be attended to.

Lieut. DAVIS was evacuated with shell shock.

Great difficulty was experienced in evacuating the wounded even after dark but all were got safely out on this night.

4.6.16. - Trenches

Lieut. MORRISON was wounded in the arm. Nothing of importance occurred with the exception of the usual Artillery activity which developed into intense bombardment at intervals.

5.6.16. - Trenches

Weather windy S.W. strong, showery with bursts of sunshine. Situation fairly quiet. Enemy shelled our right front at 10.30 a.m. with heavies badly damaging our trenches. Our heavies retaliated and enemy quietened down. I.30 p.m. Situation quiet. At 3.30 p.m. one German prisoner was brought down to R.H.Q. by Cpl. JAMES and L/Cpl. BERRY. Prisoner said he was a scout. He belonged to 22ND Bn. Quite young. Gave himself up opposite Trench 71 and states his comrade went back, though Cpl. JAMES thinks he was shot. Prisoner Ludwig OPOLKA MIEDZHA KR PLESS 29.1.95. 11 ERSBATL I R 165, 2 R.E.K.R. DEP. K.N. 1430, R.1.R.22. 825.12 K.

Situation remained quiet for the rest of the day with intermittent slow hostile shelling of various points, principally on our front line. Heavy Artillery were called upon for retaliation and enemy ceased fire. R.C.R. relieved by 28TH Battalion relief completed at 1.30 a.m. 6.6.16. R.C.R. moved into Camp "B" via ASYLUM some going by busses and some in limbered wagons. Battalions arrived in camp about 5. a.m. 6.6.16.

6.6.16. - "B" Camp

At 1.15 a.m. enemy opened heavy artillery fire and M.G. fire which lasted for about 20 minutes. The Co's having just relieved were on their way down the communication trenches and the MENIN ROAD. One man was killed near the MENIN GATE otherwise the relief was quite successful. Two sections of the Lewis Gun Detachment were unable to complete their relief before daylight and were therefore obliged to remain in the line for another 24 hours during which time they did most excellent work assisting in the breaking up of the enemy attack. Shortly after Bn. arrived in "B" Camp was ordered to be ready to move up as reinforcements at an hours notice later this was modified and Bn. was ordered to stand by nobody to leave camp.

7.6.16. - "B" Camp

Weather fine. Bn. still standing by. Orders received at 8 p.m. to move at 4. p.m. into rest billets in neighbourhood of STEENVOORDE. Bn. marched there arriving at 9. p.m. Packs were taken in lorries. Billets very good.

8.6.16. - STEENVOORDE

Our casualties during tour in trenches were 1 Officer and 23 other ranks killed, 5 Officers and 116 o.R. Wounded and 14 O.R. missing, making a total of 159 all ranks. The 14 missing were afterwards located in various Field Ambulances.

Two Guards instructors are attached to the Battalion for instructional purposes while in Divl. Rest Billets. Weather bright but cool. Syllabus being drawn up for instruction of recruits.

9.6.16. - STEENVOORDE

Weather warmer. A draft of 80 reinforcements arrived this date.

10.6.16. - STEENVOORDE

119 O.R. arrived as reinforcements. A large number of them are from the Base Depot and C.C.S.

11.6.16. - STEENVOORDE

Weather dull and cloudy. Slight showers during day. A draft of 81 O.R. arrived at 10.30 p.m. they appeared to be very tired. The instructional squads are progressing favourably.

12.6.16. - STEENVOORDE

A party of 1 Officer and 7 O.R. proceeded on Leave this date.

13.6.16. - STEENVOORDE

Lieut's NAYLOR, WALSH and McMURRAY proceeded on Leave this date.

14.6.16. - STEENVOORDE

Nil.

15.6.16. - STEENVOORDE

Nil.

16.6.16. - STEENVOORDE

Weather warm, bright sunshine all day.

17.6.16. - STEENVOORDE

Parades as usual. The Guards Instructors have made a marked improvement in the general appearance of the men and are doing splendid work in smartening up the recruits.

18.6.16. - STEENVOORDE

Captain GARON, Captain WOOD, and Lieut. HOME are taken on strength of the Battalion.

19.6.16. - STEENVOORDE

Weather fine and bright, in morning, getting cloudy towards night. Two O.R. joined from Base Hospital this date.

20.6.16. - STEENVOORDE

Nil.

21.6.16. - STEENVOORDE

Great airplane activity observed to the N.E. Weather very warm. R.C.R. relieved the 2ND Battalion Irish Guards on night of 21/22ND. The battalion proceeded by busses to YPRES where the Irish Guards provided guides to conduct the Companies and detachments to their allotted positions. The Bn. is distributed in trenches 63 to 74 R. Headquarters being at TUILERIE one Company being in supports. Two platoons at HALFWAY HOUSE and to Plns. At LEINSTER TRENCH. No packs were taken into trenches but were left at Transport lines. Relief complete at 1.45 a.m. R.C.R. Order No. 14 attached. No casualties occurred during relief.

22.6.16. - Trenches

Enemy's Artillery very active in early part of morning. Several shells falling near Bn. H.Q.

23.6.16. - Trenches

Weather Fine. Wind. W. 3 O.R. Wounded by enemy shell fire. Two O.R. joined from Base Hospital. Sniping very active on both sides.

24.6.16. - Trenches

Weather bright and warm. Casualties 2 O.R. Killed, 6 O.R. Wounded. (Shrapnel). Great enemy airplane activity.

25.6.16. - Trenches

7 O.R. Wounded by enemy shall fire. Very heavy bombardment on our left.

26.6.16. - Trenches

Weather dull. The Battalion was relieved by the P.P.C.L.I. Upon relief battalion proceeded Infantry Barracks YPRES. 1 O.R. wounded coming out.

27.6.16. - YPRES

A working party of 475 O.R. was supplied by the Battalion to work on deepening trenches and also for carrying parties. Enemy Artillery very active during night.

28.6.16. - YPRES

4 O.R. Joined from Base Hospital. Working parties of 450 O.R. supplied, also carrying party R.E.

29.6.16. - YPRES

Working parties as usual. Aircraft very numerous.

30.6.16. - YPRES

Enemy artillery unusually active several shells falling in the barrack square but no material damage done. R.C.R. relieved by 52ND Battalion night of June 30TH/1ST July. Relief Order No. 15 attached.

(signed)
E.C. Snider for
Lieut. Col.
Commanding The Royal Canadian Regiment

Appendix 1. R.C.R. O.O. 14 dated 20.6.16 The R.C.R. will relieve 2ND Bn. Irish Guards on night 21ST/22ND June, 1916.

Appendix 2. R.C.R. O.O. 15 dated 30.6.16 The R.C.R. will be relieved by 52ND Cdn. Bn. on night June 30TH/1ST July, 1916.

Appendix 3. Notes and instructions with reference to a minor enterprise to be carried out by R.C.R.

Appendix 4. As per instructions dated 26.6.16 R.C.R. will be relieved by P.P.C.L.I. Upon relief coys. will march to YPRES.

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