The First World War
War Diary of The Royal Canadian Regiment

Transcription by Captain Michael O'Leary, The RCR.

JULY 1916

1.7.16. - Camp "B"

Rested all day. Weather Fine and warm.

2.7.16. - Camp "B"

Inspections of kits and parades for clothing. There seems to be a slight epidemic of Influenza among the men. Weather Fine and warm. Bn, Church parade.

Lieut. DICKSON, and Sgt HUNT to Second Army School.

3.7.16. - Camp "B"

Started training of recruits and trained Soldiers today according to attached syllabus ass Appendix No. 1. Weather cloudy.

4.7.16. - Camp "B"

Training continued. Noticeable improvement in recruits over yesterday. Lectures being given by Bombing Instructors to Platoons. 2 hours heavy rain 4. p.m. to 6. p.m.

5.7.16. - Camp "B"

Still showery but training continued. Preliminary bouts in Boxing and Wrestling in 7TH. Bde. Sports.

6.7.16. - Camp "B"

Fine and warm today. Training as usual this morning; but 7TH. Bde. Sports were held on our parade ground. We entered all events and were quite successful. Below is a comparative table of results:-

R.C.R. P.P.C.L.I. 42ND. 49TH.
First Prizes 6 4 2 2
Second Prizes 7 5 2 3
Third Prizes 2 4 4 2

After the Sports the Bn. marched to RENNINGHELST to attend "The Follies" specially put on for us by P.P.C.L.I., the men enjoyed it thoroughly.

7.7.16. - Camp "B"

Cloudy with one or two slight showers. Raiding party has been selected to be trained in practice Trenches. This is being done tonight. Final bouts Boxing and Wrestling tonight.

8.7.16. - Camp "B"

Still cloudy. Raiding party continued in their training today. Recruits are shaping up well under their instructors.

Lieut. BELL to 2ND Army Sniping School.
Lieut. BATE and Lieut. POPE joined from overseas.

9.7.16. - Camp "B"

A little brighter today, but still cloudy. There was considerable aerial activity today. Lieut. WURTELE joined from overseas. Church Service in morning P.P.C.L.I. and 7TH. Bde. M.G. Co. joined with us. Advance party went to take over trenches.

10.7.16. - Camp "B"

Fine day. R.C.R. relieved 52ND. Bn. Regiment going by train to ASYLUM (YPRES) from there led by guides of 52ND Bn. M.G. Co., "A" Co., "B" Co., "C" Co. proceeded via LILLE GATE to trenches. "D" Co. going via MENIN GATE straight to front line. Relief quite good. Completed about 1.30 a.m. 11.7.16. Lieut. PAULINE went on command as Bde. Bombing Officer. L/Cpl. HARVEY, wounded on advance party. Relief order attached. We took over a little more line this time than last. Line extends from Bombing Post GOUROCK ROAB to trench R.63 to trench R.74 and includes a garrison in the CULVERT under MENIN ROAD. "A" Co. on right of front line a garrisoning YEOMANRY POST. "B" Co. in centre, 1 Platoon in ROSLYN STREET. "D" Co. in left, 1 Platoon LEINSTER STREET. "C" Co. support on HALFWAY HOUSE 1 Platoon LEINSTER STREET. Raiding party of 38 O.R. at HALFWAY HOUSE also. H,Q, TUILERIES.

11.7.16. - Trenches

Cloudy today. Enemy Artillery fairly active, especially in vicinity of CULVERT. Aircraft very active during day. Show being put on on our right by 20TH Div. Tonight. On account of enemy retaliation for demonstration patrols were only able to stay out about 1  hours.

Lieuts. HERON and POPE wounded. Lt. POPE at duty. 7 O.R. wounded, all in left Co.

12.7.16. - Trenches

Weather very changeable today, alternately bright and cloudy. Enemy artillery active on left. M.G. fire fairly active enfilading from right. Patrol on left out 2 1/2 hours. Found posts 3 to 8 not occupied by enemy except for strong listening post 7. Patrol on right found APPENDIX unoccupied. Body of German from 22ND Regt. Found. CULVERT is in bad condition, being 1 foot deep in water. Lt. BOULDEN returned from leave.

13-7-16. - Trenches

Weather mostly fair, some clouds. Artillery very active to-day (enemy). They appear to fire daily at the old Trench in Zouave Wood in advance of ours about 200 yards. We have been putting flares up from there at night. The Culvert was again shelled, mostly Minenwerfer bombs. The enemy is becoming much more active with M.G. & Snipers. We have made arrangements with Division on our left to use an O.P. in their line which commands the whole of our Line. Our snipers did good work from there to-day, claiming two hits. Enemy are doing a great amount of work opposite us on which our Artillery & L.G's got in some good work.

14-7-16. - Trenches

Enemy Artillery fairly active to-day, the Culvert being again the main objective. Enemy aircraft active. An Enemy's Trench Mortar battery was observed at approximately I.18.b.5.8.a. It is from this direction that the north side of the Culvert is frequently bombed. One of our patrols consisting of 12 men under Lieut. SAPTE went out from the CULVERT working along FORESTER to our old post 7. When they got to this point they encountered an enemy patrol of 12 men which they attacked with bombs. The enemy patrol suffered very severe Casualties as many groans and yells were heard. Our patrol returned without loss. Another patrol under Lieut. WOOD went out from GOUROCK ROAD and obtained a lot of useful information.

15-7-16. - Trenches

Enemy Artillery very active to-day, our Front Line being shelled with about 40 rounds which did no damage. The area YEOMANRY POST, TUILERIE & GORDON HOUSE was shelled during the day with approximately 224 rounds. The CULVERT, as is usual also coming in for its share. An M.G. emplacement was located at 11.B.7.8. concealed in a large mound of loose earth. Enemy aircraft active especially over our Lines. Three of our patrols went out during the night but all were compelled to return early on account of the moon. They had neither seen nor heard anything of the enemy. Casualties:- 1 Killed, 3 wounded O.R's.

16-7-16. - Trenches

Enemy Artillery fairly active to-day. Our Front Line Trenches were shelled but no damage save the blowing in of a few sandbags. Enemy M.G's were active during the night, also Rifle Fire nearly all coming from direction of BIRDCAGE and HILL 60, sweeping all ground in rear of and enfilading front line. Enemy Working Parties were active during the morning, being observed carrying planks from STIRLING CASTLE to MENIN ROAD and also along GREEN JACKET RIDE, shoving trolleys loaded with boxes, sandbags and lumber. At 6.00 a.m. our artillery fired three rounds at T.M. batty. reported two days ago, first round was wide but second was a direct hit in centre of Batty. and 3rd about 20 yards right. Our patrols brought in some useful information during the night and although bombed by the enemy all returned safely.

Lieut. McMURRAY Wounded; 2 O.R. Killed and 9 wounded.
Pte JENNINGS died of wounds on the 10th inst.
Capt. WILLOUGHBY appointed Staff Captain, 5TH Can. Inf. Bde. 25-5-16.
Sgt FLANSBERG awarded D.C.M.
Lieut.-Col. MACDONELL (Temp. Brig. General) mentioned in despatches.
Lieut. PHILLIPS mentioned in despatches.

17-7-16. - Trenches

Artillery quiet to-day, our Front Line Trenches were lightly shelled, no damage done. M.G. & Rifle Fire not quite so active. Enemy aircraft circled over our Front Line & Support Points, more especially ZOUAVE ROAD & YEOMANRY POST several times during the day. Lieut. BELL returned from 2ND. Army School of Sniping.

18-7-16. - Trenches

Enemy Artillery fairly active to-day. M.G's active during the night. Rifle fire normal. At 10.15 p.m. a raiding party consisting of four officers and 50 men and a Stokes Gun & Crew left HALFWAY HOUSE and proceeded to our advanced Bombing Post in GOUROCK ROAD. At this point the raiding party was left and Lieut. WOPODS and five Scouts proceed up GOUROCK ROAD to the enemy wire, west of the LOOP. They worked for an hour and a half cutting this wire but found in this time that cutting the wire in one night was out of the question, during the time the Wire Cutting party were working two of the enemy patrols crossed their Front just on their side of the wire. Lieut. WOODS then decided that on account of not being able to cut the wire before daylight to send the raiding party back and bomb a working party of the enemy of approximately 50 strong which he had located working on the west side of the LOOP. Word was sent back and the raiding party turned back to our Front Line. Word was also sent to the T.M. Officer that a half a minute after our last bomb went off he was to open up his Gun and barrage (?) the west side of the LOOP. At about 1.00 a.m. Lieut. WOODS party threw 16 bombs at the enemy working party and then retiring in the direction of T.64. The Stokes Gun Officer fired as arranged 25 rounds and then brought back his Gun. Much damage was done to the enemy as the range of the bombs was so short, being just 12 yards. The operation was carried out without loss on our part.

Lieut. BOULDEN to Officers Training School, Canadian Corps.

19-7-16. - Trenches

R.C.R's relieved by 1ST. C.M.R. Relief carried out satisfactorily and completed at 1.20 a.m. R.C.R. moved into camp "A" via ASYLUM at which point they entrained. All ranks rested during the forenoon, half the Bn. marched to POMERINGHE in the afternoon for Baths.

20-7-16. - "A" Camp.

The whole day was devoted to cleaning up of the camp and bathing of all men who had not been to the baths the previous day. By 5.00 p.m. all ranks had had a bath and a change of clothing. In the evening baseball games, inter-Company, were played.

21-7-16. - "A" Camp.

Parades to-day were carried out under Company arrangements an instructor being detailed to each Company & Detachment for instructing in Bayonet Fighting & Physical Training. The class for junior N.C.O's was re-commenced, the evening was given up to baseball and Football.

Lieut. NAYLOR on proceeded on command to 3RD. Canadian Divl. Wiring Pty. Inf. Bks. YPRES.

22-7-16. - "A" Camp.

Bayonet Fighting & Physical Training Parades from 8.45 a.m. until 12.00 noon. Half Holiday. Most of the men took advantage of this to do a lot of necessary sewing and general repair of their kits, together with the polishing of Canteen, etc. with a view to tomorrow's move.

Lieut. SNIDER appointed Adjutant vice Captain WILLOUGHBY from 25-5-16.

23-7-16. - "A" Camp.

Morning spent in cleaning lines and packing. The R.C.R. relieved by 52ND. Bn. Relief completed at 1.00 p.m. The R.C.R. move off at 1.10 p.m. carrying full packs. The march to STEENVOORDE was on account of the heat and dust none too pleasant. On arrival the various companies & detachments marched to their respective billets which were found clean and comfortable.

Major C.R.E. WILLETS proceeded on command to 9TH. Canadian Infantry Brigade.
Lieut. Col. C.H. HILL and Lieut. McCALLUM awarded the D.S.O.
Lieut. PENNIMAN awarded the Military Cross.

Two other ranks awarded the D.C.M. and three other ranks the Military Cross as under:-

D.C.M.

Military Medal

24-7-16. - STEENVOORDE

Parades to-day under Company arrangements. N.C.O€™s class as usual. Working party of 1 Officer & 50 other ranks to Bombing School at 8.00 a.m. return at 5.00 p.m.

Lieut. BREWSTER & BOLE proceeded on command to Grenade School.

25-7-16. - STEENVOORDE

Parades for Bayonet Fighting and physical training as usual. N.C.O's class as usual. Rifles of "A" & "B" Coys. inspected by Armourer Sergeant.

Lieut. TOWERS granted temporary rank of captain whilst commanding 7TH. Canadian Trench Mortar Battery.

26-7-16. - STEENVOORDE

The morning was taken up by the usual parades. Rifles of "C" & "D" Coys. inspected by Armourer Sergeant. In the afternoon Companies paraded in Marching Order for inspection by Company Commanders in preparation for tomorrows inspection by G.O.C.

27-7-16. - STEENVOORDE

The Bn. paraded at 9.15 this morning and was inspected by Lieut. Genl. Sir Julian H.G. BYNG, K.C.B. etc. All employed were on parade and Transport was inspected. The Dress was marching order. Inspection lasted three hours and was very satisfactory especially the Transport. In the afternoon parades and N.C.O's class were dismissed at 3.00 p.m.

28-7-16. - STEENVOORDE

Parades as usual. Rifles of H.Q. Co. inspected by Armourer Sergeant.

Lieut. WURTELE returned off command from 2ND. Army School of Sniping.

29-7-16. - STEENVOORDE

The Bn. paraded in marching order at 8.45 a.m. for Brigade Route March. Returned to Billets at 12.20 p.m.

30-7-16. - STEENVOORDE

Bn. paraded at 10.20 a.m. and marched to headquarters of 42ND. Bn. where Medal Ribbons were presented by Brig. Genl. MACDONELL, D.S.O., C.M.G. In the afternoon all the Officers and senior N.C.O.'s attended at the Divisional Bombing School to witness a demonstration put on by the School Staff.

Lieut. DICKSON returned off command from 2ND. Army School, WISQUES.

31-7-16. - STEENVOORDE

The Bn. paraded at 7.40 a.m. and marched to camp "B" relieving the 4TH. C.M.R's at about 12.00 noon. The march proved to be severe owing to the great heat and quantity of dust and to the fact that full packs were carried. The afternoon was spent in cleaning up the Camp taken over.

(signed)
C.H. Hill
Lieut. Colonel.
Commanding The Royal Canadian Regiment

Appendix 1. Royal Canadian Regiment syllabus of training for week commencing 3.7.16. Syllabus of training for R.C.R. from 20TH to 29TH July, 1916.

Appendix 2. R.C.R. O.O. 16 dated 8.7.16. The R.C.R. will relieve 52ND Bn. on night 10TH/11TH July, 1916

Appendix 3. R.C.R. O.O. 17 dated 17.7.16. Instructions to R.C.R. for raid to be carried out on east and west phases of the LOOP, on night 17TH/18TH July.

Appendix 4. R.C.R. O.O. 18 dated ?. R.C.R. will be relieved by 1St Battalion, C.M.R. on night 18TH/19TH July 1916.

Appendix 5. R.C.R. O.O. 19 dated ?. R.C.R. will be relieved by 52ND Cdn. Bn. on July 23RD, 1916.

Appendix 6. R.C.R. O.O. 20 dated ?. R.C.R. will relieve 4TH Bn. C.M.R. 31St instant.

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