The First World War
War Diary of The Royal Canadian Regiment

Transcription by Captain Michael O'Leary, The RCR.

JUNE 1917

1-6-17. - VILLERS AU BOIS.

"C" and "D" Companies on Tape Trenches during the Morning, and at baths during the afternoon. "A" and "B" Companies bathed during the morning and on Parade in the afternoon. The day was fine.

1 O.R. (Accidentally) wounded.

2-6-17. - VILLERS AU BOIS.

Fine and warm. The whole battalion practiced the attack on the Tape Trenches during the Morning. The Corps Commander was present. "A" and "C" Companies moved from their old huts to newly erected huts on the corner of the Battalion Parade Ground. The Battalion was paraded to a concert, given by the Canadian Trench Concert Party, at 8. p.m.

1 O.R. struck off strength.
3 other ranks joined as reinforcements from C.B.D.

3-6-17. - VILLERS AU BOIS.

Day fine and warm. Roman Catholic Church Parade at 9. a.m. in Y.M.C.A. Hut, and Church of England Service, with Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry, in the open at 10.00 a.m.

Lieut. H. PHILLIPS went on leave to England.

4-6-17. - VILLERS AU BOIS.

Day fine and warm. The whole Brigade practiced the attack on the Taped Trenches in the morning. In the Evening word was received that the attack was turned into a raid.

5-6-17. - VILLERS AU BOIS.

Fine and very warm. The battalion spent the day in cleaning up. They went to the tape trenches at 8 p.m. and practiced the attack in the dark.

Lieut. FOSTER returned from PARIS.

6-6-17. - VILLERS AU BOIS.

Fine and very warm. Windy and dusty. "C" and "D" Companies practiced on tape trenches during the morning. The Battalion moved from VILLERS AU BOIS at 6 p.m. to the QUARRIES LINE (MONTREAL AREA). A heavy rain fell as the Battalion was moving in.

3 O.R. from C.C.S.
1 O.R. from C.B.D.

7-6-17. - QUARRIES LINE.

Day fine and very warm. Bombs and S.A.A. issued to men in the afternoon preparatory to the raid. News of the MESSINES battle had a very sheering effect. The Battalion moved from the QUARRIES LINE at 9.20 p.m. by companies and into the front line, relieving portions of the 2ND and 5TH C.M.R. Relief complete at 2.15 a.m. "B" Company had 8 casualties on the LENS-ARRAS road coming into the line.

The companies are as follows:-

"A" Co. - Captain McCALLUM, D.S.O.
"B" Co. - Captain WOOD.
"C" Co. - Captain WOODS, M.C. with Lieuts. GRANT-SUTTIE, DAVIS and GREGG.
"D" Co. - Captain THOMPSON with Lieuts. CHURCHILL, WAUGH and BALLANTYNE.

Major WILLETS in command of the Battalion.
Major WILLOUGHBY 2nd i/c of the Battalion.
1 O.R. to C.C.S.

(Appendix 2.)

8-6-17. - AVION.

Major WILLETS came through orders as having won his D.S.O.

Day fine and warm. Further preparations for the raid. Our artillery very active, especially the heavies. Wire cut satisfactorily.

(Appendix 3.)

There was a Company Commander's conference at 2.30 p.m. in which final plans were discussed.

8.30 p.m. - Show up north started and there is considerable retaliation by the enemy. "A" Company sent word in that they had just received 9 casualties from shell fire.

10.00 p.m. - Major WILLOUGHBY and Capt. HOLLOWAY moved up to advance Battalion Report Centre at the junction of DARTMOUTH TRENCH and RAILWAY EMBANKMENT. For narrative see APPENDIX 4.

Lt-Col. C.H. HILL, D.S.O. returned from English leave.
4 O.R. evac to C.C.S.
Other Ranks Killed in action 2; Missing 1; Wounded 6.
13 O.R. joined as reinforcements from C.B.D.

9-6-17. - AVION.

At 8.00 a.m. the enemy was seen to be coming into his trenches but they were only Stretcher Parties taking out the wounded and dead. Worked under cover of the Red Cross Flag and kept up the work all day.

Day fine and warm. At night we were relieved by one Company 42ND in the front line and two Companies 49TH in the support line and then moved back to the third line (VIMY DEFENCES). Relief complete 12.45 a.m.

Major LYNE-EVANS, J.S.M.A.H. returned from English leave.
40 O.R. joined as reinforcements from C.B.D.
1 O.R. rejoined from C.C.S.
5 O.R. Evac. to C.C.S.

10-6-17. - VIMY DEFENCES.

Day fine and warm.

Lt. Col C.H. HILL, D.S.O. is at present in Command of the Brigade as General MACDONNELL is in Command of the 1ST Division.

Supplied 300 O.R. for working parties.

11-6-17. - VIMY DEFENCES.

Reported that the BOSCHE still evacuating his wounded and dead. He is very nervous in his attitude. Practically the whole Battalion out on night working parties. The total casualties of the raid are as follows:-

Lieut. DAVIS E.F. died of wounds.
Lieuts. CHURCHILL R.W., GREGG M.F., WAUGH E.T., wounded in action.
9 O.R. killed in action.
2 O.R. missing.
54 O.R. wounded.
3 O.R. died of wounds.

12-6-17. - VIMY DEFENCES.

Fine and warm. Usual night working parties. BOSCHE put on a strafe at night on front line, accompanied by many flares and star shells.

Lieut. HOPKINS G.S. joined from 7TH Canadian Inf. Battalion.
1 O.R. rejoined from C.C.S.
1 O.R. died of wounds.
15 O.R. evacuated to C.C.S.

13-6-17. - VIMY DEFENCES.

Fine and warm. Over 300 on working parties. 42ND and 49TH relieved by two Battalions from 9TH Brigade. Very quiet night.

Capt. GARON M.M.L. returned from Command as Instructor, Base.
4 O.R. joined as reinforcements.
1 O.R. evacuated to C.C.S.
1 O.R. wounded in action.

14-6-17. - VIMY DEFENCES.

Fine and warm. We were relieved by the 52ND Battalion. Relief complete at 11.55 p.m. Moved back to QUARRIES, MONTREAL AREA, in GRANGE TUNNEL.

2 O.R. evacuated to C.C.S.
3 O.R. wounded in action.

15-6-17. - QUARRIES LINE.

Very hot day. "C" and "D" Companies had baths at BERTHONVAL FARM. These are excellent. Men practically all living outside the TUNNEL. Working party at night of 1 Company which "B" Company supplied.

2 O.R. evacuated C.C.S.

16-6-17. - QUARRIES LINE.

Still very hot. Received notice that we were to be here for two weeks and that specialist training was to be carried out. Working party of 2 Officers and 75 other ranks from each of "C" and "D" Companies at night. "A" and "B" Companies had baths in the afternoon.

1 O.R. died of wounds.
2 O.R. rejoined from C.C.S.

17-6-17. - QUARRIES LINE.

Still very hot. No parades being Sunday. Company Commanders conference at 2. p.m. Working parties of eight Officers and 275 other ranks at night.

2 other ranks evacuated C.C.S.
1 O.R. wounded in action.
1 other rank rejoined from C.C.S.

18-6-17. - QUARRIES LINE.

Fine and warm. Working parties at night consisting of 8 Officers and 300 other ranks.

1 O.R. from C.C.S.
1 O.R. from C.B.D.

19-6-17. - QUARRIES LINE.

Fine and warm. At night working parties of 8 Officers and 300 other ranks. These parties are digging trenches from the foot of the Ridge to the System and are in anticipation of the 9TH Brigade show. Divisional Horse Show held in which our Transport came first. P.P.C.L.I. came second.

Lieut. CHRISTIE, Richard Thomson joined as reinforcement from C.B.D. (Authy D.A.G's K.R. 1591 H.P.E. 747 dated 7-6-17)

20-6-17. - QUARRIES LINE.

The Company which was not out on working party carried on with specialist training during the day. There is a small rifle range fixed up in Longfellow Crater and much useful work was accomplished. At night every available man in the Battalion was on working party.

2 O.R. rejoined from C.C.S.
4 O.R. evacuated C.C.S.

21-6-17. - QUARRIES LINE.

Fine and warm. No training today on account of the large working parties of last night. Three Companies out on working parties at night. Corps Horse Show held today, with good success. Out Transport turnout took first place with the P.P.C.L.I. Transport second. This allows both Battalions to make entries for the Army Horse Show which will be on the 25th.

Capt. DAY R.B. ceases to be attached on proceeding to ETAPLES (Authy Canadian Corps C.S. 1489/3023)

21-6-17. - QUARRIES LINE.

1 O.R. wounded in action.
2 O.R. Evac. to C.C.S.
2 O.R. from C.C.S.

22-6-17. - QUARRIES LINE.

Fine and warm. Specialist training carried out for Company not on working party. At night only 1 Company out on party.

23-6-17. - QUARRIES LINE.

Fine and warm. A daily working party of 1 Officer and 25 other ranks for work in Lens-Arras Road has been started. Specialist training including some bombing carried out. 1 Company on working party at night.

24-6-17. - QUARRIES LINE.

Fine and warm. Being Sunday a Church Parade was held under the Padre of the 42ND Battalion. The band not present. Preparations for Army Horse Show complete and at night the Transport moved down to Chateau de la Haie. No working parties at night. Bosche scattered a few shells around the 60 pdr. Batteries which are close to the Tunnel.

1 O.R. Evac, to C.C.S.
1 O.R. rejoined from C.C.S.

25-6-17. - QUARRIES LINE.

Fine and warm, and an excellent day for the Horse Show. P.P.C.L.I. took second place but we did not get a place. Rained just at dusk and the Bosche shelled this area. We had one casualty. The 58TH Battalion was relieving the C.M.R's and as they passed this area suffered about 15 casualties. The Divisional Pack Train also had a few. It is rumoured tonight that the Bosche is retiring from his present front line. The Fourth Division and the 8TH Brigade are following up.

Capt. BEARD went on leave to England.
Lieut. CORSAN E.B. proceeded to 3RD Entrenching Battalion. (Authy. G.H.Q. 3RD Echelon, K.R. 1/568/x)
Lieut. BARKER H.C. from 3RD Entrenching Battalion.
73 O.R. joined as reinforcements from C.B.D.

26-6-17. - QUARRIES LINE.

Fine and warm. The Germans seem to have retired from their front and support lines. Evidently they feared another raid of the same frontage. The 9TH Brigade were going over to hold this time and the enemy have cleared out of portion to be attacked. Working party of 1 Officer and 25 other ranks in morning.

1 O.R. killed in action.
1 OR Evacuated C.C.S.
2 O.R. rejoined from C.B.D.

27-6-17. - QUARRIES LINE.

Dull day. Messages from 3RD and 4TH Divisions confirm that the enemy have withdrawn from the portion of the line to have been raided and we are now in the final objectives. The enemy holding lines beyond that, evidently in strength, as patrols who tried to move forward were driven back by rifle and machine gun fire from trenches. The enemy is still holding AVION Trench.

1 O.R. died of wounds recd. in action.
2 O.R. Evac, C.C.S.

28-6-17. - QUARRIES LINE.

Fine and warm. Warning Order for relief came in. Companies are all cleaning up preparatory to the march back. BOSCHE has retired further. Two Officers and 50 other ranks on working party.

29-6-17. - QUARRIES LINE.

Cloudy day with signs of rain. Relief order came in. In the afternoon this was cancelled and we were told we were to go into the line again. The 7TH Brigade is relieving the 9TH C.I.B. and part of the 12TH C.I.B. on the left. We will most likely be in support.

Lieut-Colonel DYER of the 5TH Canadian Battalion has taken over the Brigade and Lieut-Colonel HILL D.S.O. returned again to the Battalion.
Lieut. C.C. SMITH and 15 other ranks evacuated to C.C.S.
1 Other rank joined from C.B.D.

30-6-17. - QUARRIES LINE.

4 Officers went up today to reconnoitre the line and went into AVION. Day very wet and has been raining heavily all day. The P.P.C.L.I. and 42ND and 49TH are going to be in the front line and we are going to be in support this time.

(signed)
E.C. Snider
Captain
For
Lieut-Colonel,
Commanding The Royal Canadian Regiment.


Appendix 1. - Instructions to R.C.R. for raid to be carried out in accordance with 7TH Bde on "Z" day.

Appendix 2. - Further instructions with regard to [raid] to be carried out on "Z" day.

Appendix 3. - Wire report by Scout officer of R.C.R. made in conjunction with F.O.O. of the 49TH Batty.

Appendix 4. - Summary of operations of R.C.R. on nights 7th/8th and 8th/9th June, 1917.

Appendix 5. - R.C.R. Daily training for tour in QUARRIES AREA.

Appendix 6. - Schedule of platoon training for 7 days. - Bn. training for 5 days.

MAP 1 - Machine gun locations trace - Part 1

MAP 2 - Machine gun locations trace - Part 2

MAP 3 - LA COULOTTE, 1/10000, Barrage Map, Artillery Order no. 34.

MAP 4 - Map of AVION, Scale 1/5000.

MAP 5 - Issued in connection with 7TH C.I.B. B.M.R. 600. dated 1.6.17.

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