The First World War
War Diary of The Royal Canadian Regiment

Transcription by Captain Michael O'Leary, The RCR.

AUGUST 1917

1-8-17. - LAPUGNOY.

Wet day, raining hard during the morning but became a drizzle later in the day. Lectures and Company Training carried out in spite of this.

1 other ranks joined from C.C.S.

(Appendix 1.)

2-8-17. - LAPUGNOY.

Dull day, drizzling most of the day. In the morning General LIPSETT and Brigadier General DYER visited the Regiment. We were carrying on Specialist Training at the time and also instruction in Gas Masks. In the afternoon Specialist Training was carried out. Our eliminations in boxing were held yesterday afternoon and there is excellent material in each class.

1 other rank reported from C.C.S.
1 other rank joined from C.B.D.
Lieut-Colonel Albert Edward CARPENTER attached to Regiment.
Lieut. ISBESTER, M. returned from First Army Rest Camp.

3-8-17. - LAPUGNOY.

Dull day, showers. Training carried out as usual.

4 other ranks joined as reinforcements from C.B.D.
2 other ranks evacuated to C.C.S.

4-8-17. - LAPUGNOY.

Dull day but cleared up later in the day. Training carried out according to syllabus. Each company has its own parade ground and training is carried out there.

3 other ranks evac. to C.C.S.
Lieut. E.B. CORSAN, rejoined from 3RD Entrenching Battalion.

5-8-17. - LAPUGNOY.

Fine day and clear. Church Parade was held in the morning at 10.55 a.m.

1 other rank struck off strength.

(Appendix 2.)

6-8-17. - LAPUGNOY.

Fine and clear. The day was devoted to work at the disposal of the Company Commanders. 25 men from "A" and "B" Companies put through throwing live bombs. One Platoon of "C" Company was pickled from the Battalion for a Musketry Competition (Inter Battalion). The preliminary shoot was held today.

Captain K.M. HOLLOWAY invalided to England.
1 other rank struck off strength.
Major E.E. SNIDER, appointed Town Major, ALLOUAGNE.

7-8-17. - LAPUGNOY.

Dull day with showers. Further shooting by the Musketry Platoon at FERFAY. "A", "B", "C" and "D" Companies had baths. A certain amount of Specialist Training carried out. Also 24 Rifle Grenadiers per Company had practice in the firing of live grenades at the bombing pits. In the morning the Corps Commander visited the Regiment going over things very thoroughly.

8-8-17. - LAPUGNOY.

Fine and clear, but heavy rain towards evening. The finals in the Musketry Platoon competition were completed, our platoon taking second place. Our baseball team played against the 42ND but the game was cancelled on account of rain. The score was 2 - 2. Our Officers' Indoor baseball team was playing the 42ND Battalion, on their grounds, when the Practice Assembly Call came from Brigade. We arrived back from the game at 5.35 p.m. and the Battalion was assembled ready to move off at 6.15 p.m.

9-8-17. - LAPUGNOY.

Clear for the most part with a few showers. Company Training was carried out in the morning. In the afternoon the Regimental Sports were held. These included some driving exhibitions by the Transport. Also the Regimental Baseball team finished its game, losing 10 - 6. Our Regimental Football team played the 42ND Battalion team at 6.00 p.m., losing quite badly, as half our team did not show up. Our Officers Indoor Baseball team also played the 42ND Batt'n team and won by 9 - 5. A much better system of running the sports would be,- to have them under a Senior Officer. He should have a committee of Officers, each one of which should be over a particular branch. There would be a great deal more satisfaction from this and much more interest would be taken.

Lieut. R.M. MILLETT returned from 1ST Army School.
1 other rank struck off strength.
1 other rank joined as reinforcement.

10-8-17. - LAPUGNOY.

Fine and clear. A holiday was given on account of Brigade Sports. The Battalion was marched to the grounds at MARLES-LES-MINES, passing the starting point at 10.00 a.m. The sports were quite successful. In the boxing we won three out of five weights - vis., Lightweight, Welterweight and Middleweight.

11-8-17. - LAPUGNOY.

Dull day and showery. Specialist Training carried out. HQ. Company paid in the afternoon.

(Appendix 3.)

12-8-17. - LAPUGNOY.

Fine and clear. Church Parade held at 11.15 a.m. No parades during the afternoon, except pay; when the whole Battalion was paid.

(Appendix 4.)

13-8-17. - LAPUGNOY.

Cloudy day. Training carried out according to syllabus, the bombers of the Companies being under the direct supervision of the Bombing Officer. The same thing applies to the Lewis Gun Officer.

Major George Randolph BOUCHARD, attached.
Lieut. T.B. ROGERS returned from Course.

(Appendix 6.)

14-8-17. - LAPUGNOY.

Fine and clear. The Regiment paraded by Companies to the Divisional Gas School at LOZINGHEM, where all Box Respirators were tested. Alternating with this, Companies paraded to Lewis Gun range where firing practice was carried out.

4 other ranks evacuated to C.C.S.

15-8-17. - LAPUGNOY.

Nil.

Captain J.S. WOODS, proceeded to ENGLAND.

16-8-17. - LAPUGNOY.

Nil.

2 other ranks wounded (accidental).

17-8-17. - LAPUGNOY.

Brigade competition for Special Platoon. R.C.R. 1st., 42ND Battalion (R.H.C.), P.P.C.L.I., and 49TH Battalion next in order named. Competition organized with a view to encourage men to work up to the highest state of efficiency. It was first suggested that Dumbell be worn on the arm or all ranks of the best platoon in the Division, same to be competed for from time to time. Owing to the exigencies of the service it has not been possible to carry this out at present.

18-8-17. - LAPUGNOY.

Warning Order to be ready to move anytime after 3.00 a.m. tomorrow, August 19th, by bus to trenches.

1 other rank wounded (accidental).
Captain Archibald Carfrae CAMPBELL, joined as reinforcement from C.B.D.

19-8-17. - LAPUGNOY.

The Royal Canadian Regiment marched from LAPUGNOY at 9.30 a.m. en-route nor NOEUX LES MINES, billeted there for the night.

20-8-17. - NOEUX LES MINES.

Advance parties went up the line to stay there. R.C.R. marched from NOEUX LES MINES to LES BREBIS, billeted there for the night.

Capt. E.C. SNIDER admitted to Hospital.

21-8-17. - LES BREBIS.

The Royal Canadian Regiment moved from LES BREBIS to trenches and took over from the 22ND and 25TH Battalions. The 29TH Battalion is on our right and the 4TH Battalion on our left. The Companies are distributed as follows:- "A" and "B" Companies in the front line, "C" and "D" Companies in support.

1 other rank proceeded to ETAPLES to be forwarded to England for discharge (minor).
5 other ranks evacuated to C.C.S.
Lieut. H. SYKES granted ten days leave to ENGLAND.
1 other rank transferred to 2ND Canadian Heavy Battery.

22-8-17. - BRICKWORKS & LENS, Area.

Relief took place at 1.30 a.m. We relieved the 22ND and 25TH Canadian Battalions and took over the line approximately from N.8.b.50.85. to N.2.a.90.25. Reference Map BRICKWORKS 1/10,000 and LENS 36.c.S.W.1. Fair and warm, wind S.E.

23-8-17. - BRICKWORKS & LENS, Area.

Fair and warm, wind S.E. Situation normal.

Lieut. E.B. CORSAN, wounded in action.
Captain R.E. BALDERS and Lieut. A. REED, joined as reinforcements from C.B.D.
5 other ranks wounded in action.

24-8-17. - BRICKWORKS & LENS, Area.

Wind S.E. Situation normal. Little work has been carried out to date, owing to large quantity of dead being in trenches that had to be buried at night. Enemy appears nervous and expects to be attacked, at night his Artillery opens up with least provocation. Wind S.W., fine.

Lieut. R. ENGLAND, wounded in action.
25 other ranks wounded in action.
2 other ranks died of wounds.
2 other ranks killed in action.

25-8-17. - BRICKWORKS & LENS, Area.

The P.P.C.L.I. relieved us at 12.20 a.m. on 25/26th instant. Battalion moved into Brigade Reserve at M.11.a.65.13 Reference map LENS 36c.S.W.1.

5 other ranks killed in action.
7 other ranks wounded in action.
3 other ranks evacuated C.C.S.
Captain Hugh P. BELL, admitted to Hospital. England.

26-8-17. - BRICKWORKS & LENS, Area.

About 360 other ranks out on working party.

2 other ranks admitted to C.C.S.
1 other rank killed in action.
21 other ranks wounded in action.
Captains C.L. WOOD and H.B. POSTON, granted ten days leave to PARIS.
Captain R.E. BALDERS, wounded in action.

27-8-17. - BRICKWORKS & LENS, Area.

About 360 other ranks out on working party.

3 other ranks rejoined from C.C.S.
2 other ranks evacuated to C.C.S.
5 other ranks wounded in action.

28-8-17. - BRICKWORKS & LENS, Area.

About 225 other ranks out on working party.

Lieut-Colonel C.H. HILL, granted ten days leave to ENGLAND.
Major A.E. WILLOUGHBY, took over command.
8 other ranks wounded in action.
2 other ranks evacuated to C.C.S.

29-8-17. - BRICKWORKS & LENS, Area.

200 other ranks out on working party.

Lieut. M. ISBESTER, granted ten days leave to England.
1 other rank killed in action.
Lieut. J. BALLANTYNE, proceeded to First Army Rest Camp.

30-8-17. - BRICKWORKS & LENS, Area.

230 other ranks out on working party. Operation Order No. 64 attached.

3 other ranks evacuated to C.C.S.
Captain R.E. BALDERS rejoined from F.A.

(Appendix 9.)

31-8-17. - BRICKWORKS & LENS, Area.

Advance parties went up to the support line to make a reconnaissance previous to going in on 1/2nd September, 1917. Weather whilst out in Brigade Reserve has been fine generally. Situation very much quieter since the Regiment came out of the front line, but both sides continue Artillery fire throughout the night. Companies all billeted in cellars of houses (all that remains of them). Fairly comfortable. Supply of water to the front line has been the big question since the Brigade came into the line, carrying parties, from Regiment in Brigade Reserve, carry water up every night in petrol tins. Always appears wise to have a large reserve supply of water and rations at Battalion Headquarters in our front line, owning to heavy Artillery fire of the previous days, Gas Shells and such like. Owing to recent attacks by CANADIANS on this front, enemy have been very nervous and it took very little to make him put down a barrage. At the beginning of the tour he usually put a barrage down at dusk and dawn. Orders to move into support line cancelled this P.M. The Battalion therefore remains in Brigade Reserve and continue to furnish working parties. 275 other ranks on working party. PARIS leave is being greatly appreciated by all ranks, about ten other ranks go down every ten or twelvew days. This helps out the leave very considerably, which before was practically at a standstill. Leave for the men appears to be a matter for deep consideration in the future. It is most essential that it should be kept going, failing this they should be sent to REST camp. The latter has recently been inaugurated and 1 Officer and ten other ranks go to a Rest Camp for two weeks. This has the desired effect and is a step in the right direction. A pity is cannot be run on a larger scale.

2 other ranks wounded in action.
1 other rank died of wounds.
1 other rank evacuated to C.C.S.
Captain C.G.B. THOMPSON, returned from leave.

(signed)
A.E. Willoughby
MAJOR,
COMMANDING THE ROYAL CANADIAN REGIMENT.

31-8-17.


Appendix 1. - Syllabus of training of R.C.R. for Wednesday August 1st 1917.

Appendix 2. - Syllabus of training of R.C.R. for 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and week ending August 11th, 1917.

Appendix 3. - R.C.R. O.O. 24 dated 11.8.17. Instructions to R.C.R. for march to CUHEM - FERVIN PALFART area and billet overnight in that area.

Appendix 4. - Further instructions with regard to R.C.R. O.O. 24 of 11th August, 1917.

Appendix 5. - Syllabus of training of R.C.R. for week ending August 18th, 1917.

Appendix 6. - Syllabus of training of R.C.R. for 13th, 14th, and 15th August, 1917.

Appendix 7. - R.C.R. O.O. 24 dated 19.8.17. Instructions to R.C.R. for move to NOEUX LES NINES today.

Appendix 8. - R.C.R. O.O. 24 dated 21.8.17. Instructions to R.C.R. for relief to be carried out tonight.

Appendix 9. - R.C.R. O.O. 64 dated 30.8.17. R.C.R. will relieve 42ND Cdn. Bn. in Brigade Support on night 1st/2nd September, 1917.

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