The First World War
War Diary of The Royal Canadian Regiment

Transcription by Captain Michael O'Leary, The RCR.

SEPTEMBER 1917

1-9-17. - BRICKWORKS & LENS AREA.

Advanced parties from 1ST Canadian Division came up to look over the line prior to coming into the line on the 4/5th September, 1917.

5 Officers and 265 other ranks out on working parties.

Quiet day, situation normal.

2 other ranks died of wounds.

2-9-17. - BRICKWORKS & LENS AREA.

Quiet day, towards sunset great enemy's aerial activity as many as 10 or 12 planes flying high over our Brigade Area. At the same time the enemy put a concentrated shoot immediately on our right (9TH Cdn. Inf. Brigade), between the front line and Brigade Headquarters.

5 Officers and 265 other ranks out on working parties. Very little work accomplished at night, as the enemy put down a heavy barrage in rear of advanced Battalion Headquarters, compelling working parties to scatter.

Lieut. A. REED retd. from Gas Course.
Lieut. F.L. FOSTER on Sniper's course.
Lieut. L.E. LONGLEY sent on Lewis Gun Course.
Lieut. J.T. PROBERT sent of General Course, Ferfay.

3-9-17. - BRICKWORKS & LENS AREA.

Quiet day, our Artillery active by day, firing mostly on LENS. Enemy's Artillery did not retaliate.

No working parties owing to minor operations (RAID) by Brigade on our right 9TH Cdn. Inf. Brigade), which is due to take place 3/4th September. R.C.R. Operation Order attached (No. 65).

Advanced billeting parties from the Regiment left for rear Orderly Room, which was established for this tour at BULLY GRENAY.

Major E.E. SNIDER ceases to be attached on return to England.
4 other ranks wounded in action.
Evac. C.C.S. 2 other ranks.
2 other ranks joined from C.C.S.

(Appendix 1.)

4-9-17. - BRICKWORKS & LENS AREA.

Relieved by 1ST Canadian Battalion at 9.30 p.m.

Battalion on relief moved to FOSSE 10, where they were billeted for the night R.8.a. & b., Sheet 36B, 1/40,000.

1 other rank evac. C.C.S.

(Appendix 2.)

5-9-17. - FOSSE 10.

Marched from FOSSE 10 at 1.00 p.m. to PETIT SERVINS.

Very hot and bright day.

6-9-17. - PETIT SERVINS.

Nil. Day spent in cleaning up.

(Appendix 3.)

7-9-17. - PETIT SERVINS.

Marched from PETIT SERVINS at 5.00 p.m. to LE PENDU HUTS in vicinity of VILLERS AU BOIS.

Wounded in action 3 other ranks.
1 other rank evacuated to C.C.S.

8-9-17. - Le PENDU CAMP.

Nil.

3 other ranks evacuated to C.C.S.
4 other ranks rejoined from C.C.S.

9-9-17. - Le PENDU CAMP.

Nil.

6 other ranks transferred to 3RD Cdn. Div. Employment Co.
2 other ranks transferred from the 42ND Battalion.
1 other rank from C.C.S.
Capt H.B. POSTON and Capt C.L. WOOD returned from PARIS leave.
Lieut. SYKES returned from English leave.
Lieut. A. REED returned from course.

10-9-17. - Le PENDU CAMP.

Nil.

Lieut. J. BALLANTYNE went to rest camp.
Lieuts. R.M. MILLETT and T.B. ROGERS granted 10 days leave to PARIS.

(Appendix 4.)

11-9-17. - Le PENDU CAMP.

Draft of 45 other ranks proceeded to 3RD Cdn. Div. Training School.
1 other rank evacuated C.C.S.

12-9-17. - Le PENDU CAMP.

Draft of 33 other ranks reported from 3RD Cdn. Div. Training School.
Lieut-Col. C.H. HILL, D.S.O., proceeded to 3RD Cdn. Div Training School to organize same.
Lieut-Col. A.E. CARPENTER proceeded to England on leave.
Major A.E. WILLOUGHBY took over temporary command. Major H.M. LOGAN granted 10 days leave to England.

13-9-17. - Le PENDU CAMP.

Lecture by Lieut-Colonel CARFAE, The R.F.C., to Officers and 100 other ranks. A splendid lecture. It would be of great advantage if the liaison between R.F.C. and Infantry were of a more intimate nature, at present it is not absolutely what it should be.

Working party of 350 other ranks out all night digging Cable Trench in vicinity of VIMY.

3 Officers and 7 other ranks went up to make a reconnaissance of 9TH Cdn. Inf. Bde. Sector which they are at present holding and which we expect to take over shortly.

8 other ranks from C.C.S.
1 other rank evacuated to C.C.S.
Lieut. C.C. SMITH joined from C.C.S.
Lieut. W.G. WURTELE joined as reinforcement from C.B.D.
Major BOUCHARD and Lieut. A.G. STRIDE on command 3RD Div School.

Capt. F.A. BROCKENSHIRE admitted to F.A.

14-9-17. - Le PENDU CAMP.

9 Officers and 5 other ranks visited No. 16 Squadron R.F.C., for liaison purpose. All ranks were shown different types of machines, bombs, photographic apparatus etc. Most instructive. A few had the opportunity of flying.

It would be beneficial to all concerned if more frequent visits could be arranged.

No parades for Companies during the day, as men were out on working party all night.

Lieut T.S. ALLAN, M.C., admitted to Hospital.
Capt. A. CAMPBELL admitted to Hospital and Evac to C.C.S.

15-9-17. - Le PENDU CAMP.

Nil.

16-9-17. - Le PENDU CAMP.

Nil.

2 other ranks wounded in action.
Lt. J. BALLANTYNE wounded in action and now at duty.
Lieut. L.E. LONGLEY proceed to HERSIN on Gas Course.
6 other ranks evacuated to C.C.S.
Lt-Col. C.H. HILL retd. From Leave.
Lt-Col. A.E. CARPENTER taken on strength and carried supernumerary.
Major G.R. BOUCHARD taken on strength and carried supernumerary.

(Appendix 5.)

17-9-17. - Le PENDU CAMP.

3 Officers and 1 other ranks went up to make reconnaissance of the 9TH Cdn. Inf. Brigade Sector.

All finals of Battalion inter-company and inter-platoon games played off and Battalion Boxing.

Battalion inter-company and inter-platoon games a great success. More keen competition than Brigade and Divisional Sports and many more men get opportunity of recreation. If run properly, battalion Sports and recreation are very beneficial to ESPRIT DE CORPS, and to training. Small prizes from the canteen were given this time out.

Capt. C.G. GUNN attached from C.A.M.C.

18-9-17. - Le PENDU CAMP.

Advanced parties proceed up to the line this a.m. Battalion paraded at 5.00 p.m. for the trenches and proceeded partly by rail (Cdn. Corps Tramway Co.), as far as LENS-ARRAS Road. We relieved the 116TH Cdn. Battalion at 11.20 p.m. and took over line T.17.d.80.58 to T.11.c.03.10. Ref. Map. WINNIPEG ROAD 1/10,000. 42ND Cdn. Battalion on our left 14TH YORK and LANCS on our right. Situation very quiet; wind South.

"A" Company in reserve in NEW BRUNSWICK Trench. "B", "C" and "D" Companies in front line, with one platoon each in support. Company Headquarters in Support Line, QUEBEC TRENCH.

P.P.C.L.I. our supporting Battalion.

3 other ranks from C.C.S.
3 other ranks evacuated C.C.S.

19-9-17. - Le PENDU CAMP.

Perfect day; very quiet indeed. Great aerial activity in the morning.

20-9-17. - Le PENDU CAMP.

Patrols consisting of 1 Officer and 10 other ranks with Lewis Gun patrol no mans land at night.

Lieut. F.L. FOSTER returned from Sniper's Course.

1 other rank wounded in action.
7 other ranks from C.B.D.

21-9-17. - MERICOURT FRONT.

Very quiet; nothing to report.

4 other ranks evacuated C.C.S.
Capt. J.S. WOODS detached to Nova Scotia Regimental depot.
4 other ranks wounded in action.
Lieut. R.T. CHRISTIE wounded in action.

(Appendix 6.)

22-9-17. - MERICOURT FRONT.

Very quiet; nothing to report.

1 other rank wounded in action.
11 other ranks evacuated C.C.S.

23-9-17. - MERICOURT FRONT.

Patrol of Lieut. HOPKINS and 10 other ranks, with Lewis Gun, proceeded North to about T.11.d.25.80., at this point patrol encountered party of the enemy about 50 strong, evidently a raiding party.

Enemy dropped several bags of cylindrical sticks and white stakes and retired to their lines.

Through the vigilance of our patrol a raid was undoubtedly frustrated.

Lieut. J.B. BALLANTYNE on Lewis Gun Course.
Capt. W.J. HOME returned from Rest camp.

24-9-17. - MERICOURT FRONT.

Relieved by the P.P.C.L.I. at 11.15 p.m., proceeded to take over their support trenches. Companies distributed as follows:- "A" Co. Montreal Trench, "B" Co. NEW BRUNSWICK Trench, "C" and "D" Cos. NEW BRUNSWICK TRENCH. Regimental Headquarters BEEHIVE. The whole tour was exceptionally quiet, one of the quietest we have had for a considerable time. The weather was perfect throughout.

2 other ranks killed in action.
2 other ranks wounded in action.
3 other ranks evac. C.C.S.
Lieut. L.E. LONGLEY returned from Gas Course.
Lieut. T.B. ROGERS and Lieut. R.M. MILLETT returned from PARIS leave.
10 other ranks from C.C.S.

25-9-17. - MERICOURT FRONT.

Regiment relieved by 42ND Battalion at 10.00 p.m. and proceeded to NEUVILLE ST. VAAST for a short rest and baths.

1 other ranks trans. to Base.
1 O.R. from C.C.S.
4 other ranks trans. to 7TH T.M.B.
1 other rank wounded in action.
1 other rank evac. C.C.S.
Major H.M. LOGAN and Lieut. M. ISBESTER returned from English leave.

26-9-17. - NEUVILLE ST. VAAST.

Baths.

3 other ranks proceeded to England for Commissions.
Major M.M.L. GARON returned from C.B.D.
2 other [ranks] from C.C.S.
4 other ranks evacuated to C.C.S.

27-9-17. - NEUVILLE ST. VAAST.

PAY.

1 other rank from C.C.S.
Major G.R. BOUCHARD returned from 7TH C.I.B. Training Battalion.
Lieut. J.T. PROBERT returned from Command.
Lieut. A.C. MILLS and I.E. SAULE joined as reinforcements from C.B.D.
1 other rank wounded in action.

28-9-17. - NEUVILLE ST. VAAST.

Nil.

1 other rank from C.C.S.

29-9-17. - NEUVILLE ST. VAAST.

Regiment relieved the P.P.C.L.I. in the front line, taking over the same frontage as previously held - see 18th inst. with following exception:- "A" and "B" Companies changed places. Relief took place at 11.05 p.m. Enemy's artillery appeared to register on junction of trenches during afternoon. Night very quiet. "B" Company on working party on new communications trench til 1.30 a.m.

Capt. C.G. GUNN ceases to be attached.
Capt D.D. FREEZE attached from C.A.M.C.

30-9-17. - MERICOURT FRONT.

Thick fog in early morning, bright day afterwards. Wind light generally North East. Four enemy balloons up all day opposite our front. "B" Company on working party on new support line to TOTNES TRENCH. "A" Company had platoon improving TOPER TRENCH. "C" Co platoon improving QUEBEC TRENCH. "D" Company two platoons on new C.T. TRENCH.

During night patrols were out as follows:- "C" Co. 8.30 to 11.30 p.m., "D" Co. 12.00 Mn. To 3.00 a.m. and "A" Co. 3.30 till dawn. Nothing unusual occurred.

5 other ranks evacuated to C.C.S.

(signed)
A.E. Willoughby
Major,
Commanding the Royal Canadian Regiment.
30-9-17.


Appendix 1. - R.C.R. O.O. 65 dated 3.9.17. R.C.R. will be relieved by 1ST Canadian Battalion on night 4th/5th September, 1917.

Appendix 2. - R.C.R. O.O. 66 dated 4.9.17. R.C.R. will move Ft. SERVINS on the 5th instant.

Appendix 3. - R.C.R. O.O. 67 dated 6.9.17. R.C.R. will proceed to LE PENDU CAMP, BOIS DES ALLEUX tomorrow.

Appendix 4. - Syllabus of training of R.C.R. for week ending September 15th, 1917.

Appendix 5. - R.C.R. O.O. 68 dated 16.9.17. R.C.R. will relieve 116TH Cdn. Bn. on night 18TH/19TH September, 1917.

Appendix 6. - R.C.R. O.O. 69 dated 21.9.17. R.C.R. will be relieved on night 24th/25th September by P.P.C.L.I. and will move to brigade supprts.

Appendix 7. - R.C.R. O.O. 70 dated 29.9.17. R.C.R. will relieve P.P.C.L.I. on night 29th/30th Sept., 1917.

Map of WINNIPEG ROAD showing OPPY/MERRICOURT-VENDIN Line and surroundings.

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