The First World War
War Diary of The Royal Canadian Regiment

Transcription by Captain Michael O'Leary, The RCR.

APRIL 1918

1.4.18. - LENS SECTOR.

Quiet day with little shelling. Two parties of 24 supplied for dugout work along TEDDY GARRAND. One patrol out from each company during the night; nothing unusual reported. 116TH Battalion raided their old front line (TOTNES TRENCH) and captured two prisoners.

Captain H.P. PHILLIPS, M.C., returned from English Leave.
One O.R. wounded in Action.

(Appendix 1.)

2.4.18. - LENS SECTOR.

Commanding Officer went around companies about 2 a.m. Gas projectors were fired into LENS at 3 a.m. Much work along trenches and in dugouts. Three patrols went out during the night, nothing unusual reported.

1 O.R. from C.C.S.
1 O.R. transferred to Base.
2 O.R. Wounded in Action.
2 O.R. Admitted to F.A.

(Appendix 2.)

3.4.18. - LENS SECTOR.

Commanding Officer visited companies about 9 a.m. Considerable shelling today along ACTRESS and PETIT VIMY. Platoon of "A" Co. in DORIS has moved into TEDDY GERRAND and taken accommodation of platoon of No. 2 Co. P.P.C.L.I. which has moved into DORIS.

9 O.R. from C.C.R.C.
1 O.R. Wounded in Action.
1 O.R. to C.C.S.

4.4.18. - LENS SECTOR.

52nd Bn. relieved 116TH Bn. on our right last night. Considerable shelling during the day. Left front company put out a new post in MEAGRE to connect up with 42ND Bn.

Lieut. J. KELTIN transferred to 7TH Cdn. Trench Mortar Battery.
1 O.R. previously reported wounded now reported at duty.
7 O.R. to C.C.S.

5.4.18. - LENS SECTOR.

Lieut. J.C. SUTHERLAND when approaching one of "C" Co's posts was accidentally shot by one of our sentries at 1.45 a.m. this morning. He died shortly afterwards. Quiet day. Colonel HORE-RUTHVEN, G.S.O. 1., 3RD Canadian Division, called and stayed to lunch. Usual trench routine. Three patrols out during the night, nothing special to report. 9TH Brigade on the right (MERICOURT Rd.) relieved by 8TH Brigade. 4TH C.M.R's relieved by 53ND Bn. on our immediate right. Usual; working parties at night.

2 O.R. to C.C.S.
1 O.R. transferred to C.C.R.C.
2 O.R. from C.C.S.
Lieut. J.C. SUTHERLAND died of wounds.

6.4.18. - LENS SECTOR.

G.O.C. Division visited TEDDY GERRAND and DORIS today. Expressed himself as very much pleased with the condition of the trenches, Rifles and Bombs. Usual work parties at night.

1 O.R. to C.C.S.
1 O.R. transferred to England.

7.4.18. - LENS SECTOR.

Battalion relieved by P.P.C.L.I. Advance parties of 1 Officer and 1 O.R. per company sent to reserve to take over. Relief completed at 10.45 p.m. Night very dark. Move completed 12 midnight. Gas projected on Left Battalion front at midnight. H.Q. moved to ANXIOUS TRENCH. "A" Co. to RED TRENCH, "B" Co. to junction LENS-ARRAS Road and RED TRENCH. "C" Co. to GERTY TRENCH. "D" Co. to Brigade Reserve in DORIS.

2 O.R. joined from C.C.R.C.
1 O.R. Wounded in Action.
1 O.R. transferred to England.

8.4.18. - LENS SECTOR.

G.O.C. Brigade called in the morning. C.O. went around to companies in afternon.

Lieut. Col. C.H. HILL, D.S.O., returned to the Regiment today.
Captain van SOMERAN, A.P., Paymaster, arrived today to take over from Captain H.J. BEARD who goes on leave to Canada.

A total of 335 all ranks were employed on various wark parties during the night. In addition to this "A" Co. Deepened and improved 500 yards of RED Trench adjoining the LENS-ARRAS ROAD.

15 O.R. transferred to C.C.R.C.
1 O.R. wounded in action.
3 O.R. from C.C.S.

(Appendix 3.)

9.4.18. - LENS SECTOR.

Heavy fog practically all day. Enemy shelled batteries north of HIRONDELLE SPUR with gas at intervals during the day and night. Otherwise the day was normal. Advantage was taken of the fog to salvage material. A considerable amount was collected. Working parties were the same as yesterday.

5 O.R. to C.C.S.

10.4.18. - LENS SECTOR.

Day and night normal. Working parties as usual. Work on and wiring of RED Trench is being continued. Day foggy with por visibility. The Paymaster paid "A", "B" and "D" Co's.

Lieut. J.F. SMITH invalided to England.
1 O.R. from C.B.D.

(Appendix 4.)

11.4.18. - LENS SECTOR.

Fine day with clear visibility. Both enemy and our own Artillery were very active. Enemy planes crashed an R.E. 8 near Bn. H.Q. about 4.30 p.m. Advance parties proceeded to the 5th and 6th SOUTH STAFFORDS to take over the line tomorrow. H.Q. And "C" Co's were paid today.

(Appendix 5.)

12.4.18. - LENS SECTOR.

Beautiful clear day. Considerable Artillery and Aerial activity all day. The Bn. Side-alipped to the left tonight, relieving 1/6th Staffordshire Regiment in the front line Right LENS SECTOR. The relief worked very smoothly. On account of the distance "C" and "D" CO's had to march,the relief was not complete until 1.15 a.m. The Bn. frontage extends from the SOUCHEZ RIVER at N.25.b.75.75. to N.20.a.00.50. The SOUCHEZ RIVER forms the right boundary annd ABSALOM TRENCH the left boundary. The disposition of companies is "A" Co. Right front line sector. "D" Co. Left front line sector. "B" CO. Support, CITE DE RIFAUMONT. "C" CO. Reserve, CITE ST AME. Bn. H.Q. Is in cellars at M.23.d.50.65. The 49th Bn. remain on our Right, with the 42nd. Bn. on our left. The PPCLI are in Reserve near Bde. H.Q. In HEARD TRENCH. The Trench Strength is 29 Officers and 784 Other Ranks.

Lieut. H.F. HICKS with 13 O.R. is acting as Town Major LEIVIN and CALLONNE during the tour.
Major M.M.L. GARON detached as District Commandant ST PIERRE.
1 O.R. transferred to 1st Tramway Co.
1 O.R. transferred to Instructors Pool.
1 O.R. transferred to 3rd Cdn. Div. Employment Co.

13.4.18. - LENS SECTOR.

Day normal. General DYER called this morning. "C" Co. moved to the area in M.25.c.

Lieut. H.F. HICKS and party returned today.
1 O.R. transferred to England.
8 O.R's to C.C.S.
1 O.R. wounded in action.
1 O.R. admitted to Hospital while on leave in England.

14.4.18. - LENS SECTOR.

Day normal. Lieut. A.A. ATKINSON and 50 O.R. Proceeded to MARQUEFFLES FARM for transfer to 3rd. Cdn. M. Gun. Bn. General LIPSETT and Major MEREDITH called during the day. "C" Co. Moved to cellars in FOREST HILLS LANT, M.30.a. "B" Co. Supplied several small working parties for trench repair and salvage.

9 O.R's to C.C.S.
1 O.R. transferred to Cdn. Labour Pool.

15.4.18. - LENS SECTOR.

A wire received from Brigade at 1.15 a.m. Ordered the two rear platoons of "B" Co. and all "C" Co. to "STAND TO", a later wire ordered "C" Co. To move back t billets in M.23.c The two platoons of "B" Co. were moved into AGUE TENCH. A later wire announced there was indication of an enemy attack. Day normal. The G.O.C. 7th Cdn. Inf. Bde. Held a conference on Bn. Commanders at Bde. H.Q. At 11.15 a.m. Two small working parties out during the day.

2 O.R. To C.C.S.

(Appendix 6.)

16.4.18. - LENS SECTOR.

Night and day normal. Enemy shelling intermittently during the day over a wide area.

1 O.R. previously reported missing now reported in F.A.
3 O.R. trans. to Cdn. Labour Pool.
1 O.R. admitted to Hospital while on leave in England.

17.4.18. - LENS SECTOR.

Night and day normal. Scattered enemy shelling over the Bn. area. General LIPSETT called during the afternoon. Enemy T.M. Barrage opened on our left about 10.30 p.m. Our Artillery vigorously replied when the S.O.S. was sent up.

2 O.R. from C.C.S.

18.4.18. - LENS SECTOR.

Night normal. Lieut J.T. PROBERT and patrol of 5 O.R's of "D" Co. attacked enemy post at M.20.c.24.84. At 5.15 a.m. Compelled to withdraw on the right owing to heavy M.G. Fire and bombing. The party attacked the post from the left. The garrison of the post which numbered ten ran into their dugout where they were bombed by our party. We captured 1 Machine Gun, 2 Rifles, Belt, Bayonet and a box respirator. About 7.45 a.m. a party of enemy, 10 in number, approached "D" Co's right post. The enemy were repelled by rifle fire and bombs. At 8 a.m. Another party, 20 strong, approached the same post. Again they were repelled. At least six casualties were inflicted on the enemy. Day normal. An inter-company relief task took place tonight, "C" CO. relieved "A" Co., "B" Co. relieved "D" Co. Two platoons of "A" Co. remain in AGUE TRENCH.

4 O.R. wounded in action.

19.4.18. - LENS SECTOR.

Night and day quiet. At 10.10 p.m. Enemy placed a barrage on our right company front which soon extended over the whole Bn. front and into the rearward area. The barrage lasted about half an hour when it gradually moved to the Left. Our batteries opened with counter-battery fire.

18 O.R. joined from C.C.R.C.
1 O.R. died of wounds.
1 O.R. wounded in action.

20.4.18. - LENS SECTOR.

Normal during night and all day, except for concentrated enemy shoot by 5.9's on Battery in M.23 central.

1 O.R. wounded in action.
6 O.R's to F.A.
3 O.R's evac C.C.S.

21.4.18. - LENS SECTOR.

Very quiet all day. Our artillery very active. Heavies engaged T.M's opposite our front.

2 O.Rs evac. C.C.S.
1 O.R. wounded in action.
1 O.R. from F.A.
1 O.R. to F.A.
1 O.R. to Cdn. Base Etaples.

22.4.18. - LENS SECTOR.

Enemy projected gas on left Battalion. Gas drifted over on our front. No casualties were caused. Quiet all day. Our artillery very active.

Capt. F.M. BROWN from C.C.R.C.
1 O.R. from C.C.R.C.
2 O.R's to F.A.
1 O.R. from F.A.

23.4.18. - LENS SECTOR.

Quiet during night and early morning. Considerable shelling if LIEVIN in afternoon. Working and salvaging parties as usual. Since the battalion has been in this Area a great deal of work has been done on improving existing trenches, enlarging dugout accommodation and erecting wire, both in the forward area and in the BOIS de RIAUMONT area. Fourteen car loads of salvage to date have been returned to salvage dumps. As most of the material collected is shell cases, the value of the salvage is very considerable.

1 O.R. died of wounds.
1 O.R. wounded in action.
5 O.R's to F.A.
3 O.R's evac. C.C.S.
1 O.R. from C.C.S.

24.4.18. - LENS SECTOR.

Considerable enemy Trench Mortar and Artillery activity during enemy raid on the 42nd front at 2.10 am. And during 42nd's raid at 3.00 a.m. Otherwise the day was generally quiet, visibility very poor throughout the day.

2 O.R's wounded in action.
1 O.R. from F.A.
1 O.R. to F.A.
2 O.R's evac. C.C.S.

25.4.18. - LENS SECTOR.

Quiet during the night and day except for occasional enemy shelling of back areas. A very heavy rain between 5 and 7 p.m., practically flooded the trenches. Considerable work will be necessary to clean them out.

1 O.R. from F.A.
2 O.R. to F.A.
1 O.R. to C.C.S.

26.4.18. - LENS SECTOR.

Dull foggy day. Very quiet. 50 men who require a rest were exchanged with 50 new men from the C.C.R.C. today. 100 men from the Support and Reserve companies proceed daily for baths at CARNOY. Transportation is provided by Light Railway from RED MILL SIDING.

1 O.R. trans from 123rd Cdn. Pioneer Battalion.

27.4.18. - LENS SECTOR.

Quiet day. Visibility poor. Special Co. R.E. Projected gas on LENS at 12.45 a.m. Enemy retaliation NIL.

28.4.18. - LENS SECTOR.

Foggy and quiet. General DYER called at Battalion H.Q. At noon. Baths and working parties as usual.

50 O.R's from C.C.R.C.
1 O.R. from C.C.S.
1 O.R. to F.A.
1 O.R. from F.A.

29.4.18. - LENS SECTOR.

Very quiet day. Informed that Battalion will probably be relieved on night May 1st/2nd. Thunderstorm and rain during the afternoon. Usual Bathing and Working Parties.

Lieut. ORMON joined the Battalion from C.C.R.C.
2 O.R's from F.A.
1 O.R. to F.A.
1 O.R. to C.C.S.

30.4.18. - LENS SECTOR.

Lieut. ROGERS and 5 O.R's went on patrol in front of ARGYLE at about 4.30 a.m. They proceeded along LENS-ARRAS Road and rushed enemy post N.20.c.24.84. Two of enemy ran away from post, and on being bombed one dropped his rifle which was captured. Dugout, etc., was blown up with Stokes shell and bombs. Party then proceeded to FOSSE but none of the enemy was seen, except Party of about 16 toward enemy support line. After about half an hour party returned to our post. No casualties occurred while on patrol. Col. COMPTON-SMITH R.W.F. and C.O. 12th Battalion KINGS LIVERPOOL Regiment called during morning to arrange for probable relief. Major GLYNN G.S.O. III of an Imperial Staff called to look into Canadian system of Intelligence work. He is being attached to American Army for instruction in this work. Day quiet.

2 O.R's from F.A.
1 O.R. from C.C.S.

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


Appendix 1. - Disposition of R.C.R. at April 1st, 1918.

Appendix 2. - Work and wire report of R.C.R. for month of April, 1918.

Appendix 3. - Letter from Major General L.J. Lipsett conveying his appreciation of the well kept trenches of R.C.R.

Appendix 4. - Disposition report of R.C.R. as at April 10th, 1918.

Appendix 5. - R.C.R. O.O. 97 dated 11.4.18. R.C.R. will relieve 6TH South Staffords in LENS Sector Front Line, and 5TH South Staffords in LENS Sector right support.

Appendix 6. - Supplement to R.C.R. O.O. 97. "C" Coy. will be relieved on night 12th/13th April by 1 Coy. 102ND Cdn. Bn. D. Coy. will be relieved by three platoons of 75TH Cdn. Bn. on same night.

Letter of congratulations to O.C. R.C.R. from G.O.C. 7TH Canadian Infantry Brigade.

Appendix 7. - Letter dated 19.4.18. congratulating R.C.R. on splendid patrol work yesterday.

Appendix 8. - R.C.R. O.O. 99 dated 23.4.18. Inter company relief to be carried out on night 24th/25th April, 1918.

Appendix 9. - Working Parties 7-4-18. to 24-4-18.

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