The First World War
War Diary of The Royal Canadian Regiment

Transcription by Captain Michael O'Leary, The RCR.

JULY 1918

1-7-1918. - NEUVILLE VITASSE SECTOR.

Day very warm and bright. Enemy very quiet, practically no Artillery activity. Battalion Frontage extends from M.20.a.95.06. thence to N.19.c.30.45. and to M.24.b.98.60. "A" and "B" Companies hold the Front Line while "C" and "D" Companies are in immediate support. The P.P.C.L.I. are on our immediate left and the 2ND C.M.R. Battalion on our right. "C" and "D" Companies provided working parties for "A" and "B" Companies for carrying water and rations etc. They were also occupied in deepening trenches and improving funk holes. All water has to be transported from transport lines to Battalion Headquarters. Trenches are in good condition in dry weather but they are not revetted or bathmatted.

2 O.R's wounded (one Self Inflicted).
1 N.C.O. proceeded to England for exchange.
1 O.R. evacuated to C.C.S.

(Appendix 1.)

2-7-1918. - NEUVILLE VITASSE SECTOR.

Day warm and bright. Artillery very quiet. No casualties. "C" and "D" Companies provided usual working parties. G.O.C. Brigade came in this morning and stayed for about half an hour.

2 O.R's proceed on leave to England.

3-7-1918. - NEUVILLE VITASSE SECTOR.

Day very warm and bright. Artillery quiet. Two enemy aeroplanes flew over our lines but were driven back by our Lewis Gun Fire. Support Companies provided usual working parties.

Captain G.C.B. THOMPSON proceeded on leave to England.
3 O.R's wounded in action by Dart.

4-7-1918. - NEUVILLE VITASSE SECTOR.

Very warm and bright. Hostile Artillery shelled Battalion Headquarters and vicinity but caused no casualties.

Lieut. Col. C.H. HILL, D.S.O. appointed Commandant Canadian Corps School 30-6-18.
Lieut. W.P. LITTLEWOOD appointed Adjutant Canadian Corps School 30-6-1918.

(Appendix 2.)

5-7-1918. - NEUVILLE VITASSE SECTOR.

Day very fine and warm. Advance Parties from 43RD Canadian Infantry Battalion (Cameron Highlanders of CANADA) reported to look over and take over sector. They are to relieve us tomorrow. Artillery quiet on both sides.

2 O.R's evacuated to C.C.S.

6-7-1918. - NEUVILLE VITASSE SECTOR.

Day fine and warm. Advance parties sent out to WAILLY HUT CAMP to guide incoming Battalion. Rear Orderly Room and all details moved up from MONCHIET to WAILLY. Headquarters Company left Line about 10.00 p.m. Other Companies were relieved by about 2.00 a.m. and proceeded to WAILLY. The Battalion occupied the same billets as previously occupied.

Total casualties for this tour 2 O.R's killed in Action, 12 wounded, including three self inflicted.

(Appendix 3.)

7-7-1918. - WAILLY.

Day fine and warm. Each Company bathed 100 in the morning. Battalion paid in the afternoon. Band gave a concert in the evening. Band and Transport are working very hard for the VI Corps Horse Show and Band Competition which takes place on the 10th instant.

Lieut. T.B. ROGERS transferred to England for employment with the Royal Air Force.
2 O.R's Invd. to England.

8-7-1918. - WAILLY.

Day very fine and warm. Battalion provided working party of 375 to work on burying cable for Engineers. Remainder of Battalion usual training and cleaning up. Band proceeded to MONCHIET en route for 6TH Corps Horse Show.

Lieuts. M. ISBESTER and J.W. MILLER proceeded to England on leave.

9-7-1918. - WAILLY.

Day showery with rather high wind. Working party provided same as yesterday. Usual training carried out with remainder of Battalion.

1 Officer and 24 other ranks proceeded to A.P.M. to furnish Crop Guard for civilian crops.
6 O.R's proceeded to Advanced Straggler Post on command.
Capt H.F.R. GRIFFITH returned from England after completing Signalling Course at DUNSTABLE.
2 other ranks proceeded on leave to England.

10-7-1918. - WAILLY.

Day showery with high winds. Usual working parties supplied. VI Corps Horse Show today. Transport Section won FIRST Prize in Infantry Transport Section. The band was unfortunate and did not get mentioned.

Lieuts. WRIGHT C.P. and E. MacDONALD proceeded on leave to England.
2 O.R's to C.C.S.
Sergts. DUNBAR and FORRESTER proceeded to England en route for CANADA where they are to be employed as Instructors.

(Appendix 4.)

11-7-1918. - WAILLY.

Showery. Working parties provided for 7TH Canadian Engineer Bn. for work on Dugouts in forward area. Parties worked in three shifts of 25 each. There was a practice Assembly at the PURPLE LINE system in the afternoon. Word was received from Brigade at 2.50 p.m. to proceed to assembly point in PURPLE SYSTEM and a skeleton battalion proceeded there consisting of all Officers and N.C.O's down to Section Commanders. All signalling between Battalion Headquarters and Brigade Headquarters was visual and proved very satisfactory. At 4.40 p.m. a message was received from 7TH C.I.B. to "man" PURPLE LINE SYSTEM. This was carried out satisfactorily and the Battalion returned to Billets about 6.00 p.m. Hostile artillery shelled Batteries in the vicinity of WAILLY HUT CAMP about 9.00 p.m.

Draft of 11 O.R's arrived from C.C.R.C. as reinforcements.

(Appendix 5.)

12-7-1918. - WAILLY.

Day fine and warm. Battalion found usual working parties. Usual training carried out by remainder. Band returned in the afternoon from MONCHIET and gave a concert in the evening. Practice Scheme, same as yesterday, in manning PURPLE SYSTEM carried out in the afternoon. Hostile Artillery shelled local Batteries in the evening between 7.00 and 11.00 p.m. Hostile Aeroplanes active about 12.00 M.N. and bombed Batteries in the vicinity of the Camp.

Capt. D.D. FREEZE, Medical Officer, proceeded on leave to England.

13-7-1918. - WAILLY.

Day showery with cold wind. Usual Working Parties and Crop Guards found. Training carried out in morning by remainder of the Battalion. The band gave a good concert in the evening. Inter Company Baseball Match in the evening. Hostile Batteries shelled vicinity of Camp and Hostile Aeroplanes active about 12.00 m.n.

13 Other Ranks struck off to Canadian Labour Pool.

14-7-1918. - WAILLY.

Day fine and warm. Battalion proceeded to Line to take over from 5TH Canadian Mounted Rifles. Guides from 5TH C.M.R's arrived at WAILY HUT CAMP about 9.00 p.m. to guide Battalion to position in supports. Relief completed about 11.30 p.m. Night very wet and cold. Battalion occupied support trenches to the right of NEUVELLE VITASSE. P.P.C.L.I. were in our immediate left in supports. 42ND Cdn. Inf. Bn. and 49TH Cdn. Inf. Bn. were in the Front Line.

10 Other Ranks arrived as reinforcements from C.C.R.C.
6 Other Ranks evacuated to C.C.S.

(Appendix 6.)

15-7-1918. - WAILLY.

Day fine and warm. Working parties numbering 6 Officers and 326 O.R's engaged at night in Dugout, Wiring and Salvage work. Two enemy aeroplanes patrolled our lines at approximately 3,500 feet. They were engaged by A.A. and L.G. Fire and were driven off. No casualties.

16-7-1918. - WAILLY.

Day fine and warm. Working parties provided 6 Officers and 340 Other Ranks for usual work. Rained heavily at night. Scouts proceeded to Front Line to reconnoitre.

Lieut. H.C. BARKER granted 10 days to NICE.

17-7-1918. - WAILLY.

Warm and dry. Enemy Artillery shelled our immediate rear with Chlorine Gas but caused no casualties. Working Parties of 7 Officers and 342 Other Ranks provided during day and night.

18-7-1918. - NEUVILLE VITASSE SECTOR.

Day fine and warm. Enemy Artillery active and shelled our rear. Usual working parties provided.

Lieuts. J. BALLANTYNE and L.E. LONGLEY arrived as reinforcements.

19-7-1918. - NEUVILLE VITASSE SECTOR.

Day fine and very warm. Usual working parties provided. Hostile Artillery very quiet.

Lieut. A.A. ATKINSON struck off strength on transfer to Canadian Machine Gun Corps.
11 Other ranks arrived as reinforcements from C.C.R.C.

20-7-1918. - NEUVILLE VITASSE SECTOR.

Day fine and warm. Working parties as usual. Artillery normal.

2 Other Ranks evacuated to C.C.S.

21-7-1918. - NEUVILLE VITASSE SECTOR.

Day fine and warm. Working parties as usual provided during day and night. Enemy Artillery shelled battalion Headquarters and vicinity for about five hours causing four casualties. Our Artillery retaliated at night. Nothing further to report.

2 O.R's evacuated to C.C.S.

22-7-1918. - NEUVILLE VITASSE SECTOR.

Day fine and very warm. Usual working parties day and night. Artillery quiet on both sides.

23-7-1918. - NEUVILLE VITASSE SECTOR.

Day fine and warm. Usual Working Parties. Artillery quiet.

Sergt. HARRIS C. proceeded to AGNES LES DUISSANS pending despatch to Canada as Instructor.

24-7-1918. - NEUVILLE VITASSE SECTOR.

Day fine and warm. Usual -7-1918. - NEUVILLE VITASSE SECTOR.Working Parties provided. Nothing further to report.

25-7-1918. - NEUVILLE VITASSE SECTOR.

Day fine and warm. Advance Parties sent out to DAINVILLE in the afternoon to take over Billets etc. Party also sent from MONCHIET. Transport Section moved to AGNES LES DUISSANS. Battalion was relieved in Support Line by Royal Sussex Regiment. Relief complete about 12.20 a.m. Battalion entrained at BLAIRVILLE and proceeded to DAINVILLE, arriving there about 3.30 a.m. Fairly good billeting accommodation.

Lieuts. M. ISBESTER and J.W. MILLER returned from English leave.

26-7-1918. - NEUVILLE VITASSE SECTOR.

Day fine and warm. Battalion spent day in resting and cleaning up. Hostile artillery shelled vicinity of DAINVILLE in the morning. Battalion paid in the afternoon. Band gave a concert in the evening. Hostile Aeroplanes active in the vicinity in the evening.

27-7-1918. - DAINVILLE.

Day fine and warm. Word received that G.O.C. would inspect one Battalion in the Brigade in the near future. "A" and "B" Companies each sent 75 men to baths at BERNVILLE. Word received in the afternoon that we move by 4.00 p.m. to WANQUENTIN to occupy billets vacated by the 3RD Canadian Engineer Battalion who took over our Billets at DAINVILLE. Battalion moved off about 4.00 p.m. and proceeded to WANQUENTIN where they arrived about 7.00 p.m. Billets in WANQUENTIN were fairly comfortable. G.O.C's inspection has been fixed for 31st instant.

21 Other Ranks joined as reinforcements from C.C.R.C.

28-7-1918. - WANQUENTIN.

Day fine and warm. Day spent in cleaning and smartening up. Baths for about 200 in the morning. Band gave a concert in the afternoon.

Lieut. W.P. LITTLEWOOD and Lieut. S.W. TURNER joined from C.C.R.C.
4 Other Ranks evacuated to C.C.S.

29-7-1918. - WANQUENTIN.

Day fine and warm. Baths for about 300 in the morning. Word has been received from the Brigade that the Battalion moves to le SOUICH tomorrow, thence by train to DOULLENS to a destination unknown. About 40 O.R's paraded to Gas School WARLUS to have Small Box Respirators exchanged and repaired. Band gave a concert in the afternoon.

Lieut. Col. C.R.E. WILLETS, D.S.O. proceeded on leave to ENGLAND.
Major A.E. WILLOUGHBY, M.C. temporarily assumes command of Battalion.
Capt. F.D. McCREA appointed Adjutant from 5-6-1918.
Two Other ranks evacuated to C.C.S.
Ten O.R's joined as reinforcements from C.C.R.C.

30-7-1918. - WANQUENTIN.

Battalion paraded in Battle Order and marched to le SOUICH. Parade at 07.15 a.m. Advance Party proceeded by Bus to le SOUICH to Billet Battalion. Destination reached after a warm and tedious march, at about 6.00 p.m. 49TH Canadian Infantry Battalion (EDMONTON REGIMENT) occupy the same village. Billets very comfortable. Brigade situated at THE VISEE an\bout 6 kilometres distant. Companies held a Foot Inspection and found the feet of the men in good condition. Word received about 10.00 p.m. that Battalion was to move first thing in the morning to entrain at DOULLENS and proceed to vicinity of AMIENS. Orders were issued and Stores re-packed ready to move by 3.00 a.m.

Two Other ranks evacuated to C.C.S.

31-7-1918. - le SOUICH.

Battalion paraded at 3.30 a.m. and marched to BOURQUEMAISON where they entrained for SALEUX. One Officer and 50 O.R's proceeded about 2.45 a.m. as loading party for transport etc. Transport consisting of 4 Lewis Gun Limbers, 4 Company Cookers and 1 Water Cart only accompanied the Battalion. The remainder were left at le SOUICH to await orders to proceed by Road, from Brigade.

The Battalion detrained as SALEUX about 10.00 a.m. and marched to vicinity of HEBECOURT a distance of about 5 and a half kilometres where they bivouacked. 49TH Battalion were billeted in the same woods. Water very scarce and had to be drawn from a distance of about five kilometres. Hostile aeroplanes passed over woods about 12.00 m.n. and were engaged by A.A. Guns.

(signed)
A.E. Willoughby
Major.
Commanding The Royal Canadian Regiment.


Appendix 1. - Map showing disposition of R.C.R. on 6.7.18.

Appendix 2. - Provisional defence scheme of R.C.R. Bn. left subsector, NEUVILLE VITASSE.

Appendix 3. - R.C.R. O.O. 108 dated 6.7.18. R.C.R. will be relieved in front line by 43RD Cdn. Bn. on night 6th/7th July, 1918.

Appendix 4. - Letter received from G.O.C. 3RD Cdn. Division. Congratulating R.C.R. on winning prize at 6TH Corps show.

Appendix 5. - Instructions to R.C.R. for skeleton practice of a move to brigade assembly area.

Appendix 6. - R.C.R. O.O. 109 dated ?. R.C.R. will relieve 5TH C.M.R. in right support in the MERCATEL sector on night 14th/15th July, 1918.

Appendix 6a. - R.C.R. O.O. 110 dated 25.7.18. R.C.R. will be relieved in right support MERCATEL SECTOR by 17TH Bn. Royal Sussex Regt. on night 25th/26th July.

Appendix 7. - Instructions to 7TH C.I.B. while brigade is in divisional reserve.

Appendix 8. - R.C.R. O.O. 112 dated 30.7.18. R.C.R. will march to BOUQOUMAISON to entrain for SALEUX on 31st inst.

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