WAR DIARY Of 9th CANADIAN ARTILLERY BRIGADE
From September 1st 1916 – To September 30th 1916
Steenvoorde (Training Billet)
1/9/16 9.30 p.m. The Brigade continued to carry on training in preparation for action on a new front.
2/9/16 9.00 p.m. Training as usual. All officers attended a lecture at 5. p.m. on “Aeroplane photographs” (illustrated by lantern slides)
3/9/16 9.00 p.m. Brigade Commander inspected all batteries in full marching order.
4/9/16 9.00 p.m. Heavy rain all day greatly hampered work.
5/9/16 2 a.m. 3rd C.D.A. Operation Order No 17 received, announcing Brigade would go into action on a front between St. Eloi and Kemmel.
10 a.m. Advance party set off.
6/9/16 2 a.m. 3rd C.D.A. Operation Order No 18 received, giving details of relief of 88th Bde R.F.A. by 9th Bde C.F.A. One section of each battery goes into action tonight.
7/9/16 9.30 p.m. All batteries have reported relief completed. We are now “Centre Group”
8/9/16 9.00 p.m. All batteries carried on registration during the greater part of the day.
9/9/16 9.00 p.m. Registration continued. Gas alarms in evening, infantry requested retaliation, which was given, no gas came over.
10/9/16 10 p.m. To-day infantry reported destruction of tramway at O.13.c.8 ¼ .5. by our fire; also destruction of machine gun by our 33rd Bty. The 78th Bn are replacing the 73rd Bn in our front to-night. All batteries began to cut wire in their zones this afternoon.
11/9/16 10 p.m. All batteries registered. “Petit Bois Barrage” this morning. Wire cutting continued systematically in the afternoon. Operation Order issued by O.C. Left Group to our batteries which are to be placed at his disposal for a contemplated operation.
12/9/16 9 p.m. Further registration and wire cutting by all batteries.
33rd Bty reports destruction of M.G. emplacement and snipers post. Enemy shelled Vierstraat quite heavily in retaliation for shelling of Wytschaete by our batteries. One man in 45th Bty killed and one in 33rd Bty wounded.
13/9/16 9.00 p.m. 36th Howitzer Bty (4.5”) which has been firing with the “Left Group” under Lt. Col. A. McNaughton is back with us (Centre Group) and registering our zone.
14/9/16 10.00 p.m. Each battery has cut a substantial gap in the wire entanglements in their zones. This is part of the general operations extending along the whole British Front.
The 33rd Bty reports quite extensive minor operations at request of infantry, having demolished 4 m.g. emplacements and several snipers posts.
15/9/16 10.30 p.m. Rather quiet day, with little but registration going on. 33rd Bty continued to demolish a few m.g. gun emplacements and snipers posts at request of infantry. Ammunition shortage was announced tonight, and all batteries warned to limit expenditure to lowest possible amount.
16/9/16 10 p.m. Firing today practically nil. Ammunition is being held in reserve for tonight’s raids.
17/9/16 9.25 p.m. Last night’s bombardment was very successful. Shrapnel barrage was reported by F.O.O. in Front Line to be very effective and bursts good. 32nd Bty assisted the Right Group with one section, and with the remaining section covered the Centre Group front line. 33rd, 45th and 36th Btys assisted the Left Group. Successful raids were carried out by both Right and Left Groups; 22 prisoners being taken.
18/9/16 9.30 p.m. Operations today practically nil, and likely to continue so for a time, as ammunition expenditure has been limited to 10 rds. Per battery per day.
19/9/16 10 p.m. Very quiet day.
20/9/16 11.45 p.m. All batteries fired 10 rounds retaliation; otherwise operations nil. Operation order No 20, 3rd C.D.A. issued today. 10th Can Inf Bde also 12th Can Inf Bde to be relieved by the 4th Australian Division and the 16th Division respectively, on the nights of 20/21st Sept and 23/24th Sept.
3rd C.D.A. to remain in action as at present.
21/9/16 10 p.m. All batteries were tested with a “Denmark” last night, and got the shot off in time varying from 30 seconds to, in one case, 2 minutes, where the line seemed to be defective and some difficulty was experienced in passing the message from the Trench Station. Time is taken from the giving of the order to the moment when the shot passes over the trenches.
At 1.30 a.m. today a heavy explosion took place in the German front line opposite Petit Bois, in a place they are supposed to be tunnelling at present.
22/9/16 10 p.m. Our batteries did their first shoot in cooperation with aircraft today. The 32nd and 45th each registered one target. Also the 33rd Battery registered Omnac Farm and the 45th Battery a corner of Grand Bois, fire being directed in both cases by the Brigade Adjutant from the kite balloon at N.29.c.1.1.
23/9/16 10.30 p.m. A little further work was done with aeroplane cooperation. Otherwise the day was very quiet.
24/9/16 The 12th Can Inf Bde which we have so far been covering on this Front has been replaced by the 48th Inf Bde. Instead of 1 battalion as heretofore, we (Centre Group) are now covering 2 viz 7th Royal Irish Fusiliers and 8th Royal Dublin Fusiliers. These have just returned from the Somme, and are greatly reduced in strength by casualties. 33rd Bty demolished m.g. emplacement at N.18.c.9 ¼ ¾. This had been greatly annoying the infantry who had two men killed by it during the afternoon.
25/9/16 11.00 p.m. Enemy are continuing work very actively in front of Petit Bois. Strong concrete dugouts are being constructed and trenches are being strengthened.
Hostile shelling cannot reach our front line here effectively due to intervening crest, but enemy is using heavy trench mortars, his activity in this connection having considerably increased of late. Lieut J.R. Jamieson, 33rd Bty has undertaken the task of locating the enemy mortars with a view to arranging a combined action of our T.Ms, 18-pdrs and 6” Hows to shell them out.
45th Bty shelled an aggressive sniper today, silencing him with 3 rounds.
26/9/16 10 p.m. 32nd Bty knocked out an O.P. with large periscope at O.19.b.7.6. 45th Bty registered road bend O.14.a.6.6. and Omnac Farm, O.14.a.2.1. with balloon observation.
Hostile searchlights active during last night.
27/9/16 11.10 p.m. At 5.30 p.m. a hostile kite balloon adrift was attacked by our aeroplane and brought down at 5.40 p.m. in a mass of flames in the vicinity of N.31 *** at 165 T.B. from N.13 c.1.9 (Centre Group Hdqrs.) This balloon had drifted here from Bapaume (30 miles) with a German Officer clinging to a rope under the basket. *******
28/9/16 9.30 p.m. 33rd Bty fired 12 rounds retaliation at request of infantry. Otherwise no artillery activity in this group.
29/9/16 11 p.m. Remainder of this page is unreadable and the next page is missing.