9th Canadian Artillery Brigade War Diary for the month of October 1916

9th CANADIAN ARTILLERY BRIGADE WAR DIARY for the month of October 1916




1/10/16  8.45 p.m.  The relief of one section of each Bty by 36th Div Arty reported complete.


2/10/16  8.30 p.m.  Relief of remaining sections completed and all batteries withdrawn to wagon lines.


3/10/16 to 7/10/16       Route march to Albert (Somme District) via Lillers, Wavrans, Boubers, Doullens and Bouzincourt.

Considerable rain on route.


8/10/16  9.00 p.m.  The day spent in fixing up billets, which are on an open plain with no shelter or material of any sort.


9/10/16 8.30 p.m.  Operation Order No 20 issued to batteries covering details of our relief of 18th Brigade, R.F.A., Lahore Div Arty.  One section each of 33rd, 45th and 36th Batteries completed their relief before dark this afternoon.  Ten horses per gun had to be used on account of the shell torn condition of the ground.  Location of batteries are in X.6.c (Sheet 57 D, S.E.).  The 32nd Bty is held in reserve for the present.


Near Pozieres

10/10/16 11.00 p.m.   9th Bde completed relief and took over this headquarters from the 18th Bde at 2 p.m. today.  The 3rd C.D.A. is covering at present the 2nd Can. Inf. Bde.


11/10/16 12.30 p.m.    Batteries are almost continuously active.  The 33rd and 45th keep a portion of wire entanglements under a barrage all night, 50 rounds per hour, to prevent repairs.  The 36th Battery (Howitzer) fire 300 rounds per day in the demolition of a certain area of trenches.  These special tasks are in addition to all opportunity targets and emergency calls.


12/10/16 10.30 p.m.    Our batteries cooperated today in an attack by the III Corps on the right of Can. Corps front.  A barrage was put up from 2.05 to 2.35 p.m.


13/10/16 10 p.m.         Our 18 Pdr Batteries allotted the task of cutting all wire in front of Regina Trench in our zone.  M.14.b.5.6. to 8.7. and around the Quadrilateral in M.14.b.  The 36th How Bty allotted the task of destroying trenches on 50 yds front just to left of our zone.


14/10/16 11 p.m.         Wire cutting continued strenuously all day. Battery 77 mm active at about M.8.a.1 ½.6., engaged by Brigade and silenced.


15/10/16 9.30 p.m.        A battery of howitzers moving along road toward Pys reported at 1 p.m. by F.O.O. 33rd Bty.  Engaged heavily by whole Brigade in addition to a heavy battery which cooperated.  Disappeared in a depression, from which only one limber with one team was seen to escape.


16/10/16 9.00 p.m.      Under orders from R.A. Can. Corps, wire cutting and systematic bombardment has been discontinued, the prospective advance on the 17th inst being cancelled.  We have gone back to normal work of harassing the enemy and dealing with opportunity targets.

Our O.Ps have a few gas shells thrown at them almost every night. The new small box respirator gives efficient protection.


17/10/16 8.50 p.m.      Hostile battery active at R.5.d.2.9. this afternoon was engaged and silenced.  Our zone has been changed from today noon, and now is M.14.b.6 ½. 7 ½ to M.14.a 8.4.  We are keeping the wire entanglements in front of Regina Trench under slow barrage fire during the hours of darkness, to prevent repairs.


18/10/16 10 p.m.         Batteries registered zone allotted for cooperation in proposed attack on Regina Trench tomorrow at 2.07 p.m.


19/10/16 8 a.m.            Attack postponed for 24 hours, possibly on account of the weather, which is very bad.

10 p.m.        In addition to wire repair prevention, we have been given the task of preventing traffic on Aqueduct Rd (M.8.d.9.5 to M.8.a.5.3.) during the hours of darkness.


20/10/16 10 p.m.         Wire cutting and demolition of trenches in our zone again begun.




21/10/16 10 p.m.         Forward battery positions just north of Martinpuich reconnoitered this morning.  This afternoon a very successful operation was carried out, in which our infantry captured Regina Trench from M.13.b.2.7. to Stuff Redoubt.  500 prisoners taken.  Artillery cooperation reported very satisfactory.


22/10/16 11 p.m.         A number of opportunity targets were engaged today and work on wire cutting and demolition of trenches continued.  In the evening one section of each battery was moved forward to the new positions in M.31.b. and M.26.c. and d., just north of Martinpuich.


23/10/16 10 p.m.         A very foggy day, Sections moved last night cannot be registered.  Sections remaining in old positions carried on firing on wire and roads all day according to arrangements for night firing, and will continue until 2 a.m. when, sections are to be moved to forward positions.


24/10/16 6 p.m.           The rain last night made movement of guns very difficult.  The Howitzer Bty. were compelled to dismantle the guns of their remaining sections and bring them in by pieces on a trench tramway.  Poor visibility today made registration very difficult, but it was done as well as possible.

A dugout about M.32.c.20.7, just west of Martinpuich, being cleared out to provide accommodation for our new Bde Hdqrs billet was found to contain between 25 and 30 tons of German explosives.


25/10/16 10 p.m.         10th Can Inf Bde made an unsuccessful attempt to take Regina Trench from Farmer Road to the left, supported by 10th Bde C.F.A. only, as our guns were not properly registered.  Many opportunity targets dealt with by us in addition to considerable back country firing.



26/10/16 11 p.m.         Our Headquarters moved up to this location close up to batteries.  Very quiet day with poor visibility.


27/10/16 11 p.m.         Visibility continues poor.  Batteries are registering a large number of tactical points, cutting wire where any can be found, preventing repairs at night, and demolishing trenches, all in preparation for the coming advance.  Hostile shelling on our road, especially Pozieres-Bapaume Rd., and Contalmaison Martinpuich Rd., very heavy, making traffic difficult.


28/10/16 12 p.m.         Considerable hostile shelling all day.  No 1 Sect. 3rd C.D.A.C. suffered several casualties in men and horses on the Contalmaison Rd this morning.


29/10/10/16 10 p.m.    Shelling of Pozieres- Le Sars Rd and area occupied by 3rd C.D.A. has been heavy and fairly continuous all day.  Most of the shells are of heavy calibre, about 8 inch.  Visibility poor.


30/10/16 6 p.m.           Rained all day, with consequently little shooting as observation was impossible.


31/10/16 9 p.m.           A clear day with good visibility; wire cutting carried on effectively.  3rd C.D.A. area again heavily shelled in the afternoon, 32nd and 45th Batteries were obliged to withdraw their personnel for a time, the former had two gunpits blown in, though guns escaped undamaged.


Lieut Col.

Commanding 9th Bde C.F.A.


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