War Diary of 9th CANADIAN Artillery Brigade March 1917

CONFIDENTIAL

 

WAR DIARY Of 9th CANADIAN ARTILLERY BRIGADE

 

For the month of MARCH 1917

 

AMETTES B.4.c.7.5. Sh.36.b. FRANCE 1:40,000

 

1.3.17                          Brigade in rest.

2.3.17                          Brigade in rest.

3.3.17                          Brigade in rest.

 

4.3.17                          Brigade in rest.

Operation Order No 53 issued today which calls for the relief of the Reserve Divisional Artillery by 3rd C.D.A. on nights of 7/8th and 8/9th March.  The organization will be three Groups, – Right, Centre and Left.  The 32nd Battery is detailed to the Left Group – The 33rd Battery to Centre Group and the 45th Battery to the Right Group.  The Right section 36th Battery is detailed to Right Group and the Left section to Centre Group.

 

5.3.17                          Brigade in rest.

6.3.17                          Brigade in rest.

 

7.3.17                          Brigade in rest.  Section from each of our batteries went up to relieve sections of the Reserve Artillery.

8.3.17                          The remaining sections completed their relief tonight and Headquarters (which is still in rest) and the wagon lines of the batteries have been established at GOUY-SERVINS.

GOUY-SERVINS Q.35.d. FRANCE Sh 36b

 

9.3.17                          Batteries spent the day in registration and checking lines.

 

10.3.17                        Considerable aeroplane activity.  One of our planes brought down by enemy machines fell near NEUVILLE ST. VAAST at 11.30 a.m.  otherwise day has been exceptionally quiet.

 

11.3.17                        Quiet day on front.  Nothing special to report.

 

12.3.17                        Our 45th Battery located and destroyed considerable new work in enemy support lines.

13.3.17                        Quiet day.  Batteries checking up registrations.

 

14.3.17                        Visibility poor.  Very little action on either side.

 

15.3.17                        Visibility good and numerous enemy balloons were up throughout the day.  At 3.08 p.m. enemy put up a three minute barrage on our front line.  An observer of the 33rd Battery saw heliograph being worked in the outskirts of LENS.

 

16.3.17                        Enemy T.Ms and rifle grenades quite active.  There was also considerable hostile shelling.

 

17.3.17                        Our 45th Battery engaged and dispersed an enemy working party.  The enemy appears to be doing considerable new work, but as soon as it is located by us it is taken on and destroyed.

 

18.3.17                        Visibility good.  Considerable aerial activity on both sides throughout day.  Hostile shelling below normal.

 

19.3.17                        Enemy artillery very active registering on many points on our front line.  Our batteries spent the day principally in registering.  An enemy M.G. emplacement was fired upon and destroyed by our 18-pounders.

 

20.3.17                        Enemy artillery more active than usual today also Trench Mortars.  Our retaliation was **** sections came into *** Text here corrupted as overtyped.

 

21.3.17                        Enemy artillery active throughout the day especially in the later part of the afternoon when our front line and supports were heavily bombarded.  Our retaliation was vigorous and effective.

22.3.17                        Visibility fair.  Large number of enemy observation balloons up throughout the day.  Between noon and three p.m. enemy shelled CARENCY and vicinity, apparently for counter battery purposed.

 

 

23.3.17                       The enemy exploded a mine in NO MANS LAND today, but otherwise he was inactive.

An order was issued today reorganizing the 3rd Canadian Division from a four Brigade four gun battery, into a Three Group, six gun Battery basis.  In order to accomplish this the 11th Brigade C.F.A. has been broken up and their batteries distributed among the 8th, 9th and 10th Brigades.  The Group organization is to be Provisional but the six gun organization will be permanent.

Our Group is designated ”CASCALLEN’S GROUP” and is composed as follows:

32nd Bty plus ½ of 44th Battery

33rd Bty plus ½ of 46th Battery

45th Bty plus ½ of 46th Battery

36th Bty plus ½ of 29th Battery

Operation Order No 54 was also issued today giving orders for the relief of the 2nd C.D.A. by this Group.  The reorganization of six gun batteries to take place during the relief, which will take place on the nights of 24/25th and 25/26th inst.  We will therefore be again covering our own Divisional Infantry.

 

24.3.17                        In accordance with Operation Order one section of the 32nd Battery, one section 33rd Battery and 46th , one section of 45th Battery and one section of the 36th and 29th batteries went into their new battle positions.

 

25.3.17                        the sections already in spent the day in registration and calibration.  The remaining sections came into the positions tonight, thus completing the relief.

 

  • Registration was carried out throughout the day.

 

Ref: FRANCE 36b 51c N.E. VIMY 36 c S.W.  F.4.b.5.5. (Hdqrs moved into line.)

 

27.3.17                        Enemy movement nil.  Hostile artillery fairly active throughout day and was met in every case with adequate retaliation.

 

28.3.17                        Enemy aeroplanes unusually active, as many as five being observed at one time in the morning.  Our A.A. shooting was good and forced them back in their own lines.  In the afternoon two enemy planes attacked and forced one of our planes to descend near LA TARGETTE.  Enemy artillery unusually active registering on many batteries in the area and causing some casualties in the Heavy Batteries.

 

 

29.3.17                        Visibility poor.  No movement or new work was observed in the enemy lines.  Our artillery ** throughout the day doing much *** Bottom of page missing.

Operation Order 56 issued today calls for trial barrage to be carried out on 30th 31st March and 2nd April.

 

30.3.17                        Fair visibility throughout the day.  Hostile artillery fire below normal.  No enemy movement or new work observed.

At 8.00 a.m. today the first of our trial barrages was put on the enemy’s lines, lasting for twelve minutes.  The barrage was reported by all observers to be well placed and a large percentage of good bursts.

Lieut. E.G. Brown, 45th Battery was very seriously wounded this morning by a premature.

 

31.3.17                        At 3.00 a.m. this morning, the second of our trial barrages took place.  It was again very favourably reported upon by both Infantry and Artillery observers.

Hostile retaliation for this barrage was very slight.

 

NOTE:   Attached hereto are O.Os 53, 54, 55 and 56 Reorganization Order.

 

 

Lieut. Col.

Comdg. 9th Brigade C.F.A.

 

 

NOTE:  On the 1st March 1917 letters were received from Brigadier-General Mitchell, Brigadier-General Thacker and Major-General Currie commending the work of the brigade while attached to the 1st Division.  These letters are attached hereto.

 

Lieut. Col.

Comdg. 9th Brigade C.F.A.

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