WAR DIARY of 9th CANADIAN ARTILLERY BRIGADE June 1917

CONFIDENTIAL

 

WAR DIARY of 9th CANADIAN ARTILLERY BRIGADE June 1917

 

From June 1st 1917 – To June 30th 1917

 

 

LOCATION S.30.a.14.62                                                                                                                              VIMY 36.c S W 1/10,000

 

June 1st 1917  11p.m.  Visibility: Misty in the morning but improved and was fairly good in afternoon.  Enemy planes very active throughout day – a number crossed our lines.  One of our machines was brought down in vicinity of LA CHAUDIERE.  Our Artillery was engaged in registration and trench demolition throughout the day.  Enemy Artillery was unusually active, paying particular attention to our Front Line and Support Trenches.

  1. O. No 80 issued today. We are to take part in a Barrage, to cover an attack, to be made by the Division on our Left. Zero Hour will be 12 Midnight, night of June 2nd/3rd.

 

June 2nd 1917              Visibility good.  At 4.05 a.m. enemy barraged our line in T.2.c. and d.  We immediately retaliated and silenced him.  Artillery activity on both sides normal today.

 

June 3rd 1917               Visibility fair.  The Division on our Left attacked at 12 Midnight, last night, and our barrage was reported as good.  Heavy resistance was met with and final objectives were not gained.  As soon as our barrage opened, enemy laid down a counter-barrage on our Group Front and it was some minutes before he realised his error and switched over to our Left.

During today enemy artillery has been sub-normally quiet.

 

June 4th 1917               Visibility: misty in morning, good in afternoon.  Considerable movement was reported in the back country by our F.O.O’s and Heavy Artillery took on a number of these targets with good effect.

Artillery activity on both sides below normal today.  Very little aerial activity was engaged in by either the enemy or ourselves.

 

June 5th 1917               Visibility fair.  At 2.35 a.m. enemy opened a heavy barrage on our Group Front.  Upon an S.O.S. Signal being put up by our Infantry, we immediately opened fire and kept up a fairly intense rate until 3.05 when enemy barrage ceased.

  1. O. No 81 issued today, lays down Zones for Batteries to cut wire in. This is in preparation for a large raid which will take place shortly.

 

June 6th 1917               Visibility fair.  Despite poor visibility and the time taken to get wires to forward O.Ps, our Batteries succeeded in cutting a good deal of wire today.  Our 36th Battery, especially, did good work as considerable of the wire is so placed as to make it difficult for a Field Gun with its flat trajectory to cut wire.

Enemy Artillery activity was below normal today – there was practically no shelling.

 

June 7th 1917               Visibility good.  Wire cutting was carried on vigorously by all Batteries today and good progress was made.  Considerable movement in back country reported by our F.O.Os.  Enemy Artillery has been unusually inactive.

  1. O. No 83 issued tonight. The 4th Canadian Division, on our Left, in conjunction with our Division will raid enemy’s trenches at 11.45 p.m., June 8th.

Our objectives are:

  • Enemy’s Front and Support Lines from Railway Embankment at T.2.c.90.20. and thence to T.2.c.40.40. to T.1.d.80.90 to T.1.d.05.95.
  • FINAL OBJECTIVES:

Enemy’s Strong Point in ruined house at T.2.b.30.10. Westerly along ADEPT TRENCH from T.2.d.20.90 – T.2.a.15.40. thence North East along AGENT TRENCH to BALSAM TRENCH at T.1.b.90.70. (BALSAM TRENCH inclusive to 3rd Canadian Division).

Our troops will remain a total of two hours in enemy’s lines.

Our Support will take the form of Rolling and Standing Barrages.

 

June 8th 1917               Visibility fair.  Wire cutting carried on throughout the day.  Our guns now appear well cleared of wire.

Our Raid was carried out successfully tonight.  In all we captured 30 prisoners, bombed a large number of dug-outs and captured several Machine Guns with their crews.  Our casualties were slight.

Our Barrage opened promptly and the Infantry reports it quite effective.  Enemy’s Counter-barrage was weak and ineffective at the start and rapidly lessened until it became a mere scattered shelling.

 

June 9th 1917               Visibility fair.  Enemy Artillery active, special attention being paid to VIMY, probably in an effort to damage our Batteries.  Aerial activity was engaged in by both sides.

 

June 10th 1917             Visibility good.  Enemy Artillery activity in vicinity of VIMY and LA CHAUDIERE.  Our Batteries took on several small parties of the enemy and in one instance inflicted casualties.

  1. O. No 85 issued today. The personnel of the 33rd Battery of our Group are to be relieved for ten days by the personnel of the 463rd Battery R.F.A.  The 33rd Battery men will take over the Defensive Position of the 463rd Battery and vice versa.

 

June 11th 1917             Visibility poor in morning, fair in afternoon.  Enemy Artillery has been unusually inactive.  A very quiet day on both sides.

 

June 12th 1917             Visibility good.  Enemy Artillery shelled VIMY and LENS-ARRAS road, in retaliation for our Heavy Artillery bombardment of AVION today.  Enemy planes very active, as many as twelve being our line at one time today.

Our A. A. Guns, however, drove them back quickly.  A great deal of enemy movement reported today; any opportunity targets, within range, were taken on by our Batteries.

  1. O. No 86 issued today gives orders for preparation to be made for a series of ”Concentrated Shoots” at irregular intervals. Orders will be given for one minute shoots, on a special selected target.  All Batteries will be engaged in these shoots.
  2. O. No 87 also issued today, order the 45th Battery and 36th How. Battery to locate positions for a forward gun to be used as a Sniping Gun.

 

June 13th 1917             Visibility poor.  Today has been very quiet and there has been practically no enemy shelling.

 

June 14th 1917             Visibility fair.  Enemy Artillery activity below normal.  Very quiet day and very little activity on either side.

 

June 15th 1917             Visibility fair in morning and quite good in afternoon.  Enemy planes very active today, a number crossing our lines.  Enemy Artillery below normal.

 

June 16th 1917             Visibility fairly good.  Enemy Artillery has been inactive throughout day.  Both ours and the enemy’s planes active.  One of our machines succeeded in bringing down an enemy plane near LENS.  Activity, generally speaking, on both sides has been below normal today.

 

June 17th 1917             Visibility fair.  During the past few days the enemy artillery has been unusually inactive.  Today practically not a round was fired by enemy, on our front.  His planes have also been less active of late.  Our Batteries are engaged principally in sniping parties of the enemy incautious enough to take overland routes.

 

June 18th 1917             Visibility poor.  A very quiet day.  Enemy Artillery inactive as usual.  Our Batteries took on number of enemy parties going overland with good results.

 

June 19th 1917             Visibility fair.  Enemy Artillery is still inactive.  Both enemy and our Aeroplanes were quite active today.  During the night the enemy heavily shelled LENS – ARRAS Road in vicinity of PETIT VIMY, inflicting considerable casualties on Infantry parties.

 

June 20th 1917             Visibility good.  Movement of enemy in back country considerable above normal.  A large number of transports and men were reported throughout day.  Enemy Artillery inactive.  Our Batteries engaged any movement within range.

 

June 21st 1917             Visibility good.  During last night the enemy Artillery was very active and fired a large number on our roads in the vicinity of PETIT VIMY.  A great deal of movement again reported today.

  1. O. No 88 issued today. The personnel of the 33rd Battery who have been at the Defensive Position of the 463rd Battery are ordered to return and take over their own position.  One section relieves tonight and the relief is to be completed tomorrow night.

 

June 22nd 1917            Visibility fair.  All our F.O.Os report a large amount of movement in rear of enemy lines.  Enemy Artillery quiet.  Aerial activity nil.

 

June 23rd 1917             Visibility very good.  Our Batteries engaged numerous enemy parties today inflicting many casualties.  Enemy movement continues; considerable above normal.

  1. O. No 89 issued tonight calls for a Feint Barrage to be laid down by our Batteries tomorrow.

 

June 24th 1917             The enemy Artillery activity considerably above normal today, both on our trenches and points in rear.  During the morning the 36th, 33rd and 43rd Battery positions in VIMY, were quite heavily shelled with 5.9s.

Our Feint Barrage was laid down at 10 a.m., as per O.O. No 89 and was observed to be accurately placed and well distributed.  There was no heavy retaliation, on our front, but our Left Division received a severe shelling afterwards.  There were scattered bursts of trench mortar and artillery fire during the night.  Our Batteries retaliated in each case.

 

June 25th 1917             Today passed quietly with very little enemy activity.  Our Artillery active on enemy trenches and points in rear.

 

 

June 26th 1917             Today the enemy effected a withdrawal from his forward positions, retiring to AVION TRENCH.  Our Infantry patrols kept in touch with his Rear Guard and finally consolidated in AGENT and ADEPT Trenches, their proposed objective.

The Group Batteries were active in Co-operating with this move; the Group Headquarters being kept in close touch with the Infantry through Brigade and Battalion Liaison Officers.

 

June 27th 1917             Our 4.5” How Batteries have been kept busy today neutralising the sniping and machine gun fire which harassed our newly taken positions, in front of AVION.

The 18-pounder Batteries successfully engaged enemy parties observed in back areas.

  1. O. No 90 was issued today calling for a Barrage at 2.30 a.m. 28th inst, in support of the 9th Canadian Infantry Brigade’s attack on AVION TRENCH.

 

June 28th 1917             The 9th Canadian Infantry Brigade successfully accomplished their Operation at 2.30 a.m.  The Barrage was very well timed and well placed.  Batteries kept up a protective fire until morning, covering the consolidation of the new positions.  Letters of appreciation received from Lieut-Col H.A. Genet, O.C. 58th Canadian Battalion.

  1. O. Nos 91 and 92 were issued today calling for a Barrage at 7.10 p.m., in support of further consolidation by the 9th Canadian Infantry Brigade. This Operation took place as arranged.  The patrols sent out by the 9th Canadian Infantry Brigade were forced to stop short of their objective and finally consolidate on their original outpost line.

 

June 29th 1917             Visibility fair.  Today passed without event.  The enemy artillery was generally below normal, during the day.  Our own Batteries being active covering the consolidation of the infantry.  Lieut Philpott made a reconnaissance of the new enemy position on our front, submitting a full report.

 

June 30th 1917             Today the enemy artillery was active against our newly gained positions and Group Batteries were kept active in retaliatory fire.  O. O. No 93 was issued today calling for three salvoes, from all Batteries, at noon, on Dominion Day, an Operation which is to be performed by the entire Canadian Corps Artillery.

 

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