War Diary of 9th Canadian Artillery Brigade from August 1st 1917 – To August 31st 1917

CONFIDENTIAL

 

War Diary of 9th Canadian Artillery Brigade from August 1st 1917 – To August 31st 1917

 

 

Field M.4.c.00.30.

Reference LOOS-1/10,000 LENS 1/10,000

 

1.8.17     11pm            Enemy planes not active today.  Enemy artillery very active in morning on counter-battery work and harassing fire.

 

2.8.18                          No enemy planes or balloons up today.  Enemy artillery less active than usual.  Our Heavies very active all day.  Visibility poor.

 

  • Visibility fair. The day was very quiet except for a hostile barrage about 4.00 a.m. on LOOS and LOOS CRASSIER. Our artillery very active against wire and enemy defences.  No balloons or aeroplanes observed up.

 

  • Visibility fair. Enemy artillery fairly active at irregular intervals on LOOS, FOSSE 12, MAROC and the rear areas. Some movement of men was seen in the German trenches.  No enemy planes or balloons up.

 

  • Visibility fair. One enemy plane up in the afternoon. No balloons observed.  Enemy artillery below normal.  Our artillery active on enemy front line and support trenches.  Large numbers of the enemy were observed on the road in I.13.b. and d. and were engaged by our Heavies.  Considerable traffic of horsed vehicles and motor cars were observed on the ANNAY road in O.2.

6.8.17                          Six enemy planes were observed for a short time in the afternoon.  Enemy artillery lightly shelled, at odd times, LOOS and G.36.c. and G.35.d.  Several of the enemy were seen on the road in H.26.b. but quickly disappeared.

 

7.8.17                          No aeroplanes or balloons observed today.  Hostile artillery below normal.  Considerable movement of men was observed in H.21.c. and around the BOIS de QUATORZE.  This movement was fired on and one man is believed to have been killed.

 

8.8.17                          Only one enemy plane up during the day.  No balloons observed.  Hostile artillery inactive today.  Our artillery has been very active on wire cutting in H.31& H.32.  No enemy movement observed.

 

9.8.17                          Eight enemy balloons up this morning.  One of our aeroplanes crossed the enemy lines and brought down one balloon in flames and forced two others to descend.  No enemy planes up.  Enemy artillery very active on counter-battery work about MAROC and the rear areas.  Considerable movement observed in the rear country.

 

10.8.17                        Visibility good.  Three enemy planes were up over their own lines during the day.  Enemy artillery has been fairly active against our front line and communication trenches and on counter-battery work in rear areas.  An unusual amount of movement was observed in the rear areas between MEURCHIN and CARVIN consisting of many motor trucks and horse drawn lorries and several trains.  There was also a great deal of enemy movement around the BOIS de QUARTORZE all of which was fired on and a considerable number of casualties inflicted.

 

11.8.17                        Visibility good.  No aeroplanes up.  One enemy balloon up.  Considerable movement of the enemy was again observed in the rear areas.  Between MEURCHIN and CARVIN many trains were seen and also considerable movement of motor trucks and horse drawn vehicles.  The movement of men was smaller today than usual and mostly in the rear of BOIS QUATORZE.  Enemy artillery below normal today.

 

 

 

12.8.17                        Enemy planes fairly active all day.  Seven enemy balloons up today.  Enemy artillery fairly active on our support trenches with all calibres and LOOS and our rear areas received considerable attention from enemy 5.9s.  An abnormal amount of enemy movement was seen today.  This consisted of a very large number of men in the rear of the BOIS de QUATORZE all of whom were fired on and some casualties inflicted.  Quite a number of men were also seen in the enemy front line.  Very heavy movement of motor and horsed traffic from MEURCHIN to VENDIN and MEURCHIN to CARVIN.  Farmers could be plainly seen stacking grain around PROVIN.  Our batteries did a great deal of wire cutting on the German front Line today.

 

13.8.17                        Visibility fair.  A few enemy planes patrolled their own lines during the morning.  Four enemy balloons were up.  The enemy appears to be working on his front line trenches which have been badly knocked about by our fire.  Less enemy movement seen than usual.  Considerable traffic was again observed in the rear areas and several trains were also seen going into CARVIN.  An enemy Anti-Aircraft Battery was observed near VENDIN and our Heavies took it on and caused a large explosion.

 

14.8.17                        Visibility fair.  Enemy aeroplanes very active during the day, several indecisive combats taking place.  Three balloons were also up.  Enemy artillery more active than usual.  Our front line and supports were intermittently shelled all day and our rear areas with 5.9s.  Several trains and considerable movement of motor trucks and horsed vehicles were again observed in rear areas around PROVIN.

 

15.8.17                        Visibility good.  Operation Order No 100 was carried out today starting at 4.35 a.m. and special reports by Lieut. R.V. Macaulay, Group F.O.O. and Lieut J.R. Jamieson, F.O.O. 33rd Battery C.F.A. are attached hereto.  The enemy barrage was very heavy on the zone to our right but later in the day became very intense on our front.  The infantry reached their final objective, HUGO TRENCH on HILL 70, on schedule time.  Several counter-attacks against this famous hill were launched by the enemy during the day, but were completely broken up by our artillery fire before they reached our new front line.  The whole 4th Guards Division attempted a counter-attack from BOIS de QUATORZE and the BOIS DIX-HUIT and are known to have suffered enormous casualties.  About 4.00 p.m. a drizzling rain set in and the situation quieted down considerably.

Only a few enemy planes were up during the day.

 

 

16.8.17                        Visibility good.  Enemy planes were very active throughout the day and towards the evening very large numbers were seen at times.  A very large number of balloons were also observed at times during the day.  Enemy artillery was very active all day shelling our old front line and support trenches from there to our new front line.  Considerable movement of men were also observed during different times of the day coming from the rear to the German front line which is supposed to be about HERCULES TRENCH.  The enemy were observed to be doing considerable new work along this trench all of which movement was fired on.  Our artillery opened fire on two S.O.S. Signals; one at 8.50 p.m. and one at 10.30 p.m. and supposed enemy counter-attack did not reach our front line.

 

17.8.17                        Visibility good.  Enemy aeroplanes were very active all day, some of them crossing our front line.  3 balloons were also up.  The enemy intermittently shelled our whole zone and fired about 100 rounds of 8” on the Dressing Station on the BETHUNE ROAD.  At 8.42 p.m. and S.O.S. was sent up on our front and the enemy laid down a heavy barrage on the whole brigade zone.  Considerable movement of men was seen coming from VENDIN towards the BOIS DIX-HUIT.

 

18.8.17                        Visibility good.  Enemy aeroplanes were very active all day, crossing our lines 9 times.  Two enemy balloons were observed during the day.  Enemy artillery was very active throughout the day on our front line and supports.  LOOS and the rear areas, and in the night between 1.00 a.m. and 5.00 a.m.; several thousands gas shells were fired on our battery positions.  Our Heavy artillery was very active during the day, bombarding the BOIS DE QUATORZE, BOIS DIX-HUIT and the enemy front line.  There was a marked increase in enemy movement in the front areas.  Considerable traffic of motor trucks and transports were observed on the MEURCHIN – CAVIN ROAD.  During the night the enemy used three search lights at different times, trying to pick up our aeroplanes.

 

19.8.17                        Visibility good.  Enemy aeroplanes were very active in the morning but quieter in the afternoon.  There were no balloons up.  Enemy artillery was quieter than usual confining his shelling to bursts of fire over a wide area and some counter-battery work in the afternoon.  At 3.15 a.m. an S.O.S. signal went up on our front to which all batteries responded promptly and during this time the enemy shelled our front line and supports, heavily.  During the morning considerable enemy movement was seen around the BOIS DE QUATORZE all of which was fired on.  There was also a great deal of train and transport movement between MEURCHIN and CARVIN.

 

20.8.17                        Visibility fair.  Only one enemy aeroplane and one enemy balloon were seen all day.  Very little enemy movement was seen either in the forward or rear areas.  In conjunction with an attack on the right Operation Order 101 was carried out on our front at 4.35 a.m.  The enemy did not retaliate very heavily but put on several concentrated shoots during the day on our front line and supports.  Several enemy batteries fired all day on our battery positions in the rear.

 

  • Visibility fair in the morning but good in the afternoon. Enemy aeroplanes were exceptionally active during the day, many planes crossing our lines. Two enemy balloons were also observed during the day.  A great deal of enemy movement was again observed around the BOIS DE QUATORZE and on roads in rear.  This was all fired on and several casualties inflicted.

Operation Order No 102 was issued today changing the zone boundary of the batteries to the right and establishing a Group O.P. in the front line.

 

22.8.17                        Visibility good.  Enemy planes were very active again today frequently crossing our lines.  Five enemy balloons were also observed.  Movement of enemy in front areas was below normal but considerable motor and horsed transport observed on the MEURCHIN – CARVIN ROAD.  Enemy artillery has been very active heavily shelling the area between LOOS and our battery positions and also during the night putting a large number of gas shells in the same zone.  The enemy used five search lights during the night trying to pick up our planes.

 

23.8.17                        Visibility good.  Enemy planes not so active today but several during the early morning flew very low over our front line.  One enemy balloon was observed.  Enemy artillery was much quieter today but intermittently shelled LOOS and some of our battery positions with 5.9s.  During the night there was considerable artillery fire on both sides on the zone to our right.

 

24.8.17                        Visibility fair.  Only one enemy plane was seen today and no balloons.  Enemy movement in the front area was below normal, but the motor and lorry traffic on the MEURCHIN – CARVIN ROAD was abnormal and our Heavies took on several targets at different times of the day along this road, and one lorry was seen to be damaged.

 

 

25.8.17                        Visibility good.  Only one aeroplane was seen today, in the early morning, and no balloons.  Very little movement of men was seen, but movement of men and transport on the MEURCHIN – CARVIN road was very heavy during the day.  Several counter-attacks took place during the night on the zone to our right but our front was normal.  Enemy artillery was very active during the day on counter-battery work.

 

26.8.17                        Visibility good.  Ten enemy planes were up in the early morning, eight of them flying as far back as DOUVRIN.  Five enemy balloons were also observed today.  Very little movement of men observed but considerable traffic between MEUCHIN and CARVIN.  At 11.00 a.m. one train with forty coaches was seen to pull into CARVIN.  Enemy artillery active on our support trenches and on counter-battery work during the day.  The night was very quiet.  Operation Order 103 was issued today extending our zone to the left.  Five new guns were also borrowed from the 14th A.F.A. Brigade R.F.A. to replace guns damaged by shell fire during last week.

 

27.8.17                        Visibility very poor on account of rain and mist.  A few enemy planes were seen during the day but their activity was below normal.

No balloons were seen. Enemy movement nil except for some train movement around CARVIN.  Enemy artillery unusually quiet.  Operation Order 104 was issued today, making a slight change in our zone boundaries and giving a new S.O.S. line.

 

28.8.17                        Visibility fair.  No enemy planes or balloons seen today.  Some enemy movement was seen in the rear of BOIS QUATORZE all of which was fired on and some casualties inflicted.  A stretcher party was noticed coming out to carry one of their wounded men away.  The usual movement between MEURCHIN and CARVIN was about normal.  Enemy artillery very quiet.

 

29.8.17                        Visibility fair.  A few enemy planes were seen during the day but their activity was below normal.  No enemy balloons seen.  Enemy movement below normal, except for some train movement between MEURCHIN and CARVIN.  Enemy artillery below normal.

 

30.8.17                        Visibility fair.  Only one enemy plane observed today, but no balloons.  A few small parties were seen about the BIOS de QUATORZE and were immediately fired on but they quickly disappeared.  At 11.15 A.M. a battalion of infantry was seen coming towards MEUCHIN from CARVIN.  There was also considerable horsed traffic and motor traffic on the road between these two places.  Enemy artillery was below normal except for two concentrated shoots; one during the night and the other in the afternoon on our rear areas.

 

  • Visibility fair and good at intervals. Only two enemy planes were up for a short time in the morning. No enemy balloons observed today.  Very little movement observed in front areas but there was the usual motor and horsed transports seen on the MEURCHIN – CARVIN Road also very heavy train movement in and out of CARVIN.  Enemy artillery more active today, barraging our front line and supports at different times.  During the early morning an S.O.S. was sent up on our front and the enemy tried to raid our front line.  Our artillery opened up very quickly and the enemy was forced to retire.

 

Lieut Col.

Comdg. Carscallen’s Brigade C.F.A.

(9th Brigade C.F.A.)

 

 

 

 

 

 

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