WAR DIARY Of 9th CANADIAN ARTILLERY BRIGADE
From September 1st 1917 – To September 30th 1917
References LOOS 1/10,000, LENS 1/10,000
1.9.17 11 p.m. The visibility today was fair. Six enemy balloons were up in the early morning as well as a great many enemy planes, but all activity ceased after 9.00 a.m. Several of the enemy were seen about a mile behind the front line and they were immediately fired on and dispersed. Enemy artillery was fairly quiet during the 24 hours, but as usual he did some counter-battery work.
2.9.17 The visibility today was fair. No enemy balloons were observed today, but four enemy planes patrolled their own lines in the early morning, two of which crossed our lines and flew over our rear area for about half an hour, flying very high. Enemy movement appeared to be below normal today, but a considerable number of trains were observed in the rear area between MEURCHIN and CARVIN. Enemy artillery was below normal, except for some heavy counter-battery work which they carried out in the neighbourhood of the LOOS CRASSIER.
Operation Order Number 105 was issued today relating to the relief of the 9th Brigade C.F.A. by the 6th Divisional Artillery R.F.A. to take place on the night of the 4th/5th September.
3.9.17 The visibility today was good. Five enemy balloons were observed up during the day and several enemy planes were also seen, but they did not attempt to cross our lines. Enemy movement was practically nil during the whole day. Enemy artillery was very active during the night on our support trenches and in the vicinity of the Town of LOOS, shooting intermittently with bursts of fire. During the night there was considerable artillery activity on both sides on the zones to our right and left, although our front remained normal.
4.9.17 The visibility today was fair. Five enemy balloons were again observed on our front and stayed up most of the day. Enemy planes were not so active and were only seen in the morning during which time they remained well behind their own lines. Movement of men in the enemy lines was almost nil, but considerable horse and motor movement was observed in the rear country. During the night the enemy at different times put up a spectacular display of rockets, using green, red, orange and white lights. They also bombarded the area between LOOS and MAROC with about 10,000 gas shells mixing in a large number of High Explosive shells. The bombardment started at 12 p.m. and continued for about two hours and was the most intense concentration of hostile artillery ever experienced by this brigade. The new German gas (mustard) was used and while we had no serious casualties, many men the next day found their eyes seriously affected and a small number developed bronchitis.
Operation Order Number 106 was issued today. This refers to the 31st and 36th Batteries leaving the LOOS Area and going into action under RALSTON’S BRIGADE in the VIMY area. The Headquarters, 33rd and 45th Batteries with the 35th and 39th Batteries of RALSTON’S BRIGADE are to proceed to Rest Camp in the rear.
5.9.17 From this date to the 22nd inst. the Headquarters and four batteries mentioned herewith were in rest at MAGNICOURT, a small village nestling among some rolling hills. The men had a splendid rest during this time and many parties were sent for the day to ST POL. In addition an Infantry band was engaged on three different occasions which was very much appreciated. General sports for the men were held on two occasions and some Indian Cavalry billeted near here very kindly offered to assist in the days sports. Their horsemanship and other feats were magnificent and filled our men with surprise and admiration.
22.9.17 Operation Order No 107 was issued today under which this Brigade moved to new Wagon Lines near VILLERS au BOIS. The Brigade remained at rest at this point until the end of the month most of the time being devoted to cleaning equipment and grooming horses. On the afternoon of the 29th a half holiday was declared, the men attending the Corps Sports held at VILLERS au BOIS. These were very much enjoyed by all ranks.
A/C.O. 9th Carscallen’s Brigade C.F.A.
(9th Brigade C.F.A.)