WAR DIARY of 9th CANADIAN ARTILLERY BRIGADE
From July 1st 1918 – To July 31st 1918
1.7.18 The 9th Brigade C.F.A. commenced to trek to BASSEUX to join the 3rd Canadian Divisional Artillery was taking over from the 2nd Canadian Divisional Artillery in the line. On the 1st inst the Brigade marched to ANVIN and spent the night of 1st/2nd in billets. The weather was fine and warm and the Brigade arrived in ANVIN tired and dusty. Advantage was taken of the stream flowing through ANVIN to bathe.
2.7.18 The Brigade continued its march to BASSEUX, arriving in MAGNICOURT-sur-CHANCE at about 4.00 P.M.
3.7.18 The Brigade arrived in BASSEUX at about 4.30 P.M. bivouacking on the night of 3/4th July in the BASSEUX Staging Area. Advance parties from Brigade Headquarters and batteries went forward by Motor lorry to positions in the line of Units being relieved.
4.7.18 During the night 3rd/4th one section per battery of the 9th Brigade C.F.A. sent their guns into the line relieving one section of the batteries of the 6th Brigade C.D.A.
5.7.18 On the night of 4/5th the remaining sections of the Brigade moved into the line and completed the relief of the 6th Brigade 2nd C.D.A. Batteries were pleased with the turn-over and positions on which a good deal of work had been done by the 2nd C.D.A.
Enemy’s artillery was somewhat active during the afternoon on counter-battery work. No damage was done to the batteries of the brigade. Considerable individual movement was observed from O.Ps and from Intelligence Reports received the front appeared as if it would be an interesting one. Enemy aerial activity was above normal during the day, in all 12 machines observed over our lines.
6.7.18 Hostile artillery less active than usual. A good deal of individual movement was observed and taken on by our forward sniping guns. Enemy’s aeroplanes were again active crossing our lines at intervals throughout the day. Gas proofing of dugouts at various Battery positions and Headquarters was found to be quite incomplete. Work was immediately started on the completion.
7.7.18 Hostile artillery was quiet. The usual movement was again observed and engaged by our forward guns. Our bombing planes were active during the night and could be distinctly heard. Weather, cloudy.
Letter ‘M’ on typewriter broken from now on
8.7.18 Enemy’s artillery slightly more active today. BOISLEUX au MONT and BLAIRVILLE received some attention from 5.9s. Visibility fair today. A considerable amount of movement was observed today in enemy’s back country which was energetically engaged by our sniping guns. 5 E.As were observed today and two balloons.
9.7.18 Hostile artillery fairly active. Our forward areas received a light scattered shelling throughout the day and night. Visibility was good and more than the usual amount of movement was observed and dispersed, in some cases causing casualties. Enemy’s aeroplane activity below normal, considering the visibility, only three being observed opposite our front. 5 balloons were observed during the day.
- Hostile artillery today, quiet during the morning, slightly active during the afternoon being chiefly confined to harassing fire on the forward area. The enemy’s light and heavy T.Ms were more active than usual. Visibility was good. A large amount of movement was again observed in back country most of which was engaged and dispersed, our artillery causing several explosions in enemy back country. Two E.As observed today.
11.7.18 Hostile artillery quiet during the morning and the usual activity in the afternoon. The usual movement was again observed, our sniping guns claiming two hits. Visibility was fair. One E.A. observed.
12.7.18 Enemy’s artillery was more active than usual today, our front line and C.Ts receiving considerable attention. The batteries of the brigade retaliated on the hostile batteries within range and succeeded in neutralising his fire to a great extent. Visibility was fair in the morning and good in the afternoon. A large amount of movement was again observed. Enemy planes showed increased activity on our front, 4 of which attempted to cross our line and were heavily engaged by A.A. and M.G. fire and turned back. Our bombing planes were evidently very active during the night as a large number of enemy search lights were observed in action.
13.7.18 Enemy’s activity today was confined mostly to the shelling of our forward areas by a 15cm Howr. The usual movement was observed. Visibility today was indifferent. Enemy’s planes more active than usual, 17 E.As being observed. A large number of search lights were again observed during the evening and our O.Ps reported numerous explosion in the enemy’s lines caused by our Artillery fire.
O.O 146 and 147 were issued today giving details of a proposed artillery shoot on NEUVILLE VITASSE which is believed to be strongly held by the enemy; the object of the shoot being to cause the enemy casualties. The 33rd 45th and 36th Batteries are taking part in the operation.
14.7.18 Enemy’s activity was confined to long range guns firing on our back areas. Hostile T.Ms were more active than usual today and to which our guns retaliated on known T.M. Emplacements. Visibility was fair. Considerable movement was again observed, most of which was considerably beyond the range of our field guns. 7 E.As and 10 balloons were observed during the day. Two explosions were caused in the enemy’s rear country by our shell fire.
15.7.18 Artillery activity today was confined to a scattered shelling of our O.Ps and intermediate areas, CHATMAIGRE receiving some attention from a 21 cm Howr. A large amount of movement was observed today, many of the enemy observed to be carrying kits, which leads us to suspect a relief. Visibility fair during the day. Our expenditure of ammunition was increased during the night in view of the above suspected relief. 6 E.As observed today, all of which crossed our lines. 3 enemy balloons observed opposite our front. Several large explosions were observed during the day. During the night 9 searchlights were observed.
16.7.18 Hostile artillery activity was again more active on our rear areas especially during the night. Our O.Ps were shelled rather heavily about midnight. Visibility was good. More movement than usual was observed in the enemy’s lines, owing to the fact that suspected relief had taken place. 15 E.As were observed opposite our front during the day, one of which was shot down by two of our scouts. 4 balloons were up, one of which was forced to descend by our planes. 11 enemy balloons were up during the day.
17.7.18 Hostile artillery quiet today. T.M activity during the morning more active than usual. Visibility fair. A large amount of individual movement still observed and engaged by our forward guns. Two shoots were put on by the 36th Battery at the request of the 42nd Battalion which proved very satisfactory to out infantry. 10 E.As observed opposite our front during the day. Two enemy balloons up. Many small explosions were again observed.
18.7.18 Hostile artillery activity quiet during the day with the exception of a shoot at dawn, the enemy evidently suspected an attack on our part. Visibility was good today between showers. The usual movement was reported in his back country. 13 E.As were observed today, three of which were low-flying. 3 balloons were observed.
19.7.18 Enemy’s artillery activity more active than usual today, 77cm 10.5 and 15 cm being used. The ERCATEL SWITCH received attention during the afternoon and H.V. guns firing into our back country from vicinity of CROISELLES. Visibility was fair. Movement today below normal. 22 E.As were observed opposite our front during the day. 4 balloons were observed up for a short time. Several small fire observed in enemy country during the day. Operational Order No 149 was issued with reference to small raid to be carried out on enemy post on our front, our guns putting up a box barrage for this raid. All our batteries are engaged.
20.7.18 Enemy activity today fairly active, intermittently shelling our forward area with 7.7 and 10.5 cm. Enemy T.Ms were quiet during the day but more active during the evening. The 36th Battery retaliating on known emplacements. Visibility good. The usual large amount of movement was again observed during the day. 8 E.As and 4 balloons observed. Attitude of the enemy has today been very quiet.
21.7.18 Artillery activity quiet during the morning and fairly active during the afternoon, in the vicinity of our O.P. His H.V. guns again shelled our rear areas. Visibility was good. Movement above normal, our batteries claiming several hits. 4 E.As and one balloon observed. Enemy’s searchlights during the evening were very active.
22.7.18 Hostile artillery activity more active than usual today. One of our recently vacated battery positions was heavily shelled by a 10.5 cm; estimated 200 rounds. Hostile H.V. guns shelled our rear areas. Enemy used some gas shells on our battery area during the evening. We had no casualties. Good visibility today. The usual movement was observed. A considerable number of the enemy were observed carrying packs. 18 E.As were observed on our front. 5 balloons up.
23.7.18 Hostile artillery very quiet on our front today, with the exception of the usual shelling of our rear areas by H.V. guns. Visibility was good during the morning, perm itting of the usual amount of movement to be observed, batteries again claiming many hits. 8 E.As and one balloon were observed.
- Enemy’s hostile artillery activity confined to a light scattered shelling of the forward area. Mostly of light calibre. Visibility good. A great deal of movement was again observed which kept our forward guns active throughout the day. 16 E.As were observed during the day opposite our front, also 2 balloons. Numerous explosions also heard in enemy’s lines.
Operation Order No 150 issued today giving details of relief of our Brigade by the 232nd A.F.A. Brigade on the nights 25/26th and 26/27th.
- Enemy’s artillery active on our forward areas during the day. FISCHEUX and BOISLEUX-le- MARC were shelled during the night with YELLOW CROSS and LACHYMATONY gas shell. Visibility good. The usual large amount of movement was again observed. Most of which was engaged and dispersed. The 36th Battery put on a destructive shoot at the request of the infantry. Two E.As and one balloon were observed today. Two explosions were observed in enemy’s lines evidently due to our shell fire.
26.7.18 The completion of the relief took place today, the brigade moving to the wagon lines in the GROSSVILLE Area, preparatory to a move to another new area.
27.7.18 The Brigade passed the Starting Point, BEAUMETZ at 7.00 a.m. Marching through BEAUMETZ – HERMAVILLE to SAVY, arriving at 1.30 p.m.
- The day was spent in cleaning equipment and saluting drill.
29.7.18 The day was spent in saluting drill. O.O. No 151 was issued today giving details of the Brigade march from SAVY to HUMBERCOURT-CULLEMONT Area.
- The Brigade passed the Starting Point near BERLES, at 8.30 a,m. marching through IZEL-les-HAMEAU-AVESNES-les-COMTE-SOMBRIN and WARLUZEL to CULLEMONT and HUMBERCOURT, arriving about 1.00 p.m.
- The Brigade remained in this area during the day and for the first time in the history of the brigade our final destination remained a secret. Wild rumours were in circulation throughout the brigade. O. 151-1 was issued today giving details of a march from the present area to CANDAS area. The march to commence at 10.10 P.M.
Com’g 9th Canadian Arty. Brigade