9th Canadian Artillery Brigade Operation Order No 155

Copy No._______

SECRET

9TH CANADIAN ARTILLIEY BRIGADE OPERATION ORDER NO 155

7th November 1918

 

  • 7th Canadian Infantry Brigade have orders to make good the village of THULIN and exploit beyond it, and if possible patrols find the village strongly held to-night, a creeping barrage will be put down by the Field Artillery on the morning of the 8th instant at a time to be notified.

 

  • 9th Brigade will be prepared to lay down barrages as follows:-

Initial Barrage – N.26.d.15.90. to N.26.a.30.70.

Final Barrage – N.22.d.30.50. to N.22.b.00.50.

Northern Boundary – N.26.a.30.70 – N.21.c.40.30 – N.22.b.00.50.

31st Battery CFA will barrage the LEFT one half.

33rd Battery CFA will barrage the RIGHT one half.

36th Battery CFA will be superi[m]posed as in para 5.

 

  • LIFTS 9th Bde C.F.A. 5 Minutes on Initial Barrage. 13 lifts of 100 yards each at 4 minute intervals then 100 yard lifts at 3 minute intervals to final line.  On reaching Final Line batteries will cease fire.

 

  • RATES OF FIRE

Initial barrage and first five lifts INTENSE.

3 lifts…………………………  RAPID.

5 lifts…………………………. NORMAL

Remainder…………………….. SLOW.

 

  • 36th Battery CFA will be distributed over the Brigade front 300 yards beyond the 18-pdr barrage. Special attention will be paid to all roads within the Brigade Zone.

 

  • Batteries will sweep so as to cover the whole front.

 

  • 33rd Battery CFA which is detailed to move forward in close support of the P.P.C.L.I will maintain Liaison with that Battalion and will be prepared to move forward immediately it has fired out the barrage.

 

  • AMMUNITION – Shrapnel till SLOW rate commences, then H.E.

 

  • Zero Hour will be notified later.
  • Watches will be synchronised from this office by telephone.
  • O.Os 31st Battery CFA will supply an F.O.O who will work with the P.P.C.L.I Battalion.

 

  • ACKNOWLEDGE

 

(sgd) D.A. McKinnon Major

A/O.C. 9th Canadian Artillery Brigade.

Advertisements

WAR DIARY of 20 Siege Battery for October 1918

 

WAR DIARY of 20 Siege Battery for October 1918

 

Place       Date    Hour                                                Summary of Events and Information

In the field                              Officers of the Battery

Lt. (A/Major) J.C. THOMPSON M.C. (SR)

Lt. A/CAPT A.A. HANHART (SR)

Lt. H.L. PAUL (TF)

[Lt. W.F. FOX A/STAFF CAPT I Corps H.A. (SR) ]

[L H.E. WELLS I CORPS RANGING OFFICER (SR) ]

Lt. E.B. LOACH (SR)

Lt. R.G. PERCIVAL (SR)

Lt. F.W. DAVIS (SR)

Lt. C.H. BATEMAN (SR)

2/Lt. W.H. CHAPMAN (SR)

2/Lt. B.W. TURNBULL (SR)

2/Lt. E.O. DAVIES (SR)

2/Lt. A.E. COCKFIELD (SR)

Battery Positions 3 guns at ANNEQUIN

3 guns 1000 yards due S of PHILOSOPHE

Rest Billets           MINX

Counter Battery shoot by ANNEQUIN Section on Battery in SALOME.

Explosions in Enemy country gave first indications of the LENS-LABASSEE-ARMIENTERES retirement.

3rd                          Rest billets in PHILOSOPHE.

5th                          ANNEQUIN Section moved to position in LA BASSEE – DOUVRIN Road.

6th                          PHILOSOPHE Section moved to position in CITE ST ELIE – HAINES Road.

8th                          Bombardment of Pillboxes & BAUVIN Church by N. Section.

9th                          BAUVIN Church tower destroyed by N. Section.  PROVIN Church tower hit by S. Section.

10th                        MERCHIN Church tower destroyed by N. Section.

  1. Section moved to position at CITE DE DOUVRIN on LA BASSEE – HAISNES Road (Registered MEURCHIN C.H. on 12th )

15th                        Both Sections pulled out of action & guns parked beside road owing to early retirement from HAUTE BELUIL Canal.  Personnel withdrawn to PHILOSOPHE.

PHILOSOPHE

25th                        Battery moved to CARVIN & guns parked in Square.

26th                        Half battery moved to PONT-A-MARCQ & parked.

27th                        Half battery moved from PONT-A-MARQ to BERCO.  Guns remaining parked.

29th                        Remaining half battery from CARVIN recovered, with column, to  RUPILLY CHATEAU, near CAPPELLE.

Guns remaining parked.

Lt. H.E. WELLS rejoined owing to dispersal of I Corps Ranging Group.

30th                        2 Guns under Lt. E.B. ROACH put into position near BASSE RUE.

 

 

War Diary 9th Canadian Artillery Brigade October 1918

WAR DIARY

 

CONFIDENTIAL

 

9th CANADIAN ARTILLERY BRIGADE

 

From OCTOBER 1st. – To OCTOBER 31st. 1918

 

 

 

RAILLENCOURT & SAILLY

1.10.18                                   For three hours commencing at 0600 the Batteries fired a barrage to support another advance of the 3rd Canadian Division Infantry towards RAMILLIES.  By 1000 Infantry had advanced as far as wood in S.17.c. & d, but later in the day pressed by a Counter attack had to retire and establish their line in Rear of this, holding a system of trenches in S.22.c & d., east of TILLOY.  At 1700 Lieut. Devine L.O. with 43rd Battalion came to Brigade H.Q. with the news that the enemy had RETAKEN BLECOURT AND SANCOURT from our 2nd Division on our Left and that the 29th Battalion was advancing to retake SANCOURT.  He also reported that Infantry had had very heavy casualties and the enemy putting up a stiff fight.

In the morning C.O. Brigade and Os.C. Batteries reconnoitred forward Areas with a view to selecting new positions in the event of a move forward.  36th Battery sent out a forward Section under Lieut. Alexander which took up a position near the CAMBRAI-DOUAI Road, in S.26.b, and keeping in close touch with 43rd, 58th, and 2nd C.M.R. Battalion, fired in all 186 rounds, on various targets.  The Batteries fired a great deal during the day on a request of the L.O. at Infantry Brigade and at 1915 laid down a counter preparation.

Lieut Harrison was at Brigade O.P. and with him Lieut Neville worked, keeping in touch with Battalion Hqrs. and 7th C.I.B. Report Centre.

A great deal of ammunition was hauled during the day by the Batteries and the D.A.C. hauled to their positions in all 3000 rounds 18-pdr, and 600 rounds 4-5” Howitzer.

During the night Battery limbers and teams harnessed “stood to” in case of emergency, as the situation on the left seemed very uncertain.

31st Battery had one Gunner wounded.

 

RAILLENCOURT & SAILLY

 

2.10.18                           Counter preparation was fired by the Brigade at three separate times 0430, 0500 and 0530.

The day proved rather quieter than had been anticipated.

Lieut Harrison at Brigade O.P. at 1630 observed a hostile How. Battery firing.  Through the L.O. at Infantry Brigade he got a 60pdr. Battery on to it and a direct hit on one of the guns was obtained.  Lieut Neville Established a forward O.P. in the vicinity of TILLOY to which a wire was run. Major MacKinnon relieved Lieut-Col Ralston as L.O. with Infantry Brigade at 1400.  On information from an enemy deserter that a hostile attack was imminent a counter preparation was ordered for 1830.  At 1825 enemy began shelling our battery areas rather heavily and just as our counter preparations started our S.O.S. was reported on Brigade Zone by Lieut Harrison.  Firing continued on Counter preparation and later S.O.S. at normal rate for 35 minutes,  the O.P. reporting during this period many enemy RED and GREEN Lights on our front.  Later it was learned that the enemy had advanced to attack in three parties totalling some 400 men, that they had been caught in our barrage, very much cut up and many killed, leaving three prisoners in our hands.  Lieut-Col Coghlan arrived back from ENGLAND to-day, He will stay tonight at the wagon lines and tomorrow take over from Lieut-Col RALSTON as GROUP Commander, Lieut. Col Ralston will become A/C.R.A. in place of Brig-General STEWART who goes on leave.  5th C.I.B. took over tonight. Major MacKinnon remains as L.O. with them.

 

  • Lieut-Col Coghlan arrived at Brigade Hqrs. At 0930.  He now Commands RALSTON’S GROUP which consists of 9th and 10th Brigades C.F.A., and 147th Army Brigade R.F.A. under 2nd  The Group and 9th Brigade will be run from the Hqrs in the SAILLY QUARRY.  The Batteries to-day reconnoitred and established separate O.P.s to be manned during the hours of daylight.  Observation of enemy forward areas is difficult owing to low ground and trees along the Canal DE ST-QUENTIN.  Arrangements were made for the establishment of a Composite Battery consisting of one gun from each of the 18-pdr. Batteries and one How. from the 36th Battery to be pushed forward to do the bulk of the firing for the Brigade.  Lieut Harris will be in Command of this Composite Battery and will be connected by telephone to O.P.s and Brigade Hqrs.

Two Counter Preparations were laid down in the early hours of this morning.  The day has been rather quiet except for the enemy’s scattered shelling of our forward areas and some fire from his heavies on

Battery Areas. At 2310 a bombardment of our guns started up away in the South and continued for an hour.  Our front remained quiet.

Lieut Alexander at Brigade O.P. Lieut Gall, L.O. with 24th Battalion.

Major Cosgrave returned this morning to the 45th Battery.

 

RAILLENCOURT & SAILLY

4.10.18               The Composite Battery came into position last night in front of SUNKEN Road in A.I.b. North of ST.OLLE.  Lieut. HARRIS in charge with Lieut. Case assisting him.  The attitude of the enemy seems very nervous as though he anticipated an attack by us.  He has done considerable scattered shelling of Battery Areas and put an occasional burst of fire on TILLOY and various other points up forward.

Lieut. Alexander at Brigade O.P.

Brig-General Panet C.R.A. 2nd C.D.A. paid Lieut-Col. Coghlan a visit to-day.

 

5.10.18               Enemy’s attitude has been increasingly nervous during the day.  He has put many bursts of fire from 7.7cm guns and 10.5 cm Hows on the Forward Areas.  Brig-General Panet paid Col. Coghlan another visit this morning and informed him that it was likely that several more Brigades would be brought into the Group, and that a further forward move would probably take place in the near future.  He requested that the forward area should be reconnoitred with a view to the pushing up if necessary of four whole Brigades.  Accordingly the O.C. brigades reconnoitred the ground in the vicinity of the CAMBRAI-DOUAI Road near ST NEUVILLE-ST-REMY, and found that there was sufficient room for positions for the four Brigades, though he noted at the time that the area was heavily shelled.

Lieut. Devine at Brigade O.P. to-day.  Order received at 1730 that 9th Brigade was to relieve 26th Brigade R.F.A. the next night, and that advance parties would go forward in the morning to look over the Battery positions which were located South of OISY LE VERGER, the relief to be mutual.

 

6.10.18                Advanced parties consisting of an Officer and N.C.O. from each Battery and A.R.O. and an N.C.O. from Bde Hqrs, proceeded in the morning to 26th Bde. R.F.A. H.Q. in Q.30.b South of OISY-LE-VERGER.  The three 18 pdr. positions proved to be good.  No Howitzer position existed and 36th Officer reconnoitred for one.  The order for this relief had been cancelled by 1600, after the C.O. 26th Brigade had been over to 9th Brigade H.Q. and the 9th Brigade was to stand fast in its present positions.

Lieut. Devine Brigade O.P.  Lieut Neville L.O. 25th Battalion.

At 2140 an S.O.S. on Brigade Zone, was reported by one of 10th Brigade Batteries and our guns fired for about 20 minutes at slow rate and then stopped as there was no confirmation of an S.O.S. from Brigade O.P. and our front was reported to be quiet,

 

 

 

 

RAILLENCOURT & SAILLY

 

7.10.18                      The enemy artillery was increasingly active all day shelling both forward and rear areas with many bursts of fire.  The Composite Battery received considerable attention from him during the morning, but succeeded in doing a great deal of firing in spite of that fact.

Three new Brigades, namely, the 6th Brigade CFA, and the 29th and 32nd Brigades RFA, have come into RALSTON’S GROUP.  These three have been formed into a Sub-Group, under the Command of Lieut-Col McParland, O.C. 6th Brigade.  Tomorrow morning the 3rd. Army is to attack and capture high ground South East of CAMBRAI.  This is to be followed, if successful, by an attack of the Canadians to the North of the City.

Lieut. Longworth at Brigade O.P. and Lieut Neville remained as L.O. with 25th Batt.

In order to be able to cover far enough forward for the barrage to be fired in support of our Infantry’s advance after the Third Army attack, the 36th Battery under charge of Capt. Creig, moved at 1930 to a new position just to the Right of the ARRAS-CAMBRAI Road, and immediately in rear of ST. OLLE.  After 4 guns had been dropped into position, and while horses were not yet clear, and the Battery personnel were on the position, three or four enemy shells dropped right amongst them.  Casualties resulted as follows – Lieut. Shreve and 4 O.R.s killed.  Capt. Creig, Lieut. Livingstone and 8 O.R.s wounded, 20 animals killed or of necessity shot and 6 wounded, 2 guns put out of action.  Later remaining guns were pulled back to the old position from which they were able eventually to cover the first phase of the Canadian Attack which was all that was necessary as the 2nd phase was cancelled.

Major MacKinnon was relieved as L.O. with the 5th. C.I.B. by Major Young of the 10th Brigade, and returned to the 36th Battery.  The Composite Battery was discontinued in the evening.

 

8.10.18                The attack of the 3rd Army was successful and resulted in the capture of NIERGNIES and the high ground between that Village and AWOINGT.  Our Batteries fired on their zones as a demonstration in connection with this attack, which began at 0430; Visibility was good and Lieut Case at Brigade O.P. in S.25.d (sheet 51A) saw a great deal of movement along roads in enemy rear areas.  Where possible our 18 pdrs were used on Opportunity Targets with good effect, and in other cases, Lieut. Case was able through the L.O. Line to get in touch with the heavies and observe their fire.  The attack of the 5th C.I.B. was stated at first to be taken place at 2130, 2nd phase including joining up on East side of CAMBRAI with the 3rd Army being scheduled for 0530 the morning of the 9th.  In the evening, the 2nd Phase was cancelled and the 1st Phase postponed till 0130 9th inst.

RAILLENCOURT & SAILLY

 

9.10.18                  At 0130 our barrage opened, the heavies in the rear commencing about 20 seconds too soon.  It was a complete success but there was evidence that the enemy had intended to evacuate.  After the barrage, the Batteries moved up to a new position well forward, in the neighbourhood of NEUVILLE-ST-REMY.  The 5th C.I.B. Hqrs was early moved to MORENCHIES Chateau and Hqrs. BALSTON’S GROUP at Noon moved to TILLOY, where good quarters had been located in a furnished house and several cellars.  The other Brigades of the Group also moved forward and were distributed in depth between DOUAI-CAMBRAI Road and RAMILLIES.  In the afternoon O.C. Brigade was informed that the 9th Brigade would go into rest the following day ay 1200- that he could either treck back to an Area near INCHY-EN-ARTOIS or remain in the vicinity of CAMBRAI.

At about 2315 O.C. Group was informed by telephone that there was to be an attack the following morning by the 4th C.I.B., and was requested to proceed immediately to MORENCHIES Chateau to confer with the O.C. 4th C.I.B. concerning a barrage to be fired in support of the attack.

TILLOY

10.10.18             O.C. Group left the O.C. 4th C.I.B. and O.C. 6th C.F.A. at midnight at MORENCHIES Chateau; later with O.C. 6th Brigade he spent four hours at 6th brigade Hqrs. across the Canal working on Operation Order and Barrage tracings for the attack which took place at 0600.  In all 21 copies of each were prepared and despatched in time to the Batteries of the 29th, 32nd and 147th Brigade R.F.A. and 6th. Brigade CFA.  The 5th C.I.B. succeeded in capturing its objectives namely, the high ground just west of the river ERCLIN, but the 6th Brigade on its left did not succeed in capturing IWAY.

At Noon RALSTON’S GROUP ceased to exist as it had been, and the 9th. Brigade CFA went into rest, wagon lines moving up to last Battery positions occupied, near ST NEUVILLE ST REMY, and Brigade Hq. wagon lines moving to TILLOY.  Lieut. Neville returned from Battalion.

 

11.10.18                The morning was passed quietly, H.Q. and Batteries arranging their quarters in prospect of some days out of the line.  At noon Lieut-Col RALSTON A/C.R.A. called at 9th. Bde H.Q. and informed O.C. that the Brigade was to go into action again immediately, taking over Battery positions of the 58th brigade R.F.A., in the vicinity of BLECOURT and BANTIGNY and H.Q. of the 26th brigade RFA at BLECOURT.  O.C. Brigade visited 26th. Brigade H.Q. and Battery Officers the Battery positions they were to take over.  One section from each Battery was to relieve one Section of a battery of the 56th Brigade at night, but through some mistake, the orders received by the 26th Brigade, the 45th Section was the only one which was able to be put into action.

TILLOY

12.10.18             The Batteries moved by day to their new positions; A good new Brigade H.Q. was located in BANTIGNY     at the North corner of the Village.  By 1700 telephone connections had been established between this Hqrs and all Batteries also with Division and Hqrs of 26th Battalion which is in the Line and being covered by both 9th and 10th Brigades CFA.  The 33rd Battery is in position between BLECOURT and Railroad at S.8.b.10.40.; the other three Batteries are distributed along the River RAVIN DE BATIGNY in the North East of BATIGNY Village.

Lieut. Smith at Brigade O.P.  Lieut. Case L.O.

 

13.10.18             In the morning O.C. Brigade visited Batteries and O.P.s A new Brigade O.P. has been established in a house in ABANCOURT.  26th Battalion moved back their H.Q. to BANTIGNY about 200 yards away from 9th Brigade H.Q. to which a wire has been run.  O.C. Brigade visited O.C. 26th Battalion with reference to S.O.S.  26th is being relieved in the Line tonight by 27th Battalion which will cover a frontage of something over 5000 yards.  Each Battery is putting out a detached gun to do some of the firing.  The main Battery positions in the RAVIN have barely flash cover from WAVRECHAIN-sous-FAULX.  The front is quiet save for some scattered shelling by enemy of forward areas and a certain amount of shooting on ABANCOURT, BATIGNY and BLECOURT.  The enemy has good observation from the crest running through FRESSAIN North of the Canal DE LA SENSEE.  Some movement is seen in his back areas.  Brigade O.P. Lieut. Smith.  A Harassing Fire Programme received from 3rd C.D.A. calls for fire every hour day and (night).

BANTIGNY

14.10.18             Quiet day.  Enemy shelled forward areas a little and also CUVILLERS and BANTIGNY.  Lieut. Harris at Brigade O.P.  Batteries manned their own O.P.s   Batteries fired on Road leading South from WASNES-AU-BAC in an endeavour to prevent the destruction by mine of road and bridge, but without success.  An Infantry Patrol reconnoitred the bridge at 1400 hours and reported it blown up and impassable.  The C.O. and Adjutant visited the Batteries and Brigade O.P.  Lieut. H.M. McKay arrived back from leave and was attached to Brigade Hqrs.

 

15.10.18              C.O. visited Battalion H.Q.  BANTIGNY was shelled with bursts of gas and H.E.  Lieut. Harris was at Brigade O.P.

 

 

 

 

BANTIGNY

16.10.18                   Visibility was poor all day and enemy artillery was quiet except for bursts of fire on ABANCOURT and one on BANTIGNY.  Lt-Col Coghlan visited Corps Headquarters regarding preparations for starting of the Canadian Corps Artillery School which he is to Command.  Brigade Major visited Brigade H.Q. and went up to HEMLENGLET with Lieut. Smith.  It was decided to place a 6” Newton in the Village.  27th Battalion was relieved in the Line by 28th Battalion.  Lieut. A.E.G. Knight was posted to 31st Battery.  Lieut. A.B. Manning was at Brigade O.P.

 

  • Quiet day with very little enemy shelling. Our Batteries were ordered to stop firing except on special orders as the Infantry were putting out patrols.  A temporary S.O.S. Line was laid out East and West through M.3.4 & 5 central.  In the evening Batteries were ordered to reconnoitre Positions in M.17 & 18 at dawn, as a move was anticipated.  Col. Coghlan visited HABARGUE South West of ARRAS where the Artillery School is to be located and he returned at 1930. Major Cosgrave in Command of Brigade during the C.O’s absence.  Lieut. Stearns was on duty at Brigade O.P.  Lieut. H.B. Devine reported to 29th Battalion as L.O. to go forward with them in proposed advance.

HEMLENGLET

18.10.18                      29th Battalion moved forward at 0130 crossed Canal and worked up to the high ground in M.5 & 6 and N.I without opposition.  During the morning they pushed over the crest into the Valley in G.35 & 36 and H.31 & 32 meeting with machine gun fire from the ridge to the North and some artillery fire.  Shortly after dawn Batteries of the Brigade moved forward to cover the advance of 29th Battalion.  33rd Battery moved to M.23.central and later in the day moved again to M.16.b.85.15.  36th Battery moved forward to M.16.b.50.10, 31st Battery moved forward to M.18.b.6.6. close to PONT RADE where they were subjected to considerable harassing fire.  45th Battery took up a position at M.18.d.1.7.  Brigade H.Q. moved to M.16.c.95.95 in HEMLENGLET.  By 1030 hours telephone communication was established with Division, with all Batteries and with Lieut. Devine L.O. with 29th Battalion at their H.Q. in WASNES-AU-BAC.  Lieut. Knight at Forward O.P. was connected with Brigade and he and Lieut Devine sent back much useful information.  At 1500 hours the Brigade fired a barrage of 18 minutes duration to support further advance of the 29th Battalion toward BOUCHAIN-AUBERCHICOURT Road.  The Infantry met with heavy Machine Gun fire and a good deal of shell fire and did not succeed in taking all the high ground South West of the Road.  During the day the enemy paid much attention to Roads and probable Battery positions and the 31st Battery had 6 horses killed and 2 men wounded.  Brigade H.Q. also suffered the loss of Driver McCoy who died on the way to the dressing station.  The Batteries fired some harassing fire during the night but it was stopped in the early morning as Infantry patrols reported that they were meeting with no opposition and would endeavour to push forward.  Orders were received that Brigade would come out of action at 1200 hours 19th October and would later take over from 51st Divisional Artillery covering the LIEU ST AMAND Front, but Brigade was not to move until word was received that the Front was covered by the 5th C.D.A.  Lieut. Col Coghlan left the Brigade for Canadian Corps Artillery School at 0800 and Major Cosgrave took over Command of the Brigade.

 

19.10.18                      Our Infantry, and Divisions on Right and Left worked forward during the day meeting with no opposition and owing to the changed situation, and the possibility of 51st Division being pinched out, and the Brigade moving North in stead of taking over from the 51st Division, the Brigade remained in the HEMLENGLET Area out of action.  By 2130 news came that the Infantry had passed through DENAIN.

 

  • Orders were received in the evening that the Brigade would move on the following day to WANDIGNIES-HAMAGE (Sheet 44, T.11.a).  Brigade with would then move East and take over the front from the 1st Brigade C.F.A. and would come under direct orders of 7thI.B. who were relieving 1st C.I.B.

WANDIGNIES-HAMAGE

  • Brigade moved in the morning ahead of the Column passing the start point, the bridge over CANAL DE LA SENSEE, South of WASNES AU BAC at 0800 and marched via MARQUETTE and SOMAIN to WANDIGNIES HAMAGE, which was reached at 1500 hours.  Here Brigade was received with Open arms by civilians who could not do enough for Canadians.  The C.O. reported to G.O.C. 7thI.B. and arrangements were made for two Forward Batteries, the 31st and 45th to work directly with the 42nd.  And R.C.R.s Battalions respectively in the further advance through FORET DE VICOIGNE and the FORET DE RAISMES.  Lieut. Knight from the 31st Battery and Lieut. Doiron 45th Battery reported as L.O.s to 42nd Battalion and R.C.R.S Battalion at CATAINE.

Shortly before midnight the 31st Battery moved forwards to a position of assembly in the vicinity of CATAINE.  Shortly before midnight the 31st Battery moved forward to a position of assembly in the vicinity of CATAINE.

 

WANDIGNIES-HAMAGE

  • At 0230 the 45th Battery moved forward to a position of assembly at CATAINE and later moved on with the R.C.R.s and came into action at O.36.b.00.10. (Sheet 44) at 0530.  The 31st Battery moved with the 42nd Battalion at 0730 and took up a position of readiness in O.36.a.  Brigade H.Q. moved to 7thI.B. Hqrs at HASNON arriving at 0700.  Forward Sections under Lieuts. Gall and Devine from the 31st and 45th Batteries accompanied the support Companies of the Battalions throughout the day.  Great difficulty was experienced in finding passible roads Eastwards on account of mines blown by the enemy on almost every cross road.  Finally a good route of approach was located through O.36.c., V.I.a, P.31.d, P.32.c.  The main 31st Battery moved forward at 1000 to a position of readiness in P.27.c.  The 45th Battery moved at 1030 to a position of readiness in P.32.c. and was in touch by phone with R.C.R. H.Q. at P.32.d.50.80. and Brigade Report Centre at the same place.  Forward Sections from these Batteries took up positions at this time along the ST AMAND-RAISMES Road.  The 33rd and 36th Batteries leaving WANDIGNIES at 0730 and followed to CATAINE with the two support Battalions and at 1400 they moved up to a position of readiness near LES CORBETS.  Our Infantry met with very slight resistance in the Woods, and the R.C.R. on the Right made very rapid progress.  The 42nd Battalion, however, on their Left were held up at intervals, as the 8th.Imperial Division on the Left was having a good deal of difficulty in their advance.  By the late afternoon the R.C.R. had advanced from 9 to 10,000 yards and were emerging at the Eastern side of the FORET DE RAISMES and at 1700 Batteries moved forward to cover the front.  The 33rd and 36th Batteries to P.36.d., the 45th to P.34.c. with a forward Section at P.30.c. and the 31st Battery to P.20.b.80.20.  At dusk Brigade H.Q. moved to P.27.a.90.40 close to 7th C.I.B. H.Q. which moved at the same time to P.27.a.6.8.

 

NOTRE DAME D’AMOUR

 

23.10.18                     The 33rd and 36th Batteries took over the woods with R.C.R. and 42nd Battalions respectively the remaining two Batteries standing fast in their positions.  36th Battery moved to Q.20.d.10.30. with a forward section at Q.14.c.30.20.  The 33rd Battery Forward section took up a position at Q.21.d.20.00, both forward sections were located near the H.Q. of the Battalions which they were supporting.   Both forward sections did a small amount of firing on targets of opportunity and targets given them by the Infantry.  At 1700 hours the 45th Battery moved forward to P.30.b.40.40. and the 31st Battery to Q.20.c.50.40.

 

NOTRE DAME D’AMOUR

24.10.18             By 0800 the main 33rd Battery had moved to P.36.d.50.00. and the 45th Battery had moved a Section Forward to Q.20.b.60.10.  Late in the afternoon the 33rd Forward section under Lieut. McGillivray moved forward to Q.23.d.5.3.  36th Forward Section under Lieut. Longworth moved forward to Q.14.c.60.30.  All forward sections engaged many targets of opportunity throughout the day and did harassing fire during the night, and Brigade Report Centre was established at Foresters House Q.14.c and was in communication with all Batteries.  The C.R.A. and the Brigade Major visited the Battery positions.

 

25.10.18                      Our Infantry had succeeded in establishing an Outpost Line along the Railway in Q.9., Q.4.11, 12 & 13 and held the villages of FRESNES and ESCAUTPONT with the enemy holding the Canal Line in considerable strength.  The low lying ground in the vicinity of the Canal up to the 20 metre contour was under water due to the dams places across the canal at various points by the enemy and gave him a very strong position as all bridges were destroyed.  45th. Battery forward section in charge of Lieut. Doiron moved in the early morning to Q.23.d. close to R.C.R.s H.Q. and established an O.P. in the outpost line in FRESNES and engaged many targets of opportunity and M.G. Posts during the day.  Lieut. R. Fleet left to take up position of Adjutant at Canadian Corps Artillery School at HABARCQ under Lieut-Col Coghlan.

NOTRE DAME D’AMOUR

26.10.18                      The Brigade S.O.S. Line was laid along LESCAUT FLEUVE and LA HAISNE from R.26.d.60.10. to Q.6.c.60.40. a distance of 6000 yards divided equally between the Batteries.

Readjustments of the Batteries were made as follows – 31st Battery remained at Q.27.c.70.60.  The 33rd main Battery moved to P/30.b.40.40 with a forward section at Q.17.d.80.20.  The 45th main Battery moved to Q.26.b.50.80. with a forward section at Q.23.d.55.40.  The 36th main Battery to Q.14.c.70.30. with a forward section at Q.9.b.30.05.  This kept the Batteries well spread out and distributed in depth, as forward sections would do all the firing except in case of operations or S.O.S.  O.P.s were established at R.19.b.90.50, and R.13.a.05.25 from which good observation was obtained of the front to the North East and East. Battery wagon lines were along the RAISMES – ST AMAND Road but forward sections had their horses well up towards the East of Forest.  The 3rd Section of the 3rd C.D.A.C. which was attached to the Brigade was at P.31.c.70.20. and all ammunition for the Brigade was drawn from it.  The forward sections did considerable firing on enemy movement and M.G. Posts, but enemy Artillery was not very active.

 

NOTRE DAME D’AMOUR

27.10.18                      Fairly quiet day with a little firing done by forward sections.  The 8th C.I.B. relieved the 7th C.I.B. during the afternoon and night; the 2nd C.M.R.s. taking over from the R.C.R. on the Right and the 1st C.M.R.s from the 42nd Battalion on the Left.  Roads and approaches to the Canal were reconnoitred by Battery Officers in case of a further advance on this front.

ETOILE DE CERNAY

28.10.18                      8th C.I.B. extended to the South and took over part of the front held by 9th C.I.B.  9th Artillery Brigade area was also extended South to the Grid Line between Q & W and our S.O.S. Line at 1800 hours now ran from R.31.c.50.00. along L’ESCAUT FLEUVE to Q.5.d.50.95.  All the ground for a considerable distance on both sides of the Canal being flooded except R.14.b & d, where the enemy still had a number of posts.

 

29.10.18                      At 1200 hours, Brigade reverted to control of C.R.A. and 3rd Section of 3rd C.D.A.C. reverted to control of 3rd C.D.A.C.  Enemy artillery was fairly active on forward areas and our forward sections engaged enemy Trench Mortars and M.G. Posts and working parties.  The C.R.A. visited the Brigade H.Q. and Batteries.

 

30.10.18          The C.O. visited Battery wagon lines during the morning.  At 1400 hours Brigade H.Q. moved to ETOILE DE CERNAY (Q.31.b.90.60.) in order to be closer to the Batteries.  Enemy artillery fairly active with harassing fire on forward areas and roads near Batteries.  Our forward sections engaged movement and did harassing fire.

 

31.10.18                      The enemy appeared nervous and did a good deal of harassing fire during the day on approaches and during the night on possible concentration areas.  Our forward sections engaged M.G. Posts and Trench Mortars which were more active than usual.  The enemy had apparently learned of our proposed attack South of VALENCIENNES and feared that an attack was also to be made on our front.  At 2200 hours he put in a burst of fire on the 45th Battery and Capt. D.N. McCallum was wounded in the arm and leg.  Shortly after report centre at Q.20.d.25.35. was hit, but only one horse was killed and two wounded.

 

 

Major.

A/O.C. 9th Canadian Artillery Brigade

Timetable November 1918

Timetable November 1918

Hundred Days Offensive

1st to 2nd Nov                    Battle of Valenciennes

4th Nov                                Battle of Sambre

4th Nov                                Second Battle of Guise

…………..

1st Nov                              Battle of Chesne

1st to 6th Nov                     Final pursuit and capture of Sedan

6th to 11th Nov                  Advance to the Meuse

—————————

Other Theatres

3rd Nov                                Austro-Hungary signed armistice with Italy

……………

4th Nov                                Poet Wilfred Owen killed in action

……………

9th Nov                                Germany’s Kaiser Wilhelm II abdicate

10th to 11th Nov                   BEF advance into Mons

11th Nov                              Germany signs the Armistice of Compiègne

11th Nov                              End of fighting and the guns go silent at 11.00 am

—————————

Letter to Frank Springett 25 October 1918

Tabors Cottages

Horsmonden

Kent

England

Oct 25th 1918

 

My Dear Son Frank,

It was with great thankfulness we received your letter.  We were delighted & we will dispatch you a parcel as soon as we are permitted to do so.  We are so pleased to know you are in a good camp & that your health is A1.

I am pleased to tell you we are all very well in health & Sid & Ted & myself have plenty in hand, I have started a new job not far from the old job & I am seeing a great deal of the War in all its realities.  We trust it will soon be over.

I have written to Winchester & to the Red Cross London & believe me Frank we are doing everything for you that we can.

I have tried hard for months & the various replies will be interesting reading to you when it is all over & you are home again.

I suppose you have my photo & Ted’s.  Well your Mother & the Girls will send you some on.

Your Sisters are getting big Girls now & Winnie & Little Jim are a couple I tell you.  It would do you good to hear them sing.  The capers they cart me is something to reckon with.

Miss Walters got your card first & you may look for a good parcel from us independent of the Red Cross.  I shall send money to them to send you a few things you want & I trust you will receive them safely.

I have received a letter from Charlie Smith’s mother & she had a letter from him in Bavaria.  He was wounded in the neck & he wrote home & sent our address; I have written to him & will send him something if I can.

The weather is getting cold & wet, which of course is common about this time of year.  I might tell you I had 7 letters come back from France, parcels as well.  Well my Boy I must now close.  I will write after & send you what I can.  I have an idea what would be useful to you & you shall have it.  Or it will be no fault of mine if you do not receive it.  We shall be looking forward for the day when you come home.  Dad will kill the fatted calf.  So with love & best wishes for you I will conclude this letter trusting the day will not be far distant when we shall be united again.

There are signs that peace & goodwill on earth will soon be an accomplished fact again.  May it be soon.

Your letter arrived on Sat Oct 19th.

From Your Loving & Aff Father

  1. J. Springett

 

 

Cover to Kriegsgefangenensendung,

British Prisoner of War 1006

No 205166 Rifleman Frank W. Springett,

16th K.R.R. Camp *

Friedrichsfeld near Wesel.

Germany

Postmarked 25 OC 18. Rest of stamp unreadable

OPENED BY CENSOR P.W. 963

Alf Smith Postkarte received 18 October 1918

 

POSTKARTE

Kriegsgefangenensendung

Senders address

Name Smith Christian name Alfred

Rank Private Camp No. E.K. 6

Regiment 53rd M.G.C.  Regtl No 27521

Camp of Friedrichsfeld near Wesel.

Postmarked FRIEDRICHSFELD bei WESEL.  17.9.18 and London Oct 16. 18.

 

Mr. T. Smith, 100 Arcadian Gardens, Wood Green. London North England.

Sept 2nd 18                              Friedrichsfeld My Dear Father,

I am delighted to tell you that I have just received Jessies welcome letter. It was a great pleasure to know you are all well & that you got my letter before you went away I hope you all had a good time & benefited by the change.  I had already written a card to you but your letter arrived just in time I will answer it next time as I have written to Albert in answer to one received from him I have had three letters now but you can see they take a long time to get through.  Love to all Alf.

 

Letter to Miss Dillon 16 October 1918

 

British Embassy

 

Rome

 

16th Oct 1918

 

 

 

My dearest Lillie,

 

I wish you a very happy birthday and many happy returns.  I am sorry it is impossible to send anything in the shape of a gift by post from here, but, like Bertha, I will give you a photograph when I return to London.  I have also one for Anna.  They arrived a short time ago as I think I told you.  They are very good, and what’s more, they never sent the bill!

 

I noticed you had made that cheque payable to me, so I cashed it to-day.  Very many thanks.  I hope to be able to return it in a few days when I get my allowances from the 21st May onwards!  I was glad to get Anna’s letter of the 9th Oct yesterday.

 

I am glad she is satisfied with her new car.

 

I started out to call on Countess Salazar today, but it was raining so heavily that I had to turn back.  I have discovered the address of a Countess Salazar so I hope it is the right one.  I shall sally forth again to-morrow.  We are having really wintry weather now. 

 

Don’t you find night duty very trying?  I hope you will not overwork.

 

I think the war will be over in about six months.

 

Have you seen anything of Miss Cobb since!  Her friends here have been very kind to me.

 

With best love to you and Anna and best wishes for the 27th

 

from Willie

 

 

 

with cover addressed to Miss de C. Dillon, M.T. ASC No I Reserve Depot, Grove Park, Lee, London S.E. 12 with ARMY POST OFFICE ?? 17 OC 18 postmark Passed by Censor *93 cachet signed W.Dillon