Army Form C. 2118.
||Summary of Events and Information
||REFERENCE MAPS :- 36c. S.W.I 36b. 1/40,000
||Disposition of the 2nd Canadian Divisional M.G. Battalion is in accordance
with 2nd Canadian Divisional M.G. Battalion Defence Scheme Lens Section.
D.M.G.C. Major J.G. WEIR M.C. and office at Divisional Headquarters, CHATEAU
DE LA HAIE W.12.c.70.80. [See
4th Cdn. M.G. Company in the LENS SECTION, Support area with Major
W.M. PEARCE in command.
14th Cdn. M.G. Company in the LENS SECTION, Front Line system with
Lt. L.F. WHITE in Command.
5th Cdn. M.G. Company in reserve at CARENCY X.22.b.80.20.
6th Cdn. M.G. Company in reserve at CARENCY X.16.c.60.40.
4th Cdn. M.G. Company Rear Headquarters at CARENCY X.17.c.20.50.
14th Cdn. M.G. Company Rear Headquarters at CARENCY X.16.c.60.50.
Indirect fire was carried out by the 14th Cdn. M.G. Company, during
the hours of darkness on:-
N.20.b.50.30. to N.20.b.85.55.
N.20.c.95.75. to N.20.d.05.82.
N.20.b.50.90. to N.20.b.99.90.
20,000 Rounds in all were fired. Enemy shelled in proximity of guns
on HILL 65, without causing casualties.
||Enemy Artillery appeared to register at 3.15 p.m. on wire in front
of gun positions M.17.b. Intermittant shelling in proximity of gun positions
FOSSE 3, and HILL 65. All M.Gs. fired at 5.26. p.m. on S.O.S. Lines; slow
rate of fire, owing to stiff bombardment by enemy of Front Line system
with T.Ms and Artillery. 6,000 rounds fired but no S.O.S. observed. Indirect
fire carried out throughout hours of darkness, on following targets:-
N.15.c.30.32. to N.15.c.50.31.
20,000 rounds in all were fired.
||The following Targets were fired on throughout hours of darkness:-
CROSS ROADS N.21.a.75.55.
ROAD N.15.c.30.32. to N.15.c.50.31.
RAILWAY N.20.c.25.20. to N.20.d.70.90.
Situation:- Enemy abnormally quiet.
||4 : 5.50 am
||Enemy put heavy barrage on Division Front of T.Ms. and Artillery. He
attacked left Company of Left Battalion at 6.00 a.m. All M.Gs. opened fire
at 6.00 a.m. on S.O.S. lines firing 53,500 rounds. [See Append. Map 1]
Enemy entered our trenches using liquid fire to assist his advance. Infantry
counter-attacked immediately driving enemy out and leaving one prisoner
wounded in our hands. Numerous casualties were inflicted as enemy were
seen carrying many wounded and killed with him as he retired. Line re-established.
Two M.Gs. were hit by enemy barrage and put out of action.
The 5th C.M.G. Company (Lieut MUCH F.L.) relieved the 4th C.M.G. Company
(Capt. A/Major W.M. PEARCE) in Support area LIEVIN.
The 4th C.M.G. Company relieved the 14th C.M.G. Company (Lieut. L.F.
WHITE) in the Front Line system (see O.O.
No 76 attached) [Append. 2].
The enemy shelled positions J.1(a), J.2(a), J.1(b), very heavily shelled
during raid; Company Headquarters M.23.a.45.90. was made target for number
of gas shells, necessitating the wearing of S.B.Rs for 1½ hours.
||Indirect fire carried on throughout hours of darkness on Targets:-
CROSS ROADS N.15.c.18.86.
6,000 rounds were fired in all. Night was quiet one shell landing in
house which J.6, and J.7, have dug-out and emplacement, without damage.
At 3.p.m. one F.A. patrolled N.13.d. out of range of our A.A. M.Gs.
||6 : 2.15 am
||Enemy trenches were raided at 2.15 a.m. One prisoner was captured.
M.Gs. covered all enemy communications to rear, during and after raid.
The following targets were fired upon Throughout hours of darkness 22,750
rounds in all were fired on Targets [See
Appendix Map 1]:-
CROSS ROAD N.20.b.45.90. ROAD N.14.d.15.06.
ROAD N.20.b.00.85. CROSS RD. N.14.b.48.48.
ROAD JUNCT. N.14.d.92.65. RAILWAY N.21.c.40.62.
GREEN CRASSIER N.20.c.90.10. TRACK N.20.b.20.52.
TRACKS N.20.c.81.50. ROAD N.21.a.10.92.
CROSS ROADS N.20.b.50.36. CROSS RD. N.21.a.78.52.
GREEN CRASSIER N.20.c.86.26.
The 5th Company in Support supplied two guns to the 4th Company in
Front Line system to assist in covering fire, for raid.
The G.O.C., 4th Canadian Infantry Brigade wired the D.M.G.C., as follows:-
"G.O.C. 4th Brigade wishes to express his appreciation of most excellent
M.G. support on occasion of enemy raids of 4th inst, and raid by 21st Battalion,
Strength of Companies as at present:-
4th Canadian M.G. Company 10 Officers 181
5th Canadian M.G. Company 11 Officers 171
6th Canadian M.G. Company 10 Officers 179
14th Canadian M.G. Company 11 Officers 186
O.Rs. - including Battalion Paymaster (Attached).
4th Canadian M.G. Company 2 Officers 6 O.Rs.
5th Canadian M.G. Company 1 Officer 6 O.Rs.
6th Canadian M.G. Company 5 O.Rs.
14th Canadian M.G. Company 1 Officer 18 O.Rs.
4th Canadian M.G. Company 1 Officer 8 O.Rs.
5th Canadian M.G. Company 1 Officer 9 O.Rs.
6th Canadian M.G. Company 1 Officer 9 O.Rs.
14th Canadian M.G. Company 8 O.Rs.
||17,500 Rounds Indirect fire carried out throughout hours
of darkness on Targets as follows:-
N.20.b.25.60. N.14.d.45.95. to N.15.a.10.95.
|| :5.45 am
||250 Rounds fired on Enemy Aircraft. Enemy Artillery:- TEDDY, COTTON,
and PARIS guns were shelled during darkness with shrapnel. The enemy concentrated
on M.13.c.60.90. with mustard gas about 1,00 shells being fired.
||18,000 rounds Harassing fire were expended as follows:-
N.20.d.50.50. to N.20.d.75.40.
N.20.d.00.15. to N.20.b.45.90.
N.20.b.65.90. to N.21.a.15.95.
COTTON gun shelled with concentration of gas shells, causing one casualty.
Gas remained for over one hour in vicinity. M.18.c.80.60. also gas shelled.
||17,000 rounds Harassing fire during hours of darkness on:-
N.15.c.15.85. N.20.b.20.55. N.15.d.00.10.
Honours & Awards.
Major C.V.GRANTHAM 6th Canadian M.G. Company.
Lieut. G. HOBSON M.M. 5th Canadian M.G. Company.
(Auth. LONDON GAZETTE No. 30507 dated 1/2/18).
Lieut. W.E. MILLSAP taken on strength of 5th Canadian M.G. Company
Lieut. W.E. MILLSAP struck off strength of 4th Canadian M.G.
The G.O.C. made an unannounced inspection of all horses, limbers, stables,
and mens billets at CARENCY. The 5th Canadian M.G. Company were complimented
on the condition of their horses, harness, and limbers.
||10 : Noon
|Enemy plane flew over Left Section Headquarters dropping
three bombs within 60 yards of H.Q., from 3500 - 4500 ft. Two E.A. flew
over M.30.b. at 2500 ft at NOON, at which 250 rounds were fired. Another
E.A. at 1.25 p.m. flew over M.19.b. and was also engaged.
17,000 Rounds were fired indirect throughout hours of darkness on:-
N.21.a.97.28. N.14.b.30.20. N.20.a.70.90. -
N.15.d.00.10. N.20.b.65.90. N.14.a.80.50. -
N.20.b.50.35. N.21.a.15.95. N.14.a.00.15. -
Enemy shelling below normal, but considerable gas shells near following
gun positions POLAR, No. 13, ABSOLOM. 1 O.R. 5th Cdn. M.G. Company wounded
slightly. Major BASEVI assumed Command of the 14th Canadian M.G. Company
on his return from 30 days leave to England.
||The 4th C.M.G. Company was relieved by the 16th Company
(4th Cdn. M.G. Battalion). [O.O. 77 App
3] Relief complete 10.30 p.m. The 5th Company was relieved by the 11th
C.M.G. Company, relief being completed at 8.30 p.m. The 4th Company entrained
on Light Railway at M.22.c.2.2. JARDINE SPUR and proceeded to MARQUEFFLES
FARM, Ref. Map 36b, where they were billeted in Nissen Huts. The 5th Canadian
M.G. Company marched to same camp. Prior to relief intimation was received
that the enemy was carrying out relief at same time. All guns were laid
all means of approach, roads, tracks etc., and from dusk until relieved
fired 9,000 rounds.
||The 12th C.M.G. Company relived the 6th C.M.G. Company and
10th Company relieved the 14th C.M.G. Company at CARENCY. On relief the
6th & 14th Companies marched to MARQUEFFLES FARM with full Transport.
(see O.O. 77). Remainder of day was
spent in settling down and cleaning personnel, equipment, guns, Limbers
||Companies spent day in scrubbing equipment, cleaning etc.
D.M.G.C. attended demonstration of tanks co-operating with Infantry Battalions
||Battalion paraded at 9.00 a.m. Weather changed to wet and
cloudy. 210 men attached from C.C.R.C. training in mechanism and gun drill.
Remainder cleaning equipment etc.
||Weather warm and sunny. Parades were few hours squad drill,
gas and P.T. Drill, remainder cleaning up. 19th Battalion Concert Party
gave a concert in Recreation Hut. All ranks attended. 4th Brigade V.O.
lectured to all Transport Officers and Transport Drivers in Recreation
Hut on diseases of horses.
||Staff ride in connection with Tactical Scheme was carried
out. General idea was that Germans had attacked and broken through to a
line running LIEVIN-CALONNE- BULLY GRENAY-LES BREBIS-SAILLY. [See
Appendix Map 2] Scheme was to deliver a general counter-attack from
approximate line ANGRES-AIX NOULETTE -HERSIN. Defensive positions were
to be organised and prepared and occupied from BOISEN HACHE to AIX NOULETTE,
Division on right and left making similar dispositions. D.M.G.C. (Major
Weir) and Os.C. Companies (4th Company Major Pearce),(5th Company Lieut
Much), (6th Company Major Grantham), and (14th Company Major Basevi), all
made personal reconnaissances of ground, and the poisitions as shown on
Tracing attached and in O.O. -- were decided on.
||Church Parade held at 10.30 a.m. D.M.G.C. inspected all
mens billets, also 4th & 6th M.G. Companies Horses, harness, and Transport
||Companies carried out Training as per Schedule. D.M.G.C.
and all Os.C. Companies watched a tank demonstration in conjunction with
Infantry. Colonel Brutinel D.S.O., C.M.G.O. inspected quarters and billets
of Battalion also Transport of 6th C.M.G. Company. D.M.G.C. inspected Transport
and Harness of 14th Company.
||Companies carried out Training as per Schedule. This was
somewhat curtailed owing to inclemency of the weather which is wet and
rainy. Lieuts. H.S. Salisbury and C.V. Williams reported this date and
were posted to 14th and 6th Companies respectively.
||Training carried out as per schedule. Construction of new
billets for men proceeded 32 bunks being fitted in. Miners houses in FOSSE
DE MARQUEFFLES, with oiled linen for windows, benches and tables make warm,
||Training was carried out as per schedule. Colonel Brutinel
D.S.O., C.M.G.O. called at Headquarters and advised D.M.G.C. with regard
to the re-organization of new M.G. Battalion. [See
Appendix 4] Pending receipt of definite authority the following provisional
arrangement was made. The 4th & 6th C.M.G. Companies were amalgamated
to form No. 2 Company of E.F.G. and H. Batteries, each of eight guns. The
5th and 14th Companies were amalgamated to form No. 1 Company of A.B.C.
and D. Batteries. Complete Nominal Roll of all personnel etc., is attached.
Authority was received for Major J.G. Weir to wear the badges of Lieut-Colonel
pending approval and publication of promotion to that rank. (Auth. Cdn.
Corps. M.S.5-4-37 dated 18-3-18).
||At 12 midnight a wire was received from Divisional Headquarters that
M.G. Battalion is to relieve the 56th Division M.G. Companies in line night
of 23rd/24th insts.
||Company Commanders and D.M.G.C. (Lieut-Col. Weir), left
by bus at 8.00 a.m. and proceeded to Headquarters 56th Division to make
thorough reconnaissance of the line. [See
Appendix 5] Officers reconnoitring Major Basevi, Capt McCorkell, Major
Pearce, and Major Grantham M.C. Lieut C.W. Travis posted to the 5th C.M.G.
Company reported for duty this date.
||Two Officers from each of the 4th, 5th and 14th Companies
sent reconnoitring to 56th Division Front. Orders received by 'phone to
be all packed up and ready to move at short notice. Arrangements made to
store surplus kits in huts, with guard of three men and one N.C.O. with
three days rations, left behind to look after them.
|| :2.40 pm
||Orders received by telephone at 2.40 p.m. to proceed to VILLERS-AU-BOIS
to embus there. All Companies moved at 5.00 p.m. At last moment wire was
received to carry two blankets per man. One blanket per man had already
been stored. Slight confusion was caused but by obtaining two lorries Companies
were able to move with full complement S.A.A., and were only obliged to
store small amount of baggage. Trip was made by Battalion fairly easily
but it was rendered slow by great amount of traffic on roads etc. All Battalions
and Headquarters were billeted in SUBURBAN CAMP, VILLERS-AU-BOIS (Reference
Map 36b S.E.4). W.30.b.90.50. Following wire received at 10.10 p.m. from
2nd Canadian Division "4th Canadian Infantry Brigade and 2nd Cdn.M.G.Bn.
will be prepared to move by lorry on 24th at 7.00 a.m. as follows:- 2 Battalions
ECURIE in Springvale Camp A.22.c. Ecurie Wood Camp A.26.b. and 2 Battalions
NEUVILLE ST. VAAST. 2nd Cdn.M.G.Bn. FLANDERS CAMP A.27.b. ECURIE, 4th Brigade
Headquarters ROCLINCOURT A.29.a. Definite orders will be issued later".
[See Appendix 6]
Move Order W.28/2 issued to all Companies as follows:-
(1). In accordance with verbal instructions received from 2nd Canadian
Division the 2nd Cdn.M.G.Bn. will move by lorry tomorrow 24th inst, by
8.45 a.m. to Springvale Camp ECURIE, A.22.c. (Ref. Map Maroeuil).
(2). Reveille 5.30 a.m. Breakfast 5.45 a.m.
(3). Men will carry their packs and one blanket.
(4). Extra blanket to be packed in bundle of tens by 7.30 a.m. and
at Road ready to be packed in lorry. 1 N.C.O. and loading party of 4 men
to be detailed by each Company.
(5). Transport to move by march and to start at 7.20 a.m.
(6). Advance party 1 Signaller from each Company under Lieut Much 5th
Canadian M.G.Coy. This party to move off at 6.30 a.m.
||Transports moved off all carrying full echelons of S.A.A.
and all stores at 7.00 a.m. 31 Busses carried all personnel and blankets
leaving VILLERS-AU-BOIS at 9.00 a.m. Transport and personnel all arrived
at Springvale Camp (Ref. Map MAROEUIL) A.22.c.50.50. by 10.00 a.m. One
mounted orderly reported as connecting file between D.A.C. and M.G.Bn.
1 Signaller on bicycle was used by each Company as connecting file between
Companies and A.S.C. Ration Dump. The Adjutant reported personally to Headquarters
4th Cdn.Inf. Brigade who had no orders. The D.M.G.C. reported to 2nd Canadian
Division and was informed that the German attack was well in hand. Battalion
was sent on one hours route march between 5 p.m. and 6 p.m. An Officer
from D.A.C. reported to find out Battalion requirements for S.A.A. etc.
Full echelon being carried no ammunition was required by the unit.
||Lieut-Col. WEIR, Lieuts McBurney, Salisbury, Capt. Millican,
& Capt. McCamus met G.S.O.1 and reconnoitred G.H.Q. Line in vicinity.
4 Officers 16 N.C.O's and 120 men on fatigue digging new M.G. Positions
in G.H.Q. Line. Lieuts. R. Edmond and H.J. Bush reported to the Battalion
today and were attached to the 6th & 14th Cdn.M.G. Companies respectively.
Lieut A/major Grantham left today to take over his duties as 2nd in Command
of the 1st Canadian M.G. Battalion.
The following wire was received from Division "Infantry attached to
you from 2nd Canadian Divisional Wing C.C.R.C. may be taken into line if
desired" This referred to men who have been attached for absorbtion in
the new establishment and are now partially trained.
Telephone message received from G.S.O.1 that according to information
from Boche prisoner Germans have brought up two Divisions who are going
to make an attack on this front. The following order was issued immediately.
"Os.C. 5th & 6th Cdn. M.G. Companies (Capt. McCorkell & Capt.
Millican), ordered to reconnoitre ground on top of Ridge in vicinity of
Commandants House Ref: Map MAROEUIL) and find locations suitable to bring
direct fire to bear on RED LINE. Following Officers started off immediately
Lieuts Hobson, McBurney, MacLaren 5th Cdn. M.G. Company. Lieuts Stonehewer,
Frost, and C.V. Williams 6th Cdn. M.G. Company.
The following orders were
issued at 7.35 p.m.
(1). Parades 26th inst. are cancelled.
(2). The 5th & 6th Companies will reconnoitre direct fire Battery
positions in the neighbourhood of COMMANDANTS HOUSE with a view to covering
RED LINE Trench if necessary.
(3). As per previous Orders the 4th & 14th Companies will reconnoitre
positions between JUNCTION REDOUBT and RIDGE POST.
(4). Each Company will put in a picquet of 6 men, and Companies will
"Stand To" in case of a bombardment during the night.
(5). Transports will put on double picquet and will "Stand To" and
harness their horses immediately in case of bombardment.
(6). Signalling Officer to have one Signaller on Exchange and one in
||The following wire was received at midnight from Division
"Counter preparation by Canadian Corps Artillery will commence 4.00 p.m.
26th inst., from ACHEVILLE to Southern Boundary and on HILL 70 Section.
Barrage 4.00 a.m., bursts of fire till 5.30 a.m. when barrage will be repeated".
||Night windy and cold but no rain. Reveille 4.00 a.m. and
all was packed in limbers and Bn. Ready by 5.00 a.m. within one hour of
notice being received. At 9.00 a.m. following wire received from Division
"Resume normal conditions".
All leave has been cancelled and men on courses have been returned
to their units. This relieves a number of junior N.C.O's from responsibility
that in a serious battle might have been difficult for them to assume,
as a number of the best Sergeants were away at a special course for prospective
W.O's. Verbal message received at 4.00 p.m. to be ready to move South immediately.
Following message received from 2nd Canadian Division at 8.45 p.m.:-
"Division will move tonight to BASSEAU Area. Groups will be formed
as follows. 4th Cdn. Inf. Brigade, 4th Field Ambulance, 4th Field Company
C.E. at Artillery Corner L.5.d.9.2. 2nd C.M.G. Battalion and 2nd Canadian
Pioneers Bn. and No. 1 Company Divisional Train. 5th Cdn. Inf. Brigade,
5th Field Ambulance, 5th Field Company C.E. and No. 3 Company. 2nd Divisional
Artillery complete with 2nd Divisional Ammunition Column and 2nd C.D. Trench
Mortars. 2nd Canadian Division Engineers will move with 2nd Canadian Division
Headquarters. C.C.R.C. will not move. All units in group will come under
Command of Brigadier for purposes of move. Routes and destinations as follows:-
4th C.I.B. to BAILLEULVAL route ECURIE ANZIN ST. VAAST thence along ARRAS
DOULLENS Road to BEAUMETZ-BASSEUX. 5th Cdn. Inf. Group to BIEN-VILLERS-AU-BOIS.
Route MAROEUIL-WADONLIEU-DAINVILLE then ARRAS DOULLENS Road to BEAUMETZ-
Another wire was received from Division as follows "The 4th C.I.B.
at NEUVILLE ST. VAAST 8.30 p.m. Brigade Group to clear railway crossing
S.E. of E. in DAINVILLE 2.00 a.m. Orders for advance party to be at BASSEAU
at 10.30 p.m. Lieut Sacks and 4 Signallers started at 9.00 p.m. (See O.O.
||The Battalion under command of the 4th Canadian Infantry
Brigade arrived at BERLES-AU-BOIS where they remained for 12 hours resting.
There was an abnormal amount of traffic on the road as the Battalion
arrived in the 3rd Army Area. Artillery units who had been heavily engaged
since the beginning of the German advance and were just recently relieved
were moving in a Northerly direction to enjoy a well earned rest. The men
appeared to be dead beat and were asleep riding horses, and what appeared
to be dangerous positions on the tops of well loaded limbers. At times
a household of French refugees who had vacated their homes at short notice
could be seen trudging wearily along the roadside towards the back areas.
Some families had been obliged to leave their entire possessions in the
hands of the invading enemy, others more fortunate had been able to save
part of their household effects, and it was not an uncommon sight to see
the inevitable goat walking along in the midst of the family.
The Battalion march the made the long march in full kit, and arrived
in good shape. The D.M.G.C. and Adjutant with Staff proceeded by lorry
to BAILLEUILVAL but being unable to find Battalion proceeded to BRASSEUX
and got in touch with Divisional Headquarters. At this place all surplus
stores reference files and Orderly Room data were packed in boxes and sent
to C.C.R.C. Camp.
The following message was received from Division "The situation demands
that the line of Third Army be maintained at all costs. There must be no
more withdrawals. If break occurs the line must be linked up again in the
general line of our present position with the aid of such troops as can
be made available and which are now beginning to arrive. Any local withdrawals
owing to enemy irruption will be in the general direction East to West
and NOT North West and must be temporary pending restoration of the line".
"The Division is now concentrated in the area BASSEAU-BAILLEULVAL-
BERLES-AU-BOIS-POMMIER-BIENVILLERS and is in the Third Army Reserve. It
is in the area of VI Corps but is under the X Corps for administration".
The line held last night ran from ALBERT-HAMEL-BEAUMONT HAMEL- BUCQUOY-MOYENVILLE-BOIRY-BECQUERELLE-HENIN-ST.
MARTIN thence about one mile west of MONCHY-LE-PREUX.
The Divisions holding the line immediately in front of us are (from
BUCQUOY Northwards) the 41st-31st-GUARDS and 3rd Divisions.
No definite orders have been received as to the employment of the Division
but it appears probable that it will relieve one of the Divisions now holding
the line. All Units must be prepared from now on however to meet the unexpected
situations such as moving up to deliver counter-attacks at short notice
or going forward to take up a defensive line in the event of the enemy
forcing a withdrawal at any point along the VI or IV Corps Front. While
the situation has now improved and fresh troops have arrived in the most
threatened fronts it must be borne in mind by all Commanders that conditions
approximating open warfare exist at times and no precautions will be neglected
to guard against surprise.
During all moves advance guards will be put out and mounted men or
cyclists pushed on well in front until further orders. Standing patrols
will be posted day and night on the line of the road SONASTRE.FONQUEVILLERS-HANNES
CAMPS-MONCHY-AU-BOIS RANSART-BRETENCOURT. These patrols should be composed
of mounted men or cyclists.
Boundaries are as follows:-
6th C.I.B. from SONASTRE (inc) to HANNESCAMP excl.
5th C.I.B. HANNESCAMP (inc) to RANSART exc.
4th C.I.B. RANSART to BRETENCOURT (inc)
Division will me informed when these patrols have been posted.
Officers are to carry revolvers at all times.
Orders that M.G. Battalion is transferred from 4th Canadian Inf. Brigade
to 5th Canadian Inf. Brigade.
The following message was received from Division "As result of enemy
attacks our line now runs S.E. of AYETTE to QUESNOY WOOD F.14.a. From this
point to East of BUCQUOY the situation is obscure but we apparently still
hold BUCQUOY. All units will stand by in billets ready to move.
NOTE: The 4th C.I.B. changed destination of M.G. Battalion whilst en
route, sending them to BERLES-AU-BOIS instead of BAILLEUILVAL. This was
reason D.M.G.C. was unable to get in touch as soon as he arrived, as he
received no intimation of the change, until he got in touch with Divisional
||28: 8.00 am
||Message received to "Stand Down" Heavy Artillery fire was
heard from S.E. Message from Division received 10 a.m. "It is reported
that enemy have repaired the bridges between CERISY and CHAPILLY and crossed
to the South Bank of the river. He is holding both these places and shelling
SAILLY-LAURETTES heavily. The enemy is being driven out of MORLENCOURT
by our Artillery. We are reported to have posts to the South of MORLENCOURT.
Our line runs along the west of ALBERT through the Brickworks in W.22.
From there North to the North of BUCQUOY. There is no change. Heavy attack
on BEAUMONT HAMEL was driven off by the N.Z. Division.
The 31st Division were heavily attached from the direction South of
MOYEN- HEVILLE and have been driven back to the West edge of AYETTE. Line
North of BUCQUOY is believed to run as follows West of ABLAINZEVILLE F.17.c.
North of AYETTE to X.30.d. thence in a N.E. direction to the old line near
MANGLINCOURT. There is no change in the line of HAMELINCOURT. Situation
reported quiet on 17th Corps front"
The following message was received from 5th Canadian Infantry Brigade
"Cancel our O.17/107 of this date. Corps front being attacked apparently
on a large scale. Stand by ready to move."
Later on in the day the following message was received "From information
received situation appears satisfactory. Units will stand down but remain
in billets in order to get on parade quickly if necessary" Order repeated
to all Companies.
The following Special Order is forwarded for issue down to Battalions
etc. Special Order By Lieut-General Sir Arthur W. Currie. K.C.B.,
K.C.M.G. [Appendix 8]
The Battalion are in BERLES-AU-BOIS which all civilians have been ordered
to evacuate. The men are in good billets and after 12 hours rest they are
all keen and in splendid trim for any fighting they may have to take part
Orders received from 2nd Canadian Division (G.S.21/276 that the 4th
and 5th Brigades are to relieve the Third (British) Division at once.
[See O.O. 31/79 App 9] They have
4th and 5th Canadian M.G. Companies placed at their disposal. Runners were
sent on bicycles to find out from respective Brigades exactly where they
were to go.
In accordance with 2nd Canadian Division A (b) 41-4-4- dated 28th Captain
J.E. MacCorkell was authorized to wear badges of rank of Major pending
confirmation of acting rank.
||29: 10 pm
||The 4th Canadian M.G. Company under Major Pearce and the 5th Canadian
M.G. Company under command of Lieut Hobson left BERLES-AU-BOIS at 10.00
p.m. for WAILLY and FICHEUX respectively where guides from respective Brigades
are to be met. [See Appendix 10]
They reached their positions and manned the PURPLE LINE. The 4th Company
made their Rear Headquarters at BRETHENCOURT - R.22.a.2.1. Ref: Map 51c
S.E 51b S.W
The following instructions were issued:-
The 4th Canadian M.G. Company will relieve 'C' Company 3rd Machine
Gun Battalion as follows:-
4 guns to relieve 4 guns 'C' Company No. 1 Section at M.23.b.7.7.
4 guns to relieve 4 guns 'C' Company No. 2 Section at M.18.d.7.7.
4 guns No. 1 Section will take up positions at approximately M.17.b.3.6.
(No guide will be supplied)
4 guns No. 4 Section will take up positions at approximately M.12.d.5.1.
Guide for No. 4 Section will be at PETIT CHATEAU at 9.00 p.m.
Guides for Sections going to C.1. and C.2. will be at PETIT CHATEAU.
S.A.A. to be taken tonight to positions to be occupied by No. 1 Section
and No. 4 Section. Relief complete and disposition state to be sent to
4th Brigade Headquarters.
The 5th Canadian M.G. Company will relieve 'B' Company of the 3rd Machine
'A' Section 5th Company to relieve 58A, 44B, and 45B, at approximately
'B' Section 5th Company will place four guns at M.30.b.1.4., relieving
2 guns (60A, 61A).
'C' Section 5th Cdn. M.G. Company will place 4 guns at approx. M.28.c.3.0.
'D' Section 5th Cdn. M.G. Company will relieve 4 guns at M.23.c.0.3.
2 Guides for limbers to be at Cross Roads in FICHEUX R.36.central at
9.00 p.m. They will guide crews and limbers to Company Headquarters at
M.27.a.5.5. and additional guides will take crews in from there. Relief
complete and Disposition to be reported to the 5th Canadian Infantry Brigade
H.Q. and through them by D.R.L.S. to the D.M.G.C.
||The Disposition of the M.G. Battalion is as follows:-
4th Canadian M.G. Company Headquarters - Adv - M.21.a.5.3.
do Rear & Trans. R.22.a.2.1.
4 guns at M.35.b.80.65.
4 guns at M.18.d.65.65.
2 guns at N.17.c.1.4.
4 guns at M.17.b.4.7.
2 guns at M.12.d.5.1.
5th Canadian M.G. Company Advanced Headquarters R.35.d.4.2.
Rear & Trans. do R.22.a.2.1.
4 guns at M.35.d.50.60.
4 guns at M.30.b.10.40.
4 guns at M.23.c.1.2.
4 guns at M.28.c.30.00.
6th Canadian M.G. Company Advanced Headquarters M.19.d20.90.
Rear & Trans. Do BERLES-AU-BOIS
4 guns M.25.d.00.40.
2 guns M.20. central
2 guns M.21.a.00.70.
4 guns M.16.c.25.70.
4 guns M.17.a.10.35.
14th Canadian M.G. Company at BASSEUX
D.M.G.C. and Headquarters - BASSEUX
These locations are only approximate. Accurate locations to follow.
The 14th Canadian M.G. Company moved to BASSEUX in a downpour of rain.
They found good billets at that place. Transport of 14th Company moved
on to GROSVILLE.
Word received from the 5th Canadian M.G. Company that the relief of
the 3rd Division was complete by 10.00 a.m. Situation on this front reported
quiet whilst these guns were in reserve line. During relief hostile artillery
rather active in MERCATEL ROAD. During relief enemy aircraft dropped 10
bombs at about 4.00 a.m. around guns which were also shelled by 5.9" Several
direct hits were obtained on trench but no casualties caused.
|| :11.50 am
||Report received from Lieut Hobson M.C., M.M. O/C 5th Canadian M.G.
Enemy Artillery:- Enemy artillery shelled gun positions
M.30.a. heavily obtaining eight direct hits on afternoon 30th. Number of
5.9's M.28.c.30.00. several direct hits on trenches. Our Artillery covering
trench M.30.b.0.1. to M.30.c.4.7. are firing short. Shells falling 50 yards
in front and rear of trench.
MOVEMENT:- Much movement of huns in parties of from two
to four observed.
AIRCRAFT:- E.A. active in morning 10 bombs being dropped
on gun positions M.28.c.30.00.
||At 9.00 a.m. orders received from Headquarters 2nd Canadian
Division to extend Divisional boundary about 500 yards and take over left
Battalion front from GUARDS Division. Lieut-Col. Weir at once got in touch
with D.M.G.C. GUARDS Division and made personal reconnaissance of ground.
It was decided to withdraw 4 guns of the 6th Canadian M.G. Company from
PURPLE Line and these together with four guns of 14th Canadian M.G. Company
who were in reserve at BASSEUX should take over from the M.G. Guards.
|| :2.45 pm
||84 Specialists Drivers, Draughtsman, Signallers, N.C.O's
arrived from Canadian M.G. Depot to complete personnel for new establisment.
[See O.O. 31/80 App 11]
207 C.C.R.C. personnel transferred from C.C.R.C. and taken on Strength
M.G. Bn Authority A.3028 30.3.18. (Canadian Corps).
|| :11 am
||One E.A. flew over M.25.c.7.0. at 500 ft. Our M.Gs. engaged
firing 220 rounds. Relief of GUARDS Brigade by 14th and 6th Canadian M.G.
Companies was carried out without hitch, and was complete by midnight.
The transport was shelled very heavily whilst unloading but no damage was
Harrassing fire carried out throughout hours of darkness on enemy routes
of approach 3,000 rounds fired. Enemy artillery fire quieter than preceding
24 hours. 30 gas shells fired in M.23.c. at 8.p.m.
Considerable enemy movement observed on road M.36.b.6.4. Fire observed
in enemy lines at 170o true from M.30.c.4.8.