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2nd Battalion Canadian Machine Gun Corps
War Diary - March 1918
Transcribed from National Archives of Canada, Records of the Department of Militia and Defence, RG9, Series III-D-3 (War Diaries), Volume 4985, 2nd Canadian Machine Gun Battalion, March 1918 - April 1919; Microfilm Reel T-10817 (Files 621 & 622). © National Archives of Canada. Reproduced by Permission.
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Army Form C. 2118.
WAR DIARY or INTELLIGENCE SUMMARY
Place Date/Hr  Summary of Events and Information
REFERENCE MAPS :- 36c. S.W.I   36b. 1/40,000
LENS
SECTION
1 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 App. 1]
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.
   N.20.b.10.55.
20,000 Rounds in all were fired. Enemy shelled in proximity of guns on HILL 65, without causing casualties.
2 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.21.a.10.90.
   N.15.c.00.50.
   N.21.a.75.55.
   N.15.c.30.32.  to  N.15.c.50.31.
20,000 rounds in all were fired.
3 The following Targets were fired on throughout hours of darkness:-
   CRATER  N.21.a.10.90.
   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.
5 Indirect fire carried on throughout hours of darkness on Targets:-
   BUILDING  N.20.d.85.98.
   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, this morning".
Strength of Companies as at present:-
   4th Canadian M.G. Company  10 Officers  181 O.Rs.
   5th Canadian M.G. Company  11 Officers  171 O.Rs.
   6th Canadian M.G. Company  10 Officers  179 O.Rs.
   14th Canadian M.G. Company  11 Officers  186 O.Rs. - including Battalion Paymaster (Attached).
On Leave:-
   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.
On Courses:-
   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.
7 17,500 Rounds Indirect fire carried out throughout hours of darkness on Targets as follows:-
   N.21.c.22.75. N.20.b.40.40.
   N.20.b.25.60. N.14.d.45.95.  to N.15.a.10.95.
   N.20.a.50.50.
  :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.
8 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.21.a.75.52.
   N.21.a.20.50.
   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.
9 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.
   N.20.d.70.90. N.20.b.50.32.
   N.21.a.09.91. N.21.a.97.28.
Honours & Awards.
MILITARY CROSS:-
  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 28/2/18.
  Lieut. W.E. MILLSAP struck off strength of 4th Canadian M.G. Company 27/2/18.
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
  :1.25 pm
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.21.a.09.21.
   N.15.d.00.10. N.20.b.65.90. N.14.a.80.50.  -  N.15.c.02.52.
   N.20.b.50.35. N.21.a.15.95. N.14.a.00.15.  -  N.20.b.45.90.
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.
MARQU-
EFFLES
FARM
11 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 on all means of approach, roads, tracks etc., and from dusk until relieved fired 9,000 rounds.
12 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 etc.
13 Companies spent day in scrubbing equipment, cleaning etc. D.M.G.C. attended demonstration of tanks co-operating with Infantry Battalions in attack.
14 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.
15 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.
16 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.
17 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 Lines.
18 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.
19 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.
20 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, comfortable quarters.
21 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).
 :Midnight 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.
22 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.
23 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.
SPRINGVALE
CAMP
A.22.c.50.50
24 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.
25 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 D.M.G.C's Office.
 :Midnight 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".
26 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- BASSEUX-BERLES.
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. No. 31/78).
BERLES-
AU-BOIS
27 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 Headquarters.
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 in.
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 Gun Battalion.
'A' Section 5th Company to relieve 58A, 44B, and 45B, at approximately M.35.d.5.6.
'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.
30 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. Company:-
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.
31 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 done.
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.
G.N.D. Capt.
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