Malcolm & Dan Joe (WW1)

The Diary of
The 26th Battalion of the Canadian Expeditionary Force.
In Support of Dan-Joe & Malcolm (WW1)

Dan-Joe's Obituary

The "Canadian Expeditionary Force (CEF) units were required to maintain a daily account of their 'Actions in the Field.' ... units were only required to record their 'Actions in the Field.' Therefore, you will find very few Diaries for periods during which units mustered in Canada, shipped to Europe, or trained in England. These are not personal diaries. War Diaries rarely record information about individual men. ... War Diaries provide the most complete first-hand record of how and where that unit was deployed and the wartime experiences of its individual members. ..." (Diaries are on-line at the Library and Archives, Canada.)

The site links to individual .jpg image pages, day by day, they are not in digital form. Below, following, is your compiler's efforts in transcription; though all of it has been examined, not all of it has been transcribed, only those lines which I felt would be helpful in the incorporation of the material in a larger narrative. My uncles (Dan-Joe & Malcolm Morrison) left no written record of their own individual experiences (at least none that I could find in the family records) -- so, to follow them along, we are obliged to look to the official written records; going through the War Diaries is invaluable in this exercise.

I start in, when Dan-Joe and Malcolm arrived in France on 25th of March, 1916. We follow along and see what was going on with this front line battalion through the time of Malcolm's death in the field, September 28th, 1916; and then along as Dan-Joe went through these dreadful times which included "The Somme" and "Vimy." Dan-Joe went through it all; gassed and wounded multiple times. He came home a twenty-three old invalid, to die within two years.

And finally, this is but an abstract from March, 1916 to June, 1918, being the dates between when the Morrison brothers arrived in France to join the 26th Battalion, to the date that Dan-Joe was seriously wounded and sent back to England, and from there as an invalid to Canada.

1916, Mar 1916, Apr 1916, May 1916, Jun 1916, Jul 1916, Aug 1916, Sep 1916, Oct 1916, Nov 1916, Dec 1917, Jan 1917, Feb 1917, Mar 1917, Apr [DAN-JOE & MALCOLM (WW1)]
1917, May 1917, Jun 1917, Jul 1917, Aug 1917, Sep 1917, Oct 1917, Nov 1917, Dec 1918, Jan 1918, Feb 1918, Mar 1918, Apr 1918, May 1918, Jun

(Click on Date to go to index.)
-MARCH, 1916-
§26, "Relieved 22nd Battalion in Trenches. Weather fine."
§27, "Heavy bombardment at 4:18 a.m. ... 7 killed, 15 wounded. Weather fine"
§28, "Watsonville [?] bombarded" night and day "Weather fine"
§29, "Intermittent bombardment "
§30, "Bombardment continues all along our front and on communication trenches and breastwork. Working parties each night repairing damage inflicted. Weather fine"
§31, "Shell fire mostly on Watsonville ... Weather fine"

(Click on Date to go to index.)
-APRIL, 1916-
§01, "Battalion in trenches Weather fine"
§02, "Battalion relieved Weather fine"
§03, "Battalion in camp near Reninghels Weather fine Guard ... for German prisoners." [The Reninghelst I located is just across into Belgium, 15km southwest of Ypres, Poperinge is near by.]
§11, The Battalion continues to this date to be in camp Weather now mostly wet
§12, "Battalion relieved 19th Battn in Trenches near Eloi. 19 to 28 Weather fine." Throughout this period "working parties working on trenches."
§18, "Battalion relieved 78th Battn Weather wet."
§19, "Arrived in camp Reninghels
§26, From 18th at camp where "usual platoon & Company parades."
§27, "... Relieved 19th Battalion in front line on the night of 27th."

(Click on Date to go to index.)
-MAY, 1916-
§01, In Trenches "Gas alarm sounded at 11:30 pm All quiet by 2 am
§02, In caps "SPOILBANK" [?] - "heavily shelled for 2 hours" in afternoon
§04, Near "St. ELOI" "Relieved by 28th" "Weather fine"
§05-13, "In camp I near RENINGHELST. "Divine Services" held. "Div. working parties" are out "weather cloudy and showery" Courses being given "Ban Concert and special concert held for N.C.Os and men."
§14, "Divine Services" "move to DICKEBUSCH to Brigade Reserve
§16-22, "Battalion relieved 19th" in trenches "Left Sector, St. ELOI." "Excellent progress made with work on Tunnels, SPOILBANK, also Dug-outs in Front and Support Lines." (20th) "Weather warm and fine"
§23, "Relieved by the 28th Canadians"
§24-30, At camp, RENINGHELST -furnished Dist, Working Parties." Drills carried out; School for the men. On the 30th "Route March through WESTOUT RE - HIDE CORNER"
§31, "Battalion relieved 28th Battalion in Trenches. Left Sector St. ELOI.

(Click on Date to go to index.)
-JUNE, 1916-
§01-6, 1916, In the Front Trenches "Shelling" "ARMAGH WOODS" "heavy activity again on our left"
§07, At "Camp near ZEVECOTEN"
§08, Move to "RAILWAY DUG-OUTS, BLAUWE POORT FME [farm?] WOODCOTE FME. and Support Trench relieving the 1st Canadian Battalion in support of HILL 60 and Square Wood.
§09-10, "Battalion in Support Lines"
§011-13, "Heavy Bombardment of Support Lines in our area. Furnished carrying Parties for Front Line, and relieved by 1st Canadian. Moved to DICKEBUSCH HUTS. Battalion in Camp, Weather wet."
§14-18, "Move to trenches vicinity HILL 62, frontage HEDGE ST. to VIGO, and relieved 2nd and 10th Canadian BNs ... Very heavily bombarded Weather fine ..." "heavily shelled" "Exceptionally intense Bombardment" (16th)
§19-27, "Relieved ... moved to camp D near RENINGHELST ... Rest and baths" "Weather fine - Gas and Tear-shell demonstration for all ranks. (21st) "Sports held Bombing and Machine Gun instruction carried on." (22nd) "Drill" "Divine Service" "Weather Fine" "Weather Showery"
§28-30, Place: "From ALBERTA CAMP to TRENCHES LEFT SUB SECTOR St. ELOI" "Relieved the 28th" "Weather Fine" On the 30th a "minor Offensive Operation carried out by Lieut. F.B. WINTER and party of
§20." They advanced and got into a German Trench which had been bombed out by Allied Artillery, they made observations and returned; they returned with some German equipment which identified the German units opposite them.

(Click on Date to go to index.)
-JULY, 1916-
§01-10, In the same trenches as they were at the end of June. On the 1st "Our Artillery fired 3 salvoes at noon in honour of DOMINION DAY." "Conditions very quiet Battalion congratulated on success of Raid, June 30th/July 1st." "Weather Fine" Work carries on, on the lines. "Considerable aircraft activity on account of very clear weather." "Sent in 'NIL' Causality Reports for three successive days." Such a report had not been sent, since the 26th arrived in September, 1915. "Night of 10th/11th" [note over '?9/10th] ... relieved by 25th & 27th Canadians. "moved back to Support Area. 'C' and 'D' companies in SCOTTISH WOOD. 'A' company in VI. 'B' comp. attached to 25th ..."
§11-14, "Battalion in Support. Furnished large working, and carrying parties for Front Line." [Note: Believe our heroes were in 'C' Company.]
§15, ".. move to REST AREA, ALBERTA CAMP, - H.Q. left SCOTTISH WOOD at 10:45 pm."
§16-22, At ALBERTA CAMP "Rest D. W. Baths for all ranks." "Routine work ... Physical Training ...Bombing Courses, Stretcher Bearer Drill, Machine Gun, Drills, Signalling, Bayonet Fighting [not much of this was carried out in WW1]." "Excellent weather"
§23-30, "CHURCH PARADE, RENINGHELST, and move to BRIGADE RESERVE at RIDGEWOOD, - VIERSTRAAT SECTOR, relieving 28th Canadian Battalion, completed 10 pm. Reinforcing Draft of 60 O.R. [Other Ranks] arrived this date." Working parties sent out for front line. "Listening Apparatus at RENINGHELST from 26th to 29th ..."
§31, "... move to LEFT SECTOR, VIERSTRAAT RELIEVING 25th ... Disposed as follows, - 'C' and 'D' companies front Line, N3 [?] To 04 incl. 'A' and 'B' companies in BOIS CARRE, and Redoubts etc." "Conditions ... very quiet."

(Click on Date to go to index.)
-AUGUST, 1916-
§01-06, Place: LEFT SECTOR VIERSTRAAT: Trenches "N3 to 04 inclusive": "Weather fine and warm, Conditions quiet" Reinforcements arrived with equipment, including "Lewis Gun Crew." Reference to the enemy as "Bosches" "The advance party proceeded to enemy's wire, and found them very much on the alert ... A lively encounter ensued for about 8 minutes in 'No Man's Land' ... only 2 being being very slightly wounded." Further parties were sent out over 'No Man's Land' to test the enemy's lines "started cutting" under "Machine Gun fire and search light."
§07, Relieved by 21st and "move to Alberta Camp, near RENINGHELST
§08-09, At Camp: "Weather fine. Clothing parades carried out, and Company and Platoon inspections completed in morning. Battalion was inspected during the afternoon by Lt-Col. MacKenzie."
§10, "Weather fine. All companies attended bathing parades at Second Divisional Baths."
§11, Another inspection, Major Gen. R.E.W. TURNER, and other Big Wigs.
§12, "Weather fine. Route March by companies.
§13, "Divine Service, held on Battalion Parade 5th, Canadian Infantry Brn. Band being present to assist.
§14-15, Courses given. GEORGE V was pleased to informally visit our camp ..." The king was accompanied by his son, The Prince of Wales. This was to occur at the Alberta Camp; it is noted to be "near the old windmill." "... practice Route March to ABEELE, and returned shortly after 10 am."
§16, At Camp, then Front Line: "... participated in Brigade Tactical Scheme in co-operation with aeroplane signalling .. signals from companies, such as, coloured umbrellas, discs, and signal flare lights etc. At 6:30 pm companies moved at intervals to LEFT SUB SECTOR, St. ELOI, trenches 24 to 28 inclusive, and relieving 28th ... weather showery"
§17-19, In Trenches: "... work carried on, completing SPOILBANK dugouts also Front Line, ESTAMINET LANE. 2 Platoons of 87th Battalion attached for instruction. Artillery, both sides, very active on both flanks. Slight bombardment of our Front Line. Prompt retaliation by Trench Mortars, and Stokes Guns."
§20-23 In Trenches, LEFT SUB SECTOR, St. ELOI: "Situation quiet" "Battalion Scouts, and Machine Gunners carried on [sic], as well as general work of up keep of Front Line C.Ts. [?]"Scout Patrol" meets a German Patrol out in "No Man's Land" "Weather Fine"
§24, Relieved by the 87th, "and moved to ONTARIO CAMP near RENINGHELST."
§25, "All ranks very busy in camp all preparing for move tomorrow to Training Area near St. OMER preparatory to going to the SOMME (Note - All ranks in the best of spirits anticipating the move and eager to effect all details in the number of days training, SOMME OPERATIONS." "... will march to permanent Training Area billets in vicinity of EPERLEOQUES. ..."
§26, "ON THE MARCH" "... joined column of Route direction of St. OMER via ABEELE First day's march billet in vicinity STEENVOORDE. Physical condition of all ranks found to be exceptional after long Trench Fighting, and morale of the troops excellent." [From hereon we have a Major Bath [?] writing in the War Diary]
§27, "... left STEENVOORDE shortly after 6 am proceeded to column to billets vicinity NOORDPEENE on the POPERINGHE - CASSEL Road
§29-31, At "EPERLECQUES" "training area near TILQUES ... returned to billets about 5pm" "Ross rifles were all returned to St. ___ [can not make out] and issue Lee Enfield rifles ... instructions carried on during the day with the Lee Enfield rifles, Rapid Loading, Adjustment of Sights, etc. (30th) "Practice on Range near HOULLE (31)
NOTE: This move from 26th to 29th was planned in a thorough military fashion set out in a number of printed pages incorporated into the War Diary of The 26th. The whole thing was carefully planned with a number of battalions (including the 26th) to be in proper order with timing to each point set out for each. Here is an example of the detail laid out by Headquarters: "Transport and Baggage wagons in rear of respective units"; "80 yards distance to be kept between all units"; "all stragglers are to be ordered to remain on left hand side of road well clear of the road, until picked up by Horse Ambulance or rear party. Stragglers will on no account fall in with other units but must stand fast until their rear party passes"; "Halts will be observed every fifty minutes, halting at ten minutes to the clock hour and moving at the clock hour. Units must not attempt to make up any lost distance during the halt periods or on the march, by forcing the pace; the pace is not to exceed 2 miles per hour. The column will halt at 9:30 A.M. until 10:00 A.M. during which period lost distance will be made up."

(Click on Date to go to index.)
§02 Orders for "Entrainment" [?] For a journey to begin on 4th. "... entrance to station to be used, platform where baggage animals, etc. are to be loaded and troops are to entrain." "All ranks to carry one full days rations." "... 14 flat trucks; 33 covered trucks." "No personal or stores will be allowed in the brake vans at each end of the train." "pickets must be provided at all stops for each end of the train to prevent troops leaving." Approximate length of journey 6 hours." "the entrainment of all units must be completed half an hour before the time of departure of train."
§05, Message: "... units [22nd, 24th, 25th and 26th] will move tomorrow to billets in vicinity of PERNOIS and HALLOY ..." Each group was to move-out in 10 minute intervals, one after another keeping in between a distance of 500 yards. "Route: DOMQUEUR - DOMART EN PONTHIEU - St. LEGER LES DOOMARTS ..." "Refilling points at crossroads at M. de CRAMONT ... Halts ... in accordance with ... standing orders." Notes indicated it was to be a 11 mile march. "One horse Ambulance to be detailed to follow 5th Fld.Co.Engs. This unit placed in rear of 5th Amb. on account of heavy transport." Places and times of halts were carefully defined for each of the units. Incidentally this army group were defined as 5th Canadian Inf. Bds." The order were coming under the signature of Malcolm McAvity, Major, Brigade Major. NOTE: One can see from the orders and messages during the first couple weeks of September, 1916, that there was a major movement behind the lines, I suppose, in preparation of a major offensive was underway. Getting troops and supplies in to position, was, is, as one can see from these orders, a major operation with many departments involved. Certain of the villages the Canadians trooped through have been identified, I see too others: Valencourt, Albert, Bouzincourt.
§10, "Camp in in wood, church parade marched to Brickfields
§21, "Toured line to Pozieris
§11-14, Laying communication lines in the trenches
§14, ORDER: "On September 15th, in conjunction with the operations of the Fourth and French Armies, the Canadian Corps is attacking the German positions. The 2nd Canadian Division [Includes the 26th Bn.] will capture and consolidate the German trench line from [several map coordinates were set forth] ... and will establish Posts generally along the front line in advance of the objective. ... The 5th Canadian Infantry Brigade (less the 24th Battalion) will be in Divisional Reserve ... At Zero hour [6:00 A.M.] ... the Infantry will advance and the intense shrapnel barrage will begin. ..." Timing is set forth, so that the barrage will be lifted just before the infantry will be at their objective, that is to say, Zero Hour plus 43 minutes. ['Barrage will lift at rate of 50 yards per minute ...'] One of the objectives set forth is "the North and east sides of COURCELETTE." When the barrage is lifted "the 6th Canadian Infantry Brigade will send forward three patrols each consisting of one officer, 30 men and Lewis Guns, into COURCELETTE, with the object of establishing three posts in the S.W. corner of the village on the general line ... The rate of advance is calculated at 100 yards in 3 minutes. ... Each man is to be provided with 2 bombs and 3 sandbags, in addition to regulation Fighting Equipment ... 2 days' rations in addition to the Iron Ration [bully beef and hard tack], S.O.S. Rockets - 24 Red and 12 Blue. ... Battalion Dumps will be established ... 250 picks and 250 shovels. ... [with a further reserve] of 500 of each.] No. 7 Squadron R.F.C. [will] ... fly over the objective as soon after Zero Hour as the light permits [the planes will be marked, with streamers, etc.] ... Prisoners will be sent back to Brigade Headquarters ... All troops before going into the trenches on night Sept, 14th/15th will be provided with a hot meal, which should be issued as late as possible. Watches will be synchronised ..." A further note sets out that runners will be established between each unit and "Advanced Brigade Headquarters ... from Zero hour onwards. ... the 5th Brigade advances and will cover our right flank. ... The 22nd, 25th and 26th Battalions will take the village and the 24th Battalion will be in Brigade Reserve. ..." The 22nd and the 25th will lead the attack and "the 26th Battalion will immediately follow the attacking Battalions and will act as a mopping up party and will clear the village. The division line between the 22nd and the 25th Battalions will be the main street ... running through the village square. ... CONTACT AEROPLANE will go over the line at 7:00 P.M. and 7:30 P.M. and flares will be shown by advanced posts and front lines only." Signed by "Malcolm McAvity, Major, Brigade Major, 5th Canadian Inf. Bds."
§14, MESSAGE: 26th and others are to be relieved. "on relief the Brigade units will move to BRICKFIELDS, ALBERT."
§16th-17th - Corcelette: Night: thirteen companies "on the right village along the "sunken Road from the cemetery to the Baupause Road." Occupying "shell holes." Reinforced the 24th who launched an attack "in close support and suffered heavily from the barrage throw by the Germans along our line ... This attack met with considerable opposition and rifle and machine gun fire was very heavy." The reporting officer then listed the officers (men do not get the same treatment): 3 by "rifle bullets"; five others wounded. "Throughout the entire day the shelling continued very heavy." [The 28th and the 29th were two bad days for the battalion: 19 men (including Malcolm) killed; wounded, 2 officers 54 men wounded (including Dan-Joe, "shell-shocked").]
NOTE: An analysis of the dead and wounded, discloses that a large number of causalities occurred during these 3 days, the 15th through to the 17th. In the Battle for Courcelette three Canadian battalions were involved. Just for the 26th Battalion there were 5 officers and 59 men, killed; same dates, 6 officers and 148 men wounded. Our heroes, Dan-Joe and Malcolm were in the thick of it and and got through it in one piece; but before the month of July was out, their luck was to change.
§18th - Relieved by the "4th Cdn. Inf. Battn of the 1st Division." "The battn. then marched to Tara Hill." It meant a march - rain "causing a great deal of discomfort to all ranks." To conclude the entry 6 named officers are named for "special distinction"; then two NCOs and (interestingly) "about 25 other N.C.O.s and men." We learn that each man had sixty pounds of equipment on his back.
§21, LETTER from one C.O. (A.H. Macdonell) to the C.O. (A.E. McKenzie) of the 26th: In part: "I wish to place on record my appreciation of the great part the Battalion under your command played in the advance on and taking the town of COURCELETTE. .. I deeply deplore the fact that many of your comrades have fallen in action ... etc. etc."
§24, OPERATION ORDER: "The 2nd Canadian Division is ordered to relieve the 1st ... in the line from the BAPAUME Road ... to the N.E. corner of COURCELETTE." They (including the 26th) were to march a route - CONTAY, WARLOY, thence mud road direct to BRICKFIELDS.
§26, MESSAGE: "Units will march tomorrow ... starting time will be 7:a.m.
§28, The day that Malcolm Morrison was "Killed in Action." From this Diary not much is made of September 28th and 29th, 1916. More than just Malcolm was killed. So were during these two days 19 men (including Malcolm) no officers. Wounded were 2 officers and 54 men (including Dan-Joe, "shell-shocked").
§30, OPERATION ORDER: Attack plans laid out, includes attacking the REGINA TRENCH with the 26th in close support to the 22nd.

(Click on Date to go to index.)
-OCTOBER, 1916-
§01, ORDER: "The 5th Canadian Infantry Brigade, with No. 8 Company, Divisional Train, will move tomorrow to Vanencourt ..."
§09, OPERATION ORDER: "The Battalion will move from its present Billeting Area tomorrow October 10th to LONGUEVILLETTE (from Berteaucourt) moving into First Army area. ... Route includes CANAPLES, MONTRELET NOTE: In this period the battalion is on the move to another location.
§13 or 14, Appears that the battalion arrived at their destination. The orders read: "The 2nd Canadian Division has been ordered to relieve the 37th Division in the line from SOUCHEZ to HOUELE CRASSIER ... relief to be completed by morning October 18th. ... The 26th Battalion will relieve the 8th Battalion East Lancashire Regt which holds the left sub sector of the front line BULLY ALLEY exclusive to trench No 210 inclusive."

(Click on Date to go to index.)
-NOVEMBER, 1916-
§01, In the trenches
§04, "Issued 503 new box respirators at Brigade Gas Hut, each man fitted, remain in hut approximately 3 minutes in strong Tear Gas. Furnished all available men for Bde. Working Parties.
§05, Batt. in support - weather cloudy - very high winds. Completion of issue new box respirator ... Divine Services held A.M. in Y.M.C.A. Hall, BULLY GRENAY [?].
§08, Move to trenches. "We found trenches in precarious state and all ranks bend their energies for their upkeep. Weather fair, conditions quiet."
§14, Out of trenches to "Bde. Reserve Posse 10." Near Hersin
§16, Congratulatory letter sent from HQ to the C.O. of the 26th: "For your information, I may state that a large amount of work was carried out by your Battalion and that they left the trenches in a far better state than they have ever been in since we took over the sector. The G,O,C. appreciates the efforts made."
§16, ... "Bathing parades held as per bath schedule. Musketry practices carried on Brigade Range." "Our aeroplanes patrolled flying over quite low and were fired on by M.G. [Machine Gun] A.A.G. [Assistant Adjutant General] between 2pm and 4pm. No planes or balloons seen."
§19, "Gum Boots ... to be obtained at Gum Boot Store. ... Gum Boots will be dried at Brigade Gum Boot Store and supply will be sent up from there as soon as they are ready to be issued." On Nov. 25th there is a note: "All boots must be turned in."
§20, Moved to trenches.
§22, The 26th pulls off a raid on the German a trench. For Raid plan See - Page 1 and Page 2. The raid was pulled off successfully.
§26, Moved to "Bde. Support"

(Click on Date to go to index.)
-DECEMBER, 1916-
§02, Moved to Trenches
§03, ... "Situation very quiet. Men cheery. Every available man working on front and support lines also pushing work of wiring the front. Transport as usual on time every evening and rations appreciably good."
§05, "... still fairly cold. Exchange of trench mortar ... hows. ... fairly active. General conditions normal. Casualties nil. Work on front line ... good progress wiring the front."
§08, Relieved from trench. To "Brigade Reserve in Posse 10 near Hersin (PAS-de-CALAIS) ... Men rested for remainder of day."
§09, "... Inspection had to be cancelled on account of extremely muddy condition of Parade Ground."
§11, "... Training as per schedule. All ranks very comfortable in these billets and concerts were arranged in CHURCH ARMY HUTS for recreation and amusement of the men."
§14, Moved to Trenches. Code word "DUCK" Leaving battalion to leave all supplies behind, and relieving battalion to give receipts. Reports to go the HQ with supplies for which receipts were given, and to give report re condition of trench.
§16, In trenches. Conditions normal. Our Stokes Mortars do considerable damage to enemy's lines opposite ..." They send men out over No Man's Land nightly, to scout."
§18, "... enemy's artillery slightly more active during past three days."
§20, Move from trenches to "Bde Support BULLY GRENAY. "It is noted that during trench tour no casualties occurred, this being the first time since arrival in the firing line in which the battn. was immune."
§22, "... Parades and baths ..."
§24, "... Divine Services held at 10 and 11 a.m. in YMCA and Church ..."
§25, "Xmas Day and working parties cancelled." Men in trenches were to spend Xmas when they leave the trenches and go into camp. "Many other visitors from Staff and sister Corps called and all ranks had a Merry Christmas."
§27, Moved to Trenches which are "in bad shape from recent very wet weather and strafing. ..."
§31, "... difficulty of mud, but 'carry on' as usual. The efficiency and excellent management of our Quartermaster's Department is here commended upon and congratulations extended to Quartermaster James Pringle for his good work covering a period now of some 20 odd months.

(Click on Date to go to index.)
-JANUARY, 1917-
NOTE: Though it can be determined from this diary, and has been followed up to this point in this abstract, from hereon-in, I do not note when the 26th Battalion goes into the trenches, or out of them, however these turnabouts did take place, and, from what I can see took place about every 5 days, or so. To shorten the job I have also not noted routine matters as much as we did previously.]
§03, "Moved to Bde.Reserve in POSSE 10. Rested for day. Arrangements for Holiday treat for all companies ... in Church Army Hut."
§04, At the baths Companies "practiced the attack for coming operation (preliminary)."
§05, Practice "in attack 3 waves."
§06, "Marched to tape trenches ... reconnoitred and practiced by parties preliminary for coming operation." "Company Dinner held."
§08, Practice continues.
§09, To the tranches. "... situation quite active. Artillery of all calibres busy cutting wire as well as T.Ms [Trench Mortar] opposite Thompson & Bully Craters."]
§10, "All ranks very busy preparing for coming operations, carrying bombs, arranging wire cutting. Heavy artillery and 60 lb T.Ms firing on Hun line all day, also brisk retaliation ..."
§16, A number of pages are devoted to the actions on this date of the 26th Battalion (Dan Joe's). The operation that they were training for was carried out this day. After boxing-in a particular area of the German line, the Canadians went over the top at 4:30 p.m. (Dan-Joe was in on this.) With the setting sun behind them, it seems it was good planning to have them make the charge at 4:30 running from west to east: "At zero hour smoke bombs were thrown by the company in our left front sub-section ..." I'll just pause at this point: north was to the left of the charging soldiers; thus the wind was coming generally from the north. The boxing-in is where the artillery thoroughly bombarded, to the left, to the right, and to the back of the German line (the chosen part); thus preventing easy escape, or rescue, for awhile. Back to the official report of the attack of January 16th, 1917: "A mine was blown under the forward lip of THOMPSON CRATER. The flanks of the attack were heavily bombarded by our Stokes, as was also his second line. The Bde. machine guns sprayed his rear lines continuously throughout the entire operation. Particular attention was paid to the village of COTNAILLES [?] by these machine guns. The artillery carried out the bombardment of selected points ... Each man was armed with rifle and bayonet and 4 bombs." Another note: Bayonets were often fixed as they went in, as it is next to impossible to fix one onto a hot barrel in the middle of the attack; I have read that they were not in fact much used, bombs (hand grenades) or bullets worked much better.
NOTE: The results of all of this is reflected in the official records which have scanned in. For more detail of the assault of Jan 16 '17 see the pages of the War Diary - Page 1 and Page 2.
§17, "Battn. in trenches. Weather cold with light fall of snow. We get slight retaliation from Bosch for very successful raid by 4th Bde. on our left. This in a.m. Otherwise, day was very quiet."
§26, "Battalion in Training, Weather very cold. Training was carried on with as per Bde. Schedule which included Musketry, Drill and lecture ..."
§28, Church Parade. Also Bathing Parade.
§30, "Moved from Training Area at Houdain to Bruay ..."

(Click on Date to go to index.)
-FEBRUARY, 1917-
§05, "Battalion in training. Weather fine and cold. Training as follows: Company in Attack morning - Box Respirator Drill &c. Evening - Brigade gave Dinner to Battalion Commanders. ..."
§08, "... Evening:- Lecture to all officers attending by Divisional Commander. Lecture on 'Principle for which we are fighting' by Lt.Col. Blackburn, Senior Chaplain."
§13, "... Battalion marched to BOIS DES ALLEUX a distance of about 12 miles ... Battalion now in Divisional Reserve - hutments.
§16, "... Baths at ECOIVRES. At 5:15 a.m. Hun plane dropped 3 bombs on ECOIVRES near transport lines killing 2 civilians, No military damage done."
§19, " ... Moved to trenches ... Night very dark. Trenches very wet. ... Night passed very quiet. No shelling. ...."

(Click on Date to go to index.)
-MARCH, 1917-
§01, "Battalion in Brigade Reserve. Took over Front Line LA FOLIE Sector at night relieving the 22nd Battn. Night quiet.
§02, "... Bright moonlight night interfered with patrolling but assisted sniping."
§03, A bit of an armistice was agreed to between the Canadians in the trenches occupied by the 26th Battalion and the German trench opposite. It seemed to be a spontaneous thing, HQ did not arrange it, nor know of it until next day. So, at "about 10:30 a.m. 3 German officers with a Red Cross Flag walked across No Man's Land. Soon there was to be quite a crowd of both Germans and Canadians. They were out retrieving the dead. "The agreement was that the Huns would would carry our dead half way and our men would take them back to our own lines. This armistice lasted until 12 noon. ... A German Brigadier was conducting these operations and seemed most anxious to converse with any of the officers. He mentioned he was educated ... London. Judging by appearances one would come to the conclusion that the regiment of Huns employed on this special occasion were selected for the express purpose of being on show for our benefit in that the officers and men were of exceptionally good physique, looked well fed, and very clean."
§04, Told that the previous night, a "Zepp" had passed.
§06, "Battalion in trenches ... Both hostile and our own planes active all day." They witnessed a number on both sides go down, on in spectacular flames.
§08, " ... Training ... pay and Bathing Parades. .... Conference of officers in afternoon on Offensive."
§10, Further conference.
§14, Officers on the line "at 7 a.m. to see a long 'Jumping Off' Trench for 'The Push.' Our artillery active all day."
§16, "... At 3 p.m. six of our planes engaged a Boche machine. One of our planes brought down, pilot found to be shot through head, observer killed by fall."
§17, "Aircraft active all day."
§24, "... in BOIS DES ALLEUX resting in Hutments, prior to marching to GRAND SERVINS."
§25, "... Church Parade - Open Air Service. Officers over Tape Course in afternoon. Conference of Officers."
§26, " ... training for offensive ... Conference of Officers."
§31, For the balance of the days in the month, we see repeated entries " ... training for offensive ... Conference of Officers."

(Click on Date to go to index.)
-APRIL, 1917-
§01, "... Commanding Officer and Coy. Commanders got to LILLERS to view plaster of Paris east of VIMY RIDGE. In the afternoon training was carried out of Platoon in Tactical Exercises. Weather fine."
§02, "Battalion in training. Battn. practising over tape trenches in morning. In the afternoon Coy. training carried out. ... visit Div. H.Q. to view plaster east of VIMY. Conference of officers. Very heavy snowstorm.
§03, "... Rain ..."
§05, "... 200 men go to concert by P.P.C.L.Y. [Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry] at PETIT SERVINS at 4 p.m.
§08, "Bn. moves from GRAND SERVINS TO BOIS DES ALLEUX leaving at 7:15 a.m." The men are issued "surplus dry ration. ... moved off to the trenches ... and took up position in Jumping Off trenches. ... maintained regular posts until 4 a.m. the 9th when they took up their position in jumping off trench. ... Clear day."
§09, At Zero hour (5:30 a.m.) barrage laid down on German front line and Battn. jumped off. at Zero plus 32 minutes ... Bn. had reached and occupied their objective. The casualties in the attack were slight and during the rest of the day ... in clearing the trench and making shelter for the men. ...`
§10, Bn. remained in original objective. ... Digging Main Line of Resistance and strengthening Strong Point ... replace causalities. ... Weather wet ..."
§11, "Work on main line ..."
§12, ... Weather cold with heavy fall of snow during the night ..."
§13, In Front Line in vicinity of VIMY ... Relief was delayed [Communication problems.] ..."
§14, Further advance of yards "east of VIMY Railway. "dug in." "Enemy were occupying houses at MONT FOREST QUARRIES ... Driven out. ... established at a dugout in Ry. Embankment south of Vimy Station ... Signal communication was established. ... During the day the enemy shelled intermittently but did very little damage ..."
§15, "Bn still in forward area. ... At this time this in the farthest advanced trench in the Cdn. Corps Area. ... Relieved by 31st Battn. during the night. ... Weather wet and disagreeable."
§16, Now in "tents in vicinity of AUX REITZ. Weather clear and cool. Reserve platoons move up ..."
§17, "Weather wet. Battn. resting. Coys. and Details were bathed during the day."
§20, Fine and warm. Coy muster parades. ..."
§21, Weather fine and warm.
§22, "Weather fine. Battn. remains in reserve. ... Two officers per Coy. visit Forward area from O.Ps. [Observation Posts] on ridge near COUNTS WOOD."
§23, "Weather fine. Bn remaining in reserve Working party of ...400 O.R. [Other Ranks] to work on roads."
§26, Moved forward "on the Ry. Line from VIMY STATION to a point 500 yards south along the Rly." Entry re "Z day (28th Apr) Ground reconnoitred and measured and taped by Scout Officer ..."
§29, "Weather fine. Enemy begin to show signs of interest in our new trenches for the first time and commence at 2 p.m. [shelling] ... very uncomfortable for a time.
§30, Shelling by the Germans continue. "Enemy was seen signalling by heliograph [mirrors]
NOTE: The plan for the taking of VIMY RIDGE is set out in SPECIAL INSTRUCTIONS for the 26th Battalion in five pages which can be turned up the 'net, as follows: (With the 25th and the 26th going straight down the middle.)

(Click on Date to go to index.)
-MAY, 1917-
§01, "Fairly heavy shelling ... Relieved in Front Line at night. ..."
§02, "... Hun puts over a number of Gas shells. .... Battn. Carry up rations to Front Line."
§07, Battalion in reserve. Move at noon to AUX REITZ Camp after being in the line sixteen days - a very trying time as trenches were heavily shelled and had only been recently dug, consequently little cover, but weather being fine throughout helped considerably and considering the amount of shelling, casualties were amazingly slight."
§08, "... Baths and resting. ..."
§11, "... Large working parties furnished by Battalion at night for cable burying in Forward Area."
§15, "... Working parties at night. Day quiet."
§22, "Battn. at Rest Camp ... Ceremonial Parades. Afternoon:- Kit and other inspections. ..."
§31, At NEUVILLE ST VAAST where "battn. in brigade support" on "Communication Trenches in Forward Area."

(Click on Date to go to index.)
-JUNE, 1917-
§01, "Battalion moved from Brigade Reserve to Training Area at ESTREE-CAUCHY ..."
§07, "... Training ... Rifle Exercises and practice with bayonet: Box Respirator Drill etc." {This would have been the scene at Estree-Cauchy when Dan-Joe returned to his battalion on June 7th, after being medically treated at various military medical centers for the previous 6 weeks.]
§09, "Morning:- Platoon in the attack as a drill. Box Respirator drill. Afternoon - Recreation. Weather fine and warm."
§10, "Church Parade ..."
§11, "All Parades cancelled on account of very wet weather. Inoculation of battalion commenced."
§14, "Battalion attended Divisional Horse Show ..."
§ [It was in June of 1917 that General Arthur Currie became the commander of the Canadians, replacing General Julian Byng.]
§20, The battalion continues to be in reserve Estree-Cauchy. "Brigade Sports at CHATEAU DE LA MAIE [?] ..."
§21, "... Coys carried out training in 'Trench to Trench Attack' ..."
§22, "Wet and damp. Battalion on Rifle Ranges and Bathing Parades."
§28, "... Box respirator drill."
§29, "Weather fine. Battalion Route March in morning. Recreation in afternoon.
§30, "Rain & windy. Day spent in general cleaning up preparatory to moving up to trenches."

(Click on Date to go to index.)
-JULY, 1917-
§01, "Batalion moved from ESTREE-CAUCHY to BOVIGNEY BOYEFFLES preparatory to moving into line on the 2nd. Weather fine."
§02, "... One Platoon (Reserve Platoon) from each Coy. moved to ..." I have read, that before an anticipated battle, a platoon, a small representative number of the battalion, be sent to a safe area and to wait it out there. The reason that if the battalion suffers from a large number of causalities, then there will be a nucleus available for the inevitable reorganization purposes. Often the safe area, while in behind the line would be handy the artillery area, where the big guns are; it had the added advantage of lending support to artillery regiment.
§07, "... Our scouts patrolled No Mans Land with a view of locating enemy Advanced Posts. Enemy appears very nervous and sent up numerous flares also firing rifle grenades into No Mans Land ... [Prisoner taken, he] "belonged to the 6th Foot Guard (Prussian)." [It would be interesting to read the history of this German battalion, at this point in time, for comparison purposes.]
§08, "... Rain. Our artillery active ... Enemy artillery generally quiet ... enemy shows no unusual activity. Work was carried out improving Front line and linking up trenches.
§09, "... Enemy artillery on the whole quiet also less T.M. fire [Trench mortar]. One of our light batteries firing short caused us 5 causalities. Work was continued on Front Line deepening and joining up."
§11, Now at camp and carrying out training and getting baths.
§16, Back in the trenches.
§17, Though at "rest" in camp, "300 men from Bn. employed on working Parties, principally carrying T.M. Bombs to Front Line."
§20, "LAURENT - Front Line. Weather fine. Our artillery very active with harassing fire, Bde, M.G.s also very active.
§21, "... engaged in cutting wire in front in preparation for coming show. ... Enemy artillery very active all day ..."
§22, The Germans make a rare offensive, but without success. "One of our Lewis Gunners during the raid mounted the parapet and fired into the enemy from the hip. ..."
§23, After what would appear to have been an exciting day previous the battalion retired to a rest area.
§24, "Training on Tape Course ... preparing for coming show." [This continued for the next couple of days.]
§29, Church Parade
§30, Training over Taped Course.

(Click on Date to go to index.)
-AUGUST, 1917-
§01, "Battalion in Training Area ... practice Tape Course ..."
§14, Same sort of entries from the first of the month to the 14th. On the 14th, "Battalion moves to Assembly Area ..."
§15, "Battalion pushed off at 4:25 (Hill 70). Objective was gained as per schedule. ..."
§16, "Battalion in front Line (Hill 70)
§17, "... Battalion relieved at night ... moving into Reserve in old British Front Line (near ST. PIERRE)
§22, "Battalion in rest area ..."
§24, "Battalion in rest area. Weather showery. Training carried out as per syllabus ..."
§30, Training continues through the month.

(Click on Date to go to index.)
§01, "Battalion in Rest Area ..."
§03, "Battalion in Rest Area ... Officers and N.C.O.s attended Lecture on Aeroplanes ..."
§07, "Battalion in Rest Area. Battalion Baths and Company Parades ..."
§08, "Battalion in Rest Area. Inspection by Commanding Officer of Normal Fighting Equipment."
§13, "Battalion in Rest Area. Weather fine. Training as usual."
§15, "Battalion in Rest Area. Training as usual. Officers had Smoker and men went to Concert in honour of 2nd Anniversary of the landing of the Battalion in France and 1st Anniversary of the Battle of Courcelette."
§16, "Battalion moved from MAISNIL BOUCHE to VILLERS AU BOIS. Weather Fine."
§17, "Battalion moved from VILLERS AU BOIS to NEUVILLE ST VAAST ... Weather Fine."
§18, "Battalion in Divisional Support. Supplied 2 Officers and 100 Other Ranks for work on Light Railway, and at night 5 Officers and 200 Other Ranks on Cable Burying Party. ... Baths at Berthonoval Farm in afternoon."
§20, Work on Light Railway continues. "... One officer and 78 other ranks attached to 195 Tunnelling Company. ... Battalion is moved to trenches.
§23, "Battalion in Trenches. Weather fine. ... Working Party ... supplied to ... Pioneer Battalion ..."
§25, "Battalion in Trenches. Weather fine. ... heavily shelled. Causalities light for way trench was flattened. ,,,"
§26, "Battalion relieved ... and proceeded to Training Area, VILLERS AU BOYS. ..."
§27, "Muster Parade ..."
§28, "... Battalion went over Taped Course as part of the Brigade. Corps Sports in afternoon. ..."
§30, "Divine Service. ... a number of Officers and Other Ranks proceeded by Motor Lorries to a Tank Demonstration South of Arras, 7 Officers and 67 Other Ranks attended. 5 officers attended a Lecture on 'Courts Martial' ... NOTE: Sports: "More than a dozen events were held, among which were baseball and football games, boxing matches and an inter-company tug of war. Such traditional track and field events as the high jump, the broad jump and a number of foot races, ranging from the 100 yard dash to a mile long relay race, were also held. To add a touch of levity to the day's proceedings a number of what were aptly termed 'Humorous Events" were also held. These included a band race in which members of the battalion's pipe band ran a 75 yard course while playing their instruments. In another race the runners were blindfolded and guided to the finish line by a bell. Perhaps the two most entertaining events from the spectator's point of view were the Mule Race and the wrestling matches held on horseback." One of the places chosen as a sports field were the grounds of the Chateau-de-la-Haie, a wonderful French mansion, 15k west of Vimy. (MacGowan, New Brunswick's "Fighting 26th", p. 195.)

(Click on Date to go to index.)
-OCTOBER, 1917-
§01, "Battalion in Training Area. Battalion went over Taped Course ... Started to have Tin Containers (Black) in Small Box Respirators exchanged for Brown Containers ..."
§02, "... Hun plane dropped three Bombs in Field near Battalion Area ... no damage."
§03, "Battalion in Training Area. ... Model of Sallauminee Hill on view, and Battalion Paraded by Platoon to see same. ..."
§07, "Battalion in Brigade Reserve. Weather rainy. Time set back from 1:00 to 12 midnight. R.C. Church Parade, in morning. Also Bath Parade, Neuville St. Vaast.
§08, "... Rifle Inspection by Brigade Armourer. ..."
§11, "Battalion in front line. ..."
§12, "Battalion in Trenches. Situation quiet. Offensive Patrol encountered enemy ... Lewis Gun opened on enemy and screams heard. ..."
§13, "... One offensive Patrol and Two Defensive Patrols out at different hours. No sign of the enemy."
§15, "... C.O. and staff came up and looked over line in afternoon. ..."
§16, "... Battalion taken from Neuville St. Vaast to LePendu by Light Railway.
§17, "Bath parade in morning at Villers au Bois ... Lecture to officers and N.C.O.s ... on YPRES OFFENSIVE 1917."
§18, "Battalion on move ..."
§19, "Battalion in Rest Area ..."
§22, "Battalion in Rest Area. Parades cancelled on account of rain.
§24, "Battalion on move. Battalion Entrained for BORRE Area. Left TINQUES at 2:40 p.m. arrived at CAESTRE at 8:00 p.m. Route through ST. MICHE, PERNES, HASEBROUGH."
§25, Battalion at rest in Borre area near Caestre
§27, "Battalion in Rest Area. Weather fine. Training in morning Fourteen Officers went to Poperinge, to see Model of Passchendaele Ridge.

(Click on Date to go to index.)
-NOVEMBER, 1917-
§01, "Battalion in Rest Area. Battalion went over Taped Course.
§03, "Battalion on move. Battalion went by train from CAESTRE to YPRES and marched to POTIJZE."
§04, "Battalion on move. ... stores drawn and issued
§05, "Battalion moved at 11:00 p.m. to Assembly Area." ["Zero hour will be 6:00 A.M. November 6th" (Message)]
§06, "Battalion in trenches (Passchendaele). Stretcher Party of 100 Other Ranks supplied. [NOTE: "Attack on Passchendaele from Battalion point of view." Multi paged report beginning with]
§08, Battalion moved to rest area.
§11, "Battalion on move. ... Marched to YPRES, entraining there for BRANDHOEK. ..."
§12, "Battalion in Rest Area. officers and men given leave to surrounding towns, many taking advantage and renewing acquaintances with inhabitants, most particularly GABY and JULIE at RENNINGELST. Numerous Graves of fallen comrades were visited and all found to be well kept up."
§13, "Battalion on move. Went by 'bus route to OUDWEROOM - ZEVECOTEN - LACYTTE - LOCRE - BAILLUEL - STRAZWLE - HASBROUCH - ST VENANT - ROBEXUE. ..."
§14, "Battalion on move. By 'bus route ROBECQUE - LILLERS - LOZINGEM - MARLES LES MINES. Damm good billets. Ernest prayers that we return to this area when our long looked for rest comes.
§16, "Battalion on move. Battalion parade in morning. Address by the Commanding Officer (Lt-Col. McKenzie on the good work at PASSCHENDAELE by the Battalion. ... Marched to CUBITT Camp ... The camp was taken over spotlessly clean. Reinforcements ... arrived.
§17, "Battalion in Divisional Reserve. Battalion Parade - training - saluting - marching and Squad Drill. ..."
§19, "Battalion in Divisional Reserve. training ..."
§22, Battalion goes to trenches.
§24, "... Usual work carried on improving trenches ..." More re-enforcements come in.
§24, "... Situation quiet. Usual work carried on."
§28, "Battalion relieved ..."
§29, "Battalion in Divisional Reserve. Kit Inspection and Pay Parade in morning. Baths and Pay in afternoon.

(Click on Date to go to index.)
-DECEMBER, 1917-
§02, "Battalion in Divisional Reserve. R.C's Church Parade in morning. Protestant's voluntary in evening. Started to poll for the Canadian Elections. ..."
§05, "Battalion in Trenches. ..."
§09, "Battalion in Trenches. Situation normal. ..."
§10, "Battalion relieved ... marched to Cubitt Camp."
§13, "Battalion in Divisional Reserve. Training carried on. Bath and Pay Parades. ..."
§19, "Battalion in Brigade Support. Weather fine and cool. ..."
§21, "Battalion moved by 'Bus from Villers au Bois to Flechin. Route :- Grand Servins - Quatre Vents - Houdain - Ferfay - Westrehem - Flechin. Trip cold. Trip long. Buses lost their way. Dark when we arrived. Billets for men cold.
§24, "Battalion in Divisional Rest Area. ..."
§29, "Battalion in Divisional Rest Area. ... Bath Parades at Flechinelle. C Coy had Christmas Dinner at noon. ... Concert Party."
§30, "Battalion in Divisional Rest Area. R.C's paraded to Service in Church in village. Protestant's to Service in Y.M.C.A. Tent. ..."

(Click on Date to go to index.)
-JANUARY, 1918-
§01, "Battalion in Divisional Rest Area. ..." [Numerous metals are handed out for the battalion's performance at Passchendaele. Re-enforcements come in through these weeks and months to replace them en that had been lost through death and casualties. The battalion continue to be in reserve as they rest and reorganize, and, it would appear to do so until spring.]
§14, "Battalion in Divisional Rest Area. Parades cancelled on account of snow storms."
§16, "Battalion on move. Weather rainy. ..."
§18, "Battalion on move. Left Camblain l'Abbe at 10:30 a.m. and arrived Neuville St. Vaast at 1:00 p.m. Baths in afternoon. Number of officers left in morning to look over front line.
§19, "Battalion in Trenches. ..."
§26, "Battalion in Brigade Support [in Trenches]. Weather fine but very misty All available men employed on working parties, cleaning and reclaiming trenches in front line ..."
§28, "Battalion in Brigade Support [in Trenches]. .... Lieut. R.W. LOVE, U.S. Army, left today. ... Lieut. J. R. MANNING, U.S. Army, reported today, to be attached for instruction. The usual working parties supplied.
§28, "Trench Strength of Companies ... [Twenty officers and 576 men in battalion. Six of the officers and 62 men at HQ., viz, approximately 130 men per company in the field. There are four companies per battalion.]
§31, "Battalion in Front Line. Situation very quiet. Weather foggy. Working parties supplied ..."

(Click on Date to go to index.)
-FEBRUARY, 1918-
§01, "Battalion in Front Line. Situation very quiet. Weather cloudy, with heavy mist."
§04, "Battalion in Brigade Support. ... all available men employed on Working Parties, the greater part of work being done on ... trenches.
§08, "Battalion relieved ... moved to HILLS CAMP, Neuville St. Vaast. ..."
§10, "Battalion in Divisional Reserve. Church in Chaplin Service Cinema Hut in morning. The Bishop of Fredericton preached at the Service and had lunch at Bn. Hqrs. Mess. Rained in morning but fine in afternoon."
§14, "Battalion moved to Rispin Camp VILLERS AU BOIS. ...."
§17, "Battalion in Divisional Reserve. Church Service in morning, Bath and Pay Parades. Weather fine. ..."
§18, "Battalion in Divisional Reserve. Battalion left Villers au Villers au Bois at 2:00 p.m. Arrived ALBERTA HUTS, SOUCHEZ, at 3:30 p.m. ...'
§19, Battalion back in trenches. "Situation quiet."
§23, "Battalion out of trenches "and moved into Brigade Support at LIEVIN situation quiet. ..."
§24, "Battalion in Brigade Support. Weather fine. Situation quiet. The Huns put over quite a number of shells to or near our Battery position on the right. ... [Officers] reconnoitred all posts to be manned by Battalion in case of order to 'Man Battle Positions' was received."
§27, "Battalion in Brigade Support. ... shelled and corner of house knocked off but no one hurt. Relieved ... moved to NIAGARA Camp, CHATEAU DE LA HAIE. ..."
§28, "... Day spent in drying clothes and kit inspections. ... Clear and cool most of the day although a very small blizzard and two showers caused pleasure seekers in the Chateau Grounds to seek cover."

(Click on Date to go to index.)
-MARCH, 1918-
§01, "Battalion in Corps Reserve. Bath and Shortage Parades. ..."
§02, "... The M.O. started to Inoculate the Battalion today. ..."
§05, "Battalion in Corps Reserve. ... [men] proceeded to Divisional Gas Hut to test Respirators. ... Usual training ... a lecture on 'tanks in Offensive and Defensive action' which was given at 2:30 p.m. in the theatre, Chateau de La Haie. Pay parades in afternoon. Weather fine."
§06, "... attending Tank Demonstration near Villers au Bois." [Reinforcements still coming in.]
§07, "... Company proceeded to Ranges at Marqueffles. ..."
§10, "... Church service in the Y.M.C.A. Cinema. ..."Chateau de La Haie to Raimbert
§11/12, "Battalion on move." Left Chateau de La Haie and marched to Raimbert. "Maries-Les-Mines for Lunch."
§13, "Battalion in Army Reserve. [Raimbert] Training being carried out as per appendices. ..." [Dan-Joe's record shows that he is returned to duties after his bout of Scabies which since February which had hospitalized him.]
§17, "Battalion in Army Reserve. Church Service for R.C.s in Village Church, and for Protestants on Battalion Parade Ground. ..."
§18/20, "Battalion in Army Reserve. [Raimbert] Usual training carried on. Weather fine."
§21, "Battalion in Army Reserve. ... on route march ... sports ... Warning orders received that Battalion would probably move on very short notice. [A major German offensive started on the line at this date.]
§22, "... Orders received to move to HOUDAIN by route march on 23rd." [Houdain is 20 km west of Lens. Near Bray.]
§27, "Battalion left Bray ... marched to BIENVILLERS-AU-BOIS, about 15 miles. [Route given] ... Battalion matched splendidly Lorries were supplied to move blankets. Battalion billeted in deserted buildings and barns. Stood at intervals but quite quiet."
§28, "Battalion in 3rd army Reserve. Situation quiet ... orders ... Marched 10 miles ... arrived BLAIREVILLE at 4:15 a.m. ..."
§29, "... Battalion located in old German and British trenches in the vicinity of BLAIREVILLE."

(Click on Date to go to index.)
-APRIL, 1918-
§01, "Battalion in Front Line. ... Situation normal ..."
§02, "Battalion relieved ... Moved back to Wailly, coming into Divisional Reserve."
§06, "... moved off at 6:00 p.m. ... Front Line ... trouble ... being led the wrong way by ... guides. Trenches in muddy condition."
§08, "... Situation normal. 20 other ranks arrived ... Officers, 5N.C.O.'s and 50 other ranks."
§09, "Battalion relieved ... moved back to Brigade Support, near AGNY
§14, "... Bath parades. 20 other ranks arrived as reinforcements ..."
§18, "Battalion in Front Line. ..."
§20, "Battalion in Front Line. ..." [Dan-Joe "Rejoined Unit" though do not know where he had been? I note that men were pealed off for duty at HQ, maybe he was there?]
§21, Manfred Von Richthofen, "The Red Baron", WWI's most successful fighter pilot, was shot down on this date at Vaux-sur-Somme. Wonder if Dan-Joe saw any of this; he was not too far away in a trench.
§24, "... Battalion relieved ... moved back to BRETENCOURT, coming into Divisional Reserve. Casualties during tour 1 Officer wounded ... 7 other ranks killed and 30 wounded. ..." ["Pipe Bands will meet Companies at BLAIRVILLE and play them to billets. (Operation Order)"]
§25, "Battalion in Divisional Reserve. ... Bath and Pay Parades."
§29, "Battalion in Divisional Reserve. ... Battalion moved off at 7:00 p.m. and relieved [another battalion] ..."
§29, "Battalion in Brigade Support. ... 10 other ranks arrived as reinforcements ..."

(Click on Date to go to index.)
-MAY, 1918-
§01, "Brigade Support. [Trenches] ... Twenty Other Ranks [below officer rank] arrived as reinforcements ..." [Throughout, it seems, as they haul out the wounded and the killed of this Canadian battalion, new (inexperienced) men are brought in, more fodder for German guns.]
§07, "Battalion in Front Line. ..."
§09, "Battalion ... moved back to Wailly. ... Total casualties for tour - 7 other ranks Killed, 1 officer wounded, 31 other ranks Wounded."
§12, "Battalion in Divisional Reserve. Training ... [One officer] and 30 other ranks arrived as reinforcements
§14, "Battalion in Divisional Reserve. ... 10 other ranks arrived as reinforcements ... Battalion paraded bu Coys. to attend Y.M.C.A. Cinema, BRETENCOURT, where they were given an entertainment."
§15, Moved back into trenches
§18, "Battalion in Front Line. Nine other Ranks arrived as reinforcements ..." {It was on May 18 that Dan-Joe's health record disclose he was exposed to "Poison Gas."]
§19, "Battalion in Front Line. ... A German Aeroplane succeeded in bringing down one of our observation balloons in flames early this morning.""
§22, "Battalion ... moved back ..."
§23, "Battalion in Brigade Support. ... Two officers and four N.C.O. ... U.S. Army attached to Battalion for instruction."
§24, "Battalion in Brigade Support. Heavy rain ... [Two officers] and 30 other Ranks arrived as reinforcements ... Our Artillery carried out a heavy Gas Bombardment of the enemy positions."
§25, "...Heavy enemy shelling ..."
§28, "Battalion in Brigade Support. Weather fine ... [One officer] and 10 other Ranks arrived as reinforcements ... Battalion relieved ... moved back to BELLACOURT ...
§29, "Battalion in Divisional Reserve. Weather fine. Bath and Pay Parades during day.
§30, "Battalion in Divisional Reserve. Weather fine. Battalion Parade in the morning, with usual training. The Divisional Gas Officer gave a lecture ... A Party of about 20 officers and men proceeded to DOUILENS and returning in evening."

(Click on Date to go to index.)
-JUNE, 1918-
§ JUNE, 1918 (
§01, [Bellacourt] "Battalion in Divisional Reserve. ... A demonstration ... showing an aeroplane flying at various heights, after which training 'Company in Attack' was carried on. In afternoon, Battalion paraded by Coys. to Grosville to see baseball game between us and 25th Battalion. Score Two to Nine in our favour. ..."
§03, Moved to trenches. [NOTE: Two expressions show up throughout the diary: "Reserve" and "Support," such as Divisional Reserve and Brigade Support. Now, I do not know the difference between Division and Brigade, I suspect they are interchangeable. Soldiers in reserve are keep at a distance (a few miles) from the front, at the ready to strengthen a flank or fill in a gap that may have opened-up in the line. In support is when they are handy the line and can move in to fix a situation quickly.]
§05, "Battalion in Brigade Support. Everything quiet. ...Battalion supplied Working Party of 75 Other Ranks with proportion of Officers and N.C.O.s for work on C.Ts.[?] 10, "Battalion in Front Line. Situation generally quiet. ... Working Parties.
§02, "Battalion in Front Line. ... Heavy shelling all day."
§03, "Battalion in Front Line. ... made a silent raid on enemy posts, but found them unoccupied. Weather fine."
§04, "Battalion in Front Line. Situation quiet. ..."
§05, "Battalion relieved by 31st Cdn. Battalion, and came to Wailly Huts, coming into Divisional Reserve. Total Casualties for tour 1 Officer Killed, 2 Officers wounded (remain on duty) 4 Other Ranks Killed, 31 wounded." [NOTE: Presumably one of the other ORs was Dan-Joe, as we read from his record: June 14, 1918: "Dangerously Wounded," neck and back. (Though another entry says the 17th?) He was sent to a causality clearing station.]
§06, "Battalion in Divisional Reserve. ..."
§08, "Battalion in Divisional Reserve. Training carried out, exchange of small box respirators etc. ..."

NEXT (If one wants to go beyond this point.)
Not sure need to go any further with this Diary, as Dan-Joe, as of the middle of June 1918, was out of it. And after a series of stays at hospitals in England, was sent home to Canada on a sick ship in October of 1918. He died two years later at 25 years of age.

[Main Page - DAN-JOE & MALCOLM (WW1)]

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Peter Landry