The C.F.A. at the Somme
Contributed by Colonel G.W.L. Nicholson, CD, Ottawa, Canadian Army Journal, Vol. 18, No. 3, 1964.
The 13th Battery, Canadian Field Artillery, disembarked at Le Havre on September 14, 1915, and for the next twelve months manned their guns in the misery of the mud of the Ypres Salient, and fought at St. Eloi, Sanctuary Wood and Hooge. Early in September, 1916, they moved with the 2nd Canadian Division to the Somme. Their arrival there is described in GunFire, the history of the 4th Brigade, C.F.A.: During the last day's march into the Somme, Driver George Wisheart, 13th Battery, was leading driver of the leading gun of the leading Battery of the leading Brigade of the 2nd Canadian Divisional Artillery, and mighty proud old George was of that fact. The Battery was halted in a small village where a certain British Battalion was billeted; and where troops are billeted it is customary to find a Regimental Padre. Down the village street came the British Padre and, with the best of intentions, but nevertheless somewhat too dignified an air, enquired of George, "What Division are you, my man?" "Second Canadians, sorr!" George answered. "Ah yes! Where are you going, my man?" "To the Somme, sorr." "Ah indeed!", and glancing along the line of well kept horses, burnished brass, and shining leather, and taking us for new troops, the Padre further remarked: "I suppose you're going in to your baptism of fire?" Old George stiffened as he thought of the past twelve months up in the Salient, and with stinging voice replied: "Baptism is it, sorr? Not by a damn sight! It's our bloody golden wedding!"