The First World War
War Diary of The Royal Canadian Regiment

Transcription by Captain Michael O'Leary, The RCR.

MARCH 1916

1-3-16 - Locre

Strength on 1-3-16:- 32 Officers, 987 Other Ranks.

Captain H.B. POSTON Invalided 30-1-16. Lieut. S.C. BATE Invalided 8-2-16. Hon. Capt. M.C. ROUSSEAU struck Off Strength.

Draft of 19 Other ranks joined from Overseas and taken on Strength 18-2-16.

2-3-16 - Locre

Relief Order No. 4 attached hereto marked as 1. R.C.R. moved from LOCRE at 6.00 p.m. for Trenches to relieve 31st. Battalion via KEMMEL SHELTERS. Regimental headquarters at N.22.a.4.5. R.C.R. relieved 31st. Battalion at 9.45 p.m.

No. 410753 Pte E. BEST, M.G. Sec. Wounded, Shrapnel, on way to Trenches, passing KEMMEL TRENCHES, in hand.

P.P.C.L.I. on our right and 22nd. Battalion on our left. Reserve Company R.C.R., Billets in SIEGE FARM. Trench distribution:-

Right Sector, 1 Platoon & 4 men J.1. & J.2., 1 Platoon & 5 men in H.2. & H.3. 1 Platoon less 5 men in J.4. 1 Platoon less 4 men in S.P.2. and vicinity. 

Left Sector J.3. left & J.3. 1 Platoon K.1. - 1 Platoon K.2.s. 1 Platoon & Coy. Hdqrs. S.P.13 old. 1 Platoon "C" Coy. 52nd. Battalion attached for instruction for 24 hours. Coy. marched into the Trenches with the battalion, spent night with Reserve Company and from 4.30 a.m. 3.3.16 1 Platoon attached to each Company of R.C.R. Weather very cold and very miserable. 

Heavy fall of snow all night. Situation very quiet.

3-3-16 - Trenches

Wind Northwest. Situation Quiet. Cold and miserable day, snow and sleet. "C" Company 52nd. Battalion left for Billets at 6.15 p.m. "A" Coy. 52nd. Battalion marched into Trenches for instruction, one platoon being attached to each Company. "D" Company in Reserve moved at 6.00 p.m. from SIEGE FARM to new billets at KEMMEL CHATEAU.

4-3-16 - Trenches

22nd. Battalion was relieved by 26th Battalion on out left on the night of 3rd. - 4th. March 1916. In future H.1.a. to PALL MALL will be known as right sector and the sector K.1. N. to H.2. will be known as left sector. Situation Quiet. Wind Northwest. Weather fine and bright at times, dull at others. Snow still on ground.

5-3-16 - Trenches

Situation Quiet. Wind Northwest. Weather fine and bright at times, Sleet at night.

No. 477657 Pte McMURDO, D. "A" Coy. wounded in back by Grenade whilst on Listening Post outside J.2.

6-3-16 - Trenches

Situation Quiet. Wind Northwest. Weather fine, very bright in the afternoon and evening.

7-3-16 - Trenches

No. 402564 Pte LYCETT, F.J. "B" Coy. Killed. Gunshot in head Trench J.1. (CVWM)

Weather dull, a light snow all day, developed later into a heavy snowfall at night. Wind Northwest. Activity of Enemy quiet but alert. R.C.R. relieved by 26th. Battalion at 8.45 p.m. R.C.R. marched to LOCRE in Divisional Reserve.

8-3-16 - Locre

R.C.R. marched to Rest Billets from LOCRE at 11.00 a.m. to R.33.b.5.5., Sheet 27, S.E. 20th. Battalion left their Rest Billets in the morning. Very fine bright day. Ground covered with snow several inches deep from snowstorm of last night.

The late No. 402564 Pte LYCETT, F.J. was buried at N.21.b.3.4. Sheet 28 on 7-3-16.

9-3-16 - Monte des Cats

Ground still covered with Snow.

10-3-16 - Monte des Cats


11-3-16 - Monte des Cats


12-3-16 - Monte des Cats


13-3-16 - Monte des Cats


14-3-16 - Monte des Cats


15-3-16 - Monte des Cats


16-3-16 - Monte des Cats

Lieut. Col. A.H. Macdonell, D.S.O. took over command of the Regiment on relinquishing temporary command of 7th. Canadian Infantry Brigade.

No. 478047 Pte MOLLOY, J. "C" Coy. Killed (Self inflicted Wound). (CVWM)

17-3-16 - Monte des Cats

The late No. 478047 Pte MOLLOY, J. Buried at R.22.a.5.

18-3-16 - Monte des Cats

Captain A.E. Willoughby proceeded on command to 9th. Scottish Division to take a Staff Course. Lieut. Hodson took over Adjutant pro tem. The Battalion paraded at R.33.b.9.0. (Sheet 27 S.E. at 3.00 p.m. and were visited by the Corps Commander, Lieut. General Sir Edwin Alderson, K.C.B. who made a short address to the Battalion before they proceeded North. "C" & "D" Companies placed in quarantine owing to two suspected cases of Scarlet Fever.

19-3-16 - Monte des Cats

Two Officers & 20 Other ranks proceeded on Leave.

20-3-16 - Monte des Cats

R.C.R. left Rest Billets, R.33.b.5.5, Sheet 27, S.E. at 8.30 a.m. and marched to "C" Camp (Brigade Reserve) G.18.a (Sheet 28) arriving at 12.00 noon. The 3rd. Canadian Division relieved the 24th. Division. Aircraft active throughout the afternoon.

21-3-16 - G.18.a

Weather turned colder, raining most of the day. Took over defended post I.f. (H.24.a.7.9.) Sheet 28 and H.h. (H.21.d.5.4.) Sheet 28. 2 N.C.O's and 7 men in former & N.C.O. and three men in latter.

22-3-16 - G.18.a

Cold & Wet all day. 1 N.C.O. and 5 men proceeded to G.18.b.1.5. Sheet 28 as Wardens in G.H.Q. 3rd. Line.

23-3-16 - G.18.a

Cold & Wet all day.

24-3-16 - G.18.a

Snowing in the morning but weather cleared up in the afternoon, still very cold though.

25-3-16 - G.18.a

Relief Order No. 6 attached. R.C.R. moved from Camp "C" (G.18.a.) Sheet 28 at 6.00 p.m. to relieve 42nd. Battalion in the Trenches. R.H.Q. at MAPLE COPSE, I.23.b.10.1. Relief completed 12.30 a.m. 26-3-16.

Trench Distribution:- "A" Coy. BORDER DUGOUTS "B" Company:- Trenches A.4., A.5.,& A.6. "C" Coy. Supporting Posts, R.1. & R.2. "D" Coy. Trenches A.7., A.8., A.9. & A.10.

Night quiet, weather cold, wind south.

26-3-16 - Trenches

Day mostly clear, but occasional showers, especially at night, wind southwest. Enemy quiet but alert, slight artillery activity. There appears to be an epidemic of either Scarlet Fever or Measles in the Regiment. First few cases were diagnosed as Scarlet Fever but to-day three cases were measles. The Northumberland Fusiliers on our right and P.P.C.L.I. on our left.

27-3-16 - Trenches

Rain most of the day, heavy at night. Wind S.S.E. Enemy very quiet on our own Front during day, but this morning patrol of 20 men detected and dispersed by M.G,. & rapid fire.

Show by R.F. & N.F. to South. 24 Scarlet fever and Measles to date. Our own patrol entered enemy's advanced trench, found unoccupied and brought back Sniper's Plate.

28-3-16 - Trenches

Mostly clear and cold today. Wind S.S.E. Enemy very quiet.

No. 477130 Pte BURDETT, T.H. "C" Coy. wounded in action (self inflicted) in foot, front line. 27-3-16.
No. 477977 Pte WEIR, H.R. "B" Coy. wounded on L.P. by ricochet in thigh (27-3-16).
No. 477716 Pte PERRY, J. "B" Coy. killed in Front line by G.S. Wound in head. Buried I.23.b.9.1. (CVWM)

29-3-16 - Trenches

Relieved by 60th. Battalion at 3.30 a.m. entrained at ASYLUM at 5.45 a.m. arrived Camp "C" 6.45 a.m. Heavy snow and high wind throughout relief. Enemy quiet.

Camp "C" found in very bad condition having been looted.

S.M. O.R.C. H.J. Beard and R.S.M. Phillips promoted Temporary Lieutenants and posted to the Battalion for duty.

30-3-16 - Camp "C"

Weather very warm and clear, cold at night.

31-3-16 - Camp "C"

Weather fine & warm, at night cold.

Appendix 1. R.C.R. O.O. 4 dated 3.3.16. R.C.R. will relieve 31st. Bn. In the trenches on night 3rd/4th March, 1916.

Appendix 2. R.C.R. O.O. 6 dated 25.3.16. R.C.R. will relieve 42nd. Bn. In the trenches on night 25rd/26th March, 1916.

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