The First World War
War Diary of The Royal Canadian Regiment

Transcription by Captain Michael O'Leary, The RCR.


1-10-16. - ALBERT.

Fine and warm mostly, one or two showers. Time was put back 1 hour at 1. a.m. (winter time) Regiment had Church Service in Cinema Tent, BRICKFIELDS, at 11. a.m. At about 2. p.m. Bosch put about a dozen H.E. into "C" Co. billets, apparently searching for 12" Howitzers on railway. We had 4 killed and 11 wounded. Began at once to move to TARA HILL, into bivouacs.

2-10-16. - TARA HILL.

Rained all day. Lieut. NICHOLLS took over charge of Bde. Pack Animal Co. Regiment relieved 5TH C.M.R. in trenches from R.23.a.3.0. to R.22.o.9.7. (Sheet 75d S.E.) "B" & "C" Cos. Took over front line. "C" Co. in support in ZOLLERN GRABEN. H.Q. at R.28.d.9.8. "A" Co. in reserve in ASSEMBLY trenches R.28 central (South of ZOLLERN GRABEN)

(Relief complete about 2.20 a.m.) 3-10-16

3-10-16. - TRENCHES.

Showery, at times raining quite heavily. Enemy artillery fairly active, especially in afternoon, when about 4. p.m. they put down a barrage for about an hour. Their firing was not very accurate. After the barrage they kept up a fairly heavy fire, shrapnel and H.E. on the front line. In the afternoon Lieut. ROBINSON, Sergt. POPE, and two scouts tried to reconnoitre KENDAL SAP, with a view to establishing a bombing post. They were prevented by the heavy artillery fire and sniping. At night Lieut. BOLE and a party of bombers started out to bomb the sap, but although they divided into small parties and crossed and recrossed the area searching for the sap, they were unable to find any trace of it, so returned some short time after midnight.

4-10-16. - TRENCHES.

Showery all day. Enemy artillery quite active. Snipers are watching gap between "B" & "C" Cos. Lieut. ROBINSON, Sergt. POPE and Pte BENNETT, again went out in search of KENDAL SAP under heavy artillery fire and sniping, they finally located it and went up to within 30 yards of the enemy's line, where snipers drove them back. They discovered 6 wounded men of the C.M.R. who had been in the Sap for three days, two of them were buried and BENNETT dug them out with his hands while Lieut. ROBINSON and Sergt. POPE returned to Bn. Hd. Qrs. With their report and to organize a rescue party. This was obtained from "A" Co., Sergt. POPE guiding the party to the Sap. Two of our party were killed and one wounded. Three of the wounded men were got safely to the dressing station. Relief by 8TH BORDER Regt. Began at 5. p.m.

(Appendix 1.)

5-10-16. - TRENCHES.

Showery. Relief completed at 3.30 a.m. Battalion in bivouacs at TARA HILL. After resting all morning men started cleaning up in afternoon.

Total casualties during tour are Lieuts. HORTON, CHURCHILL, PITMAN and MACCONNELL Wounded and Lieut. STUART missing, 9 O.R. Killed, 15 O.R. Missing, 60 O.R. Wounded.

Sergts. T. O'CONNOR and A.E. GLADWIN, Scouts- A.E. FOSTER and B. MCCOLL, C.U. MCGRATH, awarded M.M.

J. DAWSON awarded D.C.M.

6-10-16. - TARA HILL.

Showery. Regiment standing by to proceed to line again, meanwhile continuing cleaning.

Lieut. NAYLOR struck off strength on transfer to H.Q. C.T.D.

Canadian Corps Bombing School retained two of our men as instructors making a total of 8.

7-10-16. - TARA HILL.

Cloudy, Men cleaning up and standing by to proceed to the line. Regiment proceeded to trenches to relieve 42ND Battalion (R.H.C.) 1ST party arrived at KAY DUFF at about 3. p.m. and Regiment proceeded by Platoons to trenches from WEST MIRAUMONT ROAD inclusive to KENORA TRENCH inclusive and R.23.b.2.1. (Sheet 57d S.E.) Relief was complete about 11. p.m. Artillery fairly active.

(Appendix 2.)

8-10-16. - TRENCHES.

Cloudy and cool. See appendix No. 3.

(Appendix 3.)

9-10-16. - TRENCHES.

Cloudy, not quite so cool. See Appendix No. 4. Total casualties reported to date are Captain SAPTE, Lieuts. SIMPSON, WALSH, SUTTON and PENNIMAN, Missing 8-10-16. Major HODSON, Major WOOD, Lieuts. DICKSON, DWYER, BELL and MURRAY, WOUNDED 8-10-16. Killed 7 other ranks. Missing 207 other ranks. Wounded 68 other ranks. It is expected that most of those reported missing will be located through slips from Casualty Clearing Stations as having passed through dressing stations of other regiments on our flanks.

(Appendix 4.)

10-10-16. - TARA HILL.

Cloudy and cool. Regiment moved to billets in WARLOY, arriving about 3. p.m. Every man was under cover. 37 other ranks joined as reinforcements mostly returned from hospital.

(Appendix 5.)

11-10-16. - WARLOY.

Cloudy and cool. Day spent in cleaning up generally. Men are very tired.

Lieuts. PICKFORD, LEWIS, ENGLAND, ALLAN, BECK and DAVIS joined as reinforcements from overseas.
Lieut. ALLAN and 11 other ranks on command Bombing Course.
Sergts. HUNT and LITTLEWOOD on command to Cadet School.

1 O.R. granted leave.

Lieut. GRAY accidentally wounded in foot while cleaning automatic revolver.

12-10-16. - WARLOY.

Not quite so cloudy, still cool. Morning spent in cleaning up. Regiment moved to LA VOCGNE in the afternoon, arriving about 5. p.m.

(Appendix 6.)

13-10-16. - LA VICOGNE.

Partly fine and cool. Regiment moved to BERTEAUCOURT area (ST LEGER) arriving about 11. a.m. The billets were good.

(Appendix 7.)

14-10-16. - BERTEAUCOURT.

Fine, not quite so cool. Day spent in cleaning up parades.

Lieut. BOLE admitted to D.R.S.
Lieut MCCALLUM, D.S.O., rejoined from overseas and appointed Assistant Adjutant.

15-10-16. - BERTEAUCOURT.

Showery. Lieut GREEN and 33 O.R. proceeded to Rest Camp AULT.

16-10-16. - BERTEAUCOURT.

Cloudy and cooler. Regiment moved to PROUVILLR, arriving about 10.30 a.m. Billets quite good.

Lieut. BOLE returned from D.R.S.
Lieut. BEARD granted 12 days leave.

20 O.R. joined as reinforcements.

Lieut. MUNN appointed O.C. "A" Co., Lieut. BATE appointed O.C. "B" Co., Lieut. WOODS appointed O.C. "C" Co., Lieut. THOMPSON appointed O.C. "D" Coy, Lieut. ISBESTER appointed Lewis Gun Officer.

(Appendix 8.)

17-10-16. - PROUVILLE.

Showery and cool. Day spent in cleaning up. Recruits and newly joined officers paraded at 9. a.m. for instruction.

Lieuts. FOSTER and ALLAN returned from Lewis Gun and Bombing courses respectively.

18-10-16. - PROUVILLE.

Showery and cool. Muster parade of Regiment held from 9. a.m. to 11. a.m. Recruits and Officers 11. a.m. to 12. noon and 2. p.m. to 4. p.m.

Lieuts. FOSTER and BARKER joined from overseas.

19-10-16. - PROUVILLE.

Still showery and cool. Parades of recruits and Officers as usual. Divisional Commander inspected Transport, all Transport Officers of the Bde. Attending.

Major HEAD proceeded to England.

20-10-16. - PROUVILLE.

Fine and cool. Regiment moved to VILLERS l' HOPITAL. Looking very fine and marched well. Transport in excellent condition.

Lieut. ISBESTER returned from 3RD Divsl. School.

(Appendix 9.)

21-10-16. - VILLER L'HOPITAL.

Fine and cooler. Regiment moved to BUNEVILLE. Conference of Bn. C.O's in after noon re new line to be taken over.

(Appendix 10.)

22-10-16. - BUNEVILLE.

Fine and cold. Regiment moved to PENIN, arriving about 11.30 a.m. The weather on the last three moves has been perfect. Afternoon devoted to cleaning up and polishing.

(Appendix 11.)

23-10-16. - PENIN.

Cloudy and cool. Regiment moved to CAMBLIGNEAU. Route was changed to via AUBIGNY. In the last eight days billets have gone from excellent to good. 12 O.R. proceeded on command for water and police duties.

Lieut. MUNN and three other ranks proceeded on leave to England.

(Appendix 12.)

24-10-16. - CAMBLIGNEAU.

Showery and cool. Regiment moved to ECOIVRES in morning, arriving about 11.30 a.m. H.Q. in Chateau, men in Huts. At 5. p.m. 1ST Platoon left for Brigade Reserve (Cellars in NEUVILLE ST VAAST) other following at 100 yards distance in order H.Q. "A" "B" "C" "D". Guides were met at (LE TARGETTE) cross roads. We relieved the 2/17TH LONDONS. Regiment is distributed as follows:-

Trench strength 386 all ranks. Three other ranks proceeded on leave to England. Lieut. CAREY and 8 O.R. 2/19TH LONDONS left by Imperials as Liaison Intelligence for two days.

(Appendix 13.)

25-10-16. - TRENCHES.

Showery and cool. Enemy apparently very quiet. 1 Officer per Co. attached 49TH Bn. for instruction. Runners taken all over line by 2/19TH N.C.O. Lieut. BARKER and two other ranks proceeded to Canadian Corps School. No casualties. 90 other ranks had baths.

26-10-16. - TRENCHES.

Fine and cool. 4 more Officers sent up to reconnoitre front line, other Officers went over rear area and located Dumps, etc. Working parties of 150 sent out. 90 O.R. had baths. Lieut. CAREY and 8 O.R. left to rejoin their regiment.

27-10-16. - TRENCHES.

Cloudy and cool. Four other Officers relieved those at present in front line for instruction. Co. Commanders also spent five hours going over front line system. Working Parties of 175 sent out. 12 Casuals returned to duty from BASE. 2 O.R. joined as reinforcements from overseas. 90 O.R. had baths.

28-10-16. - TRENCHES.

Showery at intervals, cool. Working parties of 160 sent out.

Major WILLETS rejoined Regiment from 3RD Canadian Divisional H.Q.

29-10-16. - TRENCHES.

Showery. Regiment relieved 49TH Bn. in right sub-sector of Left Sector (L.1.) relief complete by 11. a.m. 1ST Relief we have accomplished in full in France, in daylight. Distribution of Battalion:- H.Q. at junction ROSS STREET and CHASSERY. "B" Co. on right, remainder on left in following order - "A" "C" "D". We have 286 rifles holding over 1200 yards of front. Trenches at present in good condition, but are not revetted. The first really heavy rain will do more damage than we can keep pace with. Large working parties are urgently needed. The approaches to the crater posts are especially bad. Almost no rifle or Machine Gun fire or Artillery fire. A fair amount of all kinds of Trench Mortar and Rifle grenade fire. We sent a patrol under Lieut. ROBINSON out between WATLING and LICHFIELD craters. There was nothing of interest to report. Two of enemy were seen east of WATLING crater, wearing blue peakless caps with white bands.

Lt-Col. HILL proceeded on leave for England.

(Appendix 14.)

30-10-16. - TRENCHES.

Showery and cool. Enemy attitude quiet. Very little rifle or Machine Gun fire. T.M. and Rifle Grenade duel in morning and afternoon. We put over about six to their one. Observation difficult. One of enemy's H.T.M's has been named JOSEPHINE. She is dug in deeply, as 4.5's and 6" cannot touch her. She is in rear of centre of line between WATLING and LICHFIELD craters. 13 O.R. rejoined from Base (casuals). 1 O.R. joined as reinforcement. 1 O.R. wounded by fragment of Rifle Grenade. Enemy working party was dispersed by 18 pdrs. And another one by our Bombers with Rifle Grenades. Officers patrol again went out. It patrolled around lip of LICHFIELD crater. Found heavy wire entanglements, but no signs of new work.

31-10-16. - TRENCHES.

Two patrols sent out one reconnoitred between ALBANY and CHASSERY CRATERS and ITALY SAP opposite LICHFIELD. Enemy line is heavily wired and several shall holes were disvovered which are apparently used as Listening or Sniping posts. Enemy attitude same as previous days. Heavy rains last night have washed in a geat amount of trench, in some places carrying away firing steps.

C.R.E. Willets
For Lieut. Col.
Commanding The Royal Canadian Regiment.

Appendix 1 - R.C.R. O.O. 41 dated 4.10.16. R.C.R. relief by 8th Border Regiment on night 4TH/5TH October, 1916.

Appendix 2 - R.C.R. O.O. 42 dated 7.10.16. R.C.R. will relieve part of 42ND Canadian Battalion on night 7TH/8TH October, 1916.

Appendix 3 & 4 - Narrative of operations of the Royal Canadian Regiment. On 7TH, 8TH, and 9TH October, 1916.

Appendix 5 - R.C.R. O.O. 43 dated 10.10.16. Instructions to R.C.R. for move to WARLOY.

Appendix 6 - R.C.R. O.O. 44 dated 12.10.16. R.C.R. will move to LAVICOGNE Area today.

Appendix 7 - R.C.R. O.O. 12.10.16 Instructions to R.C.R. for move to VERTEAUCOURT tomorrow the 13TH October, 1916.

Appendix 8 - R.C.R. O.O. 46 dated 15.10.16. Instructions to R.C.R. for move to PROUVILLE Area tomorrow 16TH inst.

Appendix 9 - R.C.R. O.O. 47 dated 19.10.16. R.C.R. will move to VILLERS L'HOPITAL tomorrow the 20TH October, 1916.

Appendix 10. - R.C.R. O.O. 48 dated 19.10.16. R.C.R. will move to BUNEVILLE tomorrow 21ST inst.

Appendix 11. - R.C.R. O.O. 49 dated 21.10.16. R.C.R. will move to PENIN Area tomorrow.

Appendix 12. - R.C.R. O.O. 50 dated 23.10.16. R.C.R. will move to CAMBLIONEUL today.

Appendix 13. - R.C.R. O.O. 51 dated 24.10.16. R.C.R. will move to ECOIVRES.

Appendix 14. - R.C.R. O.O. 52 dated 28.10.16. R.C.R. will relieve 49TH Cdn. Bn. tomorrow. Relief to be completed by 12 noon.