The First World War
War Diary of The Royal Canadian Regiment

Transcription by Captain Michael O'Leary, The RCR.


1.12.16. - TRENCHES

Cold - Misty. Situation quiet. No. 3 Co. P.P.C.L.I. stood by in Bogg St. ready to reinforce our "B" Co. Usual Josephine activity on Ross St.

2.12.16. - TRENCHES

Cold, Clear - Situation quiet.

Ptes. GURNETT and VICKERY accidentally wounded by Rifle grenade and admitted to hospital this date.
425346 Pte SPENCER, G. burned on right arm by brazier, (accidental).

3.12.16. - TRENCHES

Cold - Cloudy. Situation quiet. Relieved by 49TH. Battn. from Mt. St. Eloy. Relief complete by 8.35 p.m.


Cold - Showery.

Lieut. SNIDER returned from leave.

General mix up with Working parties.


Wet - Showery. Working party allotment cut down.


Wet - Showery. G.O.C. 3RD. Can. Div. Holds Bn. Cmdrs. Conference at 7TH. Can. Inf. Bde. Hd. Qrs. Subject of Discussion.- Work and its importance in the front line. Officers in charge of working parties should personally inspect work of the men. Each platoon officer should have a platoon work book and each mans work entered daily.

M.G's should have their emplacement near their dugout to enable M.G. to be brought into action without loss of time.


Clear - Cold. C.O. holds Co. and Det. Cmdrs. Conference and imparts subject of G.O.C. 3RD. Divs' lecture to Co. and det. Officers.


Clear - Cold. Relieved 49TH. Battn. from Bde. Res. Relief complete 4.30 p.m. Situation quiet.

9.12.16. - TRENCHES

Windy and Showery. Situation quiet.

Major WILLETS returned from leave and took over command of the Regt. From major GARON.

Lecture by Col. Twiss in LILLIERES on "ALLIED PART IN THE WAR". Lieuts. MCCALLUM and ALLAN attended.

10.12.16. - TRENCHES

Windy and Showery. Situation quiet. T.M. activity on ROSS ST.

11.12.16. - TRENCHES

Wet - Cold. Aerial Torpedos and R.G. activity. 2 O.R. Killed, 1 Wounded.

12.12.16. - TRENCHES

Clear - Cool.

Lieut. MUNN wounded by sniper at B4 CRATER.

13.12.16. - TRENCHES

Relieved by 49TH. Battn from Bde. Res. Relief complete by 4.30 p.m.

Lieut E.C. SNIDER attended Adjutant course at Bde.

Lieut. MCCALLUM Act. Adjt.

14.12.16. - DIVNL. RESERVE

Fair - Cloudy. Men's feet inspected by M.O.

Pte HUDSON, "B" Co. admitted to Hospital with Trench Feet.

Cos. Bathed at Moreuill - general clean up. P.P.C.L.I. concert in Concert Hut.

15.12.16. - DIVNL. RESERVE

Cold - Showery. Men paid. Hdqr. Co. bathed. Company parades according to Syllabus.

16.12.16. - DIVNL. RESERVE

Cold - Showery. 111 O.R. posted to Coys. from 7TH. Bde. Training Bn.

Capt. LOGAN proceeded on 30 days leave for England.

17.12.16. - DIVNL. RESERVE

Frosty - Cloudy.

Major WILLETS proceeded to Boulogne for C.O's conference.

Capt. WILLOUGHBY in command of Regt.

Church parade in Concert HUT, Capt. The Rev. Cameron preached on this occasion.

M.G's, Bombers and Transport made up to full strength.

18.12.16. - DIVNL. RESERVE

Frosty - Cold. G.O.C. 7TH. Can. Inf. Bde's inspection of the Regt. In Div. Reserve.

Lieut. C.G.B. THOMPSON in command of the Regt.
Capt. WILLOUGHBY President of F.G.C.M.
Lieut. GRAY reported as reinforcement this date.

19.12.16. - DIVNL. RESERVE

Cloudy - Cold - Snow. Relieved 49TH. Bn. from Mt. St. Eloy. Left HUTS at 3.30 p.m. Band and Drums played Regt out as far as Rear Bde. Hqrs. Relief complete 8.35 p.m.

20.12.16. - TRENCHES

Clear - hard frost. 8TH. Bde. Put on an attack on one Bn. frontage. A barrage was effected on enemy front line opposite LITCHFIELD and WATLING CRATERS. It consisted of HEAVY and LIGHT Artillery and the 4" STOKES put on a smoke barrage in same vicinity. The object of this barrage was to deceive enemy as to where attack was to be made. The assault was very successful 2 Officers and 55 O.R. taken prisoners. Our casualties 6 O.R. Killed, 18 O.R. Wounded all of which were evacuated. Very little retaliation on part of the enemy.

Lieut. BLOTT reported as reinforcement this date.

21.12.16. - TRENCHES

Clear - Hard Frost. Minnenwerfer and aerial torpedo activity in vicinity of ROSS STREET.

22.12.16. - TRENCHES

Weather breaking. Showery. Situation quiet.

Pte McFEAT killed while on patrol on right of CHASSERY CRATER.

23.12.16. - TRENCHES

Wet - TRENCHES falling in. Miners report enemy mine between DEVON and ALBANY and 60 feet South of Junction of DEVON SAP and OBSERVATION LINE. All posts withdrawn within 200 feet radius. Consolidating and counter-attack parties held in readiness on both flanks.

The following promotions came through this date in D.R.O:-
To be Majors:- Capt. A.E. WILLOUGHBY, Capt. H.M. LOGAN.
To be Captains:- Lieut. D.E. MUNN, Lieut. C.G.B. THOMPSON, Lieut. J.S. WOODS.

No. 207240 Pte SHIER killed in action while wiring.
No. 261539 Pte JONES W.H., wounded in action (G.S. Left Foot) between DEVON and ALBANY Craters.

24.12.16. - TRENCHES

Windy and Showery. Relieved by 49TH. Battn. Regiment moved to Bde. Reserve.


Cold and clear. Situation absolutely quiet until 11 p.m. when an intense bombardment was on left of Brigade Sector.


Cold and Cloudy.

No. 477642 Sgt. MCHUGH A. killed by Rifle Grenade while on Working Party.

C.O. holds Co. and Dets. Conference. Subject:- Strong Points along Battn. frontage and Trench warfare in general. 49TH. Battn. and R.C.R. hold conference re Strong Points.


Windy - Hard Frost.

Major WILLETS, C.R.E. returned from C.O's conference at BOULOGNE.

Capt. BUCK H. struck off the strength. Replaced by Capt. BROCKENSHIRE.


Showery. 49TH. Battn successfully blew a mine between DEVON and ALBANY to 10 p.m. There was practically no retaliation. Mine was partly consolidated and wired in. it was named EDMONTON CRATER.


Very heavy rainfall. Deep dug-outs leaking, trenches in very bad condition, sides caving in - flooding C.T.s and Front Line. This is due to taking over unrevetted trenches with no Draining System. This work should have been done in the Summer months. Relieved 49TH. Battn. from Brigade Reserve. Relief complete at 5.30 p.m. Further wiring and consolidating of EDMONTON CRATER.

30.12.16. - TRENCHES

Clear and fine. Visit from G.O.C., 7TH. Canadian Infantry Brigade.

31.12.16. - TRENCHES

Clear. Snipers claim 1 hit.

C.R.E. Willets
Commanding The Royal Canadian Regiment.

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