The First World War
War Diary of The Royal Canadian Regiment

Transcription by Captain Michael O'Leary, The RCR.


Copy No. 1
Appendix 1

Operation Order No. 1.

by Major C.R.E. WILLETS.

Reference Map. NEUVILLE ST. VAAST. 1/5000.


A small raid will be carried out by the Battalion between points


(C)     A.4.a.87.48
(B)     A.4.a.88.84.
(A)     A.4.a.73.51.

with the object of:-

3.     OBJECT.

(1)     Capturing prisoners and obtaining identification.
(2)    Inflicting casualties.


Hostile wire both on the raid sector and at other selected points will be cut by Field Artillery, 8" Trench Mortars and Stokes on January 20TH, 21ST, and 22ND inclusive. ITALY SAP will be destroyed. Gaps established in wire will be swept by Brigade Machine Guns and Lewis Guns throughout the nights prior to the raid.

(Note):- In cutting wire it is better to make absolutely certain of a number of clear gaps or lanes than to make a pretence of destroying all and have no actual Lane. The Lanes must be carefully reconnoitred in daylight and reported to be satisfactory by leaders concerned or they must be cut again.

5.     STRENGTH.

Lieut. GRAY will command the raiding party which will be sub-divided as follows:

(a)     Lieut. GRAY i N.C.O. & 7 men (2 Bnt. Men, 2 Gren. 4 Bomb.
(b)     Lieut. ROOKS 1 N.C.O. & 7 Men (2 Bnt. Men, 2 Gren. 4 Bomb.
(c)     Sgt. ROSS 1 N.C.O. & 7 Men (2 Bnt. Men, 2 Gren. 4 Bomb.

Total 2 Officers, 4 N.C.O's and 21 men.


1.     The Assembly Position will be in between the points (D) A.4.a.65.27. and (E) A.4.a.65.35. to be formed up at zero -20.

2.     Starting off Position point (F) A.4.a.73.98. moving at zero -5 in the following order:-

Lieut. GRAY.
Sgt. ROSS, 1 N.C.O. and 7 men (Party (C))
1 N.C.O. and 7 men (Party (A))
Lieut. ROOKS, 1 N.C.O. and 7 men (Party (B))


At zero hour the raiding party enter the Enemy's trenches. Party "C" will remain at A.4.a.87.42. the junction of this sap and the front line and deal with the two dugouts there situated, 2 Grenadiers will be established at A.4.a.73.37. to be dropped from Party "C". Party "A" will proceed to the Left as far as A.4.a.73.51. the junction of the sap leading to B4 Crater. Party "B" will proceed to the Right as far as A.4.a.82.24 the junction of the front line with the sap running to the lip of WATLING CRATER and up this sap to the listening post.

The party will remain in the Enemy's Line until zero + 20.

The Signal for withdraw at any time will be 2 G's on the Bugle.

A Rocket will be fired by senior controlling Officer from point (D) A.4.a.65.27. at zero + 20 and will continue being fired until it is ascertained that the signal has been seen (denoting the time the raiding party due to leave the Enemy's trenches). All concerned will be notified of the nature of this rocket before before the operations begin.

Raiding parties will withdraw under the discretion of the Officer or N.C.O. as soon as the signal has been given. Each party will work separately. Rifle Grenadiers in each case will cover the withdrawal of their respective parties.

Prisoners will be passed on from the head of each party to the rear of the party. The Officer or N.C.O. will detail as few men as possible to rush these men into our own lines with the least possible delay.


Commencing at zero and continuing to zero + 35, the Artillery will keep up a box barrage around the raided area. (for further information see LEFT GROUP 3d C.D.A. Operations Orders in this Connection)


Stretcher bearers will be posted in an advanced position under arrangements of the R.M.O. Temporary advanced Aid Post will be established in an advanced position. The Regimental Medical Officer will attend to all cases there. Wounded will be evacuated direct from the Advanced Aid Post via COMDOW to Field Ambulance. Relays of Stretcher Bearers will be arranged.

10.     PRISONERS.

Lieut. BARKER and 1 N.C.O. will remain at "B" Co. H.Qrs. to search prisoners and despatch them to Bn. Headquarters. 1 N.C.O. and 4 Men will be at point "D" (A.4.a.65.27.) to take over any prisoners and rush them to "B" Co. H.Qrs.

11.     REPORTS.

Reports to "B" Co. Headquarters.

12.    DETAIL.

A senior controlling Officer will be at point "D" (A.d.4.65.27.) he should be in close communication with the report centre, F.O.O., O.C. Stokes and Trench Mortars and a system will be arrived at which will enable him to keep touch with the raiders enough to cal for S.O.S. if required.


1. It must be firmly impressed on all ranks that under no circumstances must anyone stop to attend to casualties when going over.

When returning however, every effort should be made to bring back our killed and wounded.

2. Neither the ordinary whistle nor the word "Retire" must on any account be used. It head, it will be regarded as an Enemy signal.

3. Watches will be synchronized before leaving "B" Co. H.Qrs.

4. Dress: Service dress without badges. All Pay Books, letters, etc. are to be left at Co. Headquarters before moving off. Leather jackets will not be worn.

14.     ZERO.

Date and hour will be notified later. (probably 23.1.1917 at about 7.30 a.m.)

15.     Acknowledge.

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

Issued at 12.15 p.m. by Orderly.

Copy No. 1 - 3 War Diary
Copy No. 4 - 7TH Cdn. Inf. Bde.
Copy No. 5 - O.C. Left Group C.D.A.
Copy No. 6 - 7TH Cdn. T.M. Battery
Copy No. 7 - R.M.O.
Copy No. 8 - O.B. "B" Company.
Copy No. 9 - Lt. Gray
Copy No. 10 - 7TH Can. M.G. Coy.

Follow The Regimental Rogue on facebook.