The First World War
War Diary of The Royal Canadian Regiment

Transcription by Captain Michael O'Leary, The RCR.

MAY 1917

1.5.17. - LA FOLIE AREA.

Fine and warm. Regiment moved in early afternoon to VILLERS Huts, VILLERS AU BOIS.

Captain K.M. HOLLOWAY, and Captain C.L. WOOD rejoined from England and Lieuts. M.F. GREGG, R.W. CHURCHILL, R.M. MILLETT, J.T. PROBERT and E.F. DAVIS joined as reinforcements.

1 O.R. killed in action.
2 O.R. wounded in action.
94 O.R. joined as reinforcements.

2.5.17. - VILLERS AU BOIS.

Fine and warm. Regiment spent day in cleaning up and Company parades for inspection of clothing and equipment. Last two drafts on the square from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. under the instructors. 300 man had baths in the afternoon. Newly joined officers on the square under C.S.M. ROBERTS to learn our methods and customs.

1 O.R. from C.C.S.

(Appendix 1.)

3.5.17. - VILLERS AU BOIS.

Fine and warm. Companies carried out Syllabus of training. New officers and Draft on square as usual. 300 men had baths. At night, the P.P.C.L.I. concert party assisted by our Band, entertained the Regiment with an entirely new show, which was the best they have put on. It was enjoyed by all ranks.

Lieut. E.E.N. McCALLUM proceeded to PARIS on 10 days leave.
1 O.R. to C.C.S.
3 O.R. reinforcements from 3RD Entrenching Bn.

4.5.17. - VILLERS AU BOIS.

Fine and warm. Companies carried out Syllabus of training. Drafts on square as usual. New officers were passed from square for duty with their companies. In the Brigade sports which commenced this afternoon, we won from the 49TH by a score of 4 - 0 in football team - MAULE, WILLIAMS, GILMOUR, ROWBOTHAM, WRIGHT, MOLLOY, TAPP, COOPER, RILEY, BATTLE, WISE. In the Baseball we were defeated 8 - 7. The game was closely contested. Team - DUBOIS, Lieut. ALLENBACK, ABLE, STUPPLE, CLEVELAND, FOX, GILMOUR, CROLL, WEIR. Lieut. ALLENBACK pitched an excellent game, and DUBOIS catching was good. In the Officer Indoor baseball game we defeated the 49th Bn. By quite a margin, in spite of the excellent pitching of Lieut. Col. PALMER. Team - Lieuts. NAYLOR, PHILLIPS, HOME, ISBESTER, Capt. C.L. WOOD, Major WILLETS, Captain J.S. WOODS, Lieuts. ALLENBACK and GREGG.

5.5.17. - VILLERS AU BOIS.

Fine and warm. Companies adhered to Syllabus. Drafts on square as usual. 300 man bathed in afternoon. Brigade Sports were continued in afternoon. In the football finals, in a very closely contested match we were defeated by the 42ND battalion by 2 - 1 at full time the score was one all and it was decided to play an extra ten minutes each way. In the first ten minutes, 42ND scored and we were unable to overcome the lead. We were unfortunately without the services of GILMOUR, TAPP, and MOLLOY. RAE, TURNER and GIBSON substituting. MAULE played an exceedingly fine game in goal, saving a score many times. In the Officer Baseball (outside) we were badly beaten by the P.P.C.L.I. team. We, however, defeated their Officer team at Football by 3 - 0. Team Major LYNE-EVANS, Lieuts. STRIDE and PROBERT, Captain C.L. WOOD, Lieuts. HOME, HUNT, NAYLOR, ISBESTER, MILLETT and CHURCHILL. Major LYNE-EVANS and Captain WOOD were the Stars. Our Baseball team having re-organized and had a work out also defeated the P.P.C.L.I. team by 28 - 5. Corporal ABEL pitched an excellent game and the whole team worked well.

6.5.17. - VILLERS AU BOIS.

Mostly fine, not so warm owing to strong wind blowing. Joint Church Service of P.P.C.L.I. and "B", "C" and "C" Companies of our Regiment, held on our parade ground at 10. a.m. "A" Company on working party, from which they moved to GRANGE TUNNEL. "B" Co. moved to GRANGE TUNNEL at 1 p.m. They were played out of camp by the Band.

Lieut. GRANT SUTTIE G.L.P. joined as reinforcement.
Lieut. H.J. BEARD promoted Captain C.A.P.C.

7.5.17. - GRANGE TUNNEL.

Fine and warm. Remainder of Regiment moved to GRANGE TUNNEL, leaving huts at 1 p.m. in order H.Q., "C" and "D" Companies. Prior to leaving, the Band gave an open air Concert. Bn. H.Q. at head of GRANGE TUNNEL near "P" Line entrance. Whole Regiment in Tunnel. Drafts moved to camp near Transport lines near FORT GEORGE where they will continue training. 4 Officers and 200 other ranks working parties on roads.

1 O.R. killed in action.

8.5.17. - GRANGE TUNNEL.

Fine and warm. 4 Officers and 200 other ranks on work on roads. 2 Officers and 100 other ranks lifting rails from floor of tunnel and levelling floor. Lieuts. L.E. LONGLEY, T.B. ROGERS, C.C. SMITH, E.B. CORSAN and L.C. LINTON joined as reinforcements, this date. These Officers are remaining at rear for instruction.

8 other ranks joined as reinforcements from C.B.D.

9.5.17. - GRANGE TUNNEL.

Rain during night and early morning, later Fair. 6 Officers and 300 other ranks on work on roads. "A" and "B" Cos. And Scouts and Runners sent up reconnoitring parties to our right Battalion Sector.

Lieut. E.T. WAUGH joined as reinforcement from 3RD Entrenching Battalion.
1 O.R. Wounded in action.
1 O.R. from C.C.S.
12 O.R. to 1ST Army Rest Camp.

10.5.17. - GRANGE TUNNEL.

Fine and warm. 4 Officers and 200 O.R. on working parties. On roads. 21 O.R. building Rifle Range in Longfellow Crater. "C" and "D" Cos. Sent up reconnoitring parties over Right Battalion Sector.

11.5.17. - GRANGE TUNNEL.

Mostly Fair, though some Rain. Working Parties of 8 Officers and 400 O.R. sent out for work on Roads.

12.5.17. - GRANGE TUNNEL.

Mostly fair, Sultry. No working parties today. The Regiment commenced relief of the 4TH C.M.R. Battalion in Right Sub-Section, crossing the Ridge at 9.00 p.m. in order "A", "B", "C" and "D" Companies R.C.R. No 3 and 4 Companies P.P.C.L.I. who are to be attached to us and hold part of the Front Line to be taken over by 2ND Canadian Division until time of relief by that Division. Rations, Kits, etc., were sent up on Pack Mules direct to Battalion headquarters and Front Line.

Lieut. ALLAN returned from leave.
Died of wounds 2 O.R.
Reinforcements from C.B.D. 1.
4 O.R. to C.C.S.

13.5.17. - VIMY.

Fine and Very Warm. Relief commenced last night completed at 1.30 a.m. Line is now held as follows:- from Right to Left (Map References, Sheet 36c.S.W.)

Our Front Line is approximately 1400 yards from the enemy lines. The Enemy shelled Battalion Headquarters and vicinity from about 8.00 a.m. to about 6.00 p.m. quite heavily from 2.00 p.m. on. Offensive and Defensive Patrols were out on all Company Fronts during the night. "B" Co. Patrol under Sergeant ORR captured a prisoner of the 93RD R.I.R. 4TH Guards Division about T.9.d.5.7. near one of our Lewis Gun Posts, he was on a Patrol of ten of the enemy and had been sent back by the Officer in charge to bring up Rear Party, none of the remainder of the Patrol were seen, all Companies are working on the deepening and widening of the trenches and "D" Company are digging a communication trench to Front Line and also building Dugouts in Support Line. Wire is to be put out by all Companies not less than 75 yards in advance of the Front Line and zig-zagged. There are numerous well-filled Dumps of German Concertina Wire in our Area which we intend to use also we can salvage numbers of German Screw Stakes, medium and small. We are to have 2 Platoons of No. 1 Company P.P.C.L.I. each night for Carrying Party.

13 O.R. joined as reinforcements from C.B.D.
3 O.R. killed in action.
3 O.R. Evac. to C.C.S.

14.5.17. - VIMY.

Cloudy, some showers, cooler. Enemy artillery not so active. Offensive and defensive patrols were out on all company frontages. Patrol of "A" Co. encountered enemy patrol and opened up on it with Lewis Gun. The enemy patrol retired, but left one body of an Officer of the 93rd R.I.R. whom we had killed. All papers. Including sketch of our trench, and necessary identification were taken off his body, which patrol buried in a shell hole. Other patrols had nothing to report. "D" Company supplied 100 men for the new communication trench and continued work on dugouts. The work on the front line was continued and more Engineer material carried up. There has been a great deal of undercutting of the front line trench, which may cause the parapet to "slide" in places if it rains. To combat this we are going to revet such places, as far as possible, with sandbags.

8 O.R. wounded in action.
1 O.R. died of wounds.

15.5.17. - VIMY.

Cloudy, with some fair spells. Day quite quiet. At night we had the usual Offensive and defensive patrols out on all Company fronts. They saw or heard nothing of the enemy. Work on trenches, Communication trench and wire has progressed very well. To systematize the work on the front line on the Divisional Front there is now a Divisional Scheme of strong points to be constructed, which will have a permanent garrison, which will do nothing else but work on those portions of the line chosen. It is expected to begin this in two or three days. We now have a continuous line of Bosch concertina wire along out front. It has yet to be aproned down and we intend to put out another row. The present wire is about 75 yards in front of the line.

Major WILLOUGHBY returned from leave.

16.5.17. - VIMY.

Fair and warm, at times overcast. Usual patrols out on our front. Although they went right up to the enemy wire, no sign of him was found. Work as usual was carried out on the front line, wire, communication trench and dugouts in support line. Pack mules to-night took up three thousand sand bags and a supply of screw-stakes of all sizes. Up to the present we have used only enemy wire and screw-stakes, which are on dumps in the area captured. Our Aeroplanes are quite active when the weather permits. They were active to-day.

2 O.R. killed in action.
3 O.R. wounded in action.

17.5.17. - VIMY.

Cloudy, some heavy showers. Usual patrols out on all fronts and usual working parties carried on. No. 3 Company P.P.C.L.I. was relieved by a Company of the 26TH battalion to-night. No. 4 Company P.P.C.L.I., which should have been relieved by a Company of the 25TH Battalion, attached to the 26Th Battalion, was not relieved, having therefore to stay in another day. Our right flank now rests on Light Trench Railway. 1 Officer and 8 O.R. of the 116TH Battalion, which is to relieve us, came up to-night to remain till morning of the 19th inst., to learn the line. Their scouts and runners also went around the line. 40 O.R. from drafts undergoing training at Transport Lines were sent up to their Companies to-night.

2 O.R. wounded in action.

18.5.17. - VIMY.

Fair and warm. Offensive and Defensive patrols out on all Company fronts. "B" Company patrol met a patrol of the enemy, who when opened up on by our patrol with a Lewis Gun, retired. Work on strong points in the front line was commenced to-night. A company of the P.P.C.L.I. worked on the communication trench. No. 4 Company of the P.P.C.L.I. was relieved to-night by a company of the 25TH Battalion.

19.5.17. - VIMY.

Fair and warm. Usual patrols out on all fronts. Work on defended localities continued, also wiring. P.P.C.L.I. Company continued work on Communication trench and "D" Company on support line and dugouts. Pack mules again took up a load of engineering material.

1 O.R. killed in action.
12 O.R. wounded in action.
2 O.R. reinforcements from C.B.D.

20.5.17. - VIMY.

Sultry, some showers. Relief by 116TH Battalion commenced at 9.30 p.m. There has been a great deal of sickness this tour - P.U.O. - due undoubtedly to a too-long stay underground in dugouts.

1 O.R. killed in action.
1 O.R. wounded in action.
1 O.R. died of wounds.

21.5.17. - VIMY.

Sultry to begin with, later fine and warm. Relief by the 116TH Battalion completed 2.45 a.m. Regt. proceeded to bivouacs in Toronto area (Near Quarry Line) at 3 a.m. Regt. proceeded to billets in VILLERS AU BOIS, vacated by 1ST C.M.R.

1 O.R. reinforcement from C.B.D.

22.5.17. - VILLERS AU BOIS.

Foggy all day, with frequent showers. Day spent in cleaning up, refitting and pay parades.

1 O.R. evac. to C.C.S.

23.5.17. - VILLERS AU BOIS.

Fine and warm. Regiment paraded from 9 a.m. to 12 noon and from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. on Battalion Parade Ground and carried on with Platoon and Company drill and specialist training. The last two drafts (of 98 and 94) which have been undergoing training at the Transport Lines during the last tour were, with the exception of two poor squads, returned to their companies for duty. The third last draft of 168 was taken from their Companies to undergo training under the instructors.

Capt. POSTON, joined as reinforcement from C.B.D. 23-5-17
1 O.R. as reinforcement.

24.5.17. - VILLERS AU BOIS.

Fine and warm. Regiment paraded as per syllabus of training from 8.30 a.m. to 12.20 p.m. Recruits as usual. We played the 49TH Battalion Baseball this afternoon, winning by 10 to 9 in a close game. We also won the prize for best single LIMBER TURN OUT in the Division. Six hundred men bathed. The Band gave a concert for the Regiment at 6 p.m.

25.5.17. - VILLERS AU BOIS.

Fine and warm. Syllabus of training carried out. In the afternoon we held inter Company sports to decide who shall be entries in the different events of the BRIGADE SPORTS. We played 49TH Battalion football and won 3 - 2, close game. All Officers went over the Tape practice near BERTHONVAL FARM. P.P.C.L.I. Concert Party played for the Regiment at 8.00 p.m. The show was much appreciated.

Lieut. BALLANTYRE transferred from P.P.C.L.I. and taken on strength.

26.5.17. - VILLERS AU BOIS.

Fine and warm. The draft on square as usual. Owing to lack of accommodation at bombing trenches, only bombers and rifle grenadiers went to trenches for live trench bombing. Riflemen and Lewis gunners carried on training under Company arrangements.

2 O.R. struck off strength.

27.5.17. - VILLERS AU BOIS.

Fine and very warm. Church parade in the morning with the Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry. Sports in the afternoon.

28.5.17. - VILLERS AU BOIS.

Fine and warm. Syllabus of training carried out. "C" and "D" Companies on the Tape Trenches. The Royal Canadian Regiment's COOKER won the competition.

1 O.R. joined as reinforcement from C.B.D.

29.5.17. - VILLERS AU BOIS.

Lewis Gunners and "A" and "B" Companies did not proceed to the Range on account of rain, also Parade cancelled. But later in the morning the weather cleared and Syllabus of Training was carried out. Lewis Gunners used deep pits near parade ground.

Major LYNE-EVANS went on Special Leave to England.

The Royal Canadian Regiment won the football match.

Drummer HUNT won the Lightweight boxing and Private FOX won the welterweight.

30.5.17. - VILLERS AU BOIS.

Fine and warm. Syllabus of training carried out.

Capt SNIDER went on 1 months special leave to England.

31.5.17. - VILLERS AU BOIS.

Fine and cool. "A" and "B" Companies went to the Range during the morning. "C" and "D" Companies practiced on the Taped Trenches.

Lieut-Col. C.H. HILL, D.S.O. granted 10 days leave to England.
8 O.R. evacuated C.C.S.

Appendix 1 - Syllabus of training of R.C.R. for period from 2nd to 8th, May 1917.

Appendix 2 & 3 - Syllabus of training of R.C.R. for period from 24th to 29th, May, 1917 and 30th May, 1917.

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