The First World War
War Diary of The Royal Canadian Regiment

Transcription by Captain Michael O'Leary, The RCR.


1-12-17. - RELY.

Companies on a route march, in the morning. Day fine and cool.

Lt. BARKER H.C. from leave.

(Appendix 1)

2-12-17. - RELY.

The day was set aside for voting for the Federal election. Each Coy. voted with a Coy. Officer as Presiding officer.

Capt. BEARD from leave.
1 O.R. to base.

3-12-17. - RELY.

Training as usual. The officers were out on a tactical scheme in the afternoon.

(Appendix 2)

4-12-17. - RELY.

"A" and "B" Coy's on a tactical scheme. "C" and "D" Coy's on the Battalion Ranges and other training. The 49TH Battalion played the R.C.R. Officers at indoor baseball. The 49TH won, score 3 - 0.

Lt. MILLS C.A. inv. To Eng.
Lt. JOPNES H.R.S. from C.B.D.
4 O.R's evac.
2 O.R's to Eng.

5-12-17. - RELY.

The Battalion spent the morning on a route march. The Q.M. Stores and Transport football team beat "C" Coy. in a schedule game. - score 2 - 0.

About 150 all ranks paraded voluntarily to the "Y. EMMAS " Concert party at ST. HILAIRE at 6.00 p.m.

7 O.R's from C.C.S.
1 O.R. from C.C.R.C.
14 O.R's from C.B.D.

6-12-17. - RELY.

"A" and Headquarters Coys, at baths in the morning. "D" Coy., in the afternoon. Other Coy's at training.

1 O.R. transferred.
2 O.R's S/O as deserters.

7-12-17. - RELY.

"B" and "D" Coy's at baths in the morning. Employed men paraded under R.S.M. Training carried on by others as usual.

Lt. LONGLEY L.E. inv. To England.

8-12-17. - RELY.

The Battalion on a route march in the morning. Headquarters Coy., paid in the afternoon.

Capt. BALDERS R.E. and Lt. KELTIE J., from leave.
3 O.R's evac.
8 O.R's transferred T.M. Bty.
8 Transferred to Base.
1 O.R. to F.A. while on leave.
2 O.R's from C.C.R.C.

(Appendix 3)

9-12-17. - RELY.

Church Parade at 10.00 a.m. R.C. Parade in Parish Church at 9.00 a.m. Dull, rainy day. Remainder of the Battalion paid in the afternoon.

10-12-17. - RELY.

The 3RD Divisional Schools' "Special Platoon" gave a demonstration on the parade ground showing the method of attacking strong point, and use of smoke bombs for outflanking purposes. The formations of the new Platoon system were also demonstrated.

The Battalion paraded to the Y.M.C.A. tent at ST. HILAIRE at 2.00 p.m. for a lecture on Training for Employment in Civil life.

(Appendix 4)

11-12-17. - RELY.

The day was spent on the Ranges. About 20 rounds per man were fired from the 100 and 200 yard ranges.

All officers, sergeants and 5 corporals per Coy., attended a lecture (By Captain KENDALL of the 1ST Army S.O.S. School) in the school room at 5.00 p.m.

12-12-17. - RELY.

Route march of two hours in the morning. Officers and 40 N.C.O's paraded to ST. HILAIRE for a lecture on "Defensive Gas measures". The Battalion attended the "DUMBELLS" concert party at ST. HILAIRE at 7.00 p.m. The concert is undoubtedly one of the best we have ever heard in France and was much enjoyed by all ranks.

3 O.R's from F.A.
Lt. WURTELE W.G. from C.C.S.
1 O.R. from C.C.S.
Lt. WURTELE W.G., to England on leave.

13-12-17. - RELY.

Parades 8.30 a.m. to 12.30 p.m.

"B" Coy., on a tactical scheme. "C" Coy., on the Battalion Ranges. "D" Coy., at baths. "A" Coy., throwing live grenades etc. The Band arrived back from PARIS.

30 O.R's from C.C.S.
1 O.R. from C.C.R.C.
43 O.R's from C.B.D.
1 O.R. from F.A.
1 O.R. transferred to Base.

14-12-17. - RELY.

"A" and "B" Coy's paraded to baths at AUCHY au BOIS. "C" and "D" Coy's specialist training etc.

3 O.R's evac. C.C.S.
6 O.R's to F.A.
1 O.R. from F.A.

15-12-17. - RELY.

Battalion route march.

Headquarters Coy., played the Transport Section at football and defeated them, score 2 - 0.

Lt. FRASER A.M., Lt. MacDONALD E., Lt. MacPHIE A.E. from C.B.D.
Lt. SUTHERLAND J.C. evac. C.C.S.
2 O.R's evac. C.C.S.
2 O.R's to F.A.

16-12-17. - RELY.

Church parade at 10.30 a.m. the band now back from PARIS attended and played in their usual good form. The 7TH T.M. Bty., also attended the service. The officers played the officers of the P.P.C.L.I. at indoor baseball at ST. HILAIRE. The game was fast and close. We lost by a score of 9 to 7.

Capt. WOODS J.S. from C.B.D.
1 O.R. from C.C.S.
2 O.R's from F.A.

17-12-17. - RELY.

Companies were placed at the disposal of their Commanders for any exercises they considered most needed. The band gave a concert in the afternoon.

2 O.R's evac.
1 O.R. from F.A.
2 O.R's evac. Admitted to hospital whilst on leave.
Capt. WOOD C.L. on sick leave.

18-12-17. - RELY.

Battalion on route march. Advance party of 2 officers sent to reconnoitre the new line. Day very cold.

19-12-17. - RELY.

Too cold for parades. The Battalion went on a route march for two hours, and returned to inspect equipment, ammunition etc.

Lt. ALLAN T.S. leave to England.
3 O.R's from C.C.S.
1 O.R. evac. C.C.S.
1 O.R. deserter rejoined.
1 O.R. reported died of wounds, rejoined.

20-12-17. - RELY.

The day was spent on the ranges at AUCHY au BOIS. Each Coy. had two hours practice. The day was the coldest yet this winter.

21-12-17. - RELY.

The Battalion moved out at 3.30 p.m. by busses, which brought the incoming 27TH Battalion to RELY. Proceeded to FOSSE 10, PT. SAINS. Headquarters and one Platoon arrived about 6.15 p.m. Remainder with Portuguese drivers, after many experiences arrived between 2 and 9 a.m. the following morning.

1 O.R. joined as Armourer Sgt

22-12-17. - FOSSE 10.

Continues cold and clear. No parades. Billets fairly comfortable. Front sounds quiet.

23-12-17. - FOSSE 10.

Battalion moved from FOSSE 10 at 4.00 p.m. Arrived HUTMENTS at SOUCHEZ at 6.00 p.m. Evening cold, with a bright moon. Huts fairly comfortable, with plenty of fuel.

24-12-17. - SOUCHEZ.

Milder. Battalion paid today. Party of 40 men engaged in clearing up area, during the afternoon.

6 O.R's to F.A.
1 O.R. evac. C.C.S.
1 O.R. from C.C.S.
1 O.R. from C.B.D.
1 O.R. transferred to Base.
2 O.R's from F.A.
Lt. MILLETT on leave.

25-12-17. - SOUCHEZ.

Christmas Day. Greetings received from Divisional Commander and other Battalions in Brigade. G.O.C. called about 2 p.m. Sleet falling during the afternoon and developed into snow squalls this evening.

2 O.R's to F.A.
1 O.R. from F.A.
2 O.R's from C.C.S.
1 O.R. evac C.C.S.

26-12-17. - SOUCHEZ.

Ground covered with snow. Commanding Officer leaves for Rear Headquarters for leave.

2 O.R's evac. C.C.S.

27-12-17. - SOUCHEZ.

Parties sent up to reconnoitre routes to BLUE LINE with a view to getting up quickly, in case of enemy attack. Advance party pf P.P.C.L.I. came in to take over HUTMENTS. Snow still on.

28-12-17. - SOUCHEZ.

C.O. and Company Commanders with runners, went up to look over the line. Small party detailed for work with the District Commandant. Still very cold and almost a blizzard in evening.

(Appendix 7, Appendix 8)

29-12-17. - LIEVIN. (LENS AREA)

Advance party proceeded to take over line. Battalion marched from SOUCHEZ at 4 p.m. and proceeded to Sector left of SOUCHEX RIVER, N.26.c.90.75 - N.19.b.98.50 and took over the line from P.P.C.L.I. "C" and "D" Coy's in front line. "A" and "B" in support. 42ND Battalion on our left. 50TH Battalion on right. Relief reported complete at 8.40 p.m. Performed in minimum time with little confusion. Front quiet. Hostile Gas projectors on left during night.

2 O.R's evac. C.C.S.
2 O.R's to F.A.
3 O.R's from C.C.S.
1 O.R. from F.A.

30-12-17. - LIEVIN. (LENS AREA)

The C.O. went around to Companies this morning. Artillery, Stokes, Trench Mortar and Machine Gun Officers called during the morning. LIAISON Officer staying at battalion Headquarters. Little shelling. Support Companies working at night, improving BLUE LINE.

1 O.R. transferred to England.
2 O.R's to F.A.
Major GARON s/o on Commanding 8TH Cdn. Area Employment Co.
1 O.R. from F.A.

31-12-17. - LIEVIN. (LENS AREA)

The C.O. visited Companies. Slight hostile shelling on Battery near Battalion Headquarters.

1 O.R. to C.C.S.
4 O.R. to F.A.

A.E. Willoughby
Commanding The Royal Canadian Regiment.

Appendix 1. - Sports schedule of Royal Canadian Regt. For month of December, 1917.

Appendix 2. - Training programme of R.C.R. for week ending December 8th, 1917. Syllabus of training of R.C.R. for week ending December 8th, 1917.

Appendix 3. - Instructions for small tactical schemes.

Appendix 4. - R.C.R. training programme for week ending December 15th, 1917. Syllabus of training of R.C.R. for week ending December 15th, 1917.

Appendix 5. - R.C.R. training programme for week ending December 22nd, 1917. Syllabus of training of R.C.R. for week ending December 22nd, 1917.

Appendix 6. - R.C.R. O.O. 81 dated 20.12.17. Instructions to R.C.R. for move by bus to FOSSE 10 tomorrow.

Appendix 7. - Reports and returns of R.C.R. on Dec. 28th, 1917.

Appendix 8. - R.C.R. Relief order No. 75 dated 28.12.17. R.C.R. will relieve P.P.C.L.I. in the line tomorrow night Dec. 29th/30th, 1917.

Appendix 9. - Administrative arrangements in connection with 3RD Can. Div. O.O. dated 18-12-17.

Appendix 10. - Administrative arrangements to accompany 7TH C.I.B. O.O. 124.

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