The First World War
War Diary of The Royal Canadian Regiment

Transcription by Captain Michael O'Leary, The RCR.

MAY 1918

1-5-18. - LENS SECTOR.

Advance parties of 1 Officer and 2 N.C.O's King's Liverpool Regiment arrived at 10.30 a.m. to take over. Two guides for Battalion Hdqrs. and 5 per Company under Capt. BROWN proceeded to RED MILL SIDING to lead incoming Battalion. G.O.C. of relieving Brigade called during afternoon. 12TH Battalion K.L.R. arrived at RED MILL at about 7.00 p.m. Relief complete at 11.30 p.m. On relief, Co's The R.C.R. proceeded to RED MILL SIDING and entrained under arrangements Capt. BROWN. Went by train to LENS JUNCTION and detrained. Lieut. MILLER was in charge of detraining. They then embussed near LENS JUNCTION and proceeded by lorries to ESTRE CAUCHIN where billets and a hot meal were provided.

2 O.R's from C.C.S.
1 O.R. from C.B.D.

(Appendix 1.)

2-5-18. - CAMBLIGNUEL.

The battalion marched to CAMBLIGNUEL parading at 2.30 p.m. Billets here are comfortable and roomy, whence with the exception of C and D Co's which are slightly crowded.

3-5-18. - CAMBLIGNUEL.

Companies cleaning equipment and generally checking up. All O.R's were paraded to the Q.M. Stores, whence clothing and equipment was checked. 170 O.R's bathed at CAMBLAIN l'ABBE.

Lieut. H.F. ORMON joined from C.C.R.C.
Lieut. M.F. GREGG ceases to be employed as Asst. Adjt. And is posted to "C" Coy.
1 O.R. to F.A.
1 O.R. from F.A.

4-5-18. - CAMBLIGNUEL.

Companied under Coy. Commanders for training. Conference of Company Commanders at battalion Hdqrs. at 6.00 p.m. 55 O.R's bathed at CAMBLAIN l'ABBE.

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

5-5-18. - CAMBLIGNUEL.

Rainy morning. Lectures by Platoon and Company Commanders to their Commands. The band gave a concert in the afternoon. Conference at battalion Hdqrs. at 5.30 p.m.

1 O.R. to F.A.
1 O.R. from F.A.

6-5-18. - CAMBLIGNUEL.

A four hour syllabus carried out. Route march incorporated with baths at CAUCOURT. Employed men paraded at 11.00 a.m. Advance party left at 3.00 p.m. to stage the night at CAMBLAIN CHATELAINE. The G.O.C. Brigade and the G.O.C. Division called during the afternoon.

(Appendix 2.)

7-5-18. - LIERES.

The Battalion moved off at 6.50 a.m. Starting Point QUATRES VENTS. It rained between 7.00 a.m. and 9.30 a.m. clearing by noon. A halt was made at 11.30 a.m. for a hot dinner between DIVION and CAMBLAIN CHATELAINE. The march was continued through FERFAY and LIERES was reached at 4.30 p.m. The march of 16 3 / 4 miles was made with only three men to fall out. This is considered an excellent test of the physical fitness of the Battalion after being in the line for 56 days. Billets at LIERES are fairly comfortable for all ranks. "A" Coy. are in billets at LES PRESSES.

1 O.R. struck off strength as a deserter.

8-5-18. - LIERES.

Two hours training between 10.00 a.m and 12.00 noon. There are excellent training grounds in this locality. Col. WILLETS lectured to platoon sergeants at 2.30 p.m. General LIPSETT lectured to all Officers at 600 p.m. on TRAINING.

5 O.R's to C.C.S.
2 O.R's taken on strength on return from 7th Trench Mortar Battery.

9-5-18. - LIERES.

Training 8.30 a.m. to 12.20 p.m. The C.O., 1 Officer per Coy, the Intelligence Officer and a number of Scouts and Runners reconnoitered routes up to and including the MOUNT BERNEN CHON area. A conference of Coy. and Detachment commanders is now held daily, re training and reconnaissance of the line.

2 O.R's trans to England for Cadet Course.
1 O.R. from C.C.S.

10-5-18. - LIERES.

Training 8.30 a.m. to 12.20 p.m. 5 Officers and a party of Scouts and Runners reconnoitered the forward area. "B" Coy. Bathed at LIERES. "A" and "C" Co's fired on the Ranges at FOSSE 3. The Battalion were ordered at 3.30 p.m. to move to BOURECQ. Advance parties were sent out and the Battalion marched off at 600 p.m. Billets in BOURECQ are comfortable. Training grounds are practically nil.

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

11-5-18. - BOURECQ.

Co's paraded at 8.30 a.m. to 9.30 a.m. for drill, and then went on a Route March until 12.30 p.m. Employed men paraded at 10.30 a.m. Four Officers reconnoitered the forward area. 400 all ranks paraded to the P.P.C.L.I. concert party at the Y.M.C.A. hut LIERES at 7.00 p.m.

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

12-5-18. - BOURECQ.

Co's carried out 1 hours training. Church parade at 11.00 a.m. The C.O., 10 Officers and 15 O.R's reconnoitered battalion's Battle Positions in the HOUCHIN-LILLERS LINE. The band gave a concert in the afternoon.

Lieut. A.T.E. CROSBY to F.A.
20 O.R's arrived as reinforcements from C.C.R.C.
1 O.R. Taken on strength on return from 2nd Bde. Hdqrs.

13-5-18. - BOURECQ.

The Battalion paraded at 9.00 a.m. And marched via ECQUEDECQUES - HURIONVILLE - MENSECQ to BAS ROEUX. Companies here deployed and manoeuvred into Battle Positions in the HOOCHIN - LILLERS LINE. The deployement, etc., was carried out as a tactical exercise it being assumed that the enemy had gained a footing in the HOOCHIN - LILLERS LINE, from which the Battalion were ordered to eject him. The Battalion marched back via LILERS arriving BOURECQ at 4.45 p.m.

1 O.R. from C.C.S.
1 O.R. from F.A.
2 O.R's to F.A.
3 O.R's from 3rd Cdn. Machine Gun Bn.
Hon. Lieut. M. RYAN inv. To England (Sick) and detached to N.S.R.D.
1 O.R. wounded (accidental).

(Appendix 5.)
(Appendix 6.)
(Appendix 7.)
(Appendix 8.)

14-5-18. - BOURECQ.

The Battalion paraded at 8.15 a.m. And marched via ECQUEDECQUES - HURIONVILLE - BURBURE - LOZINGHEM to MARLES-LE-MINES where the 7th Brigade assembled for manoeuvres. The R.C.R. On the right were detailed to capture the intermediate objective with the 42nd. Battalion on the left. The PPCLI and 49th. Battalion were detailed to capture the final objective. The day proved to be instructive for all ranks. The Battalion returned by same route arriving 5.15 p.m.

Lieut. CROSBY A.T.E. Evac. C.C.S.
3 O.R's to C.C.S.
3 O.R's from F.A.
Lieut. ISBESTOR M. to be employed as Asst/Adjt.

15-5-18. - BOURECQ.

Companies paraded to Gas School FONTES where S.B.R's were tested.

Lewis Gunners carried on training and reorganization of sections to provide for an additional section.

Lieut. SOULE and 8 O.R's accidentally wounded in premature explosion during practice with new No. 36 Rifle Grenade. Cpl. VACHRESSE of the Bombing Instructors was very badly wounded.

"D" Coy. Held a smoker in the evening.

20 O.R's joined from C.C.R.C.
1 O.R. to F.A.

16-5-18. - BOURECQ.

"C" and "D" Coy's fired on the Ranges at the Mine Buildings T.28 central. "A" Coy. had baths at LIERES. "B" Coy. carried on with training.

Capt. F.M. BROWN assumes duties of Asst/Adjutant.
Lieut. M. ISBESTOR relinquishes appt. Asst/Adjt. and assumes command of "B" Coy.
Lieut. SUTHERLAND C.W., LITTLEWOOD W.P., KING W.M. and Lieut JONES H.G. attached from C.C.R.C.
1 O.R. to F.A.

17-5-18. - BOURECQ.

"A" Coy. fired on the ranges all day. "B", "C" and "D" Coy's carried on training on grounds near LIERES. Lewis Gunners and Rifle Grenadiers carried on training near the billets in BOURBECQ. The Battalion attended the DUMBELLS concert in the Y.M.C.A. Hut near LIERES at 7.30 p.m.

Capt C.L. WOOD to F.A.
1 O.R. to C.C.S.
1 O.R. to F.A.

18-5-18. - BOURECQ.

"A" Coy. spent the morning on the training grounds at LIERES. "B" and "C" Coys. fired on the Ranges, and "D" Coy. on an advance guard scheme. Lewis Gunners of "A" and "B" Coys. Fired on the ranges at AUCHY AU BOIS. "B" And "D" Coys. played football at 5 p.m.

Lieut. J.T. PROBERT awarded the Military Cross 17-5-18.
Lieut. W.H. DEO rejoined from Hospital.
Lieut. A.J. GOUGH joined as reinforcement from C.B.D.
Capt. C.L. WOOD evac. to C.C.S.
2 O.R's invalided to England.
1 O.R. to C.C.S.
1 O.R. to F.A.
1 O.R. from F.A.
1 O.R. from C.C.S.

19-5-18. - BOURECQ.

The Commanding Officer, 2nd i/c, and Coy. Commanders reconnoitered routes in connection with the tactical scheme tomorrow. Church Parade at 11.00 a.m. The Regimental Baseball team won a baseball game with the 3rd. D.A.C. at 6.00 p.m.

1 O.R. from C.C.S.
2 O.R. from F.A.
1 O.R. trans. to 12th Btn. C.R.T.

(Appendix 9.)

20-5-18. - BOURECQ.

Leaving at 8 a.m. the Battalion marched via LIERES and AMES to FERFAY Ranges arriving at 9.50 a.m. At 12.40 p.m. word was received from Brigade to move forward to BOIS ST. PIERRE. "C" Coy. furnished the advance guard. While marching forward an order was received to move forward into the counterattack against the 9th Brigade which had forced back the line of the LOZINGHEM-AUCHEL ROAD during the days fighting. The Battalion closely following up the attack of the 42nd. Battalion on the right, counter attacked in three waves on a 3 Coy. frontage and reestablished the original line. The days exercises were instructive to all. The Battalion marched back to BOURECQ via BURBURE arriving at 6.15 a.m.

Lieut. H.F. HICKS to England for R.A.F.
1 O.R. to F.A.
7 O.R. to L.S.H.
1 O.R. from C.C.S.

21-5-18. - BOURECQ.

Four hours training carried out. The C.O. lectured to Coy. and Detch. Commanders at 9.45 a.m. The Officers' indoor Base-ball team beat the 49th. Officers' team. Score 9 - 6. The Regimental Out-door team were beaten by the 49th team. Score 14 - 2.

Lieuts. C.W. SUTHERLAND and D.N. McDONALD from C.C.R.C.
1 O.R. to F.A.
3 O.R. to C.C.S.
4 O.R. invalided to England.
3 O.R. from C.C.S.

22-5-18. - BOURECQ.

The Battalion paraded at 9 a.m. And marched to LIERES Grounds where battalion Field Sports were held. An interesting programme of events was run off. The Band and Drums attended and played at intervals throughout the day. The Battalion returned to billets after a thoroughly enjoyable day.

1 O.R. S./O. to Cdn. Base.
1 O.R. from C.C.S.

(Appendix 10.)

23-5-18. - BOURECQ.

"A" and "B" Coys. fired on the AUCHY-AU-BOIS Ranges and "C" and "D" Coys. on the ranges in T.28 Central. All Lewis Gunners fired on the 300 yds. range at AUCHY-AU-BOIS. The C.O. held a conference of Unit Cmdrs. At 6.30 p.m. re the manoeuvre in the BOMY Area.

Lieut. C.C. DAVIES from C.C.R.C. and 9 Other Ranks.

24-5-18. - BOURECQ.

Battalion paraded at 7.30 a.m. On Main Street BOURECQ. Lorries arrived at 8.30 a.m. And the Battn. moved off at 8.50 a.m. Rained very heavily. Proceeded beyond CUHEM when the days operations were canceled and Battn. returned to billets arriving at 12 noon.

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

25-5-18. - BOURECQ.

"A" Co. carried out an advance guard scheme on the LIERES-AUCHY-AU-BOIS road. "B" and "D" Cos. fired on the FERFAY Ranges. "C" Co. had baths at LIERES and carried on training in billets. The band gave a concert at 6 p.m.

1 O.R. from C.C.R.C.
2 O.R. invalided to England.
1 O.R. to 7th T.M.B.
1 O.R. to C.F.A.
4 O.R. to C.M.G.
1 O.R. from M.G.B.

26-5-18. - BOURECQ.

"A", "B" and "D" Cos. fired on the AUCHY-AU-BOIS ranges from 8 a.m. til 11 a.m. and "C" Co. on the Mine Buildings Ranges in T.28 Central. The C.O. and 2nd i/c motored to HINGES for a tactical scheme.

37 O.R. S.O.S. to Cdn. M.G. Corps.

27-5-18. - BOURECQ.

The Battalion left in lorries at 7.30 a.m. For the BOMY manoeuvre area, to take part in a Brigade tactical exercise. The day lent itself to the success of the operations carried out, weather conditions being ideal. After the exercise a conference was held at which the Corps Commander spoke. The Battalion returned by lorry arriving at 8 p.m.

6 O.R. from M.G. Bn.
1 O.R. to M.G. Bn.
1 O.R. to C.B.D.

28-5-18. - BOURECQ.

"A", "B" and "C" Cos. fired on the AUCHY-AU-BOIS ranges, and "D" Co. on the ranges in T.28 Central. "C" and "D" Cos Lewis Gunners fired on "D" Range AUCHY-AU-BOIS. The Officers' indoor baseball team played the 49th Battalion Officers' team at 4.30 p.m. Score 10 - 5 in favour of the R.C.R. The Regimental team played the 49th Battalion team at 6 p.m. Score 16 - 11 in favour of the R.C.R.

Lieut. W.P. LITTLEWOOD, Lieut. W.M. KING, Lieut. H.G. JONES T.O.S. this date.
9 O.R. from C.C.R.C.
2 O.R. to C.C.S.

29-5-18. - BOURECQ.

"A", "B" and "C" Co. training 8.30 to 12.20, "D" Co. had baths at LIERES from 8 to 10 a.m. The Brigade Gas Officer inspected the S.B.R's of the Battalion during the morning. All Officers and 18 N.C.Os per Co. attended a lecture on "The Tactical Employment of Lewis Guns in Open Warfare" by Major MEURLING (M.C.) 1st Canadian M.M.G. Bde., in the Y.M.C.A. Hut at LIERES at 4.30 p.m. The G.O.C. 7th Brigade inspected the transport at noon.

Lieut. L.G. LYON joined this date.

30-5-18. - BOURECQ.

"D" Co. on the range at the MINE BUILDINGS T.28 Central 8.30 to 12.20. "A" Co. 12.30 to 4.30. The C.O. inspected "C" Company at 10 a.m. "B" CO. carried on training 8.30 to 12.20. The Regimental baseball team played the 3rd D.A.C. Team at 6 p.m. Score 20 - 12 in favour of R.C.R.

2 O.R. from C.C.S.

31-5-18. - BOURECQ.

The Battalion paraded at 8.30 a.m. And marched to LINGHEM manoeuvre area, Sheet 36 a. N 27 & 28. where a Battalion scheme was worked out. 400 O.R's attended the "Dumbells Concert" at the Y.M.C.A. LIERES at 6. p.m. "B" and "D" Cos. Played football at 2 p.m. "D" winning by a score of 2 - 0.

5 O.R. joined from C.C.R.C.

C.H. Hill
Commanding The Royal Canadian Regiment.

Appendix 1. - Wire from Duke of Connaught expressing his appreciation to the Regiment.

Appendix 2. - R.C.R. O.O. 102 dated 6.5.18. Instructions to R.C.R. for march to LIERES on the 7th May, 1918.

Appendix 3. - R.C.R. O.O. 103 dated 10.5.18. R.C.R. will move to BOURECQ at 6 p.m. 10th May, 1918.

Appendix 4. - R.C.R. O.O. 104 dated 12.5.18. Instructions to R.C.R. re part to be taken in brigade attack date to be notified later.

Appendix 5. - Letter from G.O.C. 7TH C.I.B. congratulating R.C.R. on good salvage work done by this unit.

Appendix 6. - 7TH C.I.B. O.O. 100 dated 13.5.18. 7TH C.I.B. will attack enemy's positions in the LOZINGHEN sector on the 14th instant.

Appendix 7. - R.C.R. O.O. 105 dated 13.5.18. Instructions to R.C.R. for their part to be taken in operation to be carried out on 14th instant.

Appendix 8. - R.C.R. O.O. 106 dated 19.5.18. R.C.R. will march to LOZINGHEN sector tomorrow.

Appendix 9. - R.C.R. O.O. 104 dated 19.5.18. R.C.R. will take part in operation in LOZINGHEN sector tomorrow.

Appendix 10. - Programme of sports held at LIERES by R.C.R. on 22nd May, 1918.

[Appendix 10A.] - Results of battalion sports held at LIERES on May 22nd, 1918.

Appendix 11. - Instructions to R.C.R. to capture high ground between HILL 140 and the cross trench about 1 / 2 miles southwest of HILL 140.

[Appendix 12.] - Instructions issued with 7TH C.I.B. tactical scheme.

[Appendix 13.] - Instructions issued in connection with 8TH C.I.B. tactical scheme.