The First World War
War Diary of The Royal Canadian Regiment

Transcription by Captain Michael O'Leary, The RCR.


1-8-1918. - AMIENS AREA.

Day very fine and warm. Battalion comfortable in Bivvies. Brigade supplied 75 large Bivvies and two bell tents for Battalion Headquarters. The Band gave a concert in the morning and another in the evening. Hostile aeroplanes passed over woods about 12.00 m.n. and dropped Bombs in the vicinity of village.

2-8-1918. - AMIENS AREA.

Very wet. Commenced raining about 6.30 a.m. and continued throughout the day. Word received that the Battalion moves into Billets at SAINS EN AMIENOIS tonight. Battalion paraded at about 9.15 p.m. and marched to new Billets, which were situated about four Kilometres away. New Billets taken over by Advance party about 5.00 p.m. who found them in a very dirty condition. Battalion settled down about 11.00 p.m.

3-8-1918. - SAINS EN AMIENOIS.

Very fine and dry. Battalion spent greater part of morning in cleaning up and drying clothes. Usual training carried on as a far as possible. The Commanding Officer and Adjutant proceeded to forward area to reconnoitre routes etc. The Commanding Officer of the 42ND Canadian Infantry Battalion (Royal Highlanders of Canada) was killed by a shell whilst with this party. The G.O.C. also narrowly escaped being hit. The band gave a good concert in the evening which was greatly appreciated by French Troops in the vicinity.

Two O.R's to C.C.S.
1 O.R. from C.B.D.
1 O.R. struck off on transfer to Corps inf. School.

4-8-1918. - SAINS EN AMIENOIS.

Church parades in morning. R.C's at 90.00 a.m. C. of E's at 11.30 a.m. in Orchard. Headquarters Company paid in the morning. Remainder of battalion paid in the afternoon. Commanding Officer attended funeral of late C.O. 42ND Cdn. Inf. Bn. in afternoon. Band gave a concert in the evening.

5-8-1918. - SAINS EN AMIENOIS.

Day very fine and warm. Usual training carried out. Reconnoitring party of 15 Officers etc. proceeded to forward area by lorry. Party returned at about 5.00 p.m. Divisional Headquarters moved into SAINS EN AMIENOIS and occupied CHATEAU. Battalion Headquarters moved to another part of the village.

6-8-1918. - SAINS EN AMIENOIS.

Day fine and warm. Usual training carried out in the morning. Parade at Q.M. Stores to make up deficiencies etc. Word received that Brigade was going into action on the 8th instant. Operation Orders and Instructions drawn up and issued and the battalion moved to GENTELLES WOOD to encamp for the night. Rear Headquarters remained at SAINS EN AMIENOIS. Parties from … [sic]

(Appendix 1.)

7-8-1918. - GENTELLES WOOD.

Parties sent forward at dawn to reconnoitre crossing of the LUCE River. Day spent in completing in fighting munitions. GENTELLES WOOD full of troops. Whole Division and tanks. Battalion moved to Quarry (1st Assembly position) at 10.00 p.m. Move complete reported to Brigade.

(Appendix 2.)

8-8-1918. - GENTELLES WOOD.

See Appendix 3.

Evening:- Received orders at 8.00 p.m. to march on the 9th August 1918 to ROYE. Battalion Headquarters remained in German Dug-Out near MAISON BLANCHE for the night. Visit from Brigadier at 8.30 p.m. who congratulated battalion on success achieved.

9-8-1918. - DEMUIN.

See Appendix 3.

At 10.00 a.m. Capt C.G.B. THOMPSON, M.C., proceeded to Brigade Headquarters in Woodside S.W. of BEAUCOURT for conference.

Battalion ordered to stand by to move off at a moments notice. 11.00 a.m. the Battalion moved on instructions from the G.O.C. 3Rd Division to field immediately S.W. of BEAUCOURT where they were met by Commanding Officer. Brigade are standing by pending result of attack by 8TH Canadian Infantry Brigade. Divisional H.Q. and Brigade H.Q. situated in the same field. At 2.00 p.m. the C.O. proceeded forward for reconnaissance and returned about 5.00 p.m. Conference at Brigade Headquarters at 6.30 p.m. At 8.00 p.m. the Battalion moved and occupied defence line 800 yards EAST of LE QUESNEL WOOD from ROYE ROAD to 500 yards WEST in rear of 8TH Canadian Infantry Brigade with orders to move forward and attack through them next day.

(Appendix 4.)

10-8-1918. - DEMUIN.

32ND Imperial Division commenced to go through about 4.00 a.m. 7TH Canadian Infantry Brigade attack cancelled. Spent day in small wood about 500 yards EAST of LE QUESNEL WOOD. Transport and Details came up from the rear. Battalion remained here all day.

11-8-1918. - DEMUIN.

11.00 a.m. Received Orders to Stand by ready to proceed forward. Orders received for Commanding Officer and Adjutant to go to Brigade Headquarters. Commanding Officer proceeded forward by car. Adjutant returned to Battalion Headquarters with orders to move Battalion at once to cross-roads in LA FOLIE. Move to rendezvous complete by 9.30 p.m. Met at rendezvous by Commanding Officer and guides from 1/6th KING'S OWN YORKSHIRE LIGHT INFANTRY. Guides did not appear to know route but finally found Battalion Headquarters. The R.C.R. and 49TH Cdn. Inf. had to take over from one Battalion in supports. Capt. THOMPSON made entirely new dispositions.

12-8-1918. - DEMUIN.

Battalion Headquarters established in Gun Pits immediately EAST of LA FOLIE and SOUTH of ROUVROY. Companies disposed as follows:- "B" and "D" in Front and "C" in Support. "D" Co. in reserve. Lieut. BARKER sent to P.P.C.L.I., then in front lines at request of P.P.C.L.I. who attacked PARVILLERS with two Companies. "C" CO. was sent forward to support them. Considerable hostile shelling of Battalion Headquarters.

13-8-1918. - DEMUIN.

Considerable Artillery activity. Moving forward. Captain THOMPSON, at 7.00 p.m. proceeded forward to P.P.C.L.I. H.Q. at request of Colonel STEWART and arranged to move forward to his position in Old British Front Line where his Battalion went forward to right for attack on PARVILLERS. 12.00 m.n. Orders received from Brigade to move into trenches vacated by P.P.C.L.I. Battalion commenced to move at 1.00 a.m. and completed move by 4.00 a.m. Disposed as follows:- "D", "A", "B" in Front Line. "C" Company in support.

6.00 a.m. P.P.C.L.I. and 42ND Cdn. Inf. Bn. delivered attack on PARVILLERS

(Appendix 5.)

14-8-1918. - DEMUIN.

See Appendix.

(Appendix 6.)

15-8-1918. - DEMUIN.

Battalion relieved by Companies of 16TH Cdn. Inf. Bn. Relief complete at about 2.30 a.m. Battalion moved to LE QUESNEL WOOD and occupied same Billets as previously occupied.

Total casualties were as follows:-

(Appendix 6a, 7 & 8.)

16-8-1918. - DEMUIN.

Day Fine and Warm. Day spent in resting and cleaning up. Word received from Brigade that we move to HAMON and VALLEY WOODS. Moved in afternoon and proceeded to VALLEY WOOD where the Battalion bivouacked. Arrival at VALLEY WOOD at 8.00 p.m. Nothing further to report.

17-8-1918. - VALLEY WOOD.

Day cloudy and breezy with some showers.

Day spent in cleaning up etc. Band gave concert in the afternoon.

18-8-1918. - VALLEY WOOD.

Fine and warm. Word received that M. CLEMENCEAU, Premier of FRANCE, would inspect the Brigade in the afternoon. Church parades in the morning.. Battalion prepared for inspection in the afternoon. Battalion paraded on grounds between KAMON and VALLEY WOODS by 3.00 p.m., formed up and were inspected by the Premier of FRANCE who was accompanied by Field Marshal Sir Douglas HAIG and General Sir H. RAWLINSON, Commanding ??? Army. All expressed their approval of the turnout, especially the March Past which Sir Douglas HAIG said was one of the best he had ever seen. Band gave concert in the afternoon.

Lieut. Col. C.R.E. WILLETS, D.S.O. returned from Leave.
60 O.R's joined as reinforcements from C.C.R.C.

(Appendix 9.)

19-8-1918. - VALLEY WOOD.

Day showery with fresh wind. Morning spent in smartening up drill etc. General CURRIE called in the afternoon to see C.O. Word received that battalion would move to an unknown area. Battalion paraded at about 6.00 p.m. and marched to ST NICHOLAS STATION and entrained about 12.00 m.n. Transport moved by road the same evening.

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

(Appendix 10.)
(Appendix 11.)

20-8-1918. - LE SOUICE.

Arrived and detrained at BOURQUEMAISON at about 8.30 a.m. and marched to LE SOUICE, a distance of about one and a half kilometres. Battalion occupied same billets that were occupied in last stay there. Word received from Brigade at about 5.00 p.m. that we were to move to BOUDRECOURT this date. Battalion paraded at about 8.30 p.m. and marched to BOUDRECOURT arriving there about 12.00 m.n.

41 O.R's arrived as reinforcements.
1 O.R. to C.C.S.

21-8-1918. - BOUDRECOURT.

Day fine and warm. Battalion paraded in the morning for saluting and smartening up drill but parade had to be cancelled after three hours work owing to intense heat. Band gave a concert in the evening in the village square.

10 O.R's arrived as reinforcements.
1 O.R. to C.C.S.

22-8-1918. - BOUDRECOURT.

Day fine and very warm. Battalion paraded in morning. Word received to hold Battalion in readiness to proceed to FENIE area at two hours notice. Battalion paraded at about 6.15 p.m. and after a long march arrived at the FENIE area at about 1.30 a.m. 22nd. fairly good billets.

2 O.R's from C.C.S. 10 O.R's to C.C.S. 1 O.R. transferred to 7TH T.M. Bty.

(Appendix 12.)

23-8-1918. - FENIE.

Day fine and very warm. Usual training carried out in the morning. Battalion gave a concert in village square in the evening. Word received to proceed to ETRUN. Battalion paraded at 6.00 p.m. and marched to ETRUN, arriving about 12.00 m.n. and occupied "Y" Hut Camp. Hostile Aircraft bombed the vicinity of ETRUN and district whilst the Battalion was on the march.

(Appendix 13.)
(Appendix 14.)

24-8-1918. - ETRUN.

Very fine and warm. Day spent in resting and cleaning up. Band gave concert in the evening. Hostile Aircraft very active during night in vicinity if Camp.

Capt. van SOMERAN A.P. ceases to be attached to Bn. on transfer to 7TH C.I.B.
Lieut. MacPHIE A.E. to Field Ambulance.

25-8-1918. - MONCEY.

Day fine and warm. Church parades in the morning. Advance parties sent up the line for taking over new area in the afternoon. Battalion moved off a 6.45 p.m. to take over line. Rear details, Band and Drums etc moved into "E" Camp ETRUN. Very wet and dirty night.

1 O.R. to C.C.S.
Lieut. A.A. ALLENBACK to Field Ambulance.

26-8-1918. - MONCEY.

See Appendix.

(Appendix 15.)

27-8-1918. - MONCEY.

See Appendix. Rear details moved to vicinity of ARRAS.

28-8-1918. - MONCEY.

See Appendix. Battalion moved from Front Line to ARRAS where they were billeted.

29-8-1918. - ARRAS.

Fine and warm. Day spent in cleaning up. Battalion occupied Billets in cellars etc. band and Drums and remainder of details moved from "E" Camp to ARRAS. Band gave concert in the evening. Enemy Artillery shelled ARRAS with High Velocity Gun throughout the night.

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

30-8-1918. - ARRAS.

Day fine and warm. Day spent in cleaning up and reorganization. 600 men bathed at ARRAS during the day. Band gave concert in the evening.

5 O.R's to C.C.S.
Lieuts. BONNER, CROSSKILL and BEAUMONT arrived from C.C.R.C.

31-8-1918. - ARRAS.

Day fine and warm. Usual parades in morning. Band gave a concert in afternoon. Nothing further to report.

Lieut. W.A. HERRON from C.C.R.C.

(Appendix 16.)

C.R.E. Willetts
Lieut. Col.

Appendix 1.- Orders issued by R.C.R. Battn.

Appendix 2.- Diagram.

Appendix 3.- Narrative of operations of R.C.R on 8.8.18.

Appendix 4.- Nominal Roll of officers proceeding into action 8.8.18.

Appendix 5 to 7. - Congratulatory messages issued to R.C.R. Battn. from 9.8.18. to 16.8.18.

Appendix 6A. - Orders issued by R.C.R. Battn. dated 15.8.18. and 16.8.18.

Appendix 8.- Narrative of operations of R.C.R on 14.8.18. and 15.8.18.

Appendix 9.- Congratulatory messages issued to R.C.R. Battn.

Appendix 10 to 14. - Orders issued by R.C.R. Battn. from 19.8.18. to 23.8.18.

Appendix 15. - Narrative of operations of R.C.R Battn. from 25.8.18. to 28.8.18.

Appendix 16. - Congratulatory messages issued by Lieut. General Sir A.W. Currie dated 26.8.18.