One hundred years ago on 1 November 1917
31st Battery, Canadian Field Artillery, Canadian Expeditionary Force was a sub-unit of the 9th Canadian Field Artillery Brigade in the 3rd Canadian Division. The 9th Brigade war diary records:
The day was very misty in the morning but fair in the afternoon. During the past 24 hours the enemy's aeroplanes have been particularly active in our rear areas and during the night of the 31st/1st enemy planes worked almost continuously from 7.00 pm to 12 pm bombing the areas around YPRES and VLAMERTINGHE. As soon as one squadron disposed of its bombs it appeared to go back to the enemy lines and get a fresh supply. Fortunately no damage was done to any of the battery wagon lines although many of the neighboring lines suffered. Hostile artillery was very active with heavy concentrations in the rear of BELLEVUE Slope. A considerable amount of gas was also projected by the enemy. Our battery positions were heavily gassed during the night. An S.O.S. was sent up about 2.00 am and our batteries opened fire promptly but it would appear that no actual attack developed on our front. Operation Order #118 was issued today outlining preparations to be made for the next attack.
3rd Canadian Divisional Artillery war diary records:
CANAL BANK YPRES - Enemy artillery fairly active all day. His counter batteries are becoming more effective and shelled our battery positions with gas during the night. Enemy aeroplanes bombed Rear Areas during the night, and a flight of twenty-one bombed vicinity of batteries and dumps during the day. In accordance with O.O. 149, the C.R.A. 1st Canadian Division relieved the C.R.A. 49th Division, R.A. and took command of the LEFT MAIN GROUP; also the 8th Army Brigade C.F.A. commenced relief of personnel of 38th Army Brigade, R.F.A.
NO. OF GUNS IN ACTION – 129 18-pdrs. 45 4.5” Howrs
AMMUNITION EXPENDED – A.12256 – AX.6725 – BX .2925 – BCBR. 360 – AS.153 – BS.2
5th Canadian Siege Battery, Canadian Artillery, Canadian Expeditionary Force was a sub-unit of 1st Canadian Heavy Artillery Group. Their war diary records:
YPRES - Headquarters at Cloth Hall YPRES, Half Way Billets at St Jean, and Battery at Bussar Farm in C23b 3.4.
4.P.M. tp 4.5 P.M. Fired 10 Rounds in bursts of Fire on line 500 Yards east of R.F.A. Line. Repeated at (?)P.M. to 4.35 P. M. During the night 30 Rounds were fired on VENTURE and VOCATION FARMS. The battery position was heavily shelled with Gas shells but no casualties were reported.
1st Canadian Heavy Artillery Group war diary records:
YPRES - Period fairly quiet; batteries in group: 66th, 67th, 256th, 274th S.B. R.G.A. and 7th and 9th Canadian Siege Batteries. Shoots carried out daily on selectecd targets and feint barrages fired by all guns usually twice daily at appointed hours. Hostile aircraft very active both day and night. Large squadrons cross our lines in daylight and bomb horse lines and road traffic in and around YPRES. At night both allied and hostile aircraft carry out raids. Objective of hostile aircraft YPRES and POPERINGE; railway junction close to the HQ been bombed several times. On 4th inst. at 06:00 final barrage preceding the attack on the famous Passchendaele Ridge was commenced. Over 3 000 rds. of 6", 8" and 9.2" shells were expended by batteries of this Group in barrage. The ridge was captured. During the rest of the day numerous hostile batteries were neutralised and S.O.S. lines fired on repeatedly to repel counter-attacks. During the night all enemy roads were searched and swept vigorously. On the 8th inst. 352nd and 177th S.B. R.G.A. entered the group. On the 10th inst. hostile art'y shelled our position with shrapnel and H.E.; no material damage being done.
General Officer Commanding, Royal Artillery, Canadian Corps war diary records:
IN THE FIELD - 258th and 33rd Siege Btys. left Cdn. Corps for I Corps and XI Corps respectively. 108th Army Bde. R.F.A. left for XIX Corps. Heavy harassing fire and concentrations carried out by our art'y. Counter-batteries attempted destructive shoots, but visibility was bad. 79 hostile btys. neutralised. Hostile art'y was active; forward areas of right division shelled throughout the day, also gas shelling of our bty. positions.
15th Field Artillery Regiment RCA perpetuates the following sub units:
31st Battery, Canadian Field Artillery, Canadian Expeditionary Force,
5th Canadian Siege Battery, Canadian Artillery, Canadian Expeditionary Force,
68th Battery, Canadian Field Artillery, North Russia Expeditionary Force, was not authorized to be formed until 3 August 1918, and
85th Battery, Canadian Siberian Expeditionary Force was not authorized to be formed until 12 July 1918.
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