One hundred years ago on 16 August 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:
Visibility fair. A few enemy planes patrolled their own lines during the morning. Four enemy balloons were up. The enemy appears to be working on his front line trenches which have been badly knocked about by our fire. Less enemy movement seen than usual. Considerable traffic was again observed in the rear areas and several trains were also seen going into CARVIN. An enemy anti-aircraft battery was observed near VERDIN and our heavies took it on and caused a large explosion.
3rd Canadian Divisional Artillery war diary records:
BRAQUEMONT - Mist obscured observation during the morning. This cleared and observation was fairly good during the day. Many enemy balloons were up and their aeroplanes were very active all day, particularly in defensive work towards the evening when they prevented our planes crossing their lines. The enemy bombarded the whole area which we captured as well as our communication trenches and LOOS. Our artillery was very active; several S.O.S. signals being answered. New work was carried out in several places by the enemy, and our front line was consolidated and improved. A great deal of movement was noticed, and probably the moving wounded caused a lot of this. In accordance with G.574/9 dated 14-8-17, Skeleton Brigade C.D.A. under command of Major D.A. McKinnon, D.S.O. left BRAQUEMONT at 9.30 a.m. to take part in 3rd. Canadian Division manoeuvres. Lt. Col. Hurdman, 3rd. C.D.A.O. and A/Staff Captain McKnight left later in the day to act as artillery referees. Ammunition expended A.11855., AX.3487. HX.6491., N.1880., NX.330. Guns in action 27 18-pdrs., 4 13-pdrs., 12 4.5" Hows.
5th Canadian Siege Battery, Canadian Artillery, Canadian Expeditionary Force was a sub-unit of 1st Canadian Heavy Artillery Group for administration and under command 2nd Canadian Heavy Artillery Group for Counter-Battery. Their war diary records:
ANGRES - During the month of August the Battery took part in the capture of Hill 70, also the taking of the Green Crasier and all the fighting on the Lens front. During this time the Battery was twice heavily shelled by 8” and on several occasions we were bombarded with Gas Shells.
1st Canadian Heavy Artillery Group war diary records:
Cabaret Rouge – Successful destructive shoots carried out by 9th, 72nd and 175th Siege Batteries on wire in front of Cinnibar trench. S.O.S. calls answered.
2nd Canadian Heavy Artillery Group was placed in tactical control of 5th Canadian Siege Battery for counter battery work. The 2nd CHAG war diary records:
X.23.b.1.5 - Fair. High wind. Very quiet during morning. About 1 p.m. a heavy shelling of our new 1st and 2nd Div. fronts by enemy artillery. Enemy counterattacked at 7.30 p.m., pushing back 1st Div. a short distance. Supported attack by 2nd Cdn Div. against CINNABAR Trench in N.8.d. Answered 3 SOS. During day, two for CITE ST LAURENT and one AVION area. Two destructive shoots with aeroplane observation carried out successfully.
Ammunition expended:- 60-pr. 8”How 6”How 9.2”How 4.5”How
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General Officer Commanding, Royal Artillery, Canadian Corps war diary records:
In the Field - By 12.30 am all was reported quiet. Apparently no infantry action. Exact origin of SOS not yet ascertained.
WEATHER: Fair and bright - some showers.
1.49 am SOS from right battalion front of 1st Canadian Division.
1.55 am SOS from left battalion front of 2nd Canadian Division.
2.10 am the above SOS was still going. Free use of MUSTARD GAS on the 1st Canadian Divisional Artillery Batteries near LOOS.
2.30 am Situation normal again on 1st Canadian Division front. Apparently no infantry action.
At 4.20 am German barrage along the whole of 1st and 2nd Canadian Division fronts. SOS has been sent up.
5.10 am From 2nd CDA Two planes flying low over our lines.
5.15 am From 2nd CDA Germans reported to have entered our trenches on the right.
5.30 am From 2nd CDA Boche in CHICORY Trench between COMBAT and CONDUCTOR Trenches.
5.45 am From 2nd CDA Line again intact, a few German prisoners taken.
5.55 am From 2nd CDA Line intact on the left.
The 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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