One hundred years ago on 2 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:
Visibility was very poor all day and the enemy quieter than usual. Very few of his planes were observed and none attempted to cross our lines. From about 8.30 pm to 3.00 am the enemy put on a concentrated gas bombardment over our forward area. Our heavies were quite active in retaliation until this gas shelling ceased. His retaliation to our morning barrage was light and scattered.
3rd Canadian Divisional Artillery war diary records:
CANAL BANK YPRES - In accordance with O.O. 149, the 1st C.D.A. completed relief of 49th D.A. and 8th Army Brigade C.F.A. completed relief 38th Army Brigade R.F.A. Our artillery carried Bursts of Fire and Practice Barrages. The enemy artillery shelled our batteries very heavily during the night with gas and H.E.
NO. OF GUNS IN ACTION – 129 18-pdrs. 43 4.5” Howrs
AMMUNITION EXPENDED – A. 7222 – AX. 4545 – BX .3264 – BPSBCBR. 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 - 3.A.M. to 3.24 a.m. we fired 2? Rounds on Hostile Battery at E 2d 17.92 and at 5.55. a.m. opened up on Barrage as ordered by Groups (S/5/22) 24 Rounds were fired and we ceased fire at 6.19.a.m.
At 7.30.p.m. the battery was heavily shelled with H.E.’s 3” and 4.1” Guns followed at intervals by bursts of shrapnel. The bombardment was kept up continuously until 11 P.M. when it slacked to intermittent fire. During this bombardment we had a night task of 50 Rounds to fire followed almost immediately by a barrage of 22 Rounds, nothwithstanding the heavy bombardment both these shots were pulled off without the loss of a single man. The enemy then put over a heavy Gas Barrage compelling all ranks to work in S.B.R’s.
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 - Art'y Order #100 issued. 7th and 8th Cdn. Siege Btys. relieved 259th and 33rd Siege Btys. respectively. Bombardment Groups engaged strong points, wire and houses in PASSCHENDAELE. MOORSLEDE was shelled by counter btys. with gas and H.E., who also carried out harassing fire and concentrations on two hostile btys. with gas shell. Hostile art'y carried out intense gas bombardment on our support areas and bty. positions during night and early morning. Quiet throughout the day.
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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