One hundred years ago on 3 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 visibility was very poor all day. His artillery has been particularly active in forward areas, and much less active in rear areas. In reply to our barrage at 3.30 am the enemy S.O.S. went up immediately and his artillery responded at once, with a very heavy barrage on our front line and supports. Our battery positions were also very heavily shelled during the day and quite a large number of casualties inflicted. Lieut. McIlquham of the 31st Battery, C.F.A. was very severely wounded. Lieut. R.V. Macauley of the 45th Battery, was also hit but is not in danger. Operation Order #119 was issued today giving new artillery zones to coincide with the recent advances and slight alteration in the southern Divisional Boundary.
3rd Canadian Divisional Artillery war diary records:
CANAL BANK YPRES - In accordance with O.O. 151, the Artillery Brigade Zones were altered. Enemy artillery devoted most of its attention to the forward areas, placing a heavy barrage on the front line. The visibility was poor, and aerial activity was below normal on both sides.
NO. OF GUNS IN ACTION – 117 18-pdrs. 45 4.5” Howrs
AMMUNITION EXPENDED – A.11278 – AX.6532 – BX .2766 – BCBR. 300 – AS.4.
5th Canadian Siege Battery, Canadian Artillery, Canadian Expeditionary Force was a sub-unit of 1st Canadian Heavy Artillery Group. Their war diary records:
YPRES - At 5.30.a.m. Enemy again shelled position with 8” and at the same time we received an S.O.S. call which dispite the heavy shelling was responded to, 40 Rounds having expended. Enemy shelling was kept up until 8.30 a.m. when it dropped to intermittent shelling. At 10.a.m. started a shoot on VOCATION FARM with visual observation, shoot lasted until 1.15.p.m., Rounds being fired with very good results, several hits were registered. 4.30.p.m. to 4.50.p.m. 20 Rounds were expended in bursts of fire on the enemy’s lines of approach. The enemy came back on battery position at 5.30.p.m. with 5.9’s and shrapnel, shelling was kept up very heavy until 6.p.m. and then intermittently until 9.p.m. As the result of one shell the pole of the wireless station was cut in two. There were no casualties, the soft nature of the ground preventing the splinters of shell from flying to any great extent. There were, however, many narrow escapes as several times shrapnel burst directly over the guns. From 9 P.M. until 3 A.M. next morning we fired 50 Rounds on target in V 24d and (?).
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 - New Zealand Divisional Art'y moved to Watou area. Houses in north end of PASSCHENDAELE, and strong points in vicinity, were bombarded during the day. All guns replied to S.O.S. calls on the Corps front during the morning. Counter btys. carried out concentrations with H.E. and shrapnel on known active hostile btys., also heavy concentrations on MOORSLEDE. Hostile art'y very active; intermittent gas shelling of back areas in the early morning with an intense bombardment of our front line later.
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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