One hundred years ago on 5 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 poor in the morning, fair for a while about midday. Enemy aircraft has been quite active although the visibility poor. A number of fights took place, in one of which an enemy plane was brought down on the right of the Divisional zone. Considerable movement was observed at about V.30.a.40.10. This target was immediately reported back to the heavies by our F.O.Os and successfully taken on. In reply to our morning barrage the enemy retaliated chiefly on the left of our Divisional front. He also scattered a good deal of gas about throughout the day but did not inflict many casualties.
Operation Order #121 was issued today Attack (8) to be carried out by the 2nd Division on the Right and the 1st Canadian Division on the left.
3rd Canadian Divisional Artillery war diary records:
CANAL BANK YPRES - Visibility poor. Enemy artillery above normal, firing heavily on our batteries at times, particularly after noon when a number of enemy planes flew low over our batteries. Our artillery fired two Barrages and Harassing Fire beyond the S.O.S. Lines.
NO. OF GUNS IN ACTION – 65 18-pdrs. 24 4.5” Howrs
AMMUNITION EXPENDED – A.3812 – AX.941 – BX .1313 – BCBR. 300 – AS.10.
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 4.a.m. we opened fire on M lane, east of main Westrosebake Road in area V24d 65.10 to (?)19a 54.00 using about 50% (?)6 Fuse. We continued to fire in this area until 4.50.a.m. expending 50 Rounds
At 4.50+a.m. we commenced Barrage fire in lanes M and A area V29 b 75.55 to V24d 90.57. 106 Fuse was good entirely in this barrage.
2.30.p.m. we fired on Venture Farm in V30a 45.10. This was a very strong point, originally a farm house into which the enemy had built a reinforced concrete ‘Pillbox” and was a very difficult target. The first 30 Rounds were observed by Lieut H. M. Stairs during which one O.K. was recorded.
Visibility then became so bad that ground observation had to be abandoned and shoot was finished by registration, 63 Rounds in all being fired.
From 4.45.p.m. to 6.15.p.m. we fired 24 Rounds using 106 Fuse on Barrage in Battery Lanes L & M in area V29b 33.35, to V30a 45.62
At 9.10.p.m. commenced shoot of 75 Rounds against Virile Farm and Vocation Farm, both very strong points of a similar nature to Venture Farm and situated in areas V29b 80.45 and V30a 07.57 respectively. This shoot was carried out without observation.
Hostile shelling during the day was below normal, an occasional shrapnel bursting over the guns. A few 5.9” HE’s dropped in the battery position but these were probably intended for the Road or Railway track which runs closed to the position. At about 6.30.p.m. a dump at Spree farm blew up sending splinters all around battery position but fortunately there were no casualties. During the night the battery was shelled intermittently by a 4.1” Gun, no damage being caused.
General Officer Commanding, Royal Artillery, Canadian Corps war diary records:
IN THE FIELD - All calibers co-operated in preparatory barrages and harassing fire. During night 5/6th, ten selected hostile btys. were concentrated upon. Counter btys.: concentrated on areas between PASSCHENDAELE and MOORSLEDE, and intense neutralising fire was kept up on all active hostile btys. Hostile art'y: first part of the day was less active than usual; later, our forward area was heavily shelled.
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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