One hundred years ago on 6 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. Operation Order #121 was carried out today. Our barrage opened promptly and appeared to be regular and even. The enemy barrage came down two minutes after our Zero Hour and appeared heaviest along the BELLEVUE SPUR. Our infantry were reported to have reached their final objective at about 8.00 am. The enemy massed for a counter-attack on VINDICTIVE ROAD at about 9.40 am, but were caught by the fire of our batteries and the attack broken up. Lieut. Philpott, Brigade F.O.O. was wounded in the head about 10.30 am. Special reports on the operations of today from Lieut. Philpott, Brigade F.O.O., Lieut. A.B. Manning, Lieut. A. Livingstone, L.O. to RIGHT BATTALION and Major R.F. Massie who was also in the forward area throughout the day, are attached. Apparently a great many casualties were inflicted upon the enemy and on the whole the artillery support was most satisfactory.
During the operation and throughout the day our batteries were heavily shelled and a number of casualties inflicted to both personnel and equipment. The work of the R.F.C. was much appreciated by all arms. Enemy balloons were kept down and his planes were not permitted over our lines.
3rd Canadian Divisional Artillery war diary records:
CANAL BANK YPRES - Visibility was fair during the day. In accordance with O.O. 152, Attack (8) was carried out; Zero Hour being 6.00 A.M. Our barrage opened promptly on time, and according to later reports. It was well placed and effective. PASSCHENDAELE was captured, and our line established along the final objective; and in some places, some distance in front of this.
The Corps on our LEFT was unable to get up so the line was doubled back and linked up.
NO. OF GUNS IN ACTION – 69 18-pdrs. 23 4.5” Howrs
AMMUNITION EXPENDED – A.18937 – AX.4457 – BX .4229 – BCBR. 156 – AS.174.
5th Canadian Siege Battery, Canadian Artillery, Canadian Expeditionary Force was a sub-unit of 1st Canadian Heavy Artillery Group. Their war diary records:
YPRES - This was a very busy day, the guns being in action continuously. In the early morning we took part in three heavy barrages which were kept up from 6 a.m. until 2.45 p.m. The first of these was directed against Vine farm in V 30a 07.57. expending 44 rounds and lasted until 6.42a.m. when we lifted to Vocation Farm in V30a 07.57. At 7.30p.m we switched to V30b 85.60 and V30b 80.80. this barrage lasted until 2.45pm a total of 244 Rounds having been fired. 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 - Art'y Order #102 issued. At 06:00 1st and 2nd Cdn. Div'ns continued the offensive on Cdn. Corps front. PASSCHENDAELE and all objectives were taken. All calibers of our art'y co-operated in support of the operations, with barrages and concentrations. Counter-batteries engaged selected hostile btys. Ten concentrations of 300 rds. H.E. each were fired. 70 N.F. calls received during the day. Enemy barrage in reply to our attack was very prompt, opening about one minute after ours. Our bty. positions were also engaged at once. At 06:22 enemy appeared to be shelling PASSCHENDAELE. From 08:00 onwards he kept up an intermittent fire, with bursts on all our bty. areas.
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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