One hundred years ago on 7 May 1917
31st Battery, Canadian Field Artillery, Canadian Expeditionary Force was a sub-unit of the 8th Canadian Field Artillery Brigade in the 3rd Canadian Division. It is in the process of being transferred to the 9th Canadian Field Artillery Brigade.
The 8th Brigade war diary records:
In the Field. VIMY & LA CHAUDIERE 36.c.S.W.3 Ed. 8A. 1/10,000. Headquarters and 30th Battery under tactical command of 10th Brigade, CFA. 32nd and 43rd Batteries under Tactical Command of 9th Brigade C.F.A.
The 9th Brigade war diary records the following:
Visibility fair. Aircraft activity on both sides but on the whole has been a very quiet day.
By an order issued today the 9th Brigade will be re-organized as follows:
The 32nd Battery will be transferred intact to Goodeve’s Group (8th Brigade, C.F.A.) and we will receive in its place the 31st Battery, formerly belonging to the 8th Brigade, C.F.A.
58th Battery, Canadian Field Artillery, Canadian Expeditionary Force was a sub-unit of the 14th Canadian Field Artillery Brigade in the 5th Canadian Division. The Division was training in England and the Brigade war diary records:
WITLEY – Yesterday the 60th beat the 66th at baseball by 8-7. Four men to CROWBORO for SIG. COURSE. GR HERSCOVITCH to SHORNCLIFFE for P.T. and boxing. Ammunition is all being piled in a large marquise to enable the wagons to travel light.
5th Canadian Siege Battery, Canadian Artillery, Canadian Expeditionary Force war diary records:
SOUCHEZ – At 10.45 a.m. we started shoot on trench in N31c 10 to T1a 6.6 ½ , F.O.O. observation, shoot was very satisfactory, many O.K.s reported in trench. At 3.15 p.m. commenced shoot M 31 a and b. Capt L.C. Ord was the observing officer and noticed Hostile troops preparing for an attack upon our positions. We immediately ordered guns to be switched and 80 Rounds were fired into the massing troops. This Battery received the credit for breaking up first wave of the attack, the following letter being received from Major General Commanding 4th Canadian Division.
Canadian Corps 4th Division, No 4 Double Group
The enemy attempted to attack on 19th Canadian Infantry Brigade front from two directions yesterday the 7th May. The first report of any attack came from No 4 Double Group Heavy Artillery, who reported that about 3.p.m. the Germans about a Battalion in strength were forming on the LENS-ARRAS Road east of the Brewery, and that they appeared to be coming from ELEU-DIT-LEAVETTE. (Left attack) A 9.2” engaged with them and dispersed them up to the road and back towards AVION, some however getting close in to the Railway Embankment south of the Brewery. A Brigade of Field Artillery was then put on to this area and remained firing for some hours. Isolated parties of the enemy were still trying to hide along the LENS-ARRAS Road and being shelled from cover to cover. About two strong platoons advanced against the right Battalion (44th) of the 10th Canadian Infantry Brigade. The rear lines being caught in the 18 pdr barrage and wiped out. The front lines were dispersed or wiped out by M.G. or Rifle fire never getting closer than 150 yards. About 3.30.p.m. bodies of the enemy evidently from a separate unit debouched from ELEU-DIT-LEAUVETTE moving over the open towards the ELECTRIC POWER STATION, with their right on the SOUCHEZ RIVER. These bodies were caught by our 18 pdr barrage and that of the 46 Div. Some of them reached the nest of trenches round the power station. A portion of the enemy attempted to advance against the Left Battalion from CALLOUS TRENCH but were driven back or wiped out before reachingour posts or the road running from the SOUCHEZ RIVER at M30d 2.3 to M30b 0.5. The enemy were seen in confusion in the nest of trenches round the power station which area was well treated by the 4.5” Hows and covered with a barrage to the east by the 46th Division which caught isolated parties retreating over the open. Up to 7.pm. bodies of the enemy were seen running about in this area trying to get away from the shelling.
The enemy losses were very heavy. The co-operation of the 46th Divisional Artillery and No 4 Heavy Group was most efficient. The enemy’s left attack was certainly broken up by the prompt action of the 9.2” Battery firing at the Brewery.
Sgd E. Ironside, Lieut-Col.
For Major General
Commanding 4th Canadian Division
The 15th Field Artillery Regiment RCA perpetuates the following sub units:
31st Battery, Canadian Field Artillery, Canadian Expeditionary Force,
58th 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.
9-2-inch Howitzer Canadian-Gunners Sep-1917 MIKAN No 3194249