One hundred years ago on 9 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 good in the morning - fair in the afternoon. Enemy planes quite active. From 2.30 to 4.00 am several bombing planes flew over our wagon lines and back as far as PEPERINGHE and dropped a number of bombs. From 8.00 am to 10.00 am many planes crossed and re-crossed our lines and drove off several of our observing machines. Several of his planes also attempted to shoot down our observation balloons but without success. The PLANK ROAD has now been completed from SPREE FARM forward to our battery positions in front of KANSAS CROSS. Although the traffic on this road is tremendous it greatly facilitates in getting up ammunition and has reduced the horse casualties considerable.
3rd Canadian Divisional Artillery war diary records:
CANAL BANK YPRES - Enemy artillery very active on our battery positions during the night of 8th/9th and also 9th/10th. During the day, most of his attention was paid to frontline and areas. Enemy planes active in large squadrons all day dropping bombs and observing.
NO. OF GUNS IN ACTION – 67 18-pdrs. 22 4.5” Howrs
AMMUNITION EXPENDED – A.3509 – AX.1068 – BX .888– BCBR. 344 – AS.18.
5th Canadian Siege Battery, Canadian Artillery, Canadian Expeditionary Force was a sub-unit of 1st Canadian Heavy Artillery Group. Their war diary records:
YPRES - Bursts of fire were again opened on same areas at 4.45p.m.
At 6.a.m. a barrage of 22 Rounds were fired on V30a 20.60.
3.05a.m. commenced shoot against Venison Farm, a very strong point in V24d 25.95 by aeroplane observation. This was again unsuccessful on account of poor visibility.
1.30p.m. we undertook a shoot on Venture Farm in V30a 45.10 by ground observation. Lieut F. R. May was the F.O.O. and on arriving at the O.P. found the enemy shelling so heavy as to make observation almost impossible. However a start was made, the order to fire was given and the F.O.O. remained in the open just long enough to notice the effect of the burst before being compelled to drop to the ground to avoid the splinters thrown up by the bursts of the enemy’s shells. This continued for some time, Hostile shelling becoming heavier, making observation very difficult and dangerous. After observing 28 bursts and obtaining good registration Lieut May was compelled to come in, the shoot being carried out on by the registrations obtained. 50 Rounds in all were fired on this target.
At 4.30p.m. we took part in a barrage on areas V30b 50.60 and W19c 40.50. but ceased fire after 12 Rounds had been expended.
6.5 p.m. to 7.p.m. we fired 56 Rounds on barrage in areas V30b 50.60 and W19c 40.50.
Harassing fire was kept up until 4.30a.m. mostly on strong points and enemy’s lines of approach in V24d 30.90.
During the day the enemy shelled our back areas heavily with 6” and 9.2” Naval Guns. The square in front of the Cloth Hall (our Headquarters) coming in for a great deal of attention. Hostile shelling around the Battery position was at times very heavy but towards evening dropped to an occasional burst of shrapnel or an odd H.E. There were no casualties.
General Officer Commanding, Royal Artillery, Canadian Corps war diary records:
IN THE FIELD - Art'y Orders #105 and #106 issued. Field art'y carried out preparatory barrages, and the heavies co-operated. Harassing fire and concentrations by all calibers. Counter-batteries: two successful destructive shoots, causing three fires and a large explosion. 21 N.F. calls responded to. 50 hostile btys. harassed and six concentrations fired. Excellent work was again rendered by the R.F.C. in picking up new hostile bty. positions. Hostile art'y: quiet throughout the night; normal during the day. 7
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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