38th CEF War Diary

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In the field April 19th 1717 W-400 Appendix “2”

Headquarters 12th Canadian Infantry Brigade. 32

REPORT ON OPERATIONS OF 38TH CANADIAN INFANTRY BATTALION APRIL 9TH. TO 13TH. 1917 -----------------------------------------------------------

By Major W.S. Wood

STRENGTH GOING OVER ON APRIL 9TH. 1917.

The 38th Canadian Infantry Battalion attached the enemy’s position at 8:30am. April 9th, in four waves, with a total strength in the waves of 12 Officers and 550 O.R.. In addition to this there were the Commanding Officer and six other officers at Battalion Headquarters, the R.S.M. 3 Orderly Room Clerks, 14 Signallers, 16 Runners, 5 Medical Staff in Blue Bull Tunnel.

REINFORCEMENTS During the day three Officers and 60 Other Ranks, specialists were ordered up from Chateau de la Haie, thesevtaking parts in subsequent operations.

DISPOSITION Point of Assembly Blue Bull Tunnel. Battalion Headquarters, Blue Bull Tunnel. Disposition on jumping off point was “A” and “D” Companies in the first wave, “A” Company in MANDORA SOUTH from VINCENT STREET exclusive, S.15.c.15.18 to OAKLEY Ave, MANDORA CENTRAL S.14.d. O.65 inclusive: “D” Company in MANDORA CENTRAL at OAKLEY AVE, exclusive to ERSATZ ALLEY S.14 b. 75.20 MANDORA NORTH: “C” COY in “A” Assembly trenches on the right immediately behind “A” Company, “B” Coy in “A” Assembly trenches immediately behind “D” Company.

THE ATTACK 5.30am The Battalion jumped off at 5.30 a.m

5.45 a.m. Lieut. Colonel C.M. Edwards reported the Battalion as having taken its first and second objectives Retaliation not very heavy but a good deal of shrapnel.

6.05 a.m Lieut. Colonel C.M. Edwards reported having a Signal Station established at No.6 crater and that front line was taken without opposition.

6.13 a.m. Report that we had walked right through the craters. Everything all right on left but no report from right. 7 prisoners of 261st Regiment brought in.

6.25 a.m. Telephone report from No.6 crater that all objectives taken.

6.54 a.m. Report telephoned that one of aeroplanes working on # our left flank flying very low. Everything seems very good.

7.25 a.m Report from forward phone that we have lines staked and are proceeding with consolidation. Cannot get information of exact line but can see picks and shovels working. Aeroplanes flying very low over us.

8.25 a.mLieut.Crowell came in wounded reporting a great deal of sniping from our right. Lieut. Colonel Edwards took this information to Brigade and was wounded about 8.35 a.m. on his way over.

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34

Officers of "A" Company who had been brought up with the reinforcements from Chateau de la Haie were put in charge.

5.30 p.m. New dispositions were ordered by Brigade making this Battalion responsible for CYRUS Trench from the Junction of CLUTCH to the Junction of CYRUS and CLUCK and for No.6 crater. "C" Company moved over here to strengthen this line, the 46th Battn becoming responsible for crater No.5, and posts in front.

Situation during the night was normal and on Wednesday morning the 11th I inspected our new dispositions and found all posts as ordered. Situation again throughout the day was normal with the exception of machine gun fire from junction of CLAUDE and CLUCK, and remained so throughout the nighht. A party of Bosche were seen on the morining of the 12th trying to get away at daylight but were driven back by our Lewis gun fire casualties being inflicted on them.

The afternoon of the 12th instant about 4 p.m. our Stokes Guns fired on CLAUDE trench and a bombing party of the 73rd Battalion were supposed to attack under cover of this barrage, along CLAUDE trench from the north. It wasreported that our men had been seen in CLAUDE trench at S.15 a.85.80 but this proved on investigation to be incorrect. A patrol was ordered out to investigate, but were fired upon. At 8 p.m. a message was received from Brigade that the Bosche intended counter attacking so "A" and "D" Companies were ordered up fron Blue Bull Tunnel to reinforce our position. The counter attack did not materialise, the situation remaining normal throughout the night except for very heavy artillery fire behind the enemy's lines.

At 5.45 a.m. 13th I was advised of a series of explosions behind the enemy's lines. Brigade was immediately advised of this and at the same time a patrol was ordered to be sent forward to try and ascertain the cause. They reported that owing to our artillery fire they could not get forward.

At 6.30 a.m. I was advised that our men had occupied CLAUDE trench, shortly after this was confirmed by Brigade stating that 72nd occupied CLAUDE trench. A patrol was ordered to be pushed northward along CLUCK trench to connect with the 72nd also another patrol to push along CLUCK forward in a north easterly direction. Colonel Clarke C.C. 72nd Battalion came along and got a patrol with Lewis Gun from us and pushed forward to a point where CYANIDE and CLUCK trenches meet at S.15 b.81/2.9, patrols of the 38th and 78th Battalions also entered CYCLIST and BABY trenches and established posts there, all these patrols being covered by strong supporting bodies. About 10 a.m. our patrols in conjunction with patrols of the 72nd and 78th Battalions entered GIVENCHY. Patrols were then pushed by us to the south of GIVENCHY and by the 72nd through the northern parat of it and along to the N VIMY)ANGRES Line which they reached about 12.30 p.m. About 1.P.M. I received an urgent message from Colonel Clarke for support on his right so brought up the covering parties arriving at S.10.d.8.6 about 1.30 p.m. where we established joint Battalion Headquarters, the 72nd Battalion taking over the line from this point to the north and we taking it over from the south for about 800 yards establishing strong points along the same. Our right was still not connected up but the 78th were covering it from the rear and later the 11th Brigade advabced along the lint. Communication was kept up by telephone with the front line throughout and on the advance to GIVENCHY, lines were run to that point.

CARRYING PARTIES - Tump line party consisting of one Officer and 52 other ranks were used in connection with the bringing up of rations and acting as stretcher bearers, also a carrying party of 16 men for the 12th Machine Gun Company for bringing up ammunition. Carrying parties were detailed from reinforcement up and from stragglers of ours who had got

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