Canadians at War, Vol. 1: A Guide to the Battlefields and Memorials of World War I 9780864928634, 0864928637

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Canadians at War, Vol. 1: A Guide to the Battlefields and Memorials of World War I
 9780864928634, 0864928637

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Canadians at War

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Also by Susan Evans Shaw Heritage Treasures: The Historic Homes of Ancaster, Burlington, Dundas, East Flamborough, Hamilton, Stoney Creek and Waterdown, Photography by Jean Crankshaw (2004) My Darling Girl: Wartime Letters of James Lloyd Evans 1914-1918 (1999)

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Canadians at War Vol. 1: A Guide to the Battlefields and Memorials of World War I

Susan Evans Shaw with photographs by Jean Crankshaw

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They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old: Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn. At the going down of the sun and in the morning We will remember them. — Laurence Binyon, For the Fallen, 1914

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The Brooding Soldier at the St. Julien Canadian Memorial at Vancouver Corner.

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Contents



Preface Introduction

13 19



PART I: A Static War of Trenches

23

1 Dover to Calais

27

2 Poperinge and Talbot House

31

3 Neuve-Chapelle, March 1915

43

4 The Second Battle of Ypres, April 1915

49

5 In Flanders Fields, May 3, 1915

57

6 Festubert and Givenchy, May 1915

63

7 St-Eloi, 1916

83

8 Mount Sorrel, 1916

87

9 Newfoundlanders at the Somme, July 1, 1916 10 Canadians at the Somme,



103

September - November 1916

121

11 The First of March Gas Raid, 1917

135

12 Canadians at Vimy, April 1917

141

13 The Attack on the Arleux Loop, April 28, 1917

171

14 The Fighting at Fresnoy, May 3 - 8, 1917

173

15 The Capture of Hill 70, August 15-18, 1917

175

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16 Passchendaele: The Third Battle of Ypres,



October 15 - November 10, 1917

185

17 Crashing through the Hindenburg Line, November 20, 1917

209

18 The German Offensive, March - July 1918

217



225

Part II: The Hundred Days, August 8 - November 11, 1918

19 The Battle of Amiens, August 8 - 11, 1918

229

20 The Battle of Arras, August 26 - September 5, 1918 249 21 Canal du Nord, September 27 - October 11, 1918 261 22 The Battle of Valenciennes, November 1 - 2, 1918 279 23 Mons and the Armistice, November 1918

287



295

Part III: Outside the Canadian Corps

24 The Canadian Railway Troops

297

25 The Canadian Forestry Corps

301

26 The Canadian Tunnelling Companies

303

27 Canadians in the Air Services

309

28 Shot at Dawn

313

Researching a Canadian Soldier of World War I Acknowledgements Notes Bibliography Index

319 328 330 338 341

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Let your thoughts dwell day by day on your country’s true greatness: and when you realize her grandeur, remember it is a heritage won for you by dauntless men who knew their duty and did it. In the hour of trial, the one thing they feared was dishonour. They failed not their motherland, but laid their gallant lives at her feet. In one great host did they give themselves to death. But each one, man by man, has won imperishable praise: each one has gained a glorious grave. Not that sepulchre of earth wherein they lie, but in the living tomb of everlasting remembrance wherein their glory is enshrined. Remembrance that will live on the lips, that will blossom in the deeds of their countrymen the world over. For the whole earth is the sepulchre of heroes: monuments may rise and tablets be set up to them in their own land but on the far off shores there is a an abiding memorial that no pen or chisel has traced. It is graven not on stone or brass but on the living heart of humanity. Take these men as your example: like them remember that prosperity and true happiness can only be for the free: that freedom is the sure possession of those alone who have the courage to defend it.

— Pericles, Funeral Oration for those Athenians who fell in the Peloponnesian War, 431 BC

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Ramsgate

Ash M20

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Folkestone

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Calais

Tardinghen Ambleteuse

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1

Attin Contes

Vironchaux

Noyelles-en-Chaussee Abbeville

Tully Acheux-en-Vimeu Ailly-le-Haut-Clocher

Wamin Willeman Ecoivres

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Arguel Bully

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Beauval

Airaines

10

20 km Aumont

Fricamps Poix Abancourt

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18

Dury

19

Cagny

3

A1

Werv

Tourc Lille

Seclin

Lens

Bajus

Harnes

15

Acq

13 Avion 11 12 14 A1

Arras Agny

Saulty

Amiens

Seux

A25

6

Auchel

Bus-les-Artois 9 Authuille 10

10 miles

7

Bethune

Ambrines Canteleux

France

2

Hazebrouck

Ferfay

Boufflers

5Ro 4

A25

Bailleul Aire-sur-la-Lys Witternesse Westrehem Auchy-au-Bois

Offin

Verton Fort-Mahon-Plage

Saint-Omer

A26

Etaples Berck

Poperinge

Longuenesse

Zoteux

Wylder

Houlle

Alquines

T

Knokke

Guemps Zutkerque

Ardres

A16

A18

Dunkerque

A16

Wissant

Wimereux Saint-Martin-Boulogne Hardelot-Plage

Bl

Albert Treux

Bayonvillers Warvillers

20

Mory Pys

S

A26

Hamel Wavrechain-sous-F A1

2

Cambrai A2

Villers-Outreaux Assevillers

Vrely

Trefcon

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Domburg

Zierikzee Wissenkerke Zanddijk

Middelburg

Ostend A18

que

Torhout

Knokke

nge

Bruges

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Lichtervelde

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rouck A25

3

une

Wervik

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Somain

Wasmes

Anzin

22 A2

Denain Hamel Wavrechain-sous-Faulx Artres

Bry

A2

21

Cambrai A2

llers

Clary

Estrees

R0

R5

Nivelles

A7 A15

23

Mons

R3

Bachant

Jeumont Aibes

Haut-Lieu Wassigny

Florennes Cerfontaine

Wallers-Trelon

11

Clairfontaine

A15

Mettet

Beaurieux

Bertry

Courcelles

Thuin

Amfroipret Maubeuge

Caudry

863-4_BOOK_JUNE2014_RPT.indb Trefcon

A7

Dour

Awoingt 17

Villers-Outreaux

Hautrage

A4

A7

Braine-le-Comte

A23

A26

1

A8

A16

Peruwelz A1

Asse A10

St.-Genesius-Rode

A8

A1

A12

Brussels

Antoing

Aix

Avion 14

A8

Tournai

Harnes

15

Aalst

Belgium

Ronse

Hem

Lille

6

Wilrijk

Wetteren

Knokke

A17

Tourcoing

A14

Zele

R4

Waregem A14

A22

R2

Beveren

Lokeren

A10

Putte

Hulst

Maldegem

Ghent

Kortrijk

ul

Axel

Zomergem

A4

Graauw

Terneuzen

Eeklo

A17

A58

Rilland

Oostburg

A10

ne

Goes

Flushing

Blankenberge

Fourmies

Chimay

Couvin

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Railway Wood in the early April snow.

12

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Preface

My grandfather, Captain James Lloyd Evans, died in battle on September 1, 1918. He was killed by machine-gun fire at the kick-off of a preparatory operation to capture two trenches, Orix and Opal. These trenches overlooked the Drocourt-Quéant Line, a vital sector of the infamous Hindenburg defence system. The following day, September 2, was to be the launch of a major offensive to capture the formidable D-Q Line, as the Canadian Corps proceeded on its inexorable and bloody march toward Mons and the armistice. When my grandmother died in 1969, my aunt Gwladys found an old suitcase full of letters Jim had written during the war. My aunt couldn’t face the painful memories and gave them to my father. Some years later, Dad suggested I might like to have a look at them. Not only did I read every letter, but I set to work transcribing them for a family publication. The sad enormity of the loss of my grandfather became clear. A shadowy figure, about whom I had occasionally boasted as a child, now had flesh and personality. Jim Evans had been a loving husband, devoted father, and a soldier to the very core of his being. At first I felt anger at this man. He had spent the years from March 1915 to March 1918 in England, training troops in musketry. Why, oh why, did he sacrifice his safety, his future, his family, to go the front? He even reverted in rank from major, although taking a drop in rank was not uncommon among men wanting to join the fight in France. As someone who grew up during the Vietnam War years, influenced by British Great War poets and writers such as Wilfred Owen, Vera Brittain, and Robert Graves,

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Gravestones being reset by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission in Grove Town Cemetery, Meaulte.

I saw my grandfather’s death as a pointless waste in a wasteful and pointless war. In 2004, I made my first trip to the battlefields of World War I. Because I was travelling alone, I looked into guided tours. After many enquiries, I settled on a company in the United Kingdom, Bartlett’s Battlefield Journeys, that specializes in small groups and does research on behalf of each participant. Even when provided with a detailed itinerary and maps, I found that first excursion overwhelming. There was so much to see and learn. I did, however, visit my grandfather’s grave at Sun Quarry Cemetery near Chérisy. There, I laid a wreath of paper poppies and heard, for the first time, that haunting verse from Laurence

14 Canadians at War

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Captain James Evans’s gravestone in Sun Quarry Cemetery.

Binyon’s For the Fallen, and the lines from Pericles’ funeral oration. On my return to Canada, I wanted to share my experience of an aspect of Canada’s history I felt was unjustly neglected. My generation is the last to have direct contact with surviving soldiers who served in the Great War. And there are many, like me, who never knew a grandfather because he died in the conflict. It meant a lot to me, seeing Jim Evans’s last resting place and hearing the words spoken in tribute over his grave. Yet anti-war sentiment has disparaged the valour and sacrifice of those who fought in the war that was meant to end all wars. To walk the battlefields of Flanders and France, to see the monuments and memorials erected in honour of the men who died there, and to visit the cemeteries, some vast, some small, yet all so beautifully maintained by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission, is to connect with our past and award those men the respect they so mightily deserve. I wrote this guidebook so that new generations of Canadians could follow the path of the men of the Canadian Expeditionary Force from their arrival in Calais, through the battlefields of France and Belgium, and finally to the armistice, so many lives later, in Mons. When I began, I knew little about the military or the mechanics of war. Many histories have been written about World War I from many points of view. Readers looking for detailed

Preface 15

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information might enjoy Max Aitken’s (later Lord Beaverbrook) Canada in Flanders, Volume 1 (1916) and Volume 2 (1917), written while the war was still in progress and the outcome uncertain. Tim Cook has written the most recent history, also in two volumes: At the Sharp End (2007) and Shock Troops (2008), which present the common soldier’s point of view. My book complements these earlier histories, providing an overview of the battles in which Canadians participated and giving directions to modern travellers searching for the past in the cemeteries that dot the region. To assist the reader in placing the battlefields and cemeteries in the modern landscape, I include a map of the relevant area of France and Flanders with numbers

16 Canadians at War

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Above: Menin Gate and Ramparts from Rudyard Kiplinglaan, Ieper. Below: View across farmland to Passendale Church.

Preface 17

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indicating the chapter where a location is featured. I also include the invaluable battelfield maps from G.W.L. Nicholson’s Canadian Expeditionary Force 1914-1918. For travel, I suggest readers use detailed maps such as those provided by IGN. Two maps in IGN’s 1:100 000 Cartes de Promenade series, 02 Lille Dunkerque and 04 Laon Arras, cover the area well. IGN’s 1:250 000 Régionale Routière et Touristique R01 Nord-Pas-de-Calais Picardie is also adequate but less detailed. Some place names have been changed to modern Flemish spellings: Ypres has become Ieper, Passchendaele has changed to Passendale, Hooge to t’Hooge, Menin to Menen, St-Eloi to St-Elooi, St-Julien to Sint-Juliaan; and there are others. New spellings are what you will find on modern maps and in my directions, but in the summaries of the battles of the Great War, I have kept to the old usage. Throughout, Jean Crankshaw’s poignant photographs beauti­ fully illustrate the landscapes and villages, the cemeteries, the shell holes and trenches that remain, relics of the battlefields as they look today. All photos are hers, unless otherwise indicated. Finally, I include a chapter on researching a World War I soldier. For this, I must thank Anne Pedley, whose articles in The Great War Magazine provided suggestions and information to supplement my own experience. Working farms have replaced the fields of muck and debris of the past, yet the scars are still visible. To Canadians accustomed to our vast land, the distances on a map may look insignificant, but appearances deceive. The magnitude of the area can be comprehended only by driving the narrow roads, walking the grounds of individual sites, and trying to imagine marching through the area on soggy dirt roads, along drowned tracks, and through oceans of pitted mud. The only constant is the weather of Flanders, unpredictable at any time of year.

18 Canadians at War

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Introduction

As I approached the bridge from the south over the Elbow valley flats I passed a large motor car that had just crossed the Weasel Head bridge from the opposite direction. It had drawn off to the side of the road beside a clump of trees, and the passengers, of whom there was a considerable party, were getting out of the car with rugs and picnic baskets, evidently with the intention of having an enjoyable open air meal. Apparently they were not giving the slightest attention to the storm that by now was quite manifestly about to break. I have often thought that the attitude of those picnickers bore a close analogy to that of the majority of our Canadian people in respect to our foreign relations during the few years up to and immediately preceding the outbreak of the Great War.1

When Britain went to war in 1914, Canada was a very young country, still a Dominion with only a small permanent force of 3,110 men and 684 horses, organized into units of cavalry, artillery, engineers, and infantry, plus service and administrative corps. Their principal functions were to garrison fortresses on either coast and to train militia. The active participants in the Canadian militia units numbered fifty-five thousand.2 Despite the distance, Canadians, particularly those of British descent, felt the pull of the battlefield and answered Britain’s call by the thousands. My own grandfather, a member of the 12th

19

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Manitoba Dragoons militia since 1906, enlisted as a lieutenant. He rose to the rank of major, spending the first three years of the war training troops in musketry at Shorncliffe, Kent. In his letters, Jim Evans expressed his frustration and depression at being kept behind the lines, asking, “How can I face my friends at home if I haven’t been to the front?” He was not alone. Between 1914 and 1918, 245,000 Canadians joined the Canadian Expeditionary Force (C.E.F.) to fight for Britain. More than sixty thousand soldiers and nursing sisters did not return home. They are buried throughout France and Belgium, in grave sites known and unknown. This book follows the path of those thousands of Canadians. Each chapter highlights an important place or battle, and provides directions to the many cemeteries and monuments that honour those who fought and died in the War to End All Wars.

20 Canadians at War

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Above: The spires of Ieper at dusk. Below: Overlooking the Ancre River valley.

Introduction 21

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The Western Front in 1915. (©Osprey Publishing Ltd.)

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PART I

A Static War of Trenches

From late 1914 until early 1918 the war [on the Western Front] looked like a stalemate. In essence it was one vast siege, in which the French and British forces sought with minimal success to shift the Germans from the trenches they had dug after their initial offensives were halted. Siege warfare was nothing new. This, however, was the first truly industrialized siege. Troops were transported to and from the front as if they were shift workers.3

By the time the Canadians arrived on the Western Front in early 1915, the two sides had settled into a static war of trenches along a front that extended more than eight hundred kilometres from the North Sea to the Swiss border. The ancient town of Ypres (now Ieper) remained behind the British lines throughout the war, despite its strategic senselessness as a salient vulnerable on three sides. Today’s maps show clearly the network of roads radiating from Ieper to numerous towns and villages. It was the same in wartime. A low sandy ridge ran in a northeasterly direction from Messines (now Mesen) to Passchendaele (now Passendale). Although the ridge rose a mere forty-six metres above Ypres, it was just enough to give the Germans an overview of Allied activity behind their lines. Another ridge at Pilken contributed to formations of higher ground sloping gradually to the northwest, making a watershed for streams

23

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The Ypres Salient, April 22-May 4, 1915. (National Research Council Canada. Reproduced with the permission of the Minister of Public Works and Government Services, 2010.)

24 PART I: A Static War of Trenches

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flowing to the lower ground. In time, there would be disastrous consequences as the constant shelling blocked stream beds. Nevertheless, as with the French front line at Verdun further south, there was an ever-growing psychological and moralebuilding aspect to the British tenacity in holding onto the Ypres Salient and in their determination to keep the town out of German hands.

PART I: A Static War of Trenches 25

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The Burghers of Calais by sculptor August Rodin. (Susan Evans Shaw)

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1

Dover to Calais

Recently wounded, their captain, Jean de Vienne, bare-headed and holding his sword reversed in token of submission, rode through the gate to hand over the keys of the city to the English. Walking behind him barefoot in their shirts were the six richest burghers with halters around their necks to signify the victor’s right to hang them at will.4

Upon arrival in England, Canadian troops lived in tents and huts, the first contingent at rain-sodden Salisbury Plain and subsequent contingents at Shorncliffe, Dibgate, St. Martin’s Plain, Sandling, and Otterpool on the Kentish coast. The real work of training and preparation was done in those camps before the men crossed from nearby Folkestone to Boulogne, France.5 By September 1914, to alleviate traffic congestion at Dover, all troop trains were directed to Folkestone, while Dover received the hospital ships bringing wounded back from the front. This shift also protected outgoing troops from the demoralizing sight of their wounded comrades.6 Over the course of the war, more than two million wounded departed Calais for “Blighty” on hospital ships.7 Of those wounded, nearly 173,000 were Canadian.8 Today the ferry from Folkestone to Boulogne no longer runs. Although you can access the region from Paris, crossing the English Channel from Dover to Calais by ferry is my personal choice for entering the battlefields of France and Belgium. It’s a relaxing, scenic way to cross, and a morning departure gives you

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time, should you wish, to enjoy a full English breakfast served by French waiters. The Channel Tunnel (Chunnel) is another option worth trying for the experience or if you are short on time. You and your car will be loaded onto a train flat-car in Folkestone for the thirty-fiveminute trip. It can be dull — you’ll see nothing but grey walls from departure to arrival — but it is quick and, in bad weather, going under rather than over the Channel may be your only choice. Should you wish to travel by passenger train, the Eurostar high-speed train leaves from London’s St. Pancras Station and makes a stop at Ashford International before a swift trip through the Chunnel to Calais. Calais is a sprawling port and industrial town. During World War I, the city was a British base “for the ordnance services and auxiliary units for the British Expeditionary Force. . . . Hospitals, training camps and depots sprang up behind the town.”9 Little remains of the Calais that Canadians would have encountered in the years between 1914 and 1919. Where the troops once encamped behind sand dunes, housing developments and industrial zones now sprawl over the flat landscape. You can continue on the Eurostar to Lille, which is closer to the battlefields, but you would miss Auguste Rodin’s magnificent and moving bronze sculpture, The Burghers of Calais, an excellent introduction to the world of the battlefields beyond. To get to the sculpture from the ferry dock, head southeast on the E15 and follow signs for Centre-ville and Mairie de Calais. The monument is across from the Mairie on the Place du SoldatInconnu. The sculpture was commissioned in 1885 by the town council of the city of Calais to pay tribute to the six burghers of Calais, heroes of the Hundred Years’ War and symbols of French patriotism.

28 PART I: A Static War of Trenches

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In 1347, King Edward III of England laid siege to Calais. After eleven months, with the people desperately short of food and water, six of the leading citizens, or burghers, offered themselves as hostages in exchange for the freedom of the city. According to the fourteenth century Froissart’s Chronicles, the king ordered the men to dress in plain garments, wear nooses around their necks, and journey to his camp bearing the keys to the city. King Edward fully intended to execute the six men, but his pregnant wife, Philippa of Hainault, persuaded him to spare them, believing the burghers’ deaths would be a bad omen for her unborn child. The six men commemorated by the sculpture are brothers Pierre and Jacques de Wiessant, Jean d’Aire, Jean de Vienne, Andrieu d’Andres, and Eustache de Saint-Pierre. The sculpture is a reminder of the centuries of war and rivalry between France and England that, on at least this one occasion, ended without bloodshed. Over five and a half centuries later, in the same region, France and England united against a common enemy — Germany — in one of the bloodiest battles of history.

1

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Talbot House, number 43 Gasthuistraat.

30 PART I: A Static War of Trenches

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2

Poperinge and Talbot House

“Toc H” the dim, dark chapel under the eaves [of Talbot House] remains a deeply moving way-station to any pilgrim to the Western front.10

From Calais, numerous routes lead to Poperinge, just over the Belgian border. The fastest is off the A216, the ring road on the perimeter of Calais. Exit onto the A16 to Dunkerque, then take junction 28 onto the A25 to Steenvoorde, before turning east at junction 13 onto the D948 (Route de Poperinge) eastbound. At the Belgian border, the highway number changes to the N38 (FransVlaanderenweg). From there, it is four kilometres to Poperinge. Another option is travel southwest to visit the grave of John McCrae at Wimereux Communal Cemetery, and travel a further six kilometres to tour Boulogne-sur-Mer, where most Canadian soldiers entered France. From the centre of Calais, take the A16 to Boulogne and exit at junction 4 onto the D242 to Wimereux North. Follow the D242 for two kilometres past the roundabout, then take the first left turn. The cemetery lies about two hundred metres along on the left. From the cemetery, return to the A16 and continue to Boulogne or take junction 31 to the N42 toward St-Omer, and continue to the interchange with the D933 at Fort Rouge. At the roundabout on the eastern fringe of Mont Cassel, take the D948 to Poperinge. In 1914 Germans captured the town of Poperinghe (now

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Poperinge) but stayed only briefly. The town was recaptured by the British Expeditionary Force (B.E.F.) and ‘Pop’ became the Allied forward base for the Ypres Salient, a seventeen-mile curve around Ypres that extended from Steenstraat on the north to StEloi in the south, exposing the city to the enemy on three sides. “Training camps, depots and hospitals sprang up amid the hop fields.”11 In the early years of the war, British generals made their headquarters southwest of Ypres, where the ground rose toward the “Flemish Switzerland” of Mont Kemmel, Mont Cassel, and Mont des Cats.12 Their height allowed a view over the Salient, and all but Mont Kemmel remained behind Allied lines for the duration of the war. Closest to the front line, Mont Kemmel was captured by the Germans in their advance of spring 1918. Almost every soldier going up the line or returning on leave passed through Poperinge. Cafés, bars, and brothels flourished, but today little remains of the bustling hub that once was Pop. The Stadhuis (town hall) now houses a museum and memorial to soldiers executed for desertion and other offences (see Chapter 28). Skindles, the officers’ club, is now a house indistinguishable from other houses on the street. No visit to Pop would be complete without passing through Talbot House. On the N305 (Duinkerkestraat), follow the signs for Centre-ville until you come to Grote Markt, the town square. Leading out of Grote Markt, Gasthuistraat curves from the west to the south. Number 43, Talbot House, stands tall and white, with beautiful iron doors that were once the front entrance. The present-day entrance is around the corner on Pottestraat. Talbot House, or “Toc H” in signallers’ jargon, was founded in the fall of 1915 when the British Army decided that one of its chaplains should open a club for the troops in Poperinge. The chaplain chosen was the very unmilitary-looking Philip Clayton,

32 PART I: A Static War of Trenches

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2 The Upper Room in Talbot House. (Susan Evans Shaw)

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3 Le Touret Memorial, the Indian memorial to the missing. (Susan Evans Shaw) 3 Facing page: Panels of names inside Le Touret Memorial. (Susan Evans Shaw)

34 PART I: A Static War of Trenches

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PART I: A Static War of Trenches 35

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36 PART I: A Static War of Trenches

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4 Ypres, the Gas Attack, April 22, 1915. (National Research Council Canada. Reproduced with the permission of the Minister of Public Works and Government Services, 2010.)

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4 Left: Kitchener’s Wood Memorial. 4 Below: Bronze plaque marking the Road of Remembrance in Folkestone, where the Canadians marched to ships for France. (Susan Evans Shaw) 4 Facing Page: Aerial view of Poelkapelle village centre and church.

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5 The Great Cross, Essex Farm Cemetery.

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“short and round therefore universally known as ‘Tubby.”13 He’s still greeting visitors today, for immediately beyond the admission counter stands a full-size bronze statue representing all five feet, two inches of Tubby Clayton. The club, that “splendid institution” as Canon Frederick G. Scott, chaplain to the Canadian 1st Division, called it, was situated in the home of a prosperous hops dealer who had moved to safety in the south of France.14 It was named for Lieutenant Gilbert Talbot, brother of the senior chaplain, Neville Talbot. Lieutenant Talbot had been killed at Hooge in the Ypres Salient in July 1915. It was “Everyman’s Club.” On the door of Clayton’s own room was posted a paraphrase of Dante: “All rank abandon ye who enter here.”15 After the war, the hops dealer returned to claim his property, and the Toc H club was moved to London. In 1931, 43 Gasthuistraat was purchased by Lord Wakefield, a friend of Tubby Clayton, and given to Toc H in perpetuity. In addition to the museum and gift shop, visitors can tour the house and adjacent bathhouse. Helpful volunteers welcome guests with pots of strong black tea and plates of sweet biscuits, much as would have been offered soldiers during the Great War. Every wall in the house is festooned with photographs and other wartime memorabilia. At the top of the house, reached by very steep, ladder-like stairs, is the loft, where hops were once stored. This upper room became a chapel used by thousands, believers and non-believers alike. “Many made their first communion here, and many made their last.”16 Candlesticks made of carved bedposts were the gift of a Canadian gunner in memory of the Australians and Canadians who worshipped in the Upper Room.17 The wooden plank used as the altar was formerly a carpenter’s bench.

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Reverend Philip Thomas Byard “Tubby” Clayton (1885-1972) still greets visitors to Talbot House. A full-size bronze statue of him stands immediately beyond the admission counter. (Susan Evans Shaw)

By the window looking onto The Canadian Lounge at Talbot House hangs the following framed handwritten description: “The Canadian Lounge built outside on the lead roof by a Newfoundland draft in 1917. It was the oddest makeshift, supported by a telegraph pole rammed through the lead and footed very roughly in the tiled floor below. Wire walls covered with cardboard inside and felt outside, with linen windows here and there, made up the rest of it. But here chess, draughts, ping pong and conversation flourished from 8 A.M. to 8 P.M. at least. It held some 70 men, inured to spatial propinquity.” Accommodation can be arranged at Talbot House from midFebruary to mid-December. The house has ten rooms with very reasonable rates. There is an admission fee to tour the house, payable at the Pottestraat entrance. Talbot House is closed on Mondays. From Poperinge, it is a short trip east to Ieper along either the N308 or the N38.

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3

Neuve-Chapelle, March 1915

Now there was the Canadian Division, newly arrived in France, but as willing and enthusiastic as a commander could desire. They were to take over a quiet sector at the northern end of the Corps front to allow the 7th Division to double its strength in front of Aubers Ridge.18

The Battle At the end of February 1915, the Canadian 1st Division moved in to relieve the British Army’s 7th Division on the German First Army’s front south of Ypres. The Canadians got their first taste of battle on March 10, 1915, at the village of Neuve-Chapelle, supporting a large British and Indian offensive.19 Because they were as yet untried, the Canadian troops were placed on the flank, where they could be used in support should the British forces make a breakthrough, but otherwise they were to mount diversionary attacks with small arms and artillery to keep the Germans busy. The Indian Meercut Division, on the other hand, took a major role in the attack and capture of the village. The attack took the Germans completely by surprise. The assault, combined with the Canadian shelling of German positions, succeeded in opening a 688-metre breach in the German line. British troops cleared Neuve-Chapelle, then halted on a prearranged line, awaiting orders from distant corps headquarters. However, telephone and telegraph wires had been cut by the shelling, and communications broke down, so that corps

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Above: View of the Lille Gate from outside Ieper. Top: Original Imperial War Graves Commission signs inside the Lille Gate, Ieper.

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commanders missed the opportunity to exploit the new position. Hours later, the corps resumed the attack, but by then it was too late; the enemy had received reinforcements, and the British advance came to a halt. The Battle of Neuve-Chapelle cost the British and Indian Corps nearly thirteen thousand casualties and the Canadians one hundred men.

Le Touret Memorial, the Indian memorial to the missing. (Susan Evans Shaw)

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The Portuguese Military Cemetery. (Susan Evans Shaw)

Getting to the Battlefields, Cemeteries, and Monuments Leave Ieper by the Lille Gate and take the N365 south, across the border to Armentières, France. From there, take the D22 to Fleurbaix and then the D171 to Neuve-Chapelle. The D171 becomes rue du Bois. One kilometre down the road, at the crossroads of rue du Bois and the D947 (rue de l’Estaire), stands the fine Le Touret Memorial, the Indian memorial to the missing. Designed by Sir Herbert Baker in oriental style, 4,843 names are inscribed on its walls.20 A few metres south on rue de l’Estaire (D947) is the Portuguese Military Cemetery, which dates from the Battle of the Lys, April 9-29, 1918.

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From the Memorial at the intersection, continue on the D171 for another 3.5 kilometres toward Béthune and you will find Le Touret Military Cemetery, which dates from 1914, to the left of the road. During the battles of Festubert and Aubers Ridge in May 1915, it lay just behind the Indian front line. At the east end of the cemetery, Le Touret Memorial to the Missing commemorates those who fell in the battles of La Bassée, Neuve-Chapelle, Aubers Ridge, and Festubert in 1914-1915 and have no known grave.21 The memorial is well worth a visit, although no Canadians are among the thirteen thousand listed. The Canadians lost one hundred men in the operation at Neuve-Chapelle; those with no known grave are listed on the memorial at Vimy (see Chapter 12). Eleven of the more than nine hundred burials in Le Touret Military Cemetery are Canadian. Return to Neuve-Chapelle and continue north on the D141 toward Fleurbaix. At Pétillon, turn right onto the D171 (rue Delva), continue for about five hundred metres to the D175 (rue de Pétillon) and turn left. Almost immediately on the left is Le Trou Aid Post Cemetery, recognizable by the stone posts and arched gatehouse at the entrance. The cemetery, an island surrounded by a moat bordered by weeping willow trees, is considered one of the most beautiful in the care of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission (C.W.G.C.). At the time of the armistice, Le Trou contained only 123 burials, but more were brought in from the surrounding battlefields; there are now 356 Commonwealth burials here, 207 of which are unidentified. Six of the seven Canadians buried here are members of the 14th (Royal Montreal Regiment) Battalion, killed in early March 1917. The seventh is a member of the 15th (48th Highlanders of Canada) Battalion.

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Aerial view of the St. Julien Canadian Memorial at Vancouver Corner.

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4

The Second Battle of Ypres, April 1915

The Angel of Death’s minions — uncounted trillions of chlorine atoms — rise, a sickly yellow green22

The Battle In April 1915, the Canadians moved into the front line and took up a position along a four kilometre sector near the village of StJulien. They were on Gravenstafel Ridge near an oak copse known as Bois des Cuisiniers, which the soldiers promptly rechristened Kitchener’s Wood. The first gas attack of the war occurred on April 22, sending poisonous fumes over the French line, killing newly arrived French Algerian troops and routing survivors.23 Within an hour, the Germans had advanced nearly two kilometres, driving a deep wedge into Allied lines and creating an undefended gap of six kilometres. The successful attack gave the Germans the opportunity to capture a battery of four French 120-millimetre guns in Kitchener’s Wood. At the cost of many casualties, the Canadians succeeded in recapturing the guns. Two days later, on April 24, the Germans used gas against the Canadians. Unlike the French, the Canadians were forewarned. Using wet handkerchiefs over nose and mouth, they stood their ground. The Germans were repulsed, and the Canadians prevailed against three more attacks.

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Plaque at the foot of the St. Julien Canadian Memorial at Vancouver Corner.

Getting to the Battlefields, Cemeteries, and Monuments From Ieper take the N313 (Brugseweg) and head north toward Sint-Juliaan (St-Julien). On the left, shortly after crossing beneath the A19, the site of Mousetrap Farm, headquarters of the 3rd Canadian Infantry Brigade during the gas attack, can be seen from the road. In the ensuing battle of St-Julien, the farm became part of the Canadian front line. Kitchener’s Wood no longer exists. About two hundred metres along Wijngaardstraat, a side road off the N313, a small monument on the edge of an open field marks the site where it once stood. From the main road, look for a large warehouse with BETON BOUW painted in white on the roof. The monument is set by the corner of the house next door. Continue north on the N313 and, just before the village of SintJuliaan, turn right onto Peperstraat. St. Julien Dressing Station Cemetery lies immediately after this turn on the left-hand side. The village of St-Julien remained in Allied hands for much of the war, although it was captured by the Germans following the April gas attack and held by them until August 1915. It was again taken by the Germans in April 1918, and finally recaptured by the

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St. Julien Canadian Memorial at Vancouver Corner.

Belgian Army on September 28, 1918. Of the 428 Commonwealth burials here, fifteen are Canadian and date from 1916. The bodies of the soldiers who died in the gas attack of 1915 were located after the armistice and reburied in cemeteries, often at a distance from where they fell. Over 80 per cent remain unidentified. Pass through Sint-Juliaan to Kerselaar and Vancouver Corner. There, looming over the crossroads of the N313 and Zonnebekestraat, stands the St. Julien Canadian Memorial. From a low, circular flagstone terrace, an eleven-metre column rises, surmounted by the head and shoulders of a brooding soldier

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wearing a tin hat. His hands rest peacefully on the butt of his rifle, which merges into the granite column of his body. His reversed rifle is a haunting echo of Jean de Vienne’s sword as he led the six burghers of Calais. The soldier’s head is bowed as if in prayer, but his eyes are not focused on the terrace or the bouquets and wreaths placed there. Rather, he gazes just beyond, to the ground — a mixture of soils from across Canada. Since 1923, this soldier has stood sentinel on the plain that soaked up so much Canadian blood.24 From Vancouver Corner, you can follow Gravenstafelstraat eastward along Gravenstafel Ridge. Here the Canadians held firm during the gas attack of 1915 and stopped the German advance. From Vancouver Corner, continue north on Zonnebekestraat to Langemark. Pass through the village of Langemark to Langemark German Cemetery, the Soldatenfriedhof. “This is a forbidding place with its colours and gloomy atmosphere heightened by the very neatness and trimness of the lawns, hedges and trees.”25 Under tall oak trees, the soldiers’ graves lie in rows, marked by square slate stones laid flat. At the northern end of the cemetery, among the grave markers, are massive concrete bunkers that were part of the fortifications of the Langemark Line. Silhouetted at the rear, and immediately visible from the cemetery gate, the statues of four mourning soldiers loom like eerie shadows. The long, low gateway building of dark granite houses the memorial to the army of German students that attacked at Langemark on October 23, 1914. Inevitably, they lost the battle to the vastly more experienced British and French. From Langemark, travel east on Poelkapelestraat to the village of Poelkapelle. Carry on through the village to Poelcapelle British Cemetery, further along the road to Westrozebeke. The village was taken from the French by the Germans on October 20, 1914. It was retaken by the British 11th Division on October 4, 1917,

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Above: Life-size bronze statues of mourning soldiers. Top: Black basalt crosses, Langemark German Cemetery.

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before being evacuated in April 1918. The village was finally taken by the Belgians on September 28, 1918. It gave its name to the battle of October 9, 1917, part of the Third Battle of Ypres. The cemetery was made after the armistice by the concentration of small cemeteries from the surrounding area. Total burials in the cemetery number 7,478, including 536 Canadians. One hundred and sixteen of the Canadians were killed at the Second Battle of Ypres. Most are unidentified.26 Return along the N313 to Vancouver Corner and turn left onto Zonnebekestraat. Continue on through the village of Zonnebeke. After the village, turn right onto Grote Molenstraat and cross the A19 motorway to Westhoek. Now turn right onto Frenzenbergstraat and, five hundred metres further, turn left onto Prinses Patriciastraat. Another five hundred metres down the narrow lane, on the right, is the Memorial to Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry (P.P.C.L.I.) — a maple tree next to a stone seat — unveiled in 1964 on the battalion’s fiftieth anniversary by Dorothy Gault, widow of Hamilton Gault, the battalion’s founder. The inscription at the base of the memorial reads:

Right: Road sign in the village of Westhoek. Facing page: An original World War I barbed-wire support with helmet (helmet supplied by Bartlett’s Battlefield Journeys).

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HERE 8TH MAY 1915, THE “ORIGINALS” OF PRINCESS PATRICIA’S CANADIAN LIGHT INFANTRY COMMANDED BY THEIR FOUNDER MAJOR A. HAMILTON GAULT D.S.O. HELD FIRM AND COUNTED NOT THE COST.

At the edge of the field opposite the Memorial, look for a metal post. This is an original World War I barbed-wire support. The part below ground is twisted like a corkscrew. A lever would have been inserted into the top rung to screw the post into the ground. The lever was then removed and barbed wire threaded through the loops. A farmer has grafted a horizontal bar onto this one for his electric fence wire.27 From the Memorial, in conditions like those in the photo on page 74, you may be able to see the battle line running to Hooge Chateau Wood. That line marked the right flank of the P.P.C.L.I. where it joined the King’s Royal Rifle Corps.

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5

In Flanders Fields, May 3, 1915

In Flanders Fields the poppies blow Between the crosses, row on row, That mark our place; and in the sky The larks, still bravely singing, fly Scarce heard amid the guns below. We are the dead. Short days ago We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow, Loved, and were loved, and now we lie In Flanders Fields. Take up our quarrel with the foe: To you with failing hands we throw The torch; be yours to hold it high. If ye break faith with us who die We shall not sleep, though poppies grow In Flanders Fields. — John McCrae, “In Flanders Fields,” 1915

The Battle Until the middle of May, the Canadians remained close to the battle raging around the Ypres Salient. Lieutenant Alexis Helmer, Canadian Field Artillery, was killed at an artillery position by a direct hit of an 8-inch shell on May 2, 1915. After the shelling stopped, a couple of men dug a grave while others collected the

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Alexis Helmer’s name on the Menin Gate.

pieces of Helmer’s body into sandbags and laid them out in an army blanket in the form of a body. The blanket was fastened with safety pins and Helmer was buried after sunset. Present at the burial were Helmer’s close friends, Captain Lawrence Cosgrave and Major John McCrae. McCrae recited from memory some of the Church of England’s Order of Burial of the Dead. A wooden cross marked “Alexis Helmer, Lieut. 2nd Bty. C.F.A. 2nd May 1915” was planted over his grave.28 The following day, seated on the back of an ambulance overlooking Helmer’s grave and the poppies blooming in the churned-up field beside the Canal d’Yser, John McCrae composed his poem.29 “In Flanders Fields” would be the second-to-last poem he was to write. Soon after, McCrae was ordered to join the

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Canadian Army Medical Corps and promoted to lieutenant-colonel. He was transferred to No. 3 (McGill) Canadian General Hospital at Dannes-Camiers, France, where he became Chief of Medical Services. McCrea served there until his death from pneumonia on January 28, 1918. He was buried with full military honours at Wimereux. “In Flanders Fields” appeared on December 8, 1915, in the British magazine Punch and was an immediate success. John McCrae’s grave, Wimereux Communal Cemetery. (Anthony G. Nutkins)

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Bottom: Essex Farm Cemetery. Below: Memorial seat to John McCrae and lines from “In Flanders Fields,” Wimereux. (Anthony G. Nutkins)

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Above: Advanced Dressing Station bunkers, Essex Farm Cemetery. Left: Albertina marker to John McCrae, commemor­ ating the writing of the poem.

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Essex farm was not at the front line, but shells travelled a considerable distance over the Canal d’Yser. Continual shelling of the burial ground adjacent to the dressing station, where McCrae had worked in the spring of 1915, obliterated many of the graves. After the armistice, only the cross that had marked Helmer’s grave was found. His name is inscribed on the Menin Gate Memorial to the Missing, in Ieper (see Chapter 16), although he was known to be buried in Essex Farm Cemetery and by rights should have a memorial headstone there.

Getting to the Battlefields, Cemeteries, and Monuments From the centre of Ieper, follow the N369 two kilometres north to the village of Boezinger. Essex Farm Cemetery is on the right-hand side of the highway, across the road from a large red-brick barn. The Cross of Remembrance stands next to the road and is clearly visible as you approach. The site was used as dressing station and cemetery from April 1915 to August 1917, and remained behind the lines throughout the war. To the left of the entrance there is a memorial plaque to Dr. John McCrae, as well as the recently restored Advanced Dressing Station bunkers.30

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6

Festubert and Givenchy, May 1915

[Currie’s] brigade was still seriously understrength for the coming operation. This took place near an inconsequential French village named Festubert, about twenty miles south of Ypres. It was the continuation of an ill-conceived and unsuccessful Franco-British offensive that had begun on 9 May.31

The Battle After the devastating trial by gas at Ypres, the survivors marched south into France.32 There, the battles of Festubert and Givenchy represented polar opposites of the Canadian experience in battle on the Western Front. At Festubert between May 15 and 20, 1915, two Canadian brigades, General Richard Turner’s 1st Canadian Infantry Brigade and General Arthur Currie’s 2nd Canadian Infantry Brigade, were sent into action unprepared and with maps full of inaccuracies and errors in position and printed upside down with north on the bottom and east on the left.33 Half the infantry were inadequately trained newcomers fresh from Canada, and to add to the difficulties, there was a shortage of guns and decent ammunition. The result was a fiasco: many lives were lost and little ground gained. Canadian casualties amounted to almost two thousand five hundred. Following the debacle at Festubert, the Canadians moved south to occupy drier trenches on higher ground at Givenchy. On this occasion, they had time for careful preparation and preliminary

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arrangements. Even so, there was a catastrophic explosion of one mine not placed close enough to the target, killing fifty men of the 1st (Western Ontario) Battalion. Nonetheless, Givenchy introduced the careful planning and use of artillery that would become the hallmark of Canadian operations.

Getting to the Battlefields, Cemeteries, and Monuments Eighty per cent of those who died at Festubert and Givenchy have no known grave and are commemorated on the Vimy Memorial to the Missing. The identified few are buried in several cemeteries in and around the area of the two battles. Festubert is approximately thirty-five kilometres south of Ieper and seven kilometres beyond Neuve-Chapelle (see Chapter 3). Leave Ieper by the Lille Gate and take the N365 south to Armentières. From there, take the D22 to Fleurbaix and then the D171 to Neuve-Chapelle. The D171 becomes rue du Bois. From Neuve-Chapelle take the D166 to L’Epinette, where the highway makes a sharp left and narrows. Festubert is two kilometres from the turn, and two kilometres further again is Givenchy-lès-laBassée. Not much remains today to mark the Canadians’ presence in these towns in 1915. Visitors may want to pass directly on to the cemeteries in the surrounding region. To do so, follow the above directions from Ieper to Fleurbaix. From Fleurbaix take the D171 (Rue du Bois) to the crossroads at La Croix Blanche. Turn left at

Facing page: Festubert, May 15-21, 1915. (National Research Council Canada. Reproduced with the permission of the Minister of Public Works and Government Services, 2010)

Overleaf: Upside-down map of Neuve-Chapelle, 1915, similar to the one used at Festubert. (Courtesy of McMaster University Mills Library Archive and Research Collections)

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the intersection and continue for one kilometre, then turn right onto the D175 (rue de Pétillon). Enclosed by a low red-brick wall, Rue-Pétillon Cemetery is situated on the left side of the road, 250 metres from the intersection. The cemetery was built around “Eaton Hall,” an area that housed Headquarters and an Advanced Dressing Station. After the armistice the grounds were enlarged by burials brought in from the surrounding countryside. Of the 1,507 Commonwealth burials, fifty-five are Canadian, twenty of whom were members of the 3rd Canadian Infantry Brigade killed at Fleurbaix in March 1915. Another fifteen are men who were killed at Hill 70 (see Chapter 15). They had been buried in a cemetery that was subsequently obliterated by shelling, so a special stone, known as a Duhallow Block, was erected in front of their memorial headstones to give details of the lost graves.34 Note also that Le Trou Aid Post Cemetery (see Chapter 3) is one kilometre further along the rue de Pétillon. From Rue-Pétillon Cemetery, return along rue de Pétillon and follow the D175 to the right for one kilometre, to where the road makes a sharp left toward La Boutillerie. At the village intersection, turn left onto rue David. Rue-David Military Cemetery is about five hundred metres along the road on the right. Of the 997 World War I burials, ten are Canadians of the 2nd Canadian Infantry Brigade, killed in March 1915; all were identified and brought in after the armistice. There are 429 unidentified burials and memorials to those known to be buried here. Return along Rue David to La Boutillerie and turn left onto the D175. Five hundred metres along, turn left onto rue de la Guennerie. Y Farm or Wye Farm Military Cemetery is on the southeast corner of the intersection with rue des Tronchons. The cemetery was named by the military for the nearby farm. Of the 822 World War I burials here, twenty-four are Canadian.

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Battle Honours inscribed on the Vimy Memorial, showing Festubert and Givenchy.

Return to Fleurbaix westwards along rue de la Guennerie to the D222 (rue de la Chapelle-Grenier), which becomes the D176 (Grand’Rue). At the intersection with the D171, turn right and then, at the roundabout, follow the D176 (rue Henri-Lebleu). The D176 becomes Longue Rue after the intersection with the D174. Two and a half kilometres after the roundabout, the D176 ends at the D945. Turn left onto the D945 (rue de la Lys) and continue through the village of Sailly-sur-la-Lys, past the crossroads with the D175. Sailly-sur-la-Lys Canadian Cemetery is one kilometre further on the left side of the road, opposite the Anzac (Australian

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Duhallow Block for the Hill 70 soldiers, Rue-Pétillon Military Cemetery. (Susan Evans Shaw)

and New Zealand Army Corps) Cemetery on the right. The cemetery was begun by the Canadians in 1915 but, despite its name, only nine of the 314 burials are Canadians. The village of Cuinchy lies about twenty-five kilometres southwest of Armentières and three kilometres south of Festubert. A crossroads just west of the village, known to the Army as Windy Corner, was the site of a house used as battalion headquarters

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and a dressing station. Guards Cemetery, Windy Corner grew next to the house. To get there from Fleurbaix, take the D171 (rue du Bois) through Neuve-Chapelle to l’Epinette. Turn left onto the D166 (rue de l’Epinette), which becomes Grande Rue at Festubert, then rue Jean-Jaurès at the Y-intersection with rue des Betterots. Continue for one and a half kilometres to the next crossroads and turn hard right onto rue Marcelin-Bertholot, which curves left at rue Neuve. Guards Cemetery is one hundred metres past rue Neuve on the right. Of the more than three thousand Commonwealth burials here, thirty-two are of Canadians, all killed at the Battle of Festubert in May 1915. From Cuinchy, continue south on the D166 and turn right onto the D941 (Route de Lille) toward Beuvry. At the roundabout, exit onto rue du Général-Leclerc. At the next intersection, bear right onto rue Jules-Weppe, then left onto rue Jean-Jaurès and right onto rue Sadi-Carnot, which becomes rue Edouard-Vaillant after crossing rue Casimir-Beugnet. Beuvry Communal Cemetery is on the left. The Extension is on the southeast side of the main cemetery. The seven Canadian graves here are those of officers killed at Givenchy in June 1915. Hinges is a village and commune some nine kilometres northwest of Beuvry and five kilometres from Béthune. From the D72 (Route Nationale) in Beuvry, turn right onto the D937 (Rocade N), which becomes avenue George-Washington. At the traffic circle with D945 from Armentières, continue on D937 (rue Fleming) north toward Robecq. At the third traffic circle, take rue de Merville to Hinges. Rue de Merville becomes rue de Béthune after about two kilometres. Hinges Military Cemetery is next to the Communal Cemetery on the southeast corner of rue de Béthune and rue de la Jandie. Of the 105 Commonwealth graves, twenty-six are Canadian, all identified.

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From Hinges, head to the village of Chocques by retracing your route to the first traffic circle and taking the D937 (Route de Saint-Venant) to the next major traffic circle. Exit onto avenue de la Monnie, which becomes rue Pierre-Mendes-France, then rue de Béthune, and finally rue Principale. From rue Principale, turn right onto rue de Gonneheim. Take the first turn on the right to Chocques Military Cemetery, which is on the left side of the road just past the bend. A casualty clearing station was posted at Chocques for the duration of the war. There are 1,709 World War I burials here. Of the fifty-one Canadians, nineteen died of wounds received at Festubert. Lillers is a small town about fifteen kilometres west-northwest of Béthune and about six kilometres from Chocques. From Chocques take the D943 (Route Nationale) to Lillers then the D182 north from the Mairie in the centre of town to rue SaintVenant, about five hundred metres. Lillers Communal Cemetery and Extension is a further two hundred metres on the left hand side; both are signposted. Of the 768 Commonwealth burials here, forty-four are of Canadians killed at Festubert, Givenchy, and Hill 70 (see Chapter 15).

Point of Interest Although members of the C.E.F. are not buried there, the new Fromelles (Pheasant Wood) Military Cemetery is worth a visit while you are in the area. From Rue-Pétillon Military Cemetery, continue south on rue de Pétillon to rue Delval, which will take you to the village of Les Rouges Blancs. From there it is a short distance to the village of Fromelles. In 2007, a survey at Pheasant Wood near Fromelles un­ covered traces of eight pits. In them, the Germans had buried several hundred soldiers following the battle of July 19-20, 1916,

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Poppies in a field beside the Canal d’Yser.

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5 Above: Brass engraving of the poem at McCrae House, Guelph, Ontario. 4 Below: Memorial to Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry.

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5 Above: Remains of a bunker, Essex Farm Cemetery. 8 Right: Demarcation stone at Hellfire Corner. (Susan Evans Shaw)

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8 The Battle of Mount Sorrel, June 2-13, 1916. (National Research Council Canada. Reproduced with the permission of the Minister of Public Works and Government Services, 2010)

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8 Above: Trench art: decorated shell cases line the walls of the café at the Hooge Crater Museum. 8 Top: A World War I trench at the Sanctuary Wood Trench Museum.

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9 Right: Great Caribou Monument. 9 Below: Aerial view of Newfoundland Memorial Park, with the Caribou Monument at the left and the Danger Tree at the right.

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9 A Soldier of the Great War, Royal Newfoundland Regiment, Hawthorn Ridge Cemetery

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a disastrous operation that cost 1,500 British and 5,533 Australian casualties. Archaeological excavations have begun. Attempts will be made to identify remains by means of DNA before they are reinterred in individual plots in the new war cemetery approximately 120 metres from where the bodies were found. By the end of January 2010, much of the work of the new Fromelles (Pheasant Wood) Military Cemetery was complete and the first body reinterred with military honours. Reburials now take place almost daily. The cemetery was formally dedicated in July 2010, by which time ninety-six of the 250 Australian burials had been identified. The work to identify the remainder continues.

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Chapter Seven 7

St-Eloi, 1916

The difficulties were extremely great, the 3rd Brigade had to march from seven to nine miles, pass through terrific barrages, form up and attack over ground they had never seen…while no one knew just exactly where either our troops or hostile troops were.35

The Battle At 4:15 a.m. on March 27, 1916, six large mines, their charges ranging from 275 to 14,000 kilograms of ammonal, were set off under the German-held salient at St-Eloi. The intent was to blow up enemy front-line trenches and The Mound, a German strongpoint about five metres above the surrounding area. The unforeseen effect was that the explosions obliterated landmarks and collapsed trenches. On April 4, after nearly a week in the resulting chaos, exhausted and having lost their bearings, the 3rd British Division withdrew and was replaced by the 2nd Canadian Division. Heavy bombardments and counterattacks in conditions of utter confusion cost the Canadians dearly: between April 4 and April 26, the dead, wounded, and missing numbered 1,373.

Facing page: The St. Eloi Craters, April 4 & 6, 1916. (National Research Council Canada. Reproduced with the permission of the Minister of Public Works and Government Services, 2010)

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Above: The St. Eloi Craters, April 10, 1916. (National Research Council Canada. Reproduced with the permission of the Minister of Public Works and Government Services, 2010)

Top: A crater pond on Hollebekestraat.

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Getting to the Battlefields, Cemeteries, and Monuments Craters varying from less than a metre in diameter to the size of a small lake still dot the landscape of Flanders. Many others have been filled in by farmers. At least two are mass graves, and have been turned into memorials by the C.W.G.C. (see Chapter 12), while others have become farm ponds. Of the six craters left by the explosions at St-Eloi, two of the largest are now ponds visible from Hollebeke Road (Hollebekestraat). A third crater is not easily visible but can be accessed by obtaining the door entry code from the Ieper information office. You can telephone from the site. To visit the craters, leave Ieper by the Lille Gate and follow the N336 (Rijselesweg) to the Sint-Elooi (St-Eloi) traffic circle and continue on Rijselesweg. About 150 metres south of the roundabout, turn left onto Eekhofstraat. Here, where Eekhofstraat meets Rijselesweg, it turns sharply right to curve around the first crater pond. This one requires the door entry code to visit. To find the other two craters, continue south on Rijselesweg for about three kilometres to Hollebekestraat. Turn right onto Hollebekestraat. About one kilometre along, you will see one of the craters on the north (right) side of the road at the back of a farmer’s field and the other almost opposite on the south (left) side of the road beside farm buildings. While in Sint-Elooi, you can also visit the Tunnellers Memorial, described in Chapter 26. Many of the Canadian missing from St-Eloi are listed on the Menin Gate in Ieper. Others, identified and unidentified, lie buried in Woods Cemetery at the village of Zillebeke, through which, until the German offensive in spring 1918, the front-line trenches ran. The commune, as a result, contains many cemeteries. To reach Woods Cemetery from Sint-Elooi, return toward Ieper on Rijselesweg and turn right onto Vaartstraat. Follow Vaartstraat and then turn right onto Verbrademolenstraat.

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From Ieper, leave through the Lille Gate and take the N336 (Rijselesweg) toward Armentières and Lille. Travel one kilometre on Rijselesweg, then turn left onto the N331 (Komenseweg) and follow it for two and a half kilometres. Turn right onto Vaartstraat. Nine hundred metres further on, turn left onto Verbran­demolen­ straat. The cemetery is located four hundred metres along the road in a farmer’s field on the right. The irregular shape of the cemetery is due to the conditions of burial in the midst of battle. All the burials here are original. Of the 326 Commonwealth graves, 111 are of Canadian men, mostly from the 1st Division, killed between April and July 1916.

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8

Mount Sorrel, 1916

Shells were falling fast in that part of town. It was perfectly impossible to linger any longer. A certain old inhabitant, however, would not leave. He said he would trust to the good God and stay in the cellar of his house until the war was over. Poor man, for if he did not change his mind, his body must be in the cellar still, for the last time I saw the place, which henceforth was known as ‘Hellfire Corner,’ there was not one stone left upon another. Only a little brick wall remained to show where the garden and house of my landlord had been.36

The Battle Just east of Ypres, in the early years of the twentieth century, Meenseweg (Menin Road) intersected with the Potijze-Zillebeke Road, now the N345 (Kruiskalsijdestraat and Maaldestedestraat). A railway cut through the intersection as well. The railroad has long since been lifted and replaced by a road, the N37 (Zuiderring), and the crossroads has become a traffic circle. In 1920 the idea was introduced to have the Touring Clubs of France and Belgium erect small monuments, known as Demarcation Stones, at intervals along the 650 km of the Western Front marking the limit of the German advance in 1918. Made of pink granite and designed by Paul Moreau Vauthier, the 119 monuments were no more than a metre in height. There are three

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types, differing mainly in the helmet style of the capstone, either a British tin helmet or the French and Belgian Adrian helmet. On the monument’s lateral face, carved reliefs of a soldier’s equipment — gas mask case, water bottle, grenades — embellish the inscription in French, Flemish, or English: “Here the enemy was brought to a standstill.” On the front face is inscribed the name of the place where the monument was to stand. In the intervening years many of the little monuments have been lost, some destroyed in World War II, some broken during highway construction.37 Adjacent to the traffic circle stands an Ypres demarcation stone with a British tin helmet capstone. The stone is one of seven that originally marked the Salient. This is the place known to the Allies as Hellfire Corner. Overlooked on three sides by German fire power, yet vital to the transport of troops and artillery, all Allied movement was subject to unrelenting strafing by shells and machine-gun fire. In the years since, trees and buildings have so established themselves around the intersection that the naked vulnerability of the war years is hard to visualize. Some two kilometres east of Hellfire Corner, the gentle rise of a ridge gave the Canadians an observation point over enemy trenches. This position extended from a point about one kilometre east of the village of Zwarteleen and crossed Mount Sorrel, Hill 61, and Hill 62 (also known as Tor Top).38 From Tor Top, a broad spur named Observatory Ridge thrust one thousand metres west between Armagh Wood and Sanctuary Wood. The Germans badly wanted to capture Tor Top and Observatory Ridge so they could gain a command position behind Canadian lines and force their withdrawal from the Ypres Salient. Between June 2 and June 13, 1916, the struggle to capture Mount Sorrel began and ended. The small rise, named by a Leicestershire Regiment officer early in the war for his home

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Major-General Malcolm Mercer’s grave, Lijssenthoek Military Cemetery.

village of Mountsorrel, crested about twelve hundred metres northeast of Hill 60. Armagh Wood, Sanctuary Wood, and territory up to the Menin Road were also part of the disputed line. At six o’clock on the morning of June 2, 1916, Major-General Malcolm Mercer, commanding the 3rd Canadian Division, set out to reconnoitre Tor Top and Mount Sorrel as the German bombardment began. Mercer never made it back from the Armagh Wood area. His eardrums were shattered by the shellfire, his leg broken by a bullet, and he was finally killed by shrapnel where he lay on the ground in the wood. Mercer was the highest-ranking

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Canadian officer killed in the war. He is buried in Lijssenthoek Military Cemetery (see Chapter 16). That day, the Germans broke through and took Tor Top and Mount Sorrel. They dug in along Observatory Ridge, but failed to deliver the coup de grâce to the weakened line. Taking advantage of this unexpected opportunity, Canadian reserves sealed off the ridge and prepared to attack. In Sanctuary Wood, the P.P.C.L.I. held on to a support trench on the western fringe of the wood. Alone and at a tremendous cost in lives, the battalion prevented the Germans from linking up their attacks. The German infantry took Observatory Ridge but, lacking approval from higher authority, their officer in command decided not to risk an advance beyond their objective. Further south, on the western fringe of Sanctuary Wood, there is a view over the low ground where, on June 2, 1916, the Germans descended from the newly captured Tor Top and Mount Sorrel and bayoneted gun crews of the Eaton Motor Machine Gun Battery.39 As the Germans streamed over the hills, the men of the 5th Battalion, Canadian Mounted Rifles, kept up rapid and accurate fire until, to a man, they were overrun and killed. Gunners of the 8th Battery, Canadian Field Artillery, kept firing two 18-pound field guns until the last man was killed and the guns taken. It was the only time Canadian guns were ever captured during the war. Twelve days later, the guns were recaptured. A counterattack was planned for June 13, and this time the Canadians succeeded. Disgruntled, the Germans shelled the Canadian positions, and more lives were lost, but they failed to launch another attack. At a cost of eight thousand killed and wounded, the Canadians regained the territory lost on June 2. They remained in the Salient until August, when Field Marshall Sir Douglas Haig, Commander-in-Chief of the B.E.F., ordered them south to take part in the Battle of the Somme.

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Getting to the Battlefields, Cemeteries, and Monuments The cemeteries in which most of the soldiers killed in the Battle of Mount Sorrel rest are near the village of Zillebeke or off the N8. Exit Ieper through the Menin Gate onto the N8 (Meenseweg) to the roundabout that was once Hellfire Corner. Take the second exit and travel south on Maaldestedestraat. Perth (China Wall) Cemetery appears on the left about one kilometre from the turn. Allied soldiers were fond of giving their trenches names laden with irony and humour or associated with grandeur and dread.40 China Wall Cemetery is named for a nearby front-line trench known as The Great Wall of China. The cemetery was used until October 1917, then remained closed until after the armistice, when graves from smaller cemeteries were concentrated here. Among the 2,791 Commonwealth burials are 133 Canadians. Of these, thirty-six are associated with Mount Sorrel. Continue south on Maaldestedestraat to the village of Zillebeke. Zillebeke Churchyard Cemetery is beside the church on the lefthand side of the road. Ten Canadians are buried here. Six are identified, including two members of the 24th (Victoria Rifles of Canada) Battalion, part of a platoon marching single file through Zillebeke when it received a direct hit by a German shell.41 The cemetery is often referred to as the “Aristocrat’s Graveyard” because of the high percentage of titled officers of “Royal” regiments, such as the Royal Horse Guards, killed in the First Battle of Ypres in 1914. The Maple Copse of 1916 was a small wood west of Sanctuary Wood and north of Observatory Ridge. It has since disappeared, although another area known today as Maple Copse is located a little further south, surrounding an eponymous cemetery. Maple Copse Cemetery is about five kilometres southeast of Ieper and one kilometre east of Zillebeke. From Zillebeke, travel south on Wervikesstraat and turn left onto Zandoorstraat. Maple

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Above: Gravestones, Maple Copse Cemetery, including that of Private R.C. Burton, Eaton Motor Machine Gun Battery. Top: Entrance to Maple Copse Cemetery.

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Copse is on the right, about one kilometre from your turn. The cemetery contains 154 Canadians, about half of whom were killed at Mount Sorrel, and includes two members of the Eaton Motor Machine Gun Battery. There is also a memorial to the 2nd Tunnelling Company, Canadian Engineers, who suffocated from smoke when a fire broke out in an underground gallery in 1917. Most of the burials in this cemetery took place in spring 1916, but the graves were so disturbed by shelling during subsequent fighting that there was considerable uncertainty about where individual soldiers were buried.42 The system of inscriptions devised by Rudyard Kipling to indicate this uncertainly while lending dignity to the burials at Maple Copse and elsewhere, is discussed more fully in Researching a Canadian Soldier of WWI, p. 326 Return to Werviksestraat and continue southwest to an access road, a rough track crossing the railway line. This track leads to Larch Wood (Railway Cutting) Cemetery, which contains eighty-six Canadian graves. Thirty-five are those of soldiers of the 5th (Western Cavalry) Battalion, most of them killed on Hill 60 between June 2 and June 6, 1916.43 Another thirty-five graves are of men of the 16th (Canadian Scottish) Battalion. The trees of Larch Wood were destroyed by shelling during the war and never subsequently replanted. Southbound Canadalaan (Maple Avenue) opens to the right from the N8 (Meenseweg) east of the traffic circle at Hellfire Corner. This side road was built especially to give easy access to the Hill 62 Canadian Memorial and to Sanctuary Wood Cemetery. Nearby Sanctuary Wood Trench Museum, located just past the cemetery on Canadalaan, preserves some of the few remaining trenches of the Ypres Salient and a wide collection of Great War artifacts. The museum also has a café where drinks and snacks can be purchased. Sanctuary Wood Cemetery is on the right-hand side of

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Canadalaan. Sanctuary Wood, one of the larger woods in the commune of Zillebeke, was given its name in 1914 when it was in a relatively quiet sector. The story is that Brigadier-General E.S. Bulfin of the B.E.F. offered sanctuary here to stragglers until they could rejoin their units.44 The wood was at the centre of some of the heaviest fighting of the Great War in 1915 and 1916, including the Battle of Mount Sorrel in June 1916. Three cemeteries were begun during the fighting, but all were shelled beyond recognition during the battle. The remnants of one burial ground were found and used to establish Sanctuary Wood Cemetery. After the armistice, additional remains were brought in from local battlefields and some from as far away as Nieuwpoort, on the Belgian coast. The triangular cemetery contains 1,989 Commonwealth burials or commemorations, including 144 Canadians. Among the British burials is that of Lieutenant Gilbert Walter Lyttelton Talbot, for whom Talbot House at Poperinge was named (see Chapter 2). One hundred metres beyond Sanctuary Wood Cemetery stands Hill 62 Canadian Memorial, a tribute to the sacrifices and achievements of Canadian soldiers in actions at St-Eloi, Mount Sorrel, and Hooge. Over a period of five months, they succeeded in keeping the determined enemy from gaining possession of Salient territory still in Allied hands. Formed from a block of white Quebec granite weighing almost fifteen tonnes, the Memorial cube is set in a large circle of green lawn surmounting three landscaped terraces ablaze with roses in season. At a meeting held in 1918 and led by General Sir Arthur Currie, a decision was made to construct permanent memorials to honour eight selected Canadian battlefields: Vimy Ridge, St. Julien, Hill 62 (Sanctuary Wood), Dury, Courcelette, Le Quesnel, Passchendaele, and Bourlon Wood. In 1920 the Canadian Battlefields Memorial Committee was formed. The committee decided that the monument at Vimy would be the National Memorial, with a unique

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Above: Crosses of Remembrance on a tree skeleton and shell hole, Sanctuary Wood Trench Museum. Top: “Iron harvest”: shell cases, Sanctuary Wood Trench Museum.

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design, and the other seven monuments would be identical. A competition took place, calling for Canadian architects, sculptors, and other artists to submit designs for the two types of monument. Walter Allward’s design for Vimy was the winner, and Frederick Clemesha’s design for the Brooding Soldier took second place. The monument at Vimy, well-known for its serene beauty, stands on the crest of Hill 145 (see Chapter 16). When the Brooding Soldier was completed at Vancouver Corner, the committee decided that the effect of that monument was so powerful that it, too, should be unique (see Chapter 4). Another call for a design, along with the advice of architectural designer P.E. Nobbs, produced the cubes of white Quebec granite that now form the other six monuments. They are identical but for their carved dedications, individual to each site. The Hill 62 Memorial is one of these six. Its dedication reads: HERE AT MOUNT SORREL ON THE LINE FROM HOOGE TO ST. ELOI, THE CANADIAN CORPS FOUGHT IN THE DEFENCE OF YPRES APRIL - AUGUST 191645

The other face of the memorial has the same message inscribed in French. Around its base, as on of each of the six identical monuments, is carved: HONOUR TO CANADIANS WHO ON THE FIELDS OF FLANDERS AND FRANCE FOUGHT IN THE CAUSE OF THE ALLIES WITH SACRIFICE AND DEVOTION

Hooge Crater Cemetery is located on the south side of the N8 (Meenseweg), four kilometres southeast of Ieper and across the road from the Hooge Crater Museum. Among the nearly six

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The Hill 62 Canadian Memorial in springtime.

thousand graves from the battlefields are those of 105 Canadians. Twenty-five of them were killed in the Battle of Mount Sorrel. In 1919, twenty bodies were found, all of the 1st (Western Ontario) Battalion, killed on July 9, 1916, when the Germans blew mines in Sanctuary Wood.46 Also buried here is the last Canadian to die in the Ypres Salient, Sapper Henry Nores, 10th Battalion, Canadian Railway Troops, killed in action on October 15, 1918. The Hooge Crater Museum occupies a former chapel building. The former school next door is a café. The museum dates from the early 1990s and has artifacts, weapons, dioramas featuring period uniforms, and stereoscopes with original photos of battles. Light meals, drinks, and snacks can be purchased in the café. Menin Road South Military Cemetery is located one kilometre west along Meenseweg from Hooge Crater Cemetery, on the south side at the intersection with Wulvestraat. Graves were moved here from the surrounding battlefields after the war. The cemetery contains 1,634 Commonwealth graves, of which 148

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Above: Hooge Crater Cemetery. Canadalaan, marked by a line of maple trees, can be seen in the background. Facing page: Artifacts outside the Hooge Crater Museum.

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are of Canadians, including men of The Royal Canadian Regiment killed at Hooge. Seventeen belong to men killed in the Battle of Mount Sorrel. From Menin Road South Cemetery, return along Meenseweg to the roundabout at Hellfire Corner and take the fifth exit onto Maaldestedestraat to Zillebeke. Just south of the village, turn right onto Blauwepoortstraat and follow it to Komenseweg. Railway Dugouts Burial Ground (Transport Farm) is located two kilometres west of Zillebeke on the left side of Komenseweg. There are 636 Canadian burials here, most of men killed in 1916 while holding the line near Zillebeke. Continue westbound on Komenseweg to the N336 (Rijselweg) and turn left. Bedford House Cemetery is about one kilometre from your turn, on the left-hand side of the road. It consists of four enclosures over an area of 4.6 hectares, and includes the ruins of the Rosendal Chateau and its moat. Enclosure No. 3 shows exactly how front-line burials were made. Enclosure No. 4 contains 309 Canadian burials, including 125 associated with the Battle of Mount Sorrel. Return on Rijselweg toward Ieper. At the roundabout, take the third exit onto the N37b (Oudstrijderslaan) and continue on the N37b, which first becomes René Colaertplein and then Maarshalk Fochlaan. Maarshalk Fochlaan terminates at a roundabout with the N308. Take the first exit onto the N308 (Jules Capronstraat). At the next roundabout, take the second exit onto Maarshalk Haiglaan, then the first right, which is still Marschalk Haiglaan. The route is circuitous because of Ieper’s one-way streets. From Marschalk Haiglaan, turn left onto Minneplein and then left again onto Marschalk Plumerlaan, which is one-way westbound. Ypres Reservoir Cemetery is on the left-hand side. Ypres Reservoir Cemetery was originally called Prison Cemetery, but the name was changed after the war so as not to

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cause concern to relatives of those buried there. The cemetery was used by fighting units and ambulance services throughout the war. After the armistice, the cemetery was enlarged as burials were brought in from the Salient. Among the 2,613 Commonwealth graves and memorials are those of 155 Canadians. Over fifty soldiers killed in the Battle of Mount Sorrel are buried here. Also among the burials is that of Private Thomas Lionel Moles, 54th (Kootenay) Battalion, executed for desertion on October 22, 1917.

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9

Newfoundlanders at the Somme, July 1, 1916

No words of mine can give a fair account of the advance. It was just a steady walk forward of several hundred Newfoundlanders, each one knowing that he was going to be hit, but determined to carry out his orders until he could advance no further.47

The Battle No Canadian infantry units were involved in the opening of the Somme offensive on July 1, 1916, but two C.E.F. batteries of heavy artillery supported the assault. The Newfoundland Regiment, serving with the British 29th Division, took part in the attack, however, and was annihilated by the waiting Germans. At 7:30 a.m., British troops attacked at Beaumont-Hamel. As David Macfarlane describes it, “[e]ach man was weighed down with seventy pounds of gear: kit bags, grenades, picks, shovels, wire-cutters, gas helmets, ammunition, rifle.…They clanked like knights in armour. It had been raining for days. Their boots were as heavy as anchors.”48 To the back of each man a tin badge was pinned, its flash in the sunlight intended to indicate to Allied observers how far the advance had gone so that artillery fire could be aimed ahead. Facing page: Remains of the Danger Tree in front of the German trenches.

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The Newfoundlanders formed the second wave of attackers. By now their front-line trenches were clogged with the dead and debris from the first wave. Once free of the trenches, they had to cross 230 metres of exposed front to their own pre-cut wire. As they followed a zigzag path through the wire, they were picked off by German machine gunners. Halfway down the slope stood a single, gnarled, dead tree known as the Danger Tree, the last remains of what had been an apple orchard. For the Newfoundlanders, it marked the beginning of no man’s land and the place where German shellfire was particularly accurate. By 10 a.m. every officer was either killed or wounded. Of the 810 Newfoundlanders who went into action that morning, 310 were killed and more than 350 wounded. All afternoon, wounded men tried to crawl back across no man’s land, unaware that their tin triangles flashed in the western sun, making them easy targets for German snipers and machine gunners. Only sixty-eight men would answer the next roll call.

Getting to the Battlefields, Cemeteries, and Monuments From Arras take the D919 for about thirty kilometres toward Mailly-Maillet. Turn left (east) at the D73 (rue Delattre) toward the village of Auchonvillers. On the eastern fringe of Auchonvillers, at 10, rue Delattre, is Ocean Villas Tea Room and Avril Williams’s Guest House (see below). From Ocean Villas Tea Room, travel southeast on rue Delattre toward rue du Cimetière. The entrance to Newfoundland Memorial Park, Beaumont-Hamel is 1.75 kilometres beyond. A large parking lot is on the right side of the road, opposite the park. Facing page: Plaque at the entrance to Newfoundland Memorial Park, Beaumont-Hamel.

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Newfoundland Memorial Park, Beaumont-Hamel, a National Historic Site of Canada, is one of the best-preserved trench memorials on the Western Front.49 It covers more than thirtytwo hectares, sixteen of which are in the sector held by the Newfoundland Regiment. All around are the grass-covered trenches of the battlefield. Because later battles did not alter the ground, the terrain remains much as it was on that July day. Standing sentinel over the park is the Great Caribou Monument, the base of which incorporates the Memorial to the Newfoundland Missing. The powerful caribou stands on a crag of Newfoundland granite surrounded by trees, facing the direction of the Newfoundlanders’ attack. His head held high, he appears ready to sound his battle cry (see also Chapter 20).50 On the edge of no man’s land, the skeleton of the Danger Tree still rises in front of the German trenches.51 Beyond the Danger Tree lies Y Ravine Cemetery. It contains 428 Commonwealth burials, including the graves of forty-five Newfoundlanders killed on July 1, 1916. Hidden over to the left is Hawthorn Ridge Cemetery No. 2, which contains 214 Commonwealth graves, including twenty-four Newfoundlanders. Both cemeteries are inside the park. Knightsbridge Cemetery, 1.5 kilometres southeast of Auchonvillers, just off the D174 in an open field, contains the graves of thirty-nine Newfoundlanders. Access to the cemetery is via a farm track, the first kilometre of which is asphalt. The second kilometre is dirt and unsuitable for cars. The cemetery is

Facing page, top: Memorial to the 29th British Division, with which the Newfoundland Regiment served. Facing page, bottom: Students walking through preserved trenches toward the Caribou Monument.

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Above: Y Ravine Cemetery contains the graves of 45 Newfoundlanders killed on July 1, 1916. Top: A long way from home: a bronze arrow on the wall of the ramp that winds up the mound supporting the Great Caribou Monument. Facing page: Gravestones in Y Ravine Cemetery.

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two hundred metres beyond the track, in a farmer’s field with no grass path established for access. Ancre British Cemetery, on the D50 to Beaucourt, is two hundred metres north of the village of Hamel and contains 2,540 Commonwealth graves, of which thirty-two are Newfoundlanders. Serre Road Cemetery No. 2, on the D919 from Arras to Amiens and south of the hamlet of Serre, contains 7,139 Commonwealth graves, including those of twenty-eight Newfoundlanders. London Cemetery and Extension, on the D107 between Martinpuich and Longeval, was formerly one of the few open to receive new-found remains, but the C.W.G.C. has changed the policy on “open cemeteries.” Remains continue to be found and usually are buried in the cemetery closest to where they were discovered. In winter 1936, the skeletons of three Newfoundland soldiers and a British soldier of the Kings Own Scottish Borderers were found in an old shell hole near the entrance to Newfoundland

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Right: A trench at Ocean Villas, which would have joined up with communication trenches leading to the front line at Beaumont-Hamel. Facing page, top: Bronze plaque in memory of Newfoundland’s fallen, with Battle Honours. Facing page, bottom: Flags on display in the Visitor Centre.

Memorial Park. One bore the ID disc of Private Martin Joseph Cahill of Bell Island, Newfoundland; the other three could not be identified. All four are buried in London Cemetery.52

Other Points of Interest Just up the road from the park are the afore-mentioned Avril Williams’s Guest House and the tea room known as “Ocean Villas,” from a Tommy corruption of Auchonvillers, the village name.53 Traditional English chips, eggs, and sausages are popular items on the menu. During the years of the Great War, the site was just behind the front line and became an Allied dressing station. Trenches and dugouts are still being excavated in the field behind the building. It is well worth a visit.

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Artifacts found at Ocean Villas.

During the fighting in the area, the church in Beaumont-Hamel was severely damaged by shelling. For a time, the German Army occupied the ruins. One of the soldiers defending this position found a fragment of stained glass in the debris. The image on the irregular fragment was the head of the Virgin Mary. The soldier, George Müller, carried the fragment on his person through the rest of the war. After Müller’s death in 1962, his family returned the fragment to the village, where it can be seen inserted into a west window, with a small plaque beneath.54 To visit the church from Ocean Villas Tea Room, return along rue Delattre and turn right onto the D174 (rue d’en Bas). Continue onto the D163. The distance to Beaumont-Hamel is about two kilometres. At the crossroads in the centre of the village, turn right onto the D4151. The red-brick church is on the left.

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9 Above: View from the entrance to Ancre British Cemetery, with the Great Cross in the background. 9 Beaumont-Hamel church.

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10 Courcelette, September 1916. (National Research Council Canada. Reproduced with the permission of the Minister of Public Works and Government Services, 2010)

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10 Left: The Golden Virgin on top of the Albert Basilica. 10 Facing page: Courcelette Memorial. 10 Below: Mouquet Farm and surrounding landscape, seen from the D73 from Thiepval.

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10 Above: The Memorial to the Missing at Thiepval. The inscription reads THEIR NAME LIVETH FOR EVERMORE. 10 Left: Aerial view of the Memorial to the Missing at Thiepval

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10 Left: The Great Cross, Adanac Cemetery. 10 Below: Aerial view of Adanac Cemetery. Regina Trench ran across the fields beyond the cemetery.

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10 Sunken Road Cemetery.

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Canadians at the Somme, September - November 1916

10

The vast expanses of land on the Somme front would remind many of the Western Canadian boys of the wide, flat prairies.55

The Battle At Verdun, where French troops faced the Germans, the battle had reached a stalemate. There were huge numbers of casualties on both sides. Early in July 1916, the Germans abandoned their offensive at Verdun and began moving troops, artillery, and airplanes to their front at the Somme. The Canadian Corps began arriving on the Somme front in late August 1916, to replace the Anzac Corps at Pozières on the Albert-Bapaume Road. The Australians, along with a relieving Canadian brigade, made a final attempt to capture the German strongpoint at Mouquet Farm (known to the soldiers as either “Mucky Farm” or “Moocow Farm”), southwest of Courcelette, on September 3, 1916. The attack failed to take the farm but gained 275 metres of Fabek Graben, a German trench running toward Courcelette. On September 7, the Canadians captured a 450-metre portion of German trench south of the Pozières-Courcelette Road. Success was owed to the valour of Corporal Leo Clarke. In the course of clearing the trench, Clarke fought off a counterattacking party of Germans using his own revolver and two abandoned enemy

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Mouquet Farm Australian Memorial.

rifles. An officer bayoneted him in the leg, but Clarke continued the fight. His courageous action earned Corporal Clarke the Victoria Cross.56 Clarke was killed five weeks later in further Somme fighting.57 In an all-out attempt to disentangle his armies from trench warfare, Haig organ­ ized a strong attack at FlersCourcelette for the middle of September. Using fresh forces and every available resource, three corps of the British Fourth Army, the Reserve Army, the Canadian Corps, and the French Army would attack. “It was the last chance of winning the war in 1916.”58 On September 15, 1916, the commander of the Canadian Corps, General Sir Julian Byng, issued orders for an evening attack on Courcelette and Fabek Graben trench. From the western end of Courcelette, Fabek Graben ascended a long slope toward Mouquet Farm. The Canadian assault was scheduled for 6 p.m., in broad daylight. After fifteen minutes of fighting, mostly with bayonets, the Allies advanced straight through the town. Tanks were used for the first time at Courcelette. This newest weapon met with mixed success. Two tanks reached the front line,

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took part in the attack, and returned unharmed, but four broke down and had to be abandoned. With the two working tanks and determined fighting, the Canadian infantry battalions completed the capture of Courcelette. By the afternoon of September 16, there remained a section of Fabek Graben near Courcelette village still to clear. Canadian battalions advanced on three sides of the German positions. Surrounded, the enemy surrendered. Fabek Graben was now entirely in Canadian hands.59 Tanks again went into action on September 26. Thirteen took part in an attack on Thiepval, and proved to be effective in the ruined village. Two Canadian and two British divisions attacked the German lines on a front extending from Thiepval through Mouquet Farm to Courcelette. All their objectives — Zollern Graben, Hessian Trench, and Kenora Trench — were taken, but the Germans’ mighty Regina Trench remained. Regina Trench was the longest single-named trench on the Western Front. It stretched 3.2 kilometres from north of Thiepval to near Le Sars. Two failed attacks took place on October 1 and 8. The bravery of Piper James Richardson of the 16th (The Canadian Scottish) Battalion during the second assault earned him the Victoria Cross (see below). A third attack on October 21 resulted in the capture of most of Regina Trench and, on November 11, 1916, after forty-two days and thousands of casualties, the trench was cleared. The capture of the last objective, Desire Trench, on November 18, marked the end of the Somme offensive. British casualties totalled more than four hundred and fifty thousand, of which twenty-four thousand were Canadian. At Courcelette alone, the Canadian Corps left over eight thousand dead. The Battle of the Somme had been costly, and there was still no end in sight: trench warfare remained entrenched.

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Thiepval Memorial to the Missing.

Getting to the Battlefields, Cemeteries, and Monuments From Auchonvillers, take the D73 to the Thiepval Memorial. Inscribed on the memorial are the names of around seventythree thousand British soldiers who died in 1916 - 1917 and have no known grave.60 Canadians killed on the Somme who have no known grave are commemorated by name on the Vimy Memorial. Behind the memorial is Thiepval Anglo-French Cemetery, where equal numbers of British and French soldiers are buried. On the left as you stand on the memorial are the crosses marking the French burials; on the right are the C.W.G.C. headstones for the British. The Canadians first joined the fight across the valley toward Courcelette, opposite the fortified defence system of the German line at Mouquet Farm. There, on September 3, 1916, the 13th

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(Royal Highlanders of Canada) Battalion reinforced the shattered Australians. Turn onto the D107 at the eastern fringe of Courcelette. Stop in the sunken road that runs south from Courcelette, across the D929 (the Albert-Bapaume Road), to Martinpuich. Canadian troops entered and occupied this area on September 15 and 16, 1916. Where the sunken road meets the D929, turn right. Just on the right stands the Courcelette Memorial to their actions in October–November, 1916, when they captured, among others, the great Regina Trench. The Courcelette Memorial is one of the six granite cubes described in Chapter 8. The individual inscription is recorded: THE CANADIAN CORPS BORE A VALIANT PART IN FORCING BACK THE GERMANS ON THESE SLOPES DURING THE BATTLES OF THE SOMME SEPT. 3RD – NOV. 18TH 1916

Entrance, Courcelette Memorial.

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Left: The Pozières Windmill. (Susan Evans Shaw) Below: Bronze arrow set into the stone terrace surrounding the Courcelette Memorial points to an old battlefield.

The memorial sits on a flagstone terrace surrounded by a circular park.61 Carved into the terrace are the names of villages in which the Canadians fought, each with an arrow indicating the direction to look. You may see the villages on the horizon, but the surrounding trees and hedges tend to obstruct such views in full summer. From Arras, take the N17 to Bapaume then the D929 to the Pozières Windmill site, about ten kilometres from Bapaume on the north side of the D929. A mound covers the ruins of the windmill, now a memorial to the Australians who fell in taking Pozières Ridge in July-August 1916. From the mound, the skyline of Bapaume can be seen to the north. The Tank Corps Memorial, a large plinth with bronze models of four Great War tanks at the corners, is located on the south side of the road. The fence posts are made from tanks’ six-pounder guns, some with bullet

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Left and below: Tank Corps Memorial.

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and shrapnel marks, and the chain fence is constructed from the original tank driving-chains. From the Tank Corps Memorial, return south toward Pozières village and turn hard right. Head north, down an unnumbered minor road signposted to Courcelette.62 This road follows the direction of the attack of the 4th and 6th Canadian Infantry Brigades on the formidable German-held Sugar Factory (see directions below). Just outside Courcelette, make a sharp left turn and follow the C.W.G.C. sign onto rue Macdonnell. This is the original road running between Courcelette and Pozières. In winter months, this track can be muddy and flooded.63 Where the road forks, take the branch to the right. This was Mouquet Road, a sunken lane that ran from Courcelette to Mouquet Farm, the banks of which contained many dugouts. The German trench system, Fabek Graben, ran just north of this track.64 On the south side of Mouquet Road is Courcelette British Cemetery. There are 783 Canadian burials here. Fabek Graben was a long German trench that ran from Mouquet Farm to Courcelette. As a strongpoint, it formed part of the German underground attack route that allowed troops to move about unhindered by sniper fire. There is nothing to be seen now in the farmers’ fields. Returning to the road junction, Courcelette village is just a short distance to the east. The village had been behind German lines and used for billeting troops until battalions of the C.E.F. successfully assaulted the area on September 15, 1916. It was here that tanks were used for the first time. In the village, take the turn indicated by the signpost to the track leading northwest to Regina Trench Cemetery. The single-lane track is unsuitable for cars, so visitors must walk the 1.5 kilometres to the cemetery. There are 563 Canadian burials among the 2,086 here. Regina Trench ran at right angles to the south wall of the cemetery, but there is no sign of it today.65

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Return to Courcelette and take the main road to Miraumont, the D107, from the eastern fringe of the village. Continue about two kilometres to Adanac Cemetery, on the right side of the road. Of the more than three thousand graves here, 1,071 are of Canadians, including Victoria Cross recipient Piper James Richardson of the 16th (The Canadian Scottish) Battalion, killed October 9, 1916, age twenty. On the day of the battle, troops attacking Regina Trench reached the enemy’s barbed wire defences, only to find them still intact. While trying to cut through, the Canadians were subjected to murderous fire. Daunted troops found it impossible to move, until Jamie Richardson, after much pleading, received permission to play his pipes. He leapt out of his sheltering shell hole, threw his pipes over his shoulder, and advanced toward the Germans alone. No one remembered what tune he played, but the inspired troops followed him. Regina Trench was taken. Later, when moving prisoners back to headquarters, Richardson realized he had left his pipes back in the trench. He insisted on returning for them and was never seen again. The pipes were found the following spring in the mud at Courcelette and passed to Major Edward Yeld Bate, a chaplain with the British Army. After the war, Bate became a teacher at Arvreck School in Crieff, Scotland. On retirement in 1931, he presented the pipes to the school, where they remained on display until a parent, himself a piper, became curious about pipes with the mud of the Somme still on them. On the basis of their unusual tartan, Lennox, they were identified as belonging to the 16th (The Canadian Scottish) Battalion and undoubtedly were the pipes played by Piper Jamie Richardson on October 8, 1916. On November 11, 2006, in a ceremony attended by members of the Richardson family, Piper Jamie Richardson’s pipes were placed on view in Chilliwack, British Columbia, Richardson’s

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Facing page: Statue of Piper James Richardson, Chilliwack, British Columbia. (Susan Evans Shaw) Right: Great Cross, Bapaume Post Military Cemetery.

home town, before being installed permanently at the British Columbia Legislature in Victoria. Return to Courcelette on the D107 and continue to the D929, (the Albert-Bapaume Road) and turn right. Just south of the Courcelette Canadian Memorial, on the right, is the Sugar Factory, a key German position captured by the tanks and the men of the 21st Canadian Battalion on September 15, 1916. Today the site is a garden centre open to the public. The old well in the grounds is all that remains of the original sugar refinery. Bapaume Post Military Cemetery is about eight kilometres further south of Courcelette on the left-hand side of the D929. Most of the burials in the cemetery are of artillerymen and engineers, although eleven are of officers brought in from the battlefields in 1916. Among the graves is that of Captain Henry Hutton Scott, son of Canon Frederick Scott, killed October 21, 1916. In his memoir, Canon Scott wrote:

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We had now reached the middle of November [1916] . . . .  My only chance of finding my son’s grave lay in my making a journey to Albert before his battalion moved away. . . . When we came up to the cross I read my son’s name upon it, and knew that I had reached the object I had in view. As the corporal who had placed the cross there had not been quite sure that it was actually the place of burial, I got the runner to dig the ground in front of it. He did so, but we discovered nothing but a large piece of a shell. Then I got him to try in another place, and still we could find nothing. I tried once again, and after he had dug a little while he came upon something white. It was my son’s left hand, with his signet ring upon it.66

Grave of Captain Henry Hutton Scott.

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Entrance to Sunken Road Cemetery.

Among the Canadians killed south of Pozières in September 1916 was 48-year-old Private Thomas Tattersall, 38th (Ottawa) Battalion, one of the oldest soldiers serving on the front line. Also killed was Private William Edward Dailey, 20th (Central Ontario) Battalion, one of the youngest at only sixteen. From Pozières, take the D147 south to the intersection with the sunken road, about one kilometre along on the left. Turn sharp left into the Sunken Road. Two cemeteries lie in the fields on either side of the road. Private Dailey is buried in Sunken Road Cemetery on the right side of the road, and Private Tattersall in 2nd Canadian Cemetery Sunken Road on the left side of the road. The inscription on Dailey’s gravestone reads, “Mother’s darling.” Finally, no account of Canadians in the Great War is complete without mention of the Pine Street Boys. Corporal Leo Clarke, whose brave actions are described above, was one of three men

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Winnipeg’s Memorial to the Pine Street Boys. (Susan Evans Shaw)

from the very same street to be awarded the Commonwealth’s highest award for gallantry. Sergeant-Major Frederick Hall, Lieutenant Robert Shankland, and Corporal Clarke all lived on Pine Street, now Valour Road, in Winnipeg, Manitoba. All lived in boarding houses on the same block when they enlisted, and all three received the Victoria Cross: Clarke at the Somme, Hall in the Second Battle of Ypres, and Shankland at Passchendaele. On November 11, 2005, the city of Winnipeg dedicated a commemorative plaza to the Pine Street Boys. Members of the Clarke family were present at the dedication.

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11

The First of March Gas Raid, 1917

Yet those in charge believed the hokum, pinning their faith on the ultimate weapon, as commanders had before them and have since. Magically the clouds of gas would render the enemy impotent and allow the troops to saunter across the enemy lines unmolested. But it didn’t work out that way. It is dangerous for generals to believe in magic.67

The Battle At Hill 145 on Vimy Ridge an elaborate trench raid was planned by the 4th Canadian Division. It involved an attack by four battalions of infantry — the 72nd (Seaforth Highlanders of Canada), 73rd (Royal Highlanders of Canada), 75th (Mississauga), and 54th (Kootenay) — a total of 1,700 troops, and the use of poison gas to soften the enemy beforehand. A worse place to use gas could not have been chosen; heavier than air, the gas would have been prevented by gravity from reaching the enemy even with a strong, favourable wind. Inevitably, the raid went disastrously wrong. The wind changed, the Germans were alerted, and losses totalled 687 men, including two battalion commanders. In the confusion, many were killed by their own guns.

Getting to the Battlefields, Cemeteries, and Monuments Some of the men killed in this devastating raid are buried in Villers Station Cemetery in the village of Villers-au-Bois, eleven kilometres northwest of Arras. Take the D341 north from Arras to the D58. Turn right on the D58. Villers-au-Bois is about one kilometre

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from the main highway on the D58. Once in the village, take the secondary road, the D65, northwest in the direction of Servins. The cemetery is about two kilometres along this road. Of the 1,208 Commonwealth graves, forty-six belong to men killed in the First of March raid, including Commanding officers Lieutenant-Colonel Arnold Kemball of the 54th (Kootenay) Battalion and LieutenantColonel Sam Beckett of the 75th (Mississauga) Battalion. Of the remaining 962 Canadian burials, most were of men killed in April 1917 (see Chapter 12). Also buried here are three soldiers executed for desertion: Private Harold George Carter, 73rd (Royal Highlanders of Canada) Battalion, executed on April 20, 1917; Private Edward Fairburn, 18th (Western Ontario) Battalion, executed on March 2, 1918; and Private Stephen McDermott Fowles, 44th (Manitoba) Battalion, executed on June 19, 1918 (see Chapter 28). Another 422 men killed in the First of March raid, most unidentified, lie in Cabaret Rouge British Cemetery at Souchez. The cemetery is located one kilometre south of Souchez on the D937 between Arras and Béthune. The inscription on a plaque at the cemetery entrance reads: THE LAND ON WHICH THIS CEMETERY STANDS IS THE FREE GIFT OF THE FRENCH PEOPLE FOR A PERPETUAL RESTING PLACE OF THOSE OF THE ALLIED ARMIES WHO FELL IN THE WAR OF 1914 - 1918 AND ARE HONOURED HERE

Behind its distinctive Indian-style portal lie the graves of more than seven thousand six hundred Commonwealth soldiers, whose remains were brought in during the battlefield clearances of the 1920s from small burial grounds as far south as Amiens and as far north as Armentières near the Belgian border. The bodies of

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The distinctive Indian-style portal of Cabaret Rouge British Cemetery.

the many pilots of the Royal Flying Corps killed behind German lines were brought here for burial after the armistice. Among the burials are those of 741 Canadians: the majority died at Vimy, but some also died in battles at Givenchy, Hill 70, and Lens. Also buried here was a man who became Canada’s Unknown Soldier. A commemorative marker on his original grave has been installed in place of his old headstone, and inscribed in both official languages:

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Cabaret Rouge British Cemetery with former grave of Canada’s Unknown Soldier at lower left.

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THE FORMER GRAVE OF AN UNKNOWN SOLDIER OF THE FIRST WORLD WAR. HIS REMAINS WERE REMOVED ON 29 MAY 2000 AND NOW LIE INTERRED AT THE NATIONAL WAR MEMORIAL IN OTTAWA, CANADA.

Cabaret Rouge Cemetery contains burials that trace the history of the B.E.F. on the Western Front from 1914 to 1918.68 British and Indian armies are represented from the Race to the Sea in 1914, the battles of Neuve-Chapelle and Aubers Ridge in 1915, Vimy Ridge in 1916-1917, and the Battle of the Lys in 1918. Among the Canadian burials is Lieutenant Frederick Gundy Scott, killed on April 20, 1917. Scott was a close friend of Conn Smythe, founder and original owner of the Toronto Maple Leafs hockey team. Smythe wrote in his autobiography of the sad influence of his friend’s death. From Cabaret Rouge Cemetery, looking to the northwest, the Basilica of Notre-Dame-de-Lorette can be seen on the crest of Hill 165, adjacent to the massive French military cemetery of the same name. Continue south on the D937 to La Targette and turn right onto chemin du Mont-Saint-Éloi, which becomes rue de La Source. At the intersection with the D341, turn right (north) toward the village of Mont-Saint-Éloi. The twin towers of the ruined abbey can be seen from a distance, but if you want a closer look, turn right onto rue du Georges-Barbot. The park and abbey are on the right, near the centre of the village. The Allies used the towers as observation post, until they were destroyed by German cannon fire.69

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12

Canadians at Vimy, April 1917

Promptly at 5:30 a.m. on April 9, the whole western horizon blazed into a continuous display of lightning, and in a few seconds we heard the crashing thunder of the guns. At the same instant we heard, overhead, the roar of the passing shells, resembling the sound of a terrible wind blowing over the tree-tops. . . . But our chief interest lay towards our front at the German trench where presently our barrage burst into a tempest of fire. The new thermite shells seemed to pour down thick liquid fire like golden syrup from a jug.70

The Battle Minor but hard-fought British Fifth Army engagements pushed the German line eight kilometres up the Ancre River valley. The German commander, Crown Prince Rupprecht of Bavaria, had long insisted that troops be withdrawn to the new Hindenburg Line as soon as possible; the British push served to reinforce his opinion. The retirement would also upset British and French campaign plans, and the Germans wanted to delay further attacks until the outcome of the unrestricted submarine campaign could be determined. The date for withdrawal was set for March 15-16, 1917. The operation, called Alberich after the malicious dwarf of the Nibelungen saga,71 involved the total devastation of the countryside from Soissons to Arras to a depth of 32 kilometres, an act of malice German troops perpetrated as they pulled back to prepared, strongly wired, fortified positions. Farms were stripped,

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families evacuated, livestock taken or destroyed, wells filled or poisoned, and trees felled across roads to hinder movement. By the morning of March 19, 1917, the German withdrawal was complete: their line was shortened by fifty kilometres, freeing up thirteen divisions and fifty heavy batteries to the strategic reserve. Vimy Ridge was the keystone of the defences linking the Hindenburg system to the main German lines that led north from Hill 70 to the Belgian coast. To the east, construction of the new Wotan Stellung (named for another character in the Nibelungen saga), or the Drocourt-Quéant line as it was known to the Allies, was not yet complete, so the German High Command was all the more determined not to relinquish so vital a ridge.72 Crucial to the success of the Battle of Vimy Ridge was the thought and preparation that went into its planning, which left much less to chance. Since taking command in 1916, General Julian Byng had moulded the soldiers of the Canadian Corps into a cohesive unit. Despite his self-confessed unfamiliarity with Canada and Canadians, he made them “realize what they were capable of achieving and [gave] them the self-confidence to do it.”73 The Canadian operation at Vimy was part of a much larger British and French offensive known as the Battle of Arras, intended to turn static warfare into a war of movement.74 Logistical preparation before the battle played an integral role in supporting troops at the sharp end.75 Engineers, labour units, tunnelling companies, and infantrymen toiled through the night digging underground tunnels to enable troops to go forward with better protection than that afforded by trenches. Intense training took place on full-size practice courses. Commanders agreed on the capture of strategic geographical features, and forty thousand maps were issued to the troops, a revolutionary act at a time when military tradition kept those below officer rank in complete ignorance of plans and strategy.

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Canadian artillery plans aimed to destroy enemy fortifications and suppress enemy gunfire, while providing an all-important creeping barrage to protect and screen the advancing infantry.76 The preliminary bombardment began on March 20 and lasted thirteen days. The intensity augmented on April 2, so much so that the seven days before the battle became known to the Germans as der woche des leidens, the week of suffering.77 Aerial photography, intelligence, unremitting study, and scientific principles such as sound ranging and flash spotting enabled counterbattery staff to locate, target, and destroy enemy gunners.78 Opposite the Canadian Corps, Germans on the ridge had three main defensive lines of trench with deep dugouts, interspersed with a network of concrete machine-gun emplacements protected by barbed wire, linked by communication trenches and connecting tunnels. Each battalion on the ridge had a second battalion immediately to the rear as close support, but the third battalion was billeted in a rear village about two hours’ march from the battlefield. Five reserve divisions were from ten to twenty-five miles behind the front — too far away to counterattack.79 April 9 was a miserable day. Sleet, rain, and snow fell, but luck favoured the Canadians: the dismal weather was driven into the faces of the German defenders. At 5:30 a.m. the Allied standing barrage crashed down on identified German strongpoints. Three minutes later, the creeping barrage moved forward, followed by the infantry. For the first time, all four divisions of the Canadian Corps were attacking together. The battlefield’s odd shape meant that the Canadian line lay at an angle to the ridge. On the right, the 1st Canadian Division had four thousand metres to its objective at Farbus Wood. In the middle, the 2nd and 3rd Canadian Divisions had steeper objectives but less distance to cover. On the left, the 4th Canadian Division was seven hundred metres from the summit of Hill 145, the highest, most difficult point. Objectives

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were divided into coloured lines on the map: four for the 1st and 2nd Canadian Divisions (Black, Red, Blue, and Brown) and two for the 3rd and 4th Canadian Divisions (Black and Red). With the capture of the Brown Line by the afternoon of April 9, the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Canadian divisions had taken their objectives on schedule. The 4th Canadian Division’s objective, the most prominent feature of Vimy Ridge, took a little longer and was not completely in Canadian hands until 6:00 p.m. that day. For the Canadian Corps, April 9 was the bloodiest day of the war. At the end of the day, 3,598 men lay dead and another seven thousand were wounded. One last objective remained. The Pimple, the last German strongpoint at the north end of the ridge, was formidable: dugouts and pillboxes interwoven with concrete and steel, the hill bristling with machine-gun nests and snipers. At 2:00 a.m. on April 12, the bombardment began, and at zero hour the 4th Canadian Division surged forward. Many men became mired in the mud, but in the central thrust Canadians and Germans fought hand-to-hand in no man’s land. The Canadians prevailed. Within an hour, they had taken The Pimple. In June 1917, following his outstanding success at Vimy, Sir Julian Byng was promoted to command the British Third Army. Before departing, Byng recommended that a Canadian command the Canadian Corps. The British generals agreed that only Arthur Currie would fit the bill. In preparation for his elevation to the rank of lieutenant-general, Currie was knighted by King George V at British Third Army headquarters.80

Getting to the Battlefields, Cemeteries, and Monuments Today the two pillars of the magnificent Canadian National Vimy Memorial stand ghostly white and silent on the crest of Hill 145.

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Before them is the marble statue of a mother grieving for her fallen sons. Known as Mother Canada, or Canada Bereft, she faces the sun rising over the flat Douai plain. On the edge of the plain, you can see the pyramidal slag heaps of Lens. Those same heaps would have been visible to the armies of 1917, only not quite as tall. The 97-hectare park surrounding the memorial was given by France to Canada in perpetuity. Clearly visible but grass-covered, the remains of shell holes and trenches litter the park. To visit the Vimy Memorial from Arras, take the N17 toward Avion, where the road swings in a curve below Vimy Ridge and grants a panoramic view of the twin pillars rising above the slopes of Hill 145. At the Vimy-Givenchy-en-Gohelle traffic circle, turn left onto the D51. Follow the signs to the memorial, passing the remains of a concrete German dugout on the outskirts of Givenchy. Travel time from Arras is approximately fifteen minutes. From Paris, take the A1, sections of which are toll road, for 170 kilometres and exit at the A26/E15, a toll road, toward Béthune/Calais. Take exit 7, another toll road, toward Lens/Vimy, and merge onto the N17. After about 2.5 kilometres, turn left at the D55e2, then right onto the D55 (chemin des Canadiens, sometimes called Route canadienne). Travel time from Paris is approximately two hours. From the ferry terminal at Calais, head southeast on the E15 (L’Autoroute des Anglais), to the exit for Saint-Omer/Arras/ Reims-Paris, and merge onto the A26/E15, a toll road. Take exit 7, another toll road, toward Lens/Vimy, and merge onto the N17. After about 2.5 kilometres, turn left at the D55E2, then right onto the D55 (chemin des Canadiens). Travel time from Calais is approximately one and a half hours. One parking lot for the memorial is on the right side of D55, just past the Moroccan Division Memorial, which is on the left of the D55 facing the memorial site. There is another parking lot on the

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Right: Twin towers and wall of names of the missing, Canadian National Vimy Memorial.

road that encircles the memorial. Turn right at the Moroccan Division Memorial, and the lot is about 150 metres along on the right. Both parking lots are on the west side of the Vimy Memorial, the side from which the Canadians attacked in 1917. A wide, straight path approaches the memorial, which is an excellent vista for photography. There is much to see in the park, so allow a good half-day for a visit. From the memorial, return along chemin des Canadiens to the Visitors Centre, for which there is a turn off to the right. Adjacent to the Visitors Centre are public washrooms and a section of preserved battlefield. The grassy craters and trenches are fenced to keep people out because of the danger from buried ordnance. Only sheep are permitted here, to graze and keep the grass groomed. The entrance to the Grange Tunnels (see below) is located in one of the preserved trenches. The park, a National Historic Site of Canada, is managed by the Canadian Department of Veterans’ Affairs. The C.W.G.C. and the sheep undertake the maintenance and garden work.

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Right: Reclining figure of a female mourner, Vimy Memorial.

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Above: Inscription on the base of the south tower, Vimy Memorial. Top: Sheep may safely graze.

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The Veterans’ Affairs website provides useful information for visitors planning a trip.81 Guided tours are available year round except for Mondays, public holidays, and the Christmas holiday season. Tours of the tunnels and trenches are also available. For groups of more than ten people, a reservation is required. For smaller groups, public tours are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Reservations can be made by e-mail to vimy_ [email protected]; by telephone from Canada (011 33 3 2276 7086) or in France (03 22 76 70 86); or by writing to Vimy Ridge National Historic Site of Canada, 62580 Vimy, France. In the early 1920s, work began to preserve the battlefield. The front-line trenches are maintained with concrete sandbags and duckboards, the sectors following the original lines. Across the mine craters, the startling proximity of the German and Canadian front lines can be seen clearly.

The front-line trenches at Vimy, preserved with concrete sandbags and duckboards

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The table where Agar Adamson wrote to his wife, sparing her no details and closing with “Ever thine.” (Susan Evans Shaw)

The Grange Tunnel is open to the public from April to the middle of November; Canadian students conduct guided tours in English and French. The dank, close tunnels are not for the claustrophobic, but in them visitors can see the guard rooms, the cook house, the hospital, and the ammunition dumps. One alcove still contains a disintegrating bed and the table where Colonel Agar Adamson of the P.P.C.L.I. wrote letters to his wife, Mabel. Letters of Agar Adamson, available from CEF Books, is a fascinating record of the battalion’s years in France and Flanders. There are many more tunnels under Vimy Ridge. An underground complex of more than thirty-five kilometres of subways on more than four distinct levels remains a lingering legacy of the mining operations undertaken by the French in

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1915, the Royal Engineers in 1916, and Canadian tunnelling companies in spring 1917. An organization known as the Durand Group studies the old mining operations and sometimes re-opens galleries to visitors. The tunnels can be dangerous even today. Near the former visitors’ centre you will find a modest memorial to Lieutenant-Colonel Mike Watkins, a retired British Army explosives expert killed by a tunnel collapse beneath Vimy Ridge in 1998. From the Vimy Memorial, the level Douai plain extends to the east. Slightly to the northwest, at the tip of Vimy Ridge, is the last Canadian objective: The Pimple, captured on April 12. Visitors wishing to explore the area on foot should obtain a copy of the IGN Series Blue 2406E, 1:25,000 map of North Arras, which is also a guide to the track that goes from the memorial on Hill 145 to The Pimple.

Memorial to Lieutenant-Colonel Mike Watkins.

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Two cemeteries are located within the park. Canadian Cemetery No. 2 is easily reached from the parking lot at the memorial by turning left onto chemin des Canadiens at the Moroccan Division Memorial and taking the first turn to the right. The cemetery, at the looped end of the side road, was established after the successful battle of April 1917. Some burials here are of men killed in the storming of the ridge, but most were brought in after the armistice from isolated graves and surrounding battlefields. Of the 2,441 burials, 695 are Canadian. Within the loop and about 250 metres away from Canadian Cemetery No. 2 is tiny Givenchy Road Canadian Cemetery. All the burials are of soldiers who fell between April 9 and April 13, 1917. The 111 burials are Canadian; all but two are identified.

Givenchy Road Canadian Cemetery.

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11 Above: Cabaret Rouge British Cemetery. 11 Top: The ruins of Mont-Saint-Éloi Abbey

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11 Above: Original site of the grave of Canada’s Unknown Soldier. 12 Facing page: A French veteran with a handful of poppies, Vimy Memorial, April 9, 2007.

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12 Vimy Ridge, April 9-12, 1917. (National Research Council Canada. Reproduced with the permission of the Minister of Public Works and Government Services, 2010)

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12 Canada Bereft, with the Douai plain and the slag heaps of Lens in the background. 12 Below: Sheep rest in the remains of shell holes and trenches on Vimy Ridge.

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12 Above: Canadian Cemetery No. 2. 12 Left: Inscription, Canadian Cemetery No. 2.

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In early 2005, the Vimy Memorial was closed to visitors for construction and restoration. Since its unveiling in 1936, the marble monument had suffered much weathering and water damage, the smooth white surface becoming chipped, eroded, and blackened, the names carved on the sides almost too faint to read. On April 9, 2007, the 90th anniversary of the Battle of Vimy Ridge, the monument reopened. Unlike ninety years earlier, when the troops had fought through snow, sleet, and mud, the day was warm and sunny. In the presence of H.M. Queen Elizabeth II, French Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin, Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, dignitaries, visitors, and five thousand Canadian high school students, the victory and sacrifice of those who participated in the Battle of Vimy Ridge was commemorated, and the magnificent Canadian Memorial situated on the crest of Hill 145 rededicated. The Canadian sacrifice was honoured by many that day. The Queen addressed a crowd that included descendants of those who fought at Vimy and twenty thousand Canadian and French citizens. One of the five thousand students present, Melissa Moore of Manotick, Ontario, later said, I stopped at a pristine white headstone and stood behind it. ‘A Soldier of the Great War’ it read. ‘Known unto God.’ All around me I could see other Canadian teens in their dark green shirts standing behind headstones. That’s when I realized that each of those graves was for someone with a family, friends, dreams and plans. They had sacrificed everything so that we could be there on that day as free and proud Canadians.82

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The Canadian Corps artillery monument at Thélus crossroads.

Upon leaving the park, return to the chemin des Canadiens (the D55) and turn right, then left after Broadmarsh Crater onto the D55E2, still the chemin des Canadiens. You will pass by Les Tranchées, the trenches captured on April 9 by the 3rd Division, on the right.83 The chemin des Canadiens ends at the N17, about one kilometre further on. Turn right onto the N17. About five hundred metres along the highway is a layby on the right where you can pull off and park. Follow the grass track on the edge of the farmer’s field for one hundred metres to Thélus Military Cemetery. There are 295 Commonwealth burials here, of which 245 are Canadian. The oldest section of the cemetery was begun in April 1917, and the original burials are of men of the 2nd Division. Later burials were brought in from the surrounding battlefields. A little over three kilometres south of the Vimy Memorial is the second-highest point on the ridge, Hill 135, just beyond the village of Thélus. Here the landscape is more open and it should be easy to see Bois de Bonval, Goulot, and Farbus Wood to the left of the D49 (Grande Rue, which becomes rue de Bailleul) as

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you travel toward Thélus. Remnants of the Hindenburg Line are also discernable just north of the village. In the village of Thélus, at the crossroads of the N17 and the N49, stands the Canadian Corps artillery monument. This large stone monument, surmounted by a cross, is dedicated to the gunners of the Canadian Field Artillery and the British and South African gunners who served with them. The monument was unveiled by General Sir Julian Byng in April 1918. Further along the D49, east of the village, the original Memorial to the Canadian 1st Division sits in the middle of a farmer’s field on the right. The inscription reads: IN PROUD MEMORY OF ALL SOLDIERS OF THE FIRST CANADIAN DIVISION WHO FELL IN THE INVESTMENT, ASSAULT AND DEFENCE OF VIMY RIDGE MARCH 4th, APRIL 9th AND JULY 23rd A.D. 1917. THIS MARK IS SET BY THEIR COMRADES IN ARMS GLORIA-IN-EXCELSIS DEO CHRISTMAS 1917.84

Just past the 1st Division memorial, turn left from the D49 onto the D50 (rue du 19-mars) and left again at rue de 8-mai in the village of Farbus. This will lead into the D51 (Rue Mermoz) and on to the village of Vimy. Rue Mermoz becomes rue de l’Égalité, then rue Rouget-de-l’Isle, and finally rue Victor-Hugo, which forks as it approaches the N17. Take the left fork and, at the roundabout, take the exit for the N17. About one kilometre along on the N17 there is an exit to the left for La Chaudière. La Chaudière Military Cemetery is one hundred metres past the exit on the left. The Canadian Corps made the cemetery next to a German fortress casemate (a chamber in the thickness of the fortress wall). Of the 917 Commonwealth burials here, 638 are Canadians killed at the Battle of Vimy Ridge and in the fighting at Avion, Liévin, and Lens in the following days.

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In 2003, workers digging a trench for a gas pipeline near Avion found two sets of human remains intertwined.85 There were enough scraps of evidence to show they were Canadian. With the aid of DNA testing and oxygen isotopes, both soldiers have been identified as Private Herbert Peterson and Private Thomas Lawless of the 49th (Edmonton Regiment) Battalion. From the position of the two bodies in death, experts surmised that a wounded Peterson was being carried on Lawless’s back when they were both killed by a shell. Private Peterson was buried at La Chaudière on April 8, 2007, with full military honours, in the presence of former Governor-General Adrienne Clarkson, Chief of Defence Staff General Rick Hillier, and members of Peterson ’s family. Once Lawless’s body was identified, he was laid to rest beside Peterson, in a ceremony on March 15, 2011 attended by his niece from Ireland and other members of his family from Canada. Also among the burials at La Chaudière is the grave of Private John George Pattison, V.C., of the 50th (Calgary) Battalion, who won his Victoria Cross in heavy fighting for an electrical station near Eleu on April 10, 1917.86 From La Chaudière, return to the N17 and travel south toward Écurie. Just before the village, take the exit to chemin des Meuniers and turn right (north) onto the side road that runs parallel to the N17. Travel north for about eight hundred metres to where the road forks. Take the right fork. Arras Road Cemetery is 250 metres further on the right. Of the 111 Canadians buried here, most were brought in from Vimy Ridge.

Facing page, top: La Chaudière Military Cemetery. Facing page, bottom: Grave of Private Herbert Peterson.

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Arras Road Cemetery.

Left: Personalized inscription on the grave of Private S.J. Cope, MM, La Chaudière Military Cemetery.

Continue north on the same side road around the major junction between the N17 and the A26. About five hundred metres further north of Arras Road Cemetery, the road ends at Nine Elms Military Cemetery. Made by the Canadian Corps after the Battle of Vimy Ridge, the cemetery now contains 683 Commonwealth burials, including 539 Canadians. Many of the burials were brought in from battlefield clearances after the war. Two mine craters, Lichfield and Zivy, were used in 1917 by the men of the Canadian Corps Burial Unit for mass graves. To get to Lichfield Crater, return along the side road and take the fork to the right onto chemin des Meuniers. Continue to the D49 and turn left into the village of Neuville-St-Vaast. From the village centre,

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turn right on the D55 and travel northeast toward the Canadian Memorial. Take the third side road to the right to Lichfield Crater, east of the A26. There are no separate graves; after the battle, the remains of 56 men, four unidentified, were moved to the mine crater in what had been no man’s land. All of the men buried here died on April 9 or 10, 1917, with the exception of Private Albert Stubbs of the South Lancashire Regiment, who died in April 1916 and whose grave was found by construction workers on the edge of the crater after the armistice. His is the only grave marked by a headstone. The names of all the others buried in the crater are inscribed on panels fixed to the boundary wall. Among those memorialized is Victoria Cross recipient Lance Sergeant Ellis

Memorial to those buried in Lichfield Crater.

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Above: Zivy Crater. Right: Inscription on the wall at Zivy Crater.

Welwood Sifton of the 18th (Western Ontario) Battalion, killed by a German bullet at Vimy on April 9, 1917, age 25.87 Return to Neuville-St-Vaast and turn left onto the D49 toward Thélus. Cross the chemin des Meuniers and take the next side road to the right. Just below the bridge across the A26, a spur leads to Zivy Crater, the second crater used by the Canadian Corps Burial Unit in 1917 for the mass burial of bodies found on the

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Vimy battlefield. The crater contains fifty-three Commonwealth burials, fifty of whom are Canadian, killed in April and May 1917; their names are inscribed on panels fixed to the boundary wall.

Point of Interest On April 8, 2007, in an expression of gratitude, the City of Arras granted the Freedom of the City to all regiments and units that fought at Vimy. On that day, active and retired members of those units marched through the city, drums beating, colours flying, and bayonets fixed, to the Hôtel de ville (city hall). There, the mayor of Arras presented them with the Freedom of the City scroll, one of the most prized honours that a community can bestow upon a military unit.

Women watch as Canadians enjoy the Freedom of the City; one, a child in 1917 remembered the Canadians.

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Oppy Kingston-upon-Hull Memorial. (Susan Evans Shaw)

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13

The Attack on the Arleux Loop, April 28, 1917

Upon our ability to carry out our instructions depends the success or otherwise of a big movement. If we pull through, I think a cat’s paw should be added to our Colour and I’m not sure if a horse rampant should not also be added, as our job is one generally given to Cavalry. Like the 9th of April, the 28th promises to be a day in Canadian history and God grant it may be to our credit.88

The Battle Following the battles of Vimy Ridge, Hill 145, and The Pimple, the Germans accepted their losses and withdrew to the OppyMéricourt line, a well-constructed defensive system that included the fortified village of Arleux-en-Gohelle. Taking part in the Second Battle of the Scarpe, the 2nd Canadian Infantry Brigade’s objective was to eliminate the loop of German defences around Arleux. While the British 2nd Division attacked opposite Oppy, the 1st Canadian Division on the British left would storm the Arleux Loop.89 The operation was successful, although capturing the village cost 1,255 casualties. The hard-won victory cemented the Canadians’ reputation as shock troops.

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Inscription, Oppy Memorial. (Susan Evans Shaw)

Getting to the Battlefields, Cemeteries, and Monuments From Arras take the D919 north toward Bailleul-Sir-Berthoult. The road takes a 90-degree turn in the village and continues northeast toward Arleux-en-Gohelle. About one kilometre after Bailleul-Sir-Berthoult, on the left side of the road, is Orchard Dump Cemetery. Of the 3,023 Commonwealth burials here, 326 are Canadian. From the hill behind the cemetery there is a clear view of the Arleux battlefield. If you continue to Arleux-en-Gohelle and turn right onto the D50 (rue du Arleux), the Oppy Kingston-upon-Hull Memorial is about two kilometres along on the right, opposite the church in the village of Oppy.

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14

The Fighting at Fresnoy, May 3-8, 1917

It was not to be expected that the enemy would accept the loss of Fresnoy without a determined effort to regain it. Its capture had, as one German historian put it, knocked a stone ‘out of the German defensive wall which had to be replaced without delay.’ The long spur which ended at Fresnoy gave its possessors far too commanding a view over the flanking sections of the Oppy-Méricourt line and over much of the Wotan defences to the east.90

The Battle The fighting at Fresnoy-en-Gohelle was a continuation of the battle at Arleux. With artillery and small-arms fire, the Canadian 1st Brigade smashed the German defences and captured the village. Casualties numbered 1,259 killed, wounded, or missing. At this point, the Canadians went into reserve. The British took over and lost Fresnoy to a strong German counterattack, a serious setback that pushed the front line back toward Arleux, a blow to British morale. Just north of Fresnoy, to the east of the D33 to Acheville, is the spot where on May 3, 1917, Lieutenant Robert Grierson Combe of the 27th (City of Winnipeg) Battalion “steadied his company under intense fire and led them through the enemy barrage, reaching his objective with a handful of men. He collected small groups

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of men and succeeded in capturing 230 metres of enemy trench and eighty prisoners. He repeatedly charged the enemy, driving them before him, and whilst personally leading his bombers, was killed by an enemy sniper. His conduct inspired all ranks, and it was entirely due to his magnificent courage that the position was carried, secured, and held.”91 For this Combe was awarded a posthumous Victoria Cross. His body was never found, but his name is inscribed on the Vimy Memorial.

Getting to the Battlefields, Cemeteries, and Monuments Many of the dead from the battle at Fresnoy were removed to Orchard Dump Cemetery (see Chapter 12) after the armistice. Others have no known grave and their names are engraved on the Vimy Memorial. Some are buried in Beehive Cemetery, just outside the village of Willerval. To get there from Orchard Dump Cemetery, return south along the D919 to a crossroads and turn right onto rue de Bailleul to Willerval. At the roundabout in the village, continue straight onto the D50E (rue de Lens). About one hundred metres further along, a dirt road off to the left leads to Beehive Cemetery. The beginning of the track may be accessible to cars, but plan to walk most of the six hundred metres. The cemetery is named after a German pillbox once located twentythree metres to the north.92 Of the forty-nine Commonwealth burials here, forty-two are Canadian.

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15

The Capture of Hill 70, August 15-18, 1917

Again careful rehearsals and the superior training and briefing of the Canadian junior officers and NCOs had its effect. In the dark they found their way through the gaps which had been blown in the German wire. Enemy strong points were outflanked and captured.93

The Battle Hill 70 was a knob of limestone overlooking Lens that the British had taken and lost in 1915, a strongpoint bristling with machine guns. Desperate and costly fighting by the 1st and 2nd Canadian Divisions on August 15, 1917, succeeded in taking the hill, but the price was high: over nine thousand killed, wounded, or missing.94 Five Victoria Crosses were awarded for acts of exceptional valour. Once Hill 70 was captured, the Canadians tried but failed to clear the Germans from mining villages on the slope. Lens remained in German hands until the end of the war. “It was altogether the hardest battle in which the Corps has participated,” wrote General Currie.95 Although a few local actions such as this one at Hill 70 continued into August 1917, Haig essentially abandoned the Arras sector and turned his attention to Flanders and Passchendaele.

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Getting to the Battlefields, Cemeteries, and Monuments From Arras take the N17 to Lens, where it joins the A21, Lens’s ring road. Follow the ring road north. The southern sector of the Loos battlefield lies between the D947 (Route de la Bassée) and the N47. Loos, a village north of Lens, was the site of an unsuccessful British offensive in September 1915, following which Lieutenant John Kipling, son of poet Rudyard Kipling, was reported missing. Kipling spent the rest of his life in a quest to find his son’s final resting place.96 Exit the A21 onto the D947 for one kilometre and turn right at rue de l’Abbé-Jerzy-Popieluszko. Most of Hill 70 is now buried under a civil airfield and an enormous shopping centre. Rue de l’Abbé-Jerzy-Popieluszko makes a small jog and becomes rue LéonDroux. At the T-intersection with rue des Poissonniers, there is a daycare centre. This is the crest of Hill 70, but no commemorative monument marks the site. Faint vestiges of trenches on either side of rue de l’Abbé-Jerzy-Popieluszko and rue Léon-Droux are visible, and craters and German bunkers can be seen on both sides of the D947 as you drive north. You are now returning to parts of the territory covered in Chapter 6 and the battles of Festubert and Givenchy. The dead of the Battle of Hill 70 share two cemeteries, Chocques Military Cemetery and Lillers Communal Cemetery, with those killed in the battles of the year before. Continue on the D947 past the traffic circle and turn left at the next intersection onto the D165 (Route de Loos-en-Gohelle), which becomes rue Lazare-Hoche after about a kilometre. Continue to the traffic circle in the centre of Loos and take the Facing page: Hill 70 and Lens, August 15-25, 1917. (National Research Council Canada. Reproduced with the permission of the Minister of Public Works and Government Services, 2010)

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Part of the Loos battlefield, this section lay just behind the Canadians during the Battle of Hill 70. (Susan Evans Shaw)

exit onto rue Alexandre-Maniez. Take rue Alexandre-Maniez to the D943 to Béthune and, at the traffic circle, exit onto the D941. At the next traffic circle, take the D945 and continue north to the D937. From there, exit right onto rue de la Monnie and follow the directions to Chocques Military Cemetery given in Chapter 6. From Chocques, follow the directions in Chapter 6 to Lillers Communal Cemetery. To reach Lapugnoy from Lillers, return along the D943 to Chocques, then turn south (right) onto the D70. Lapugnoy Military Cemetery is northwest of the village of Lapugnoy. Take the D70, which becomes rue Jean-Jaurès, to rue Henri-Barbusse, then turn right. Continue to rue Raymond-Duriez and turn left.

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The Cross of Sacrifice, Lapugnoy Military Cemetery. (Susan Evans Shaw)

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The road ends at chemin de Lillers, and the cemetery is straight ahead at the end of a short track. Lapugnoy Military Cemetery was used for burials from nearby casualty clearing stations and contains 1,325 men, of whom 349 are Canadian. They include 133 wounded at Vimy Ridge, Arleux, and Fresnoy (see Chapters 12 through 14), and forty-nine at the Battle of Hill 70. Bruay Communal Cemetery Extension is located northwest of the old coal mining village of Bruay-la-Buissière, five kilometres west of Béthune. From Lapugnoy, continue south along the D70 to the traffic circle and take the exit for the D188 (rue des Résistants) then turn right onto rue du Corps-du-Bois. Go about one kilometre to a traffic circle, then exit onto rue Paul-Daguercar. The communal cemetery is about five hundred metres along on the left; the Commonwealth cemetery is on the opposite side. There are 412 Commonwealth graves here, 276 of them Canadian. Of those, sixty-three were killed at Vimy and twenty-four at Hill 70. From Bruay Communal Cemetery, continue on rue PaulDaguercar, which becomes rue Gaston-Blot after the intersection with rue Victor-Hugo. At the fork in the road, bear right. On the right, about one hundred metres along, is the path to the Memorial to the Miners. (See Chapter 26) Continue to the D302 (avenue Paul-Plouvier), which bends to the right and ends at the D941 (rue de la République). Continue on the D941 (becoming rue Anatole-France) to the D188 (rue de Verdun). After about six kilometres, exit at the traffic circle at Barlin onto rue d’Haillicourt. After about one hundred metres, turn left onto the D171 (rue de Houchun). Barlin Communal Cemetery Extension is two hundred metres further on the right. The cemetery contains the graves of 1,095 Commonwealth soldiers, including 677 Canadians. During the war, the cemetery was adjacent to a British and Canadian casualty clearing station.

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More than two hundred burials are of Canadians mortally wounded in the capture of Vimy Ridge (see Chapter 12) and fifty are of men wounded during the Battle of Hill 70. Also buried here is Canadian Company Quartermaster Sergeant William Alexander, 10th (Canadians) Battalion, executed on October 18, 1917, whose last hours Canon Frederick Scott recounts in his memoir, The Great War as I Saw It (see Chapter 28). Return to the D188 at Barlin, continue south to the D301, and turn left. Take the D301 for about six kilometres and exit north onto rue du Prince, into the village of Sains-en-Gohelle. Take rue du Prince to boulevard du Général-de-Gaulle and turn left. Fosse No. 10 Communal Cemetery Extension is located on the right; the military extension is the middle section of the communal cemetery. Fosse No. 10 was a pithead and collection of miners’ houses during the war. The cemetery contains 467 Commonwealth graves. Thirty of the 214 Canadians are soldiers killed in the Battle of Hill 70. Forty-nine members of the Chinese Labour Corps are also buried here (see Chapter 24). Noeux-les-Mines is 4.5 kilometres north of Sains-en-Gohelle on the D937. From Fosse No. 10 Communal Cemetery on boulevard du Général-de-Gaulle, turn onto rue de l’Égalité and, at the traffic circle about 150 metres past the edge of the communal cemetery, take the exit for the D937 (Route Nationale) north. Go through Noeux-les-Mines to rue de l’Égalité and turn right. Noeux-lesMines Communal Cemetery and Extension is on the right, just past boulevard du Commandant-Douphy. The cemetery contains 1,285 Commonwealth graves in three distinct sections within the communal cemetery, including those of 297 Canadians. Seventynine of these died at Hill 70. Two Canadian recipients of the Victoria Cross, Private Harry Brown, 10th (Canadians) Battalion, and Major Okill Massey Learmonth, 2nd (Eastern Ontario) Battalion, are buried here. Also buried in the cemetery is Private

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Harold Edward James Lodge, 19th (Central Ontario) Battalion, executed on March 13, 1918 (see Chapter 28). Return to the D937 southbound. At the Sains-en-Gohelle traffic circle, exit onto rue Alfred-de-Vigny and continue northeast, passing under the A26. After crossing the railway line, rue Alfred-de-Vigny becomes rue Lamartine. Mazingarbe Communal Cemetery is on the right, at the corner of rue Lamartine and rue de Carency, and the Extension is on the left, facing onto rue de Carency, in the middle of the communal cemetery. It contains 356 Commonwealth graves, including sixty-six Canadians; twenty-nine of whom were killed in the Battle of Hill 70. Follow rue Lamartine eastbound. It becomes, successively, rue Emile-Basly, then rue Noyelles, and then route de Mazingarbe. Turn south onto the D943 (Route Nationale) to Grenay. Turn left onto rue Jules-Supervieille and continue toward the village. Where Rue Jules-Supervieille forks, take the left fork, rue CasimirBeugnet. Maroc British Cemetery is on the right of that road. During most of the war, Maroc was a front-line cemetery used by fighting units and field ambulances. A slight rise in the ground protected the area from direct observation by the Germans. The cemetery contains 1,290 Commonwealth graves, including 178 Canadians killed in the many trench raids of 1917. In addition, there are forty-six graves of Canadians who died of wounds received in the Battle of Hill 70. Continue on rue Casimir-Beugnet to rue de Condé, which becomes the D165 (rue Roger-Salengro). At the traffic circle in place Victor-Hugo, take the exit onto the D166 (rue CasimirBuegnet). At the next traffic circle, exit to rue Fernand-Marche. Bully-Grenay Communal Cemetery British Extension is located on the right, in the centre of the village of Bully-les-Mines. It contains 765 Commonwealth burials, including 172 Canadians. Among them are fifteen men of the 1st Canadian Heavy Battery,

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killed when a shell exploded prematurely in the barrel of their 60-pounder gun on August 9, 1917. As well, there are the graves of eighteen men killed in the Battle of Hill 70. Continue on the D166 to the underpass at the A26, then, at the D937, turn south (left) to Aix-Noulette. Turn left at the church onto rue de Bully. Aix-Noulette Communal Cemetery Extension is just east of the A26 underpass, on the left side of the D65 to Bully-les-Mines. It contains 749 Commonwealth graves, including 492 Canadians, 162 of whom died in the Battle of Hill 70. The majority of men buried here died in day-to-day operations, not in major attacks. Return to the D937 and continue south to the D51, toward the old mining town of Liévin. Continue on the D51 south, past where it merges with rue Pablo-Neruda, then turn left onto rue d’Avion and rue de Cracovie. Turn left onto rue Denis-Diderot. Two hundred metres along on the right are the parking lot and entrance to Liévin Communal Cemetery Extension. There are 676 Commonwealth graves here, including 153 Canadians, fifty-six of whom are unidentified. Of the Canadians, forty were killed in the Battle of Vimy Ridge, forty at Lens, and nineteen at Hill 70.

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Passchendaele: The Third Battle of Ypres, October 15 - November 10, 1917 16

The Canadians attacked under a blood red sky.97

The Battle The landscape of Flanders is almost completely flat; hills are little lumps, ridges mere ripples. Passchendaele, with its system of ridges running southward to Wyteschaete (now Wijtschate) and Messines, is the exception. The main ridge leading to the town sprouts many shorter and smaller ridges like branches from the trunk of a tree.98 It is easy to see how, from the village’s heights, the Germans could observe every movement of Allied troops approaching from any direction. A summer visitor looking over the green and yellow fields of grain and rapeseed (canola) is hard-put to imagine the morass of 1917. While the Germans remained high and dry on the ridge, the Allies below had to contend with swamp and mud — soupy, sticky, stinking mud that clogged rifles, tainted food, and swallowed guns. Soldiers slept in it, floundered in it, drowned in it. Mustard gas filled the air and permeated the mud, blistering and blinding soldiers unlucky enough to fall into the mire.99

Facing page: Looking through the colonnade at Tyne Cot Cemetery and Memorial.

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Into this field of destruction, the Canadian Corps, under Lieutenant-General Sir Arthur Currie, arrived on October 15 to replace the Anzacs. A large-scale assault on Passchendaele was launched on October 26. The Canadians had fought in this very area during the 1915 gas attack, but by 1917 there was little left they could recognize. The countryside had been reduced to an unending, featureless waste. Because the flooded Ravebeek Valley split the terrain en route to their objective, Currie launched a two-pronged attack. The 4th Canadian Division moved forward along the top of the ZonnebekePasschendaele Ridge on the right, while the 3rd Canadian Division advanced up Bellevue Spur on the left of the Ravebeek Valley. The operation that day cost the Canadians twenty-seven hundred casualties, but included acts of courage for which three Victoria Crosses were awarded. They did not quite achieve their final objectives for the day, but with the capture of Bellevue Spur the Canadians secured defensible positions on Passchendaele Ridge and moved to higher and drier ground. The second phase of the attack on Passchendaele kicked off on October 30. To the north, the Canadians were supported by two British divisions; to the south, by the Anzac Corps. The objective was a modest six hundred metres of ground to gain a base for the final assault on Passchendaele, but four fortified strongpoints stood in the way of their advance: Vapour Farm, Vine Cottages, the village of Meetcheele on the left of the Ravebeek, and Crest Farm on the right. By evening, three of the four strongpoints had been captured, and the Blue Line objective reached (see Chapter 12 for a discussion of colour line objectives). Only Vine Cottages remained in German hands. Losses for the day were 884 men killed, 1,429 wounded (including 130 gassed), and eight captured. Nevertheless, the step-by-step battle was gradually accomplishing its purpose.100

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Seven days to rest and regroup followed, during which both sides collected their wounded and dead. Shelling and gassing continued non-stop. The 1st and 2nd Canadian Divisions were brought in to relieve the 3rd and 4th. The next phase of the assault took place on November 6, 1917. At 6:00 a.m. on the left of the Ravebeek Valley, the 1st Canadian Division attacked under cover of darkness — the 1st (Western Ontario) and 2nd (Eastern Ontario) Battalions toward Mosselmarkt and the 3rd (Toronto Regiment) Battalion at Vine Cottages. The Germans had been warned of an attack, but the Canadians moved so swiftly behind their barrage that the objective was achieved by 7:40 a.m. On the right of the Ravebeek Valley, the 2nd Canadian Division launched an attack toward the village of Passchendaele. By the end of the day, the village was overrun and secured. In a final assault on November 10, the Canadians cleared the Germans from their last foothold on the ridge, a spot that included what is now the intersection of the N303/N33 and ’s Graventafelstraat, then known as Vindictive Crossroads. As Currie had predicted at the outset, the capture of Passchendaele cost close to sixteen thousand casualties; the debate as to whether those lives were wasted continues to this day.101 The value of the Passchendaele assault and capture became all the more questionable when, a few months later, Haig ordered the withdrawal of Allied troops from the ridge during the German offensive of spring 1918.

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Passchendaele, October 26 - November 10, 1917. (National Research Council Canada. Reproduced with the permission of the Minister of Public Works and Government Services, 2010)

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Getting to the Battlefields, Cemeteries, and Monuments There are many things to see on the way from Ieper to the battlefields of Passchendaele. The first is the Menin Gate Memorial to the Missing. After October 1914, and for the duration of World War I, the Ypres Salient was held by Commonwealth forces. The Germans came as close as Hellfire Corner in the advance of 1918 (see Chapter 18). Through the war years, Ypres was so bombarded that only the shell of a single house was left intact at the end. Winston Churchill wanted a major central memorial to all the missing of the war, and sought to preserve the ruined town of Ypres for that purpose. The Belgian inhabitants, rather understandably, thought otherwise and set about rebuilding their city. Instead, the massive Menin Gate Memorial stands as an impressive commemoration of the missing.102

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Above: The names of the missing from the 7th (1st British Columbia) and 8th (90th Winnipeg Rifles) Battalions, Canadian Infantry at the Menin Gate Memorial. Facing page: A panel on the Menin Gate memorial listing names of missing from the 31st (Alberta) and 42nd (Royal Highlanders of Canada) Battalions, Canadian Infantry.

Last Post Ceremony, Menin Gate Memorial. In the centre is Chief Bugler Antoine Verschoot, a regular performer since 1963.

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Built in the 1920s in the neoclassical style, the memorial is on the eastern fringe of Ieper, set in the ramparts where the road to Menen (Menin) crosses the old town moat, and through which so many thousands of soldiers passed on their way to the battlefields. The names of just under fifty-five thousand Commonwealth soldiers are engraved on panels inside the archway and on the walls of the terraces and stairways. Among the names are those of nearly seven thousand Canadians missing in Belgium (the names of Canadians missing in France appear on the Vimy Memorial; see Chapter 12). Roughly half of those killed at Passchendaele, about twenty-four hundred men, have no known grave; their names are engraved on the Menin Gate Memorial. Every night at eight o’clock, traffic through the gate is stopped and the Last Post Ceremony takes place. The ceremony is the responsibility of the Last Post Association, a voluntary organization founded in Ieper in 1928; the buglers are all volunteer members of the local fire brigade. Wreaths are laid at the memorial by visiting military representatives and by school children, often from England. From the Menin Gate, turn left onto the N8 to Torrepootlaan, then Lindenreet and the N313 (Brugesweg) to Sint-Juliaan. Continue north on the N313 to the intersection with Zonnebekestraat. This is Vancouver Corner (see Chapter 4). Turn right onto Zonnebekestraat and then left onto OnceLieve-Vrouwstraat. Some five hundred metres along, at the northeast corner of the intersection with Waterstraat, stands what the Germans knew as the Totenmühle, “the mill of the dead.” It is now called the Steenakkermolen. Its bright red vanes make a striking landmark. The present-day windmill is a 1923 reproduction of the mill known to the Germans in 1915.

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16 Above: Aerial view of Ieper, with the Menin Gate in the foreground. 16 Right: Wreaths on the steps of the Menin Gate Memorial.

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16 Left: Compartment holding the Visitors Book, Crest Farm Canadian Memorial. 16 Below: Roses blooming at Tyne Cot.

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16 Above: The spire of Passendale church between gravestones at Passchendaele New British Cemetery 5 Top: Menin Gate Memorial at night

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16 Above: Cedars of Lebanon, Lijssenthoek Military Cemetery. 17 Top: Sunken road at Flesquières, used by the tanks to cross the fields toward Cambrai. 17 Facing page: Archway, entrance to Marcoing British Cemetery.

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18 Above: Rifle grenade. 18 Top: The large red barn at the crossroads in Castel, where Brigadier-General Jack Seely set up headquarters.

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19 Right: Grave of Lieutenant Jean Brillant, V.C., Villers-Bretonneux Military Cemetery. 19 Below: View across VillersBretonneux Military Cemetery toward the Somme Valley.

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20 Above: Gate at the entrance to Dominion Cemetery. 19 Top: Le Quesnel Canadian Battlefield Memorial granite cube. 200 PART II: The One Hundred Days

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Plaque in memory of D.21 Battery, Canadian Field Artillery, Zonnebeke Church.

From this point, the viewer can see why it was necessary to wrest control of the Passchendaele Ridge from the Germans. From the windmill, return to Zonnebekestraat and continue to the village of Zonnebeke. Turn left at the roundabout onto the N332 (N37). A memorial plaque to the fallen of D.21 Battery, Canadian Field Artillery is fixed to the outside wall of Zonnebeke church, which is located at this roundabout. The battery was positioned here amid the ruins of the church from the end of October until early November 1917. From the church, continue to the N303 (N37) and go left toward Passendale. Turn left at Tynecotstraat and follow it to Tyne Cot Cemetery and Memorial. Tyne Cot — so named by the men of the 50th Northumberland Division for a barn surrounded by a cluster of German bunkers that reminded them of the Tyneside Cottages of Newcastle — is the largest Commonwealth cemetery in the world. At the suggestion of King George V, who visited the site in 1922, the Great Cross was placed above the largest of the remaining bunkers. Begun in 1917, the cemetery contains just under twelve thousand war graves, of which nearly threequarters are unidentified. Of the 1,011 Canadian graves, 544 are

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View from the centre of Tyne Cot Memorial; the Great Cross is above the largest of the remaining bunkers.

unidentified. Most of the Canadian burials are of men killed at Passchendaele in 1917. The names of thirty-five thousand missing British and New Zealand soldiers from the fighting of 1917 in the Ypres Salient are engraved on the Tyne Cot Memorial that forms the eastern wall of the cemetery. Among the memorials are those for two Canadian recipients of the Victoria Cross. Private James Peter Robertson, V.C., 27th (City of Winnipeg) Battalion, killed in action at Passchendaele on November 6, 1917, lies buried in Tyne Cot. Lieutenant-Colonel Philip Eric Bent, V.C., D.S.O., 9th Battalion Leicestershire

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Right: Grave of Private James Peter (Singing Pete) Robertson, V.C. Below: Memorial to 85th (Nova Scotia Highlanders) Battalion.

Regiment, killed in action at Polygon Wood on October 1, 1917, has no known grave. His name is inscribed on the Tyne Cot Memorial. Bent was a Canadian who enlisted in the British army in 1914 and served with them until his death. Return to the N303 (N37) and turn left. At the southern edge of Passendale on the N303, between a large warehouse

and Nieuwe Molenstraat, is a signpost at the right to the 85th (Nova Scotia Highlanders) Battalion Memorial. Stop at the side of the road and take the grass track that leads through a farmer’s field. The original memorial was erected by the men of the battalion to commemorate their worst losses of the war, incurred while capturing the Vienna

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Right: Passendale church. Below: Passendale village centre, near where Private Robertson won his Victoria Cross.

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Cottage in the Battle of Passchendaele.103 By 1988, the monument had deteriorated beyond repair and had to be replaced. The current monument, made of Nova Scotia granite, was dedicated on October 11, 2001.104 From the Nova Scotia memorial, continue along the N303 (N37) to Passendale church in the town centre and follow the blackand-white maple leaf sign to Crest Farm Canadian Memorial. On the site of the former farm, a series of wide, shallow stone steps leads up to the memorial overlooking the peaceful fields that carpet the valley of the Ravebeek. Here stands another of the six identical cubes of Canadian granite (see Chapter 8), this one set in a grove of maple trees and encircled by a hedge of holly. It bears the following inscription: THE CANADIAN CORPS IN OCT – NOV 1917 ADVANCED ACROSS THIS VALLEY – THEN A TREACHEROUS MORASS –  CAPTURED AND HELD THE PASSCHENDAELE RIDGE

From the centre of the memorial grounds, down a long avenue of trees, you can see the rebuilt village of Passendale.105 Return to the centre of Passendale and take Westozebekestraat to ’s Graventafelstraat. About five hundred metres from the turn, Passchendaele New British Cemetery is on the right-hand side of the road on the Bellevue Spur. Following battlefield clearances in 1920 and 1921, total Commonwealth burials number 2,098. Canadian burials number 651, all from the battle to capture Passchendaele. Return along ’s Graventafelstraat to the N303 and turn left. Continue to the N313 and turn left again. Poelcapelle British Cemetery is located two kilometres further along on the left (for details, see Chapter 4). Nearby Ypres Reservoir Cemetery

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Passchendaele New British Cemetery.

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Entrance, Lijssenthoek Military Cemetery.

is detailed in Chapter 8; two-thirds of the identified burials here are of men killed at Passchendaele.106 Lijssenthoek Military Cemetery is located twelve kilometres west of Ieper, on Boescheepseweg, a road leading from the N38 between Poperinge and Steenvoorde. The cemetery itself is located two kilometres along Boescheepseweg, on the right-hand side of the road. It is the second-largest Commonwealth cemetery in Belgium after Tyne Cot, and contains 9,091 burials, including 1,058 Canadians, among them General Malcolm Mercer (see Chapter 8). A new Visitor Centre, scheduled to open in 2012, will focus on medical services and treatment of the wounded brought in from the battle areas. Many thousands succumbed to their wounds and are buried here.

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17

Crashing through the Hindenburg Line, November 20, 1917

But come 20 November, they were given the biggest chance they ever would have: the huge quarter-of-a-million-man assault on Cambrai, featuring for the first time a mass tank attack, 374 of them crashing through the fabled defences of the Hindenburg Line “as if they were a bed of nettles.107

The Battle While the four Canadian infantry divisions fought and died in the muddy valley below Passchendaele, the Canadian cavalry remained high and dry behind the lines at Cambrai, preparing for their big offensive. Following the battle at Passchendaele, the Germans retreated behind their Wotan Stellung — the Hindenburg Line, as the Allied armies called it; see Chapter 12 — secure in the belief of their invincibility. Returning to a strategy originally planned for the spring, in November Haig prepared to make every effort to break the Hindenburg Line and take the key rail junction at Cambrai. With Lieutenant-General Sir Julian Byng in charge, Haig oversaw an operation that was intended to rupture the German front from St-Quentin, twenty-seven kilometres south of Cambrai, to the canalized Sensée River, eight kilometres north of the city. The southern end of the objective was blocked by part of the Hindenburg Line, two heavily barbed-wired systems 457 metres

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apart, stretching from Banteux to Havrincourt. Byng chose to break through here, counting on massed tanks to breach enemy defences and flatten the barbed wire. On this occasion there would be no preliminary bombardment to give warning of the attack. Open, unscarred ground that had not been shelled made excellent countryside for tank movement. Haig anticipated that 380 tanks and five infantry divisions would smash through the Hindenburg Line to seize crossings of the St-Quentin Canal at Marcoing and Masnières. In their wake, the cavalry would sweep northward and isolate Cambrai from the east, securing passage over the Sensée. At the same time, infantry reserves would capture Bourlon Wood to seize Cambrai from the west. As soon as darkness fell on November 19, the Tank Corps crept forward to the jumping-off line, their movement concealed by Havrincourt Wood, layers of camouflage netting, and ruined houses. The throbbing of the tank engines was disguised by the roar of British aircraft flying low over German positions. To enable them to cross the 3.5-metre wide Hindenburg trenches, the tanks carried 1.5 ton fascines of tightly bound bundles of brushwood. The Germans knew an attack was planned for about November 20 or 21, but the magnitude — the awesome sight and sound of a long line of tanks — took them completely by surprise. Troops in the front lines fled. By evening, the British Third Army had breached both Hindenburg systems and advanced five to six kilometres on a ten-kilometre front. Advanced guard battalions reached les rues Vertes, on the south side of the canal, in preparation for a crossing. At their approach, the Germans tried to blow up the bridge at Masnières, but they succeeded only in inflicting heavy damage. Despite the damage, one tank attempted to cross. Bridge and tank “subsided into the canal creating a great tidal wave and Facing page: Sketch of the 1917 cavalry attack at Cambrai. (Sketch National Research Council Canada. Reproduced with the permission of the Minister of Public Works and Government Services, 2010)

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cloud of steam.”108 Astonished Germans failed to fire on the tank crew as they escaped and swam to safety. The sole casualty was the tank commander’s wig, lost to the canal waters. Without a bridge there could be no massed cavalry crossing. Undeterred, B Squadron of the Fort Garry Horse, with the help of French civilians, a British machine-gun squadron, and German prisoners, converted a narrow, dilapidated lock gate nine hundred metres further east along the canal into a crossing just adequate for horses. At 3:30 p.m., with dusk approaching, B Squadron crossed the makeshift bridge. Squadron Commander Captain D.M.C. “Dunc” Campbell galloped the squadron northwards, but was killed by a bullet through the neck soon after the crossing. His subaltern, Harcus “Jock” Strachan, took over and led the company at a gallop through the German wire and, finding no organized defence, on through a camouflage screen on the Rumilly-Crèvecoeur road, and up and over a ridge, where they charged a battery of four 77-millimetre guns with swords and small arms, annihilating the gun crew. Two more squadrons were expected to arrive in support of B Squadron, but they never made it across the canal. Instead, the squadron sheltered in a sunken road two kilometres north of the canal crossing until after dark. Of the original 143 men who crossed, only forty-three remained, and all but seven horses were wounded. Survivors stampeded the horses as a diversion and made their way back to the canal on foot, crossing at the collapsed bridge with sixteen prisoners they had captured along the way. For his leadership in this action, Strachan was awarded the Victoria Cross. The victory of the tank attack at Cambrai was pyrrhic at best, but German confidence in the impregnability of the Hindenburg Line was shaken. The battle itself, with its employment of massed tanks, set “a new pattern in warfare, and its influence was to

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Above: Bridge at Masnières where the Flying Fox (F22) tank commander lost his wig. Left: Monument celebrating the cavalry charge at Cambrai.

extend beyond 1918 into the operations of the Second World War.”109

Getting to the Battlefields, Cemeteries, and Monuments From Cambrai take the D644 south to Masnières and the Canal de St-Quentin. As you approach the canal there is a large French war memorial on the left with a parking area in front. On foot, 17 Crashing through the Hindenburg Line, November 20, 1917 213

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follow the path down to the track alongside the canal for about 250 metres. At the end, you will see a Monument to the Fort Garry Horse and Captain Harcus Strachan VC, which includes a map showing the direction of the charge. In 2004 the Garrys visited Masnières to unveil the monument. So far, however, it has not been signposted. The location of the monument approximates the place where the cavalry crossed the canal toward Cambrai. Retrace your route by car on the D644 for about one hundred metres, then turn left onto the D15 (rue de Marcoing). About one kilometre along, turn left onto a side road to the Écluse de Bracheux, where the Newfoundland Regiment crossed the canal. The original lock of 1917 is gone, but the lock-keeper’s shellscarred stone cottage remains. The canal still sees heavy use both for industrial shipping and pleasure boating. Return to rue de Marcoing and continue west for about three hundred metres. On the left side of the road (now called rue de Masnières) is Marcoing British Cemetery, surrounded by a low rubble wall. The entrance facing the road is in the neo­ classical style, similar to but smaller than the Menin Gate. Of the 285 identified Commonwealth burials here, thirty-four are Newfoundlanders serving with the British 29th Division and Canadians of the Fort Garry Horse, all killed on November 20, 1917. Continue on the D15 to Marcoing. The road turns north at the canal and, two hundred metres further along, rue de la Gare crosses the canal to the left. Follow rue de la Gare, which becomes rue Roger-Salengro. At the roundabout, take the first exit to the right and continue to rue de la République, then turn left. At the edge of the village, there is a fork in the road. Take the right fork, chemin de Ribécourt, which splits again after 1.5 kilometres. Take the right fork, rue de Marcoing, and continue into the village of Ribécourt to the crossroads. Turn right onto rue de Flesquières,

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Above: Marcoing British Cemetery. Top: Graves of men of the Royal Newfoundland Regiment, Marcoing British Cemetery.

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Memorial to the Tanks, just outside the village of Flesquières.

which becomes rue du Moulin. About eight hundred metres along on the right is a Memorial to the Tanks, a project of the Tank of Flesquières Association, which was unveiled on November 24, 2007. The centre of the memorial is a slab of concrete with bricks, tank tracks, and footprints embedded in it to commemorate the 385 tanks and accompanying infantry that attacked at Cambrai. Across the road from the memorial, at the edge of a sunken road, a sign “Sur la route des tanks,” indicates the northeasterly direction the tanks took across the fields toward Cambrai. Continue on rue du Moulin into the village and turn right at the D92 (rue du Calvaire). About five hundred metres from the turn, on the right (south) side of the road, is Flesquières Hill Cemetery, a triangular cemetery tucked between the D92 and a farm road, and opposite the fork with the D89. Among the burials here are members of the Tank Corps killed on November 20, 1917, and Captain “Dunc” Campbell of the Fort Garry Horse, killed at the outset of the cavalry attack that day.

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18

The German Offensive, March-July 1918

Their object was not outright victory. They wanted peace — and they wanted it in circumstances that would enable Germany to drive a hard bargain. Naturally she would retain her African colonies and keep her Navy and her Army intact . . . [and] “improve” her frontiers by hanging on to at least some of the territory she had conquered . . . . Germany wanted Belgium.110

The Battle In spring 1918 the line held by the Canadian Corps amounted to one-fifth of the total frontage of the B.E.F., freeing up British troops to keep the Germans at bay.111 Most of the Corps saw little action between March and August. The 1st Canadian Motor Machine Gun Brigade, however, moved to Villers-Bretonneux to help check the enemy’s advance and fill dangerous gaps in the front, and then it was the turn of the cavalry.112 On March 30, Brigadier-General Jack Seely led the Canadian Cavalry Brigade down to the village of Castel, opposite Moreuil Wood on the west bank of the Avre River, and set up headquarters in a large red barn at the village crossroads. That same morning, the battalions of the 243rd German Division began occupying the wood. The Canadian Cavalry Brigade had been dispatched to recapture it. Moreuil Wood was an important height of land overlooking Amiens and the main railway line to Paris. The attack, mounted and dismounted, was led by The Royal Canadian Dragoons,

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supported by Lord Strathcona’s Horse and the Fort Garry Horse. A magnificent charge led by Captain Gordon Flowerdew left twentyfour of the seventy-five cavalrymen dead, the rest wounded. Fifteen more died later. But the charge broke the resolve of the Germans. Flowerdew, mortally wounded in the charge, was posthumously awarded the Victoria Cross.113 The cavalry, now depleted of horses, made a dismounted attack on April 1 at Rifle Wood, two kilometres to the northeast, and succeeded in clearing the wood. The British government, horrified by the speed of the German advance, reversed a policy of withholding troops for the Western Front; manpower suddenly became available. Between March and August of 1918, over half a million men were despatched to the Western Front, along with six newly arrived American divisions. By April 29, the German advance toward Amiens had foun­ dered. The series of salient fronts they had punched into the Allied lines had stretched their supply lines to the limit, and the ground they captured served no tactical advantage for the next battles. “In the end, all they had gained was land: another ugly salient bulging into the Allied lines and vulnerable to counter-attack at some point in the future.”114

Getting to the Battlefields, Cemeteries, and Monuments Today’s visitors can still see the red barn at the village crossroads in Castel. To get there from Amiens, take the D935 south toward Moreuil, but exit left at Thennes onto the D134 to Castel. At Domart-sur-la-Luce, due east of Thennes on the D934, where the dismounted cavalry gathered in preparation for the attack on Facing page: The German Offensives, March -July 1918. (National Research Council Canada. Reproduced with the permission of the Minister of Public Works and Government Services, 2010)

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Moreuil Wood and Rifle Wood, March 30-April 1, 1918. (National Research Council Canada. Reproduced with the permission of the Minister of Public Works and Government Services, 2010)

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Rifle Wood, little has changed at the village square and crossroads. Because of the danger of unexploded ordnance, undergrowth in Moreuil Wood has flourished undisturbed, so the wood is even thicker than it was in 1918. On the east side of the wood, the modern road D23 follows the route taken by Flowerdew’s squadron. Most of the Canadians killed in the cavalry attacks at Moreuil Wood and Rifle Wood have no known grave and are commemorated on the Vimy Memorial. Many of the wounded were evacuated to Rouen and some died there. They are buried in St. Sever Cemetery and Extension at Rouen. However, there are still some important sites to visit in and around Moreuil Wood. Travelling east on the D934 between Amiens and Roye, take the exit onto the D23 south and turn immediately right onto a slip road. On the southwest corner of the intersection is a monument to the Canadian Cavalry Brigade and the Fort Garry Horse, dedicated on June 9, 2004. Colonel Dave Atwell, commander of the Fort Garry Horse, and Adjutant Gordon Crossley initiated the project to erect a cairn to commemorate the attack of the Canadian Cavalry Brigade at Moreuil Wood on March 30, 1918, and at Rifle Wood (Bois de Hourges) on April 1, 1918. Plaques of weatherproof resin on the sides of the cairn summarize, in French and English, the role of the Cavalry Brigade during the bloody combat in spring 1918, the cavalry charge by Captain Gordon Muriel Flowerdew and his squadron on March 30, and the attack at Rifle Wood on April 1. Moreuil Communal Cemetery Allied Extension, situated north of the prosperous village of Moreuil, contains bodies of nine Canadians killed at Moreuil Wood. From the Monument to the Cavalry, take the D23 southbound to the D935. Turn right and travel north to rue Georges-Clémenceau. Turn left, and then right, onto rue Jean-Catelas, which becomes rue du 8 Mai 1945. Moreuil

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Monument to the Canadian Cavalry Brigade and the Fort Garry Horse. Rifle Wood can be seen in the background.

Communal Cemetery Allied Extension is on the left, enclosed in a low red-brick wall. There are 189 Commonwealth burials here, including the nine Canadians. The village of Namps-au-Val is about sixteen kilometres southwest of Amiens and forty kilometres from Moreuil. Take the D23 north from Moreuil to the A29. At the roundabout, take the exit for Calais-Rouen. As you approach Amiens, stay on the A29/E44 (toll road) to exit 18 toward Salouel (toll road). At the roundabout, take the third exit to the D1029 (Route de Rouen). Continue for 10 kilometres, then turn left onto the D38 (rue de la Gare), and then right onto rue de l’Ecce-Homo. Namps-au-Val British Cemetery is on the left, between the village and the railway station. It contains 408 Commonwealth burials, including eighteen Canadian cavalrymen. Among them is Captain Flowerdew, V,C., who died of wounds on March 31, 1918.

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Four members of the 1st Canadian Motor Machine Gun Brigade and two unidentified Canadians are buried at Parngy British Cemetery, sixteen kilometres south of Péronne, a distance of about 75 kilometres from Namps-au-Val. From Namps-au-Val British Cemetery, return along the D38 to the D1029 (chaussée Thiers) and turn right. Continue on the D1029 for about ten kilometres to the roundabout, and take the second exit onto the A16 ramp to Reims/Lille/Paris. Merge onto the A16/A29, a toll road, and exit onto A29/E44 toward Reims/Lille/A1. Take exit 34 toward Longueau and keep right at the fork, following signs for the D1029 toward Villers-Bretonneux/Péronne. At the fourth roundabout, about thirty-seven kilometres along, take the first exit onto the D1017 (Grande Rue), then turn left onto the D35 to Pargny. Continue through Pargny toward Nesle. The cemetery is on the east (left) side of the road from Pargny, about one kilometre south of Pargny.

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Part II

The Hundred Days, August 8 - November 11, 1918

[I]t was clear that the Allies needed to better coordinate their armies, which were superior in number to the Germans but plagued with an excess of commanders, politicians and national agendas.115

The German offensive of 1918 lasted from March through July, but ultimately foundered for want of men to replace the nearly one million casualties and the growing distance from supply depots as the Germans pressed to the west. Their own “scorched earth” policy in the withdrawal of March 1917 now played against them as they retook the old battlegrounds. Meanwhile, the Allies prepared to push back. The “eighth of the eighth,” August 8, 1918, marked the beginning of the Hundred Days campaign, or the Advance to Victory, the final push overland from Amiens to Mons. The goal of Allied high command was Germany’s unconditional surrender by the end of the year. Throughout the period of the massive German attack, the Canadians held their 27-kilometre front near Arras with only two divisions, stretched almost to the breaking point. They anticipated a major attack on their thin line, but that attack never came. If Haig had had his way, the Canadian divisions would have been broken up and incorporated piecemeal into British units as

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Battle Honours, inscription at Vimy.

reinforcements, but Currie blocked all attempts to fragment his Canadian Corps. By the end of the German offensive, a rift had developed between the British and French armies that was becoming a serious obstacle to their common cause. In the interest of unity, the French general Ferdinand Foch was chosen General-in-Chief of the Allied Armies, a generalissimo who, although not brilliant, was “a pit bull who refused to concede defeat.”116 In May, Foch pulled the Canadians from the line for an “extensive rest and refit.”117 During this respite, the Canadians rebuilt their lines and units to full strength. It was a time to train

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for the transition from trench to semi-open and open warfare. The change would call for an exceptional degree of daring and resourcefulness on the part of the infantry. Combined arms warfare would unite logistics, infantry, artillery, machine guns, engineers, and signallers toward a single goal. Infantry and tanks were trained to interact as a smooth-running unit. Dominion Day observance on July 1, 1918, was a welcome break from the rigours of training. “Nearly fifty thousand Canadian soldiers of all ranks gathered in perfect weather at Tincques, a village [23 kilometres] west of Arras, to witness or compete in the Corps’ biggest sports day.”118 Track-and-field events, soccer, and

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baseball competitions between battalions were the order of the day, all watched by distinguished guests that included the Duke of Connaught, Prime Minister Sir Robert Borden and members of his cabinet, and the American commander-in-chief, General John Pershing. The Germans had suffered eight hundred thousand casualties in the spring and summer offensive, and the on-going naval blockade continued to strangle the German war machine. Among the frontline units, morale threatened to collapse. A minor, but brilliantly successful, operation on July 4 by the Australians and Americans at Le Hamel on the Somme made use of tanks and the new infantry tactics. The German defenders folded easily in the face of the assault, considered a dress rehearsal for the attacks to come later in the summer. Meanwhile, along the length of the Western Front there was no relief from poison gas. By that year, both sides routinely used gas before, during, and after every battle, the only continuous chemical battlefield in the history of warfare.119

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19

The Battle of Amiens, August 8-11, 1918

All at once no-one was speaking or whispering. Thousands of men were moving by us as quietly as possible, and the only thing audible was the soft sound of men jostling in the dark, the swish of feet in grass. There was something in the night that seemed pregnant with sudden violence, as if at any time some crashing chaos might envelope the entire landscape. No one complained as we thrashed in and out in snaky fashion to avoid other companies and other units, all were too amazed to say anything when we saw the field guns being wheeled into positions. There were no pits or camouflage for them, and it showed what the expectations were.120

The Battle On the night of August 7, fresh, rested, and ready for battle, Canadian troops moved quietly into position just west of the modern-day D23, about ten kilometres east of Amiens and five kilometres north of Moreuil, in a line that extended from VillersBretonneux to the village of Hourges. Secrecy was paramount — the attack was intended as a total surprise for the enemy. To that end, diversionary feints in an area some thirty kilometres north of Amiens were staged with much noise and activity in daylight.

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The Battle of Amiens, August 8-18, 1918. (National Research Council Canada. Reproduced with the permission of the Minister of Public Works and Government Services, 2010)

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Amiens, a vital railway junction between Paris and Boulogne, had nearly fallen in the German offensive, but the city remained in Allied hands, and now a battle began to push the Germans out of reach. On August 8, at 4:20 a.m., a devastating bombardment of smoke, shrapnel, high explosive, and poison gas began. All four Canadian divisions, plus the Canadian Cavalry Brigade, participated in operation Llandovery Castle, named for a Canadian hospital ship that had been torpedoed in June by a German U-boat. This was the first all-arms battle of the war, employing artillery, mortars, armoured cars, tanks, and airplanes. By the end of the first day, the Canadians had advanced thirteen kilometres to the east, the Australians eleven, the French eight, and the British five. The first step for the Allies on August 9, following the success of the previous day, was to secure key objectives, especially the village of Le Quesnel. Within an hour, the fortified village was captured. Next on the agenda was the capture of the village of Rosières-en-Santerre and the light railway behind it. Ongoing confusion characterized the following days. The front-line troops’ successful advance had placed them far ahead of medical support and lines of communication. Now, lack of ammunition and supplies began to slow the push forward. With surprise no longer a factor, the German defence was strengthening, reducing any advantage Canadian troops had earlier. By August 14, the force of these considerations prompted Haig to close down the Amiens offensive. Three of the Canadian divisions were moved north to Arras. In the few short days of the offensive, Canadian soldiers won ten Victoria Crosses and three thousand other decorations, but the corps of a little over 102,000 men suffered 11,822 casualties.121

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20 Above: Quebec Cemetery from the path. 20 Top: Village of Monchy-le-Preux from the east.

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20 The Battle of Arras, August 26-September 5, 1918. (National Research Council Canada. Reproduced with the permission of the Minister of Public Works and Government Services, 2010)

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21 Left: A shell awaiting collection outside Ontario Cemetery, painted orange for easy spotting by collection crews. 21 Below: Mosaic stone circle inside Ontario Cemetery.

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21 View of the western side of Bourlon Wood.

21 Below: The unusual arrangement of double rows of offset gravestones in the Canada Cemetery.

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23 Above: A bronze monkey outside Mons Hôtel de ville (city hall), said to bring good luck to those who rub his head. 23 Left: Plaque commemorating the Canadian liberation of Mons, on display in the entrance to the Hôtel de ville. 23 Top: Grand Place, Mons, with the Hôtel de ville at left.

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23 Top: Entrance, St Symphorien Military Cemetery.



23 Left: The great cross at St. Symphorien Military Cemetery set before a wooded copse.

 

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27 Above: The Flying Services Memorial, sculpted by William Reid Dick, inside the Arras British Memorial. (Susan Evans Shaw) 27 Left: Gilded bronze eagle atop the Royal Air Force Memorial on Victoria Embankment, London. The sculptor is William Reid Dick.

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Getting to the Battlefields, Cemeteries, and Monuments From the Amiens peripheral highway, the A29/N29, exit onto the D1029 toward St-Quentin. Head east for approximately nine kilometres, where the road widens for a short distance. Turn left to the D168E, the road to Fouilloy, then take the first right onto rue du Sémaphore. Adelaide Cemetery is about three hundred metres along on the right side of the road. Of the 955 Commonwealth burials here, twenty-two are Canadian. Of interest as well, the Australian Unknown Soldier came from here. Continue on rue du Sémaphore to the D1029, and continue east to the D23, then turn left. About two kilometres along on the right is Villers-Bretonneux Military Cemetery and the Australian National Memorial, erected in memory of the Australians who fought in France and Belgium, particularly those with no known grave. Villers-Bretonneux was captured by the Germans on April 23, 1918, and retaken by the Australians the following day at a cost of twelve hundred lives. The cemetery is on a slope leading upward to the memorial and its tall central tower. There are 2,141 Commonwealth burials in the cemetery, among them 267 Canadians (see also Chapter 18, on the Canadian Motor Machine Gun Brigade). They include Victoria Cross recipient Lieutenant Jean Brillant, 22nd (French Canadian) Battalion, who died on August 10, 1918, and Sapper John Munday of the Royal Engineers, who died of wounds on August 8, 1918. Sapper Munday was the grandfather of photographer Jean Crankshaw. On the south side of the D1029, east of the intersection with the D23, is a demarcation stone topped by a French Adrian helmet (see Chapter 8). The stone marks the limit of the German advance during the spring of 1918. Continue south on the D23 and cross the bridge over the A29/ D44. Almost immediately after the bridge on the right side of a side road is Crucifix Corner Cemetery. To access the cemetery,

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Villers-Bretonneux Military Cemetery, with the tower of the Australian National Memorial in the background

continue on the D23 to the next intersection and turn sharp right, returning north along the side road. The cemetery is a neat rectangle enclosed by a rubble wall, with rows of graves on either side of a centre aisle as ordered as pews in a church. If you stand at the entrance and face the Cross of Sacrifice at the far end, on the right you will see the headstones of Commonwealth burials and, on the left, French graves marked with crosses, somewhat reminiscent of the burials at the Thiepval Memorial (see Chapter 10). Of the more than eight hundred burials in Crucifix Corner, seventy-six are of Canadians. Continue westbound on the side road and take the first turn left. Follow the road to a fork. Take the right fork. Hangard Wood British Cemetery is on the right in a farmer’s field about one hundred metres further on. It is enclosed by a low red-brick wall. There are 141 Commonwealth burials in the cemetery. Canadian

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burials number sixty-one, among them Victoria Cross recipient Private John Bernard Croak, 13th (Royal Highlanders of Canada) Battalion, who died of wounds on August 8, 1918. Keep on the side road, travelling south into the village of Hangard. Turn left onto the D76 toward the D23. Hangard Communal Cemetery Extension is just outside the village on the left side of the road. There are half a dozen steps up from the road, and the Cross of Sacrifice is just beside the entrance. The extension contains 563 Commonwealth burials; of these, seventy-two are Canadian. From Hangard Communal Cemetery, continue on the D76, which makes a wide curve to the right before intersecting with the D23. Turn left (north). About two hundred metres along is tiny Démuin British Cemetery, enclosed by a rubble wall and surrounded by a wooded copse. The cemetery contains forty Canadian and three British burials. Continue north on the D23. Just past the fork with the D42, there is a rest stop to the right. A C.W.G.C. sign indicates Toronto Cemetery, reached by a track, most of which is accessible to cars only in dry weather. The cemetery is in the middle of fields, and no matter what the weather, the last two hundred metres of track have to be done on foot. The small cemetery surrounded by a low wall of red brick contains ninety-seven Commonwealth burials, seventy-four of them Canadian. Return on the D23 to the fork in the road and make a sharp left onto the D42 to Marcelcave. The D42 becomes rue Foiraine. Turn right from the D42 onto rue Jean-L’heureux, which becomes rue de l’Abbaye after the next intersection, and then becomes rue de Cayeux. On the left there is a C.W.G.C. sign indicating a grass track to Wood Cemetery. The track is about one hundred metres long, through the fields, and is bordered on the left by a hedge. Wood Cemetery is shaped like a shield. The Cross of

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Sacrifice stands in the bow opposite the entrance. There are fifty Commonwealth burials here, forty-one of which are Canadian. Continue south on rue de Cayeux, and turn left at the T-intersection into a sunken road Take the first right, about six hundred metres along, onto rue du Moulin to Cayeux-en-Santerre, where it merges with the Grande Rue. Turn right at rue SaintMartin, then right again to rue de Catelet south to Beaucourt-enSanterre. To the left, in the fields just south of Cayeux, is Cayeux Military Cemetery. Of the 216 Commonwealth burials here, five are Canadian. Carry on into the village of Beaucourt-en-Santerre on rue Brûlé, and turn left at the Grande Rue, then left again at the D28. Take the first right turn opposite the church and follow the road for about three hundred metres. On the right is a set of stairs climbing to Beaucourt Military Cemetery, which is hidden in a wood. There are eighty-seven Commonwealth burials here, seventy-seven of them Canadian. Return to the D28 and follow it south, crossing the D934 to Mézières-en-Santerre and turning right toward Centre-ville. Mézières Communal Cemetery Extension is on the right, on the east side of the Communal Cemetery. There are 138 Commonwealth burials here, thirty-eight Canadian. Return to the D28 and then to the D934, and turn left in the direction of St-Quentin. Exit left onto the D161 to Le Quesnel. In the town centre, turn left at the D41 and follow it through the village. At the intersection on the outskirts of the village, turn right. Le Quesnel Cemetery Extension is about three hundred metres along the road. The village was in Allied hands until March 1918, when it was captured by the Germans. The Canadians recaptured it on August 9, 1918. Le Quesnel Communal Cemetery contains three Canadian burials, including Reverend William Henry Davis, M.C., chaplain to the 4th Battalion Canadian, Mounted Rifles.

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Le Quesnel Communal Cemetery Extension contains sixty-five Commonwealth burials, of which fifty-four are Canadian. The D934 is a divided highway, so Le Quesnel Canadian Battlefield Memorial is accessible only from the westbound lane. Leaving Le Quesnel Communal Cemetery, take the D41 south to the D934 and turn right toward Amiens. The memorial is one of the six identical white granite cubes, described in Chapter 8, that honour a Canadian battlefield, in this case the Battle of Amiens. The inscription carved in the stone reads: THE CANADIAN CORPS ONE HUNDRED THOUSAND STRONG ON 8TH AUGUST 1918 ATTACKED BETWEEN HOURGES AND VILLERS-BRETONNEUX AND DROVE THE ENEMY EASTWARD FOR EIGHT MILES

The D934 follows the route the Canadian Corps took in the attack of August 8, 1918. The Canadians were on the north side of the highway; the French attacked on the south. Le Quesnel marked the Canadian approach to the outer Amiens defence line and the halfway point to the Red Line objective. The memorial is approached from the highway along an avenue lined with maple trees. There is a circle at the midpoint, before the final approach to the monument itself, which is surrounded by evergreens and holly bushes. Arrows set into the flagstone terrace around the monument point to surrounding villages where the Canadians fought. Continue westbound toward Amiens on the D934, turning right at the D28 (rue de Beaucourt) to Caix. Turn right onto rue du Pont, which forks around the communal cemetery. Take the right fork, signposted by the C.W.G.C., Caix British Cemetery, is on the right. The cemetery contains 365 Commonwealth burials, 219 of them Canadian. Return to the fork in the road and make a sharp left onto

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Left: Special Memorial to James Edward Tait, V.C., M.C. Below: Le Quesnel Canadian Battlefield Memorial from the parking circle.

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the other branch, the D41. Continue on the D41 to a C.W.G.C.signposted road on the right. Hillside Cemetery is two hundred metres further along on the right. As the name implies, the cemetery is on the slope of a hill, with the Cross of Sacrifice standing inside the highest wall of the enclosure. Of the 108 Commonwealth burials here, 101 are Canadian. Continue on the D41 back to Le Quesnel and turn left (east) toward Le Quesnel Communal Cemetery. Continue past the cemeteries to a T-intersection. Turn left (north) on rue de Beaufort. One kilometre along on the right is Manitoba Cemetery, which contains the graves of a number of soldiers of the 8th (90th Winnipeg Rifles) Battalion of Winnipeg. There is a special memorial to Private Robert Henry Geelan, believed to be among the seven unidentified burials. Of the 120 Commonwealth burials here, all but two are Canadian. Return to Caix and turn right onto the D28 (rue de Caix) toward Rosières-en-Santerre. Rue de Caix becomes rue Pasteur at a crossroads at the entrance to the village. Turn left at rue du Cimetière. Rosières Communal Cemetery is straight ahead and the Extension is to the left. Of the 440 burials here, most brought in from surrounding smaller cemeteries, 157 are Canadian. Return to the D28 (rue de Caix) and turn left, then right, onto the D329 (rue de Jean-Jaurès) south toward Vrély. In the village of Vrély, turn right onto rue de Caix. The communal cemetery is on the western edge of the village, bordered by a farm field, and Vrély Communal Cemetery Extension is tucked behind, projecting out into the field. Of the forty-three Commonwealth burials in the cemetery, thirty-nine are Canadian. Go back to the D239, now rue de Warvillers, and travel two kilometres south to the village of Warvillers. Just past a fork in the road, turn left onto the D161. Take the first left toward the church on the right. Warvillers Churchyard Extension is to the rear of

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the church, on the edge of the fields. The cemetery contains fortyeight Commonwealth burials, of which thirty-five are Canadian. Return again to the D239 and continue south to the village of Bouchoir. At the D934, turn left. Bouchoir New British Cemetery is on the left-hand side of the road. The village of Bouchoir was one of many in the area captured by the Germans in March 1918 and retaken on August 9, 1918. Almost all of the burials date from March, April, or August, 1918. There are 763 burials; 214 of these are Canadian. Continue on the D934 back to Bouchoir and turn right onto the D131 to Rouvroy. In the village of Rouvroy-en-Santerre, continue eastbound on rue de Rouvroy to Fouquescourt. Rue de Rouvroy becomes rue du Moulin-de-Pierres in the middle of the village. At the T-intersection, turn right and then left onto rue de la Tonne. Continue straight ahead and, just past the fork in the road, you will find Fouquescourt British Cemetery on the left. The cemetery contains 376 Commonwealth burials and memorials, including those of 138 Canadians. One is Lieutenant James Edward Tait, V.C., M.C., of the 78th (Winnipeg Grenadiers) Battalion, killed on August 11, 1918. He has no known grave and is commemorated on a special memorial in the cemetery.

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20

The Battle of Arras, August 26 - September 5, 1918

Once again, as at Amiens, the high standard of Canadian staff work was evident. This remarkable point cannot be stressed often enough, because Canada had begun the war with only a handful of staff officers. . . . The D-Q Line was not to be underestimated.122

The Battle On the Canadian front, the Hindenburg Line consisted of a series of reinforced trenches; concrete pillboxes and tunnels gave the Germans protection against all but the heaviest artillery. The forward line centred on Monchy-le-Preux. One-and-a-half kilometres behind Monchy was the Fresnes-Rouvroy Line. Behind that, and strongest of them all, the Drocourt-Quéant Line (D-Q Line), lay another 1.5 kilometres further east. Five kilometres beyond the D-Q Line, the unfinished Canal du Nord was the final line of the Hindenburg defence system before the town of Cambrai. Following the battle of Amiens, the normal period of rest and refit was denied the Canadians. The French were worn out and overly cautious, and the brash Americans too inexperienced, so it fell to the B.E.F. and its Dominion troops to lead the offensive. Strengthened with a supply of fresh troops obtained by poaching from the 5th Canadian Division, still in England, the

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Canadians kicked off the Arras campaign at 3:30 a.m. on August 26, in heavy rain. The offensive met with success and, by the end of the day, the Canadians had bitten off a significant chunk of German-held territory.123 Currie ordered the main axis of the next attack along the Arras-Cambrai road. After two hours of fighting, the Canadians pushed through to capture Cagnicourt. By the morning of September 2, Dury and key objectives to the south had been captured — the D-Q Line was broken. All the while, however, the Canadians were bombarded mercilessly by shells and machine-gun fire. Two days of fighting saw the loss of 297 officers and 5,325 other ranks killed and wounded. Seven Victoria Crosses for uncommon valour were awarded on September 2, most given to soldiers who single-handedly took out machine-gun nests.124 In total, the capture of Amiens and Arras cost the Canadian Corps almost twenty-five thousand casualties, my grandfather among them. Taking the D-Q Line enabled Allied forces to the south to push forward, where Australian penetration at Péronne caused the Germans to relinquish the last of the territory they had captured in March and April. The Allies were now poised to take on the Canal du Nord.

Getting to the Battlefields, Cemeteries, and Monuments Starting with the Battle of Arras, the Canadian Corps battles of 1918 were enormously successful. “Consequently the men who died received known and honoured burial from their comrades.”125 Of the men killed in the trench battles of 1915 to 1917, only small

Facing page: The Advance to the Hindenburg Line and the Canal du Nord, August 20-September 26, 1918. (National Research Council Canada. Reproduced with the permission of the Minister of Public Works and Government Services, 2010)

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percentages have known graves. Of those who died in the forward push of 1918, either in battle or subsequently of wounds, more than 90 per cent have known graves. From Arras, take the D939 in the direction of Cambrai. At the fourth roundabout from Arras, take the third exit north to the D39 and Feuch. About two kilometres along, just past a radio tower on the left, turn right onto a track and follow it east for about five hundred metres. Orange Hill Cemetery is on the right, at the end of a footpath on the edge of a field. The rubble walls are clearly visible as you approach along the track. There are forty-three Commonwealth burials here, of which forty-two are Canadian. Return along the D39 and turn right on the D939 toward Cambrai. About one kilometre after the A1, Autoroute du Nord, you will see Windmill British Cemetery on the north side of the D939, which at this point is divided. C.W.G.C. signs at the corner of rue de Wancourt will direct you to the cemetery, which contains 402 Commonwealth burials, sixty-five of them Canadian; thirtyfive are unidentified. Leaving the cemetery, turn left onto rue de Wancourt and continue to the village of Monchy-le-Preux, about five hundred metres along. Rue de Wancourt takes you into the village square. To the left, on rue de Chaussée, stands one of Newfoundland’s six Great Caribou Monuments, this one built on a tall brick base over the remains of a German bunker and located in the back garden of a private home. The caribou monuments are made from a carving by British sculptor Basil Gotto, one caribou for each of Newfoundland’s significant battlefields and one for Bowring Park in St. John’s (see also Chapter 9).126 Return along rue de Wancourt and continue south past the D939. Rue de Wancourt becomes rue de Flandres. In the village of Wancourt, turn left onto rue d’Arras and continue to the C.W.G.C.signposted mud track. Wancourt British Cemetery is on the right

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of the track. Its red-brick, neo-classical arch is visible from the road. The cemetery contains 1,936 burials and commemorations, of which 246 are Canadian. Follow rue d’Arras westbound. Just before the A1/E15, the road forks. Bear left and continue through the underpass toward Tilloy-lès-Mofflaines on the D37E. Tigris Lane Cemetery is 2.5 kilometres past the A1, on the right side of the road. The cemetery was named for a nearby trench. It contains 119 burials, thirtythree of them Canadian. Retrace your path to Wancourt and turn north onto rue de Flandres. Take the right fork to Guémappe. From Guémappe take the D38 south to Chérisy and continue through the village toward Hendécourt-les-Cagnicourt. On the left, about 1.5 kilometres from the village, is Sun Quarry Cemetery, named for an adjacent flint quarry known to the army. Sun Quarry contains 191 Great War burials, of which 161 are Canadian. Eight are unidentified. Sun Quarry is notable for the quality and originality of the gravestone inscriptions. The gravestone of Private Arthur Hirsch Woodrow, 4th (Central Ontario) Battalion, who died on August 31, 1918, reads: OH, OUR SON/A BLOOMING FLOWER THOU WERT/ PLUCKED UP BEFORE ITS TIME. The gravestone of Reginald Addis, 29th (Vancouver) Battalion, who died on September 9, 1918, age 20, reads: HE DID HIS BEST/WITHOUT A MURMUR/ AND DIED THAT WE MIGHT LIVE. That of Private John James Gusthart, 28th (North-west) Battalion, who died on May 20, 1917, reads: HE MARCHED/IN A DEATHLESS ARMY. My grandfather, Captain J.L. Evans, 5th (Western Cavalry) Battalion, lies buried here. His inscription reads: WITH LOFTIEST COURAGE/IN GLORIOUS DEATH/ENTERED LIFE EVERLASTING.127 All the personal inscriptions were submitted by next-of-kin. Families would receive a letter of instruction from the War Graves Commission to the effect that there was space on the stone for

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three lines and sixty-six letters, including spaces. The cost per letter was three and a half pence (old English pennies).128 Next to Sun Quarry Cemetery is a dirt track leading to Quebec Cemetery. The track is accessible only on foot and is a walk of about fifteen minutes. Of the 195 burials here, 189 are Canadian. As the name suggests, most of the men buried here are from the 22nd (French Canadian) Battalion and 24th (Victoria Rifles of Canada) Battalion, both from Quebec; most were killed between August 26 and September 28, 1918. Continue southbound on the D38 to Hendécourt-les-Cagnicourt, then turn north onto the D956 toward Lécluse. About eight hundred metres from the town, turn left onto a track toward Upton Wood. Upton Wood Cemetery is on a height of land, surrounded by a low red-brick wall. The wall and gate stand out against the dark green of the wood, and are clearly visible as you approach. The cemetery contains 226 burials and commemorations of World War I; 216 are Canadian. Most of the burials are men of the 1st Canadian Division and nearly all died between August 30 and September 7, 1918. Return to the D956 and continue toward Lécluse until you come to a signposted track on the right. Follow the track to where it meets rue d’Arras and turn sharp right, then left. Dominion Cemetery is about six hundred metres along on your right, surrounded by fields. There are 231 fatalities commemorated in this site. Of these, a small number are unidentified and 214 are Canadian, among them Sergeant Arthur George Knight, V.C., 10th (Canadians) Battalion, who died of wounds on September 3, 1918. Turn back toward the D939 on the D956. About 3.5 kilometres from the roundabout, on the right side of the D939, is Vis-enArtois British Cemetery and Memorial. The memorial, with its twin pillars, is unmistakable and easy to spot from the highway.

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Above: Wall at the entrance to Dominion Cemetery, with cemetery register. Top: Sun Quarry Cemetery, with the grave of Captain J.L. Evans, 5th (Western Cavalry) Battalion, in the foreground.

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The cemetery contains 2,369 burials and memorials. Of these, 582 are Canadian. The memorial is inscribed with the names of over nine thousand British, Irish, and South African soldiers who died in the Hundred Days campaign between August 8, 1918 and the armistice. Continue on the D939 to the roundabout and take the first exit onto the D956 toward Lécluse. At the Y-junction just before the village of Dury, there is a track to the right between fields. From here, you can access Dury Mill British Cemetery, but only on foot. Follow the track to a T-intersection and turn right. Two hundred metres along, in the middle of the field, you will find the cemetery. The total distance along the track is roughly a kilometre. Of the 337 burials here, 325 are Canadian. Return to the D956 and continue on the right branch to the village of Dury. Turn right at the next Y-junction. Dury Crucifix Cemetery is to the left of the road. There are 2,058 burials in this site, 173 of them Canadian. Go back to the D956 and turn right. At the roundabout, take the first exit right to the D939 toward Cambrai. About four hundred metres along on the left is another of the six memorial granite cubes (see Chapter 8), Dury Canadian Memorial, located in a small park surrounded by maple trees. The inscription reads: THE CANADIAN CORPS 100,000 STRONG ATTACKED AT ARRAS ON AUGUST 26TH 1918, STORMED SUCCESSIVE GERMAN LINES AND HERE ON SEPT. 2ND BROKE AND TURNED THE MAIN GERMAN POSITION ON THE WESTERN FRONT AND REACHED THE CANAL DU NORD

Turn back on the D936 to the D956 and head south to Hendécourt-les-Cagnicourt. Just past the village, turn onto the

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Dury Canadian Memorial surrounded by stately maples.

D38. Pass through Riencourt-les-Cagnicourt toward Quéant. On the right side of the road, just before the village, is Quéant Communal Cemetery British Extension adjoining the communal cemetery. Now removed, the German extension was in the empty grassed area closest to the road. There are 276 Commonwealth burials in the cemetery, of which 112 are Canadian. Among the Canadians interred is Lieutenant Samuel Lewis Honey, V.C., D.C.M., M.M., 78th (Winnipeg Grenadiers) Battalion, who died of wounds on September 30, 1918. Carry on through the village of Quéant, turning left to head northeast on the D14 (rue de Quéant) toward Buissy. Quéant Road Cemetery is about two kilometres from Quéant, to the left of the road. You will notice that these cemeteries of the Hundred Days campaign are more orderly than the front-line cemeteries of earlier years of the war. Because the armies were on the move,

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Above: Great Cross, Quéant British Cemetery Extension. Right: Grave of Victoria Cross recipient Lieutenant Samuel Lewis Honey, Quéant British Cemetery Extension.

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the Canadian Corps Burial Officer had better opportunity behind the lines to plan. Also, many of the burials were brought in from smaller cemeteries and battlefields after the war. There are 2,377 burials in the cemetery, of which eighty-seven are Canadian.

Point of Interest Beneath the city of Arras is the Carrière Wellington Museum, opened to the public on March 4, 2008. During the war, miles of tunnels were dug beneath the Arras countryside to create command posts, kitchens, sleeping quarters, and even a hospital, protecting around twenty-four thousand Allied troops. The underground city preserved in the museum shows the conditions that thousands of soldiers endured. As my grandfather wrote in 1918, “we are billeted in large chalk caves near a town which has been mentioned quite a bit of late & which gets heavily shelled, its [sic] quite a novel experience being here about 80 feet below ground, these caves would hold about 5 to 6 thousand men; parts of it are lit by electric light, & remainder by candles.”129 Now the museum provides insight into the lives of those soldiers, many of whom had mining experience and helped with the excavation work while German artillery bombarded them from above. Access to the museum is by a glass elevator.

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Above: View from Riqueval Bridge over the St-Quentin Canal. Right: German dugout at Riqueval.

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Canal du Nord, September 27 - October 11, 1918 21

Only distant artillery fire disturbed the advance as far as the west bank of the Canal du Nord. The east bank was strongly held and the bridges had been destroyed. A pause followed to gain strength for the next great operation. Until the Canal du Nord was broken, the Hindenburg Line could not be described as fully pierced; nor could it be turned.130

The Battle Construction of the Canal du Nord began in 1907. Its purpose was to create a shipping route linking the Sensée Canal at Arleux in the north with the Somme Canal at Péronne, but work on the canal came to a halt in the vicinity of Cambrai at the outbreak of war in 1914. Nevertheless, incomplete as it was, the Canal du Nord was the linchpin of the whole Hindenburg Line. Situated about twelve kilometres east of the canal, the town of Cambrai constituted a key logistical and railway hub for the German army. After their defeat at Arras, the Germans retreated to the other side of the canal, where they could shorten their line and concentrate divisions. Meanwhile, the Canadian Corps had almost a full month to plan for the next phase of the attack, which was to cross the Canal du Nord and capture Cambrai. General Foch ordered British, French, and American armies thrown against the Germans all

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The Canal du Nord and Cambrai, September 27-October 11, 1918. Map National Research Council Canada. (Reproduced with the permission of the Minister of Public Works and Government Services, 2010)

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along the line, from the North Sea to the Swiss border, in an effort to use up the enemy’s reserves. The Canadian part in the massive assault was to get across the Canal du Nord and capture Bourlon Wood, a fortified strongpoint overlooking the battlefield in front of Cambrai. The wood had been the scene of desperate fighting by British troops in the Battle of Cambrai in November 1917. It was briefly captured during the tank attack, but at the end of the battle British troops were withdrawn. The Germans blocked up l’Agache, a stream running parallel to the canal on the east side. The result was a Passchendaele-like bog that left the Canadians a corridor only 2.6 kilometres wide between the villages of Sains-lès-Marquion and Moeuvres. But the corridor included a dry section of the unfinished canal. At 5:20 a.m. on September 27, the artillery began firing. Four battalions spearheaded the attack across the dry section of canal, in a place the Germans least expected. Because of the narrow opening, the attacking troops had to squeeze through a gap of only 1.8 kilometres, south of Sains-lès-Marquion and north of Moeuvres, before they could fan out to a battle front of 8.9 kilometres on the other side. Only four battalions, a total of twenty-one hundred men, made the first crossing. By 6:05 they were on the other side, and by 10:00 they had captured ground on the western side of Bourlon Wood. In capturing the village of Bourlon, the 85th (Nova Scotia Highlanders) Battalion attacked headlong at a cost of 60 per cent of their fighting strength. One by one, enemy strongholds fell or surrendered. By dusk, Bourlon Wood had fallen to the Canadians, never to be recaptured. At day’s end, the Germans had lost the canal, Bourlon Wood, and the Marquion Line. The Canadians had advanced eight kilometres. Now the battle was for Cambrai. From September 29 to October

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9, the Canadians pushed forward with harsh fighting and heavy losses. The Germans threw everything they had into the line. Battles were brutal and confusing, but in the end the Canadians threatened Cambrai on two sides. Once they brought the artillery forward, the Germans found Cambrai untenable. Because of its complexity, the Canal du Nord was the Canadian Corps’ most difficult battle after the taking of the D-Q Line. Strong leadership, discipline, and speed were needed to get the troops across the dry canal, through the narrow gap, and then spread out ready for the attack. Arras, by contrast, had been straightforward, brutal assault warfare. Success at the Canal du Nord could have been accomplished only by experienced and confident troops.131 Four divisions of the Canadian Corps met and defeated twelve enemy divisions and thirteen machine-gun companies. They paid a high price for their victory: between August 22 and October 11, the Canadians suffered 30,806 killed, wounded, and missing. Among those killed was Lieutenant-Colonel Charles Stewart, D.S.O., commanding officer of the P.P.C.L.I., one of the original officers to join the battalion in 1914.

Getting to the Battlefields, Cemeteries, and Monuments From Cambrai, take the D939 west toward Arras. Just past the overpass at the A26, turn left onto the D15 (rue d’Inchy) to Sainslès-Marquion. On the northeast corner of the intersection with the D16 (rue du Calvaire) is Sains-les-Marquion British Cemetery, enclosed by a low stone wall. Of the 255 burials here, 185 are Canadian. Return to the D15 and continue southbound. At the second Y-junction from Sains-lès-Marquion, Ontario Cemetery is tucked between the D15 and a track leading to the Canal du Nord. The cemetery is enclosed by a low stone wall. Right inside the entrance,

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you step onto a mosaic of white and grey stones forming a cross and wedge-shaped sections. There are 341 Commonwealth burials here, of which 145 are Canadian. Among them is LieutenantColonel Charles Stewart, D.S.O. and Bar (the bar signifies that the D.S.O. was awarded a second time). Quarry Wood Cemetery, also at Sains-lès-Marquion, is located about 750 metres further south of Ontario Cemetery, at the end of an access path on the left of the D15. The stone entrance gate, with its peaked roof resembling a pitched tent, is quite distinctive. There are 277 Great War burials here, 263 of them Canadian. Continue southbound on the D15 to a crossroads. Turn right toward Moeuvres. Cross the canal and take rue d’en Haut to rue de l’Église. Turn right and then right again onto rue d’Inchy. Triangle Cemetery is about five hundred metres down the road on the right. Enclosed by a brick wall, total burials here number ninety; sixty-eight are Canadian. Continue north to Inchy-en-Artois. At Grande Place, turn right onto rue Neuve, which becomes rue du Sains-lès-Marquion, crossing the canal before coming to the D15. Turn north on the D15 toward Marquion. About two kilometres north of Sains-lèsMarquion, turn right onto chemin de Bourlon. Quarry Cemetery is located about 150 metres down this road, on the left branch of a Y-junction and on the left side of the road. Also called Chalk Pit Cemetery, the cemetery is sunken, perhaps built in an abandoned quarry, and is reached by a dozen or more steps down from the field. The cemetery wall takes the shape of a shield; the rows taper to just two graves in the bow of the wall by the steps. There are sixty-eight Commonwealth burials here, forty-five of them Canadian. Continue north on the D15, crossing the D939, to the village of Sauchy-Lestrée. Turn right onto rue du Calvaire. Chapel Corner Cemetery is about 750 metres from the turn, at a fork in the road.

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Bottom: Sains-lès-Marquion British Cemetery. Below: The Great Cross, Sains-lès-Marquion British Cemetery.

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Above: Looking down into Quarry Cemetery from the Great Cross. Top: Inchy-en-Artois village. Right: Gravestone of Sergeant T. Graham, M.M., of the 13th (Royal Highlanders of Canada) Battalion, Quarry Cemetery.

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Next to the cemetery is a Gothic-style roadside chapel that appears damaged by shelling. At the armistice there were fifty burials here, but others were brought in from the battlefields and the Epinoy Road and Lecluse Crucifix cemeteries. The cemetery now contains 178 Commonwealth burials, sixty-two of them Canadian. The village of Bourlon lies in the triangle formed by the A26 and the main roads between Cambrai, Bapaume, and Arras (the D939 and the N30). Bourlon Wood Cemetery is signposted from the centre of the village, as is Bourlon Wood Memorial. To reach Bourlon from Chapel Corner Cemetery, return to the D15 and follow it south to Sains-lès-Marquion. After about four kilometres, turn left onto the D16, which becomes rue du Sains in the village of Bourlon. Turn right onto rue Victor-Lacroix. If you are coming directly from Cambrai, take the D939 westbound toward Arras and turn left at the D16E, where it is signed La Maison Blanche. Follow the D16E to Bourlon, where it becomes rue de la Gare then rue Victor-Lacroix. Turn left after one hundred metres onto rue du Monument, which takes you directly to the foot of the hill on which the monument stands. The last two hundred metres is unsurfaced track. Straight ahead is a stone retaining wall flanking a set of five steps to an alcove, a concrete bench, and a brass plaque that reads in French and English: THIS MONUMENT HAS BEEN ERECTED ON LAND DONATED BY THE COUNT DE FRANQUEVILLE TO THE CANADIAN GOVERNMENT.

To the right of the retaining wall, stone steps lead up the hill to the monument. I suggest the climb first, as it can be strenuous. At the top of the hill, on Bourlon Wood Memorial, another pale

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granite cube (see Chapter 8), is carved the following inscription in both languages: THE CANADIAN CORPS ON 27TH SEP. 1918 FORCED THE CANAL DU NORD AND CAPTURED THIS HILL. THEY TOOK CAMBRAI, DENAIN, VALENCIENNES & MONS; THEN MARCHED TO THE RHINE WITH THE VICTORIOUS ALLIES

The monument stands on a stone terrace surrounded by shrubs. The lime trees on either side of the steps are ancient, and have survived despite war damage. The lush surrounding wood restricts views from the top of the hill, so little of the countryside below can be seen. Descend the steps to the bottom of the hill and turn right. Bourlon Wood Cemetery is a short distance along the track and to the left. A few steps lead down to the cemetery, enclosed by a rubble wall. The graves of three Chinese labourers, buried here in 1919, are just to the right of the steps. There are 245 Commonwealth burials in the cemetery, 226 of which are Canadian. From Bourlon take the D16E (rue du Gare) north to the D939 at La Maison Blanche. Make a short jog right, then left, where Haynecourt British Cemetery is signposted, and carry on northbound to Haynecourt. At the T-intersection, turn right, and then left after one hundred metres. The cemetery is on the right, just before the village. The cemetery contains 289 burials, of which 265 are Canadian. Continue into Haynecourt, keeping straight on the D640 (rue de la Croix) to the N43/D643, then turn right. Turn right (south) at the intersection with the D143. Cantimpré Canadian Cemetery is to the right of the road, about one kilometre from the turn. All but two of the 226 burials here are Canadian.

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Looking down the avenue of lime trees from Bourlon Wood Memorial to Bourlon village.

Another kilometre south takes you to Sailly-lez-Cambrai. Turn right onto rue d’en Haut, which becomes rue de Sailly, then turn left onto rue de l’Église to the D939. Turn left toward Cambrai. Raillencourt Communal Cemetery Extension is seven hundred metres down the road on the right. The cemetery contains 199 Commonwealth burials, of which 174 are Canadian. Continue toward Cambrai on the D939 for 1.6 kilometres, then turn left onto rue du Tordoir. The road becomes a rough stone track after six hundred metres. Drummond Cemetery lies at the end of the track in a field, its low stone wall surrounded by fields of grain. The cemetery was named for Lieutenant Joseph Rayson Drummond, Royal Air Force, of Cockermouth, Cumbria,

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View of Sancourt church from the sunken cobblestone road to Sancourt British Cemetery.

England, who was the first to be buried here. The cemetery contains eighty-eight Commonwealth and three German graves. Of the Commonwealth burials, seventy-nine are Canadian. Return along the stony track to the Y-junction and paved road. Take the right fork, rue Pasteur, to the D939 and turn right. At the roundabout, take the second exit to the D1643 northbound. At the second roundabout, take the third exit onto the N43/N643 and travel one kilometre north, then turn right onto rue ColonelFabien toward Sancourt. Turn left onto rue d’Angleterre in the village, where there is a signpost indicating the track to the left. Sancourt British Cemetery is about five hundred metres along the track. There are 236 Commonwealth burials here, of which 230 are Canadian.

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From Sancourt take rue d’Alsace-Lorraine south. The road loops and turns to the north, where it intersects with chemin de Sancourt. Turn right and continue to a Y-junction, then take the left fork to Quartier de la Grande-Fontaine, then turn left onto rue de Bourgogne. At the D49 (rue Marquette) turn left and cross the A2. About 250 metres after the A2, turn left onto a side road heading south toward the highway. Canada Cemetery is at the end of the side road. Of the 265 burials here, 255 are Canadian. Return to rue Marquette and turn right toward Tilloy-lezCambrai. Retrace your route along rue de Bourgogne and the Quartier de la Fontaine to the Y-junction. This time, take the other road, rue du Riot des Vieux-Sautes, to the N43. Turn right in the direction of Arras. Just after the underpass at the A2, you will see Mill Switch Cemetery to the left of the road. The cemetery is named for a switch line to a large German supply dump on the Cambrai-Douai railroad. In 1918, the cemetery contained the graves of forty-seven Canadian soldiers, thirty-four belonging to the 43rd (Cameron Highlanders of Canada) Battalion. Others were brought in after the armistice. All 107 burials are Canadian. Turn back on the N43 and travel east for about two kilometres to the D61. Take the D61 to the village of Ramillies, about three kilometres. Just before the village, turn right onto rue du BlancPain, then right again onto rue de la Chapelle d’Erre. Ramillies British Cemetery is on the left. The cemetery contains 180 burials, seventy-five of them Canadian; one is a Chinese labourer brought in from Malincourt German Cemetery. The Canal de l’Escaut is visible across the field. Continue on rue de la Chapelle d’Erre to Digue de Canal. Cross the canal and continue on rue d’Erre to the D630, which becomes rue Jean-Jaurès and then Route Nationale, rue du Pont d’Iwuy, and finally rue Clémenceau. In the village of Iwuy, turn right at rue des Martyrs. Niagara Cemetery is about five hundred metres

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Niagara Cemetery.

down the road on the left. Of the 202 Commonwealth burials here, 172 are Canadian. Among the burials is that of Victoria Cross recipient Lieutenant Wallace Lloyd Algie, 20th (Central Ontario Regiment) Battalion, killed in action on October 11, 1918. Return to rue Clémenceau and turn left (south) onto the D630 (Route Nationale) to Cambrai. Keep on the D630, which joins the N43 to cross the canal then goes left toward Petite Fontaine and Fontaine-Notre-Dame. Turn right on rue du Maréchal-Foch, where there is a C.W.G.C. signpost for Crest Cemetery. The cemetery is on the right-hand side of the D140 toward Raillencourt. Enclosed by a red-brick wall, all but one of the eighty-eight burials here are Canadian. Wounded Canadians who died at casualty clearing stations or hospitals are mainly buried in the following cemeteries.132 Take

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the D939 to Arras and, at the Tilloy-lès-Mofflaines roundabout, take the third exit onto the D60. Travel to the intersection with D919 and turn left toward Ayette. Bucquoy Road Cemetery is two kilometres further on the right, just before the intersection with the D36. The casualty clearing station was down the road to the left, at the crossroads in Boisleux-au-Mont. Of the 1,901 burials in Bucquoy Road Cemetery, 447 are Canadian. Another casualty clearing station was located northwest of Arras at Duisans. Take the D939 toward St-Pol. The village of Duisans is about nine kilometres from the centre of Cambrai, and Duisans British Cemetery is one kilometre further. Turn left on the D339; the cemetery is on the right. Of the more than 3,200 burials here, 306 are Canadian. Continue on the D939 toward St-Pol and the site of a former casualty clearing station at Aubigny-en-Artois. Turn right onto the

Crest Cemetery.

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German Memorial, Cambrai East Military Cemetery. (Susan Evans Shaw)

D75 toward the village of Aubigny. At the Y-junction, bear right onto chemin de Penin, then right again onto rue des Étudiants. At the roundabout, exit onto rue du Moulin. Aubigny Communal Cemetery is on the right and the Extension is behind. Among the more than three thousand burials from seven nations, including Germany, are 665 Canadians. Victoria Cross recipient Private Claude Joseph Patrick Nunney, V.C., D.C.M., M.M., 38th (Ottawa) Battalion, who died of wounds on September 18, 1918, is buried here. From Cambrai, travel east on the D942 (rue de Solesmes) toward Solesmes for 2.4 kilometres. On the right side of the road,

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Above: Detail on the belfry, all that remains of St. Martin’s Church, Cambrai. Right: Hôtel de ville, Cambrai.

you will come first to the Communal Cemetery. Adjoining it on the east side is Cambrai East Military Cemetery. The cemetery was made by the Germans during their occupation of the town of Cambrai. There are many Commonwealth burials here from the Battle of Cambrai in 1918, the last battle of the Hindenburg Line. In October and November 1918, casualty clearing stations moved into the area. Among the eight special memorials in the cemeteries are monuments to the French, Commonwealth, and German dead. Of the more than five hundred Commonwealth burials here, fourteen are Canadian. In addition, three Canadians are listed among the British airmen. One burial among the Canadians is Joseph J. Goodstein of Cleveland, Ohio, age 16.

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Point of Interest Historic Cambrai was a prosperous industrial and market town held by the Germans as a garrison base until October 8, 1918. As the Canadians converged on the town from the north and south, retreating Germans laid mines, set fires, and fled. Today, on entering the town from Arras, cross the St-Quentin Canal on rue de Cantimpré and take Grande Rue de Fénelon to the roundabout at place du 9 octobre, where there are three black marble plaques: one to the Royal Canadian Regiment on the occasion of its centenary in 1983; another in commemoration of the arrival of the Canadian Army in the town on October 9, 1918; and the third in remembrance of the British Army’s 57th Division.

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22

The Battle of Valenciennes, November 1 - 2, 1918

The Canadians revelled in the role of liberators. General Currie considered it “a most inspiring sight to go through these towns and witness the joy of the inhabitants.”133

The Battle By the end of October, the Canadian Corps had advanced thirtyseven kilometres from the crossing at the Canal du Nord. FieldMarshall Haig then sent an order to General Currie that the Canadians were to capture the French city of Valenciennes. The German high command, General Erich Ludendorff and Field-Marshall Paul von Hindenburg, appealed to the kaiser for an armistice, but it was too late for any sort of compromise. Only unconditional surrender would satisfy the British, French, and Belgians. As they retreated toward Valenciennes, German engineers blew up every bridge to make the marshy land all the more impassable. German soldiers stripped the land of all the food they could find and demolished roads and railway lines. Marching through ankle-deep mud, the Canadians’ difficult passage was slowed even more by the enthusiastic welcome from French civilians. As much as they could, the advancing divisions provided relief to the civilians, many units giving up their warm rations to feed the hungry and destitute.

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The Germans halted at Valenciennes, to make a stand on higher ground. Mont Houy, to the south of the city, covered in woods and rising to 150 metres, gave them an overview of the Canadians’ advance. Because so many civilians remained in Valenciennes, the city had to be taken with a minimum of damage by shelling. Plans were made to take Mont Houy first. Currie lined up 250 field and siege guns, the largest force to support a single attacking brigade in the entire war. Thanks to the accuracy of the artillery barrage, which devastated crater defences on the top of the hill, the attackers quickly took their objective. By the end of the day, November 2, Valenciennes had fallen and the Germans were in full retreat. Despite the enemy’s every advantage, the Canadian offensive, powerful and well-directed, won the day. In taking the city, they suffered 501 casualties, of which 121 were killed or missing. As an aside, and linking us to where our journey began, Queen Philippa of Hainault, the wife of Edward III, whose plea spared the lives of the burghers of Calais, was born in Valenciennes.

Getting to the Battlefields, Cemeteries, and Monuments The core of Valenciennes is encircled by a 14-kilometre system of boulevards and avenues, with traffic circles at intervals. The largest of these roundabouts, to the south of the city, is called place du Canada. From place du Canada, exit south onto avenue GeorgesPompidou. Cross the cloverleaf with Route A2/E19 and continue south on rue Jules-Mousseron. At the third traffic circle, exit left (east) onto rue du Chemin-vert in Aulnoy-lez-Valenciennes. Facing page: Valenciennes, November 1-2, 1918. (National Research Council Canada. Reproduced with the permission of the Minister of Public Works and Government Services, 2010)

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Avenue de la Libération du 2 septembre 1944 crosses rue du Chemin-vert about 1.4 kilometres along. Turn left here and Aulnoy Communal Cemetery is immediately on your right. The military cemetery is tucked into the middle of the communal cemetery but opens onto the avenue about fifty metres from the corner. Of the 160 Commonwealth burials, 121 are Canadian. Retrace your route to rue Jules-Mousseron. At the traffic circle, take the exit to the D488 south. At the next roundabout, one hundred metres along, take the first exit to the D40 in the direction of Denain. At Denain, turn left at the D645 and travel west for about sixteen kilometres to Auberchicourt. Keep on the D645, which becomes successively rue du Général-Delestraint, rue Louis-Delforge, and rue des Frères-Fache. At the roundabout at the end of rue des Frères-Fache, take the third exit onto rue Jean-Lebos, which terminates at a T-intersection. Turn right onto rue Gabriel-Péri and, at the Y-junction about five hundred metres further on, take the left fork onto rue de 11 novembre. The communal cemetery is immediately on your right and Auberchicourt British Cemetery is three hundred metres further along on the right. Facing page: Entrance, Auberchicourt British Cemetery. Left: A page from the Visitors’ Book, Auberchicourt British Cemetery.

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Graves, Auberchicourt British Cemetery.

Canadian casualty clearing stations remained in this area from October 1918 until February 1919, and burials were brought in from smaller burial grounds and surrounding battlefields. Of the 288 burials here, eighty-six are Canadian and the rest British. Sergeant Hugh Cairns, V.C., D.C.M., 46th (South Saskatchewan) Battalion, who died of wounds on November 2, 1918, is buried here. Go back to place du Canada and exit onto avenue du SergeantCairns. On the wall between the houses at numbers 3 and 5, a memorial to Cairns was erected by his former comrades and citizens of Saskatoon. From place du Canada, take the exit onto boulevard Carpeaux toward le parc de la Rhônelle. Continue to the third roundabout

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Above: Memorial plaque to Sergeant Hugh Cairns, V.C., D.C.M. Right: Original plaque on avenue du SergentCairns, Valenciennes.

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along boulevard Watteau, then boulevard Pater to the next roundabout, and take the third exit onto the D630 (avenue de Liège). At the Y-junction about one hundred metres further on, take the left arm to avenue Duchesnois. Valenciennes (St. Roch) Communal Cemetery is about five hundred metres along on the left. Valenciennes remained in German hands from the early days of World War I until November 1-2, 1918, when it was entered and cleared by the Canadian Corps. Of the 885 Commonwealth burials here, 151 are Canadian. Leave Valenciennes Communal Cemetery and turn right onto rue Colart-Creste, then right onto the D630 (rue de Liège), which becomes rue Jean-Jaurès through to the town of Onnaing. Onnaing Communal Cemetery is on the south side of the D630 on the eastern outskirts of the town. There are ten Commonwealth burials here, of which nine are Canadian, most members of the 5th Canadian Mounted Rifles Battalion.

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23

Mons and the Armistice, November 1918

[A] message ordering hostilities to cease at 11 am was received. There was barely time for it to reach the forward troops before the guns along the front fell silent.134

The Battle During the first week of November 1918, the Canadians slogged ahead toward Mons. A steady rain had turned the roads into a quagmire that slowed the artillery. The men felt exposed and vulnerable in open countryside dotted with farms, hedges, and sunken roads, perfect places for ambushes. At the same time, in the villages, they passed through throngs of grateful civilians. Mons was an important symbol for the B.E.F. To leave the German army in possession of Mons at the armistice would allow the German nation to cling to the idea this was a negotiated peace rather than unconditional surrender.135 Currie ordered the capture of Mons by an encircling approach. More than a few of the Canadian troops felt anguish and anger over this final order to take the city. At that time, Currie still had not received confirmation of the ceasefire. The men were tired and, with the end of the war in sight, no one wanted to take any risks. Nevertheless, they obeyed the order. Then, at 6:30 a.m. on November 11, Canadian headquarters received word that the armistice would take effect at eleven that morning. By 9:00 a.m., word had spread to most

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The Final Advance: Cambrai to Mons, October 12-November 11, 1918. (National Research Council Canada. Reproduced with the permission of the Minister of Public Works and Government Services, 2010)

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Grave of Private George Lawrence Price, St. Symphorien Cemetery, Mons.

units of the Canadian Corps. By then, the Germans had already pulled out of Mons. Private George L. Price of Saskatchewan’s 28th (North-west) Battalion was the last Canadian casualty of the war and probably the last casualty on the Western Front. The circumstances of his death vary with each telling, but most agree that he died instantly at 10:58 a.m., killed by a sniper’s bullet to the chest. He is buried in St. Symphorien Cemetery at Mons. Nearby lies the body of Private John Parr of the 4th Battalion Middlesex Regiment, killed August 21, 1914, the first British soldier to die in the Great War.

Getting to the Battlefields, Cemeteries, and Monuments From the R50 ring road around Mons, take the exit onto the N90 eastbound. At the Y-junction with the N40, keep on the N90 toward the village of St-Symphorien. At the next Y-junction, take rue Nestor-Dehon to the left. St. Symphorien Military Cemetery is at the southwest corner of rue Nestor-Dehon and avenue de la Shangri. The cemetery was started by the Germans after the Battle of Mons in 1914, and remained in their hands until November

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1918. The site began with a pre-existing but artificial mound, on the highest point of which a seven-metre tall grey granite obelisk was erected. Its inscription, in German, translates as: IN MEMORY OF THE GERMAN AND ENGLISH SOLDIERS WHO FELL IN THE ACTIONS NEAR MONS ON THE 23RD AND 24TH AUGUST 1914.

Following the battle, 245 German and 188 British soldiers were buried in the cemetery. After the armistice in 1918, additional British, Canadian, and German interments were brought in from other burial grounds, bringing the total number of burials to more than five hundred. While the Langemark and other German cemeteries seem stark and chilly, the atmosphere of St. Symphorien is wonderfully

Detail of stone gatepost, St. Symphorien Military Cemetery; the Visitors’ Book is kept within.

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German headstones, St. Symphorien Military Cemetery.

serene and welcoming. There is much here to interest the visitor. Beyond the mound facing the entrance, the burial ground is made up of wooded copses with headstones arranged in patterns, some orderly, some random. The headstones of the German graves are notable for their variety of shapes, in contrast to the standardized rectangular Commonwealth gravestones. In one copse, the Germans buried a group of Middlesex Regiment soldiers in a semicircle, their headstones arranged around a central stone pillar. The stand they made in the 1914 battle convinced the Germans that the regiment must be “Royal” and so they were given the appropriate burial. Surprising, perhaps, but 1914, when the cemetery was created, was the year of the “Christmas truce” — on Christmas Day, soldiers on the Western Front laid down their arms, exchanged cigarettes and food, and played football in no man’s land — a brief period in

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which animosity between nations was the domain of the generals, not the private soldiers. Return on the N90 to the R50, the Mons ring road, and turn right (north). Continue to the exit for the N6 (rue Victor-Mastrau) toward Brussels. About six hundred metres down the highway, turn right onto rue de la Procession. Mons (Bergen) Communal Cemetery is one kilometre further along on the left. The main entrance is on rue de la Procession; the Commonwealth burials and memorials are to the rear of the communal cemetery. Mons remained in German hands throughout the war until liberated by the Canadians on November 11, 1918. The Germans extended the communal cemetery and buried soldiers of the French, Russian,

Memorial to Private George L. Price, Ville-sur-Haine.

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Belgian, Italian, and Romanian armies, as well as British and German dead. The Italian and French graves were later moved elsewhere. During the occupation of Mons after the armistice, field ambulances and Canadian casualty clearing stations moved into the town to treat the wounded and see to the burial of the dead. There are 505 burials here of different nations, fifty-seven of them Canadian. Return to the Mons ring road (R50) and exit again at the N90, following it for five hundred metres, then exit left onto the N538 (chaussée du Roeulx). Continue on the N538 for about nine kilometres toward Ville-sur-Haine. The N538 makes a sharp bend to the right, but straight ahead is the George Price Footbridge across the canal. You can leave your car to cross on foot. The George Price Memorial stands at the other end of the bridge. The house has been demolished but the memorial stands near the doorstep where Price was killed. Another way to reach the memorial is to continue on the N538 for about four hundred metres and cross the canal on the road bridge. The N538 (rue des Four-à-Chaux) comes to an intersection. Turn left onto chaussée de Mons, which leads to the memorial. Stupor, relief, bitterness, joy; those who wanted to carry the fight on; those who wanted to return home; those who were glad it was over; those who thought it would never be over. . . . They are private thoughts and they are quite contradictory. They are literally voices crying in a wilderness — the wilder­ness of a war ended. The Eleventh of November 1918 is one of the great silences in history.136

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Part III

Outside the Canadian Corps

There was no end of ingenuity brought to bear on the struggle at the front.137

Behind the military operations of the Canadian Corps at the front, an unsung network of men saw to the operational endeavours that supported military planning. By the time of the armistice in 1918, there were one hundred and fifty thousand Canadian troops in France and Belgium. Of those, nearly forty thousand worked behind the scenes and functioned independently of General Currie’s command. Unsung they may have been, but many served in the lines of battle, gave their lives for the cause, and were buried with the same military honours as any soldier.

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Detail from the National War Memorial in Ottawa. The figure in front depicts a soldier of the Canadian Railway Troops. (Stephanie McCutcheon Kalish)

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24

The Canadian Railway Troops

Rail and road communications for each army had to be organized and augmented to sustain a great offensive, for every division required two trains of supplies and reinforcements for each day in battle.138

In the years immediately preceding the war, Canada had built more new railways than any other nation in the British Empire, so it was natural that Canada should provide troops to construct railways on the fighting fronts. The Canadian Railway Troops formed the largest body of Canadian volunteers on the Western Front not under command of the Canadian Corps and was composed mainly of men beyond the military age. At the beginning of the war, the French had undertaken to man and control the entire railway service, but during the Battle of the Marne in September 1914, British and French troops found themselves as much as 130 kilometres beyond their railheads. French railwaymen simply could not keep up with troop movement, so, in October 1914, the British War Office put out a call for more railway troops. By January 1915, nearly seven hundred Canadians had offered their services. Existing railheads were twenty kilometres or more behind the front lines. Ammunition, supplies, and engineer stores were transported over the gap by truck to a refilling point and thence by horse transport. The volume of traffic was tremendous, and the roads suffered badly from the tonnage, especially in wet weather.

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Grave of Sapper K.R. Otis, Canadian Overseas Railway Construction Corps, Auberchicourt British Cemetery.

In addition, there was road damage from shelling. Early in 1916, the Canadians put into operation their idea for sixtycentimetre tramlines built to link the railheads with the front line. Trolleys could be pushed by hand, drawn by mules, or very occasionally pulled by small locomotives. By 1917, however, the trend was to concentrate railway resources on standard-gauge (143.5-centimetre) lines. In May 1916 the War Office asked Canada to furnish another railway construction unit, one thousand men strong, which became the 239th Overseas Railway Construction Corps. Still more troops were required to extend and maintain railway communications, and the number of Canadian Railway Troop Battalions increased to ten. The German withdrawal to the Hindenburg Line in spring 1917 meant new track had to be pushed forward. Preparation for the Arras-Vimy offensive required that steel be laid up to the forward offensive line and tramlines put down to carry ammunition and supplies forward and the wounded to the rear. More steel was laid, in dreadful conditions, in preparation for the attack at Passchendaele. From 1917 to the end of the war, all light railway construction was carried out by Canadians, assisted by Chinese labourers.

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Above: Auberchicourt British Cemetery. Right: The Grave of a member of the Chinese Labour Corps, Bourlon Wood Cemetery (Susan Evans Shaw)

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Graves of three members of the Chinese Labour Corps, Bellicourt British Cemetery.

As a measure of safety, as well as to meet the need for fighting manpower, all railway troops were also trained as fighting men. During the German push in 1918, when Amiens came under threat, the defence line east of Villers-Bretonneux was manned by British engineers, American railway troops, and four hundred officers and men of the 2nd Canadian Railway Troops. Canadian railwaymen were also heavily involved in preparation for the offensive that opened on August 8, 1918. Casualties among the railway troops were due to accidents, shelling, and aerial bombing, as well as rifle and machine-gun fire. Total deaths numbered about 480; in addition, there were 1,382 non-fatal battle casualties and 1,087 ordinary injuries.139 Railway troops were buried where they fell, in the same cemeteries and with the same style of headstone as regular soldiers.

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25

The Canadian Forestry Corps

Canadian forestry units are said to have “helped to defeat the submarine . . . more surely than a fleet of ships.” So enthusiastic a claim might be hard to substantiate, but the statement contains a considerable amount of truth.140

U-boat attacks on shipping made it impossible for Britain to import Canadian timber to meet wartime requirements. It therefore became necessary to fell British forests and convert them to lumber. The British requested fifteen hundred skilled lumbermen from Canada, and within weeks the 224th Forestry Battalion was added to the Canadian Expeditionary Force. By the end of May 1916, close to sixteen hundred volunteers had been sent across the Atlantic, and timber operations began in Britain’s historic forests. France also made certain of her forests available for logging, so the demand for lumbermen continued to grow. As the demand rose, the suggestion was made that men unfit for combat — overage men or those with physical disabilities such as defective eyesight or flat feet — but already scattered throughout the forces could be employed more effectively as lumbermen.141 Thus, the Canadian Forestry Corps was born. The battalions were organized into companies of about one hundred men, each forming a complete unit. Lieutenant-Colonel Alexander McDougall, of Renfrew, Ontario, appointed director of the timber operations in Britain and France, is credited for the

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great success of the Canadian Forestry Corps operation.142 By the end of the war, seventeen thousand men were serving in fortyone companies in Britain and sixty in France “to which must be added attached personnel such as the Canadian Army Service Corps, the Canadian Army Medical Corps, and prisoners of war, bringing the final total to thirty-three thousand.143 In September 1916, the corps was asked to help prepare land to be used by the Royal Flying Corps as airfields. Companies were assigned to the task of clearing sites, felling trees, ditching, draining, trimming, hauling gravel, and any other necessary labour. In all, they constructed or improved more than one hundred aerodromes.144 During the German offensive of 1918, all forestry personnel were issued arms for their own protection. Eight hundred of their number were trained as potential infantry reinforcements. Of these, five hundred were reallocated to the Canadian Corps in October.145 Although Britain’s consumption of timber increased with the demands of war, timber imports from Canada fell to almost onequarter the amount from 1913 to 1918, freeing up shipping space sufficient to carry food for fifteen million people. “To this extent had the Canadian Forestry Corps contributed to the failure of the submarine campaign.”146 The corps was disbanded at the end of the war and largely forgotten, although it was reinstated in World War II. British war artist Alfred Munnings, however, toured its work camps in 1918 and left sketches and paintings, while the Canadian War Memorial in Ottawa includes a figure from the Canadian Forestry Corps.

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26

The Canadian Tunnelling Companies

The war beneath the fields was not reported in the same way as the great battles. . .but nevertheless it was a crucially important conflict, and contributed materially to the struggle on the surface. It was a peculiar secret war which triggered extraordinary feats of initiative, inventive engineering, creativity, human endeavour and courage — often by men who were too old to take part in the trench war above.147

Tunnelling was a feature of the siege warfare on which both the Allies and the Germans relied — a means to blow up the enemy’s trenches. In the winter of 1915-1916, Canadian miners were formed into the 3rd Tunnelling Company Canadian Engineers. In January 1916, they assumed responsibility for all mining in the Canadian-held area of Ypres; later, they moved to the Lens area to work on the tunnels of Hill 70. The 1st Tunnelling Company, recruited from miners in central and eastern Canada, arrived in France in February 1916. The 2nd Tunnelling Company, from Alberta and British Columbia, arrived in March. By autumn 1916, a total of thirty-three British and Dominion tunnelling companies were operating on the Western Front under the coordination of a Controller of Mines. The companies were separated from their national corps and employed as army troops, making it difficult to distinguish the achievements of Canadian tunnellers from those of their British, New Zealand, and Australian counterparts.148

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Left: Figure of a sapper with a pickaxe over his right shoulder and figure of nurse behind him, National War Memorial, Ottawa. (Stephanie McCutcheon Kalish) Below: Grave of Sapper A.M. Smith M.M., Auberchicourt British Cemetery.

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“The tunneller’s life was hard, lonely, and full of uncertainty.”149 They faced all the risks of civil mining, many of the dangers of warfare, and hazards peculiar to military mining. Yet little is known about their secretive work or about their losses. The official history of the C.E.F. suggests there were about seven thousand three hundred non-fatal casualties among the engineers, a number that includes the tunnellers. Toward the end of 1917, there was a distinct falling off of mining activity on both sides. A change in German defensive tactics meant that 175,000 German miners were recalled to industry. Tunnellers on the Allied side were used more and more as field engineers, employed in the construction of dugouts. The German offensive of spring 1918 had the Canadian tunnellers back at work to bolster defences at Vimy, but the attack passed them by. In the summer of 1918, the 1st and 2nd Tunnelling Companies were disbanded and distributed among the new engineer battalions. To visit the Tunnellers Memorial, leave Ieper by the Lille Gate and travel south on the N336 (Rijselesweg) to Sint-Elooi. At the roundabout in the centre of the village, at the exit to Rijelseweg, the Tunnellers Memorial is on the right, a stubby brick column with a Belgian Krupp 95-mm gun and carriage standing beside it. The memorial commemorates the 1916 actions by the 172nd Tunnelling Company, the British 3rd Division, the 2nd Canadian Division, and the 7th Belgian Field Artillery (see Chapter 7). In 2004, a bronze memorial statue, The Miner, was placed near the town centre of Wijtschate (Wyteschaete), just north of Mesen (Messines). There, in June 1917, nineteen mines placed under the German line by British and Dominion sappers were exploded. Following the explosion, the helpless and demoralized Germans were easily driven back. To see the statue, go back to the roundabout and exit to the

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Left: Panel, Tunnellers’ Memorial, Sint-Elooi. Below: Belgian Krupp 95-mm gun adjacent to Tunnellers’ Memorial, Sint-Elooi.

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Wijtschate, Memorial to the Miners. The sculptor is Jan Dieusaert. (Anthony G. Nutkins)

N365 (Armentierseweg) to Wijtschate. In the town, turn right onto Houthernstraat toward the town square and Sint-Medardusplein. On the north side of the square, Vierstraat exits north. The statue of the miner is on the immediate right. Continue on Vierstraat for one kilometre and turn right onto Voormezelestraat. Another kilometre further along, turn right toward Bayernwald, where some excellent examples of German trenches and mineshafts can be seen. Tickets must be purchased to visit the site.

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Arras British Memorial.

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27

Canadians in the Air Services

Of all the innovations of the First World War the one that has had the most impact on both military tactics and peacetime society was the use of aircraft. Canadians excelled at this type of warfare and their contribution was second to none.150

At the beginning of the war, the British flying services were two separate entities, the Royal Flying Corps and the Royal Naval Air Service. In 1918 the two were integrated as the Royal Air Force (R.A.F.). Canada had no active air service of its own during the war, but was represented in practically every theatre of operations by pilots, observers, and mechanics in the R.A.F. and its naval and military predecessors. Of the 22,802 Canadians who served, many distinguished themselves as fighter pilots: ten of the twenty-seven aces (signalled by five or more aerial victories) in the Royal Flying Corps were Canadians. One such ace, Air-Marshall William Avery “Billy” Bishop, V.C., was renowned for seventy-two victories. Over the course of the war, 1,388 Canadians were killed in the air services. The number of non-fatal casualties is unknown, as they were not tallied separately from other services. A memorial to the men of the flying services stands at Arras. From the tourism office in Place des Héros, take rue DésireDélansorne, a one-way street that becomes rue Héronval after crossing rue Gambetta. Turn left at rue des Quatre Crosses to boulevard Carnot, which leads into boulevard Vauban and

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boulevard Charles-de Gaulle. Passing the citadel on the left, Arras British Memorial is just past avenue du Mémorial-des-Fusilées. Included here is the Flying Services Memorial, where the names are inscribed of the one thousand men of the Royal Flying Corps, the Royal Naval Air Service, and the Royal Air Force who were killed on the Western Front and who have no known grave. The central feature of the memorial, “a flight of doves soaring above the globe,” was the creation of sculptor William Reid Dick.151 William Reid Dick also sculpted the Royal Air Force Memorial in London, in an opening on the Victoria Embankment at Whitehall Steps. It is a tall white column facing the Thames, topped by a golden eagle, wings lifted for flight, with a zodiacal globe grasped in its claws. The inscription reads, in part: PER ARDUA AD ASTRA. IN MEMORY OF ALL RANKS OF THE ROYAL NAVAL AIR SERVICE ROYAL FLYING CORPS ROYAL AIR FORCE AND THOSE AIR FORCES FROM EVERY PART OF THE BRITISH EMPIRE WHO GAVE THEIR LIVES IN WINNING VICTORY FOR THEIR KING AND COUNTRY 1914-1918. I BARE YOU ON EAGLES WINGS AND BROUGHT YOU UNTO MYSELF

The sculptor of the Royal Air Force Memorial was also William Reid Dick. The work so impressed architect Reginald Blomfield, designer of the Menin Gate Memorial, that Reid Dick was appointed to sculpt the lion atop the Menin Gate.

Facing page: Royal Air Force Memorial by sculptor William Reid Dick, on Victoria Embankment, London. The London Eye is in the background.

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27 Canadians in the Air Services 311

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Shot-at-Dawn Memorial by sculptor Andy DeComyn, Alrewas, Staffordshire. (Susan Evans Shaw)

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28

Shot at Dawn

“Any NCO or soldier who absents himself without leave from the trenches, from a parade to proceeding to the trenches, or from a working party which is to work in an area exposed to fire, will be tried for Desertion,” warned the 7th Battalion commander, Victor Odlum. “The penalty for Desertion is death.”152

In 1972, historian Desmond Morton noted that the official history of the Canadian Expeditionary Force had concealed the twentyfive men executed by firing squad among the nearly sixty thousand Canadians of all ranks killed or dead of wounds, injuries, or disease during the Great War.153 It took nearly thirty years more to bring the old wrong to the attention of Parliament. On December 11, 2001, Minister of Veterans Affairs Ronald J. Duhamel rose in the House of Commons and read into the parliamentary record the names of twenty-four Canadians who had been executed by firing squad during World War I. The names subsequently would be written into the Book of Remembrance on Parliament Hill. All the opposition parties gave their wholehearted support. At last, the government of Canada had offered an apology for the executions and formally announced its regret. One name is omitted from the Book of Remembrance. Driver Benjamin De Fehr was charged with the murder of his sergeant, but the circumstances of his action raise the question of his sanity, as was the case of another soldier charged with murder.154

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Grave of Private Comé LaLiberté, Poperinghe New Military Cemetery.

Also in 2001, a memorial was unveiled at the National Memorial Arboretum near Alrewas, Staffordshire, England to the 306 British and Commonwealth soldiers executed for cowardice and desertion. The Shot-at-Dawn Memorial is on the west side of the large park, in an isolated area near the River Tame. As you enter the area through a grove of trees, the first figure you see is a white statue of a young soldier, blindfolded and tied to a stake in anticipation of execution by firing squad. The statue is modelled on the likeness of a seventeen-year-old British soldier who was shot at Ypres for desertion in 1915. Behind the statue stands a semi-circle of 306 stakes, arranged in the form of a Greek theatre to symbolize tragedy.155 On each stake is inscribed the name of a soldier executed in this fashion. Among those so remembered are the twenty-five Canadians. Their stakes bear a tiny Canadian flag. They are:

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Sergeant William Alexander, age 37156 Gunner Frederick Stanley Arnold, age 26 Private Fortunat Auger, age 23 Trooper Alexander Butler, age 28 Private Harold George Carter, age 21 Private Gustave Comte, age 22 Driver Benjamin De Fehr, age 28 Private Arthur Charles Degasse, age 33 Private Leopold Delisle, age 26 Private Edward Fairburn, age 22 Private Stephen McDermott Fowles, age 21 Private John Maurice Higgins, age 24 Private Henry Hesey Kerr, age 25 Private Joseph LaLancette, age 21 Private Comé LaLiberté, age 25 Private Wilson Norman Ling, age 22 Private Harold Edward James Lodge, age 21 Private Thomas Lionel Moles, age 28 Private Eugene Perry, age 21 Private Edward James Reynolds, age 20 Private John William Roberts, age 20 Private Dimitro Sinicky, age 22 Private Charles Welsh, age 29 Private James H. Wilson, age 37 Private Elsworth Young, age 19

All of the men were executed while on active service in France, twenty-two for desertion, one for cowardice, and two for murder. All the executions were from the rank and file. The few officers charged were acquitted and cashiered from the service.157 The purpose of the executions was not primarily punishment, but intended as a lesson to the troops — “pour encourager

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The execution post at Poperinge, with the inscription from Rudyard Kipling’s poem, “The Coward”: I could not look on Death, which being known / Men led me to him, blindfold and alone. Rudyard Kipling, “The Coward,” in The Years Between (London: Methuen, 1919), p. 137.

les autres” — on the assumption that military discipline was universally predictable and consistent.158 In fact, the decision to confirm a death sentence was often arbitrary. Trials were carried out in improvised accommodation, and there was an automatic plea of not guilty. The court would hear the evidence in full, and then the soldier or his representative could cross-examine witnesses, though this was rarely done, and seldom effectively. In addition to these legal irregularities, no doctor appeared to present the court with an informed medical opinion in cases of probable shell shock or brain injury. For a poorly educated soldier on trial for his life, it was a terrible ordeal, with his superior officers as both prosecutors and judges.159 Following the court martial, a sentence of death would go up the chain of command to be approved by each succeeding general in the hierarchy, right up to the commander-in-chief, Sir Douglas Haig. The courts martial

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that sentenced deserters to death often seemed to have little consideration for the predicament of the offender. Surviving records of the period confirm how arbitrary the sentence of death could be.160 Approximately 90 per cent of the death sentences passed between August 4, 1914, and March 31, 1920, were commuted.161 From the pronouncement of the sentence by the commanderin-chief to the time of execution, a prisoner was given twelve hours to prepare himself. He was allowed anything he wished to eat, drink, or smoke. A chaplain was in attendance, as was Canon Scott at the death of Sergeant Alexander (see Chapter 15). Executions normally took place in the early morning, at a convenient place close to hand. The firing party would consist of an officer, a sergeant, and six men who would be marched to a cordoned area to stand with

Prison cell in the Hôtel de Ville, Poperinge. (Susan Evans Shaw)

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their backs to the target. While the officer loaded rifles, including one with the traditional blank, the prisoner was brought from his cell and pinioned to a tree, a post, or sometimes a kitchen chair. He was blindfolded and a paper disc was pinned over his heart. When he had been readied, the firing party would turn and wait for the only spoken command: “Fire.” The officer in charge was then obliged to examine the body and finish off the man with a pistol shot to the head if he should still be alive. Often the man’s battalion was marched past the corpse to hammer home the point.162 At first, families were bluntly informed of the truth. Dependants of the executed man lost their right to pensions and other benefits. Eventually, the formality was to announce the soldier had died of wounds and the truth was conveyed by a local clergyman. The Australians adamantly refused to sanction the execution of a single soldier, because of their “abhorrence to the seeming injustice of shooting a man who had volunteered to fight in a distant land in a quarrel not particularly Australian.”163 By the time of World War II, Canadians had reached the Australian position. The power of life and death was retained by the cabinet in Ottawa and never again delegated to Canadian military commanders overseas.

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Researching a Canadian Soldier of World War I

Every genealogy enthusiast is familiar with the pleasures and pitfalls of researching family history. Canadians wishing to learn about ancestors who served in World War I will find a variety of sources, some easy to access and some requiring perseverance and patience. Two generations of Canadians have grown up with no personal experience of war. The older of the two, the baby boomers, is reaching retirement and now has more time to pursue an interest in family history, including research into grandparents who served with the Canadian Expeditionary Force. The advent of the computer age now makes that task much easier. More and more records are being digitized and made available online. Those without a home computer can access the Internet at public libraries; failing that, old-fashioned letter mail will get the job done — it just takes longer. The links to online sources in this chapter were all correct at the time of writing, but please remember that website addresses may change. A good place to start is with non-military information about your subject: date of birth, names of parents, home address at the time he or she enlisted, schools attended — background information that will help single out your subject from those with the same or similar names. Birth registration reference numbers can be found at a Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS) Family History Centre, which has files of microfilmed records, most of which have been indexed. If there is no LDS centre available to you, microfilms can be ordered by interlibrary loan from your provincial genealogical society website. A helpful website for locating birth records is Canadian Genealogy and History: A Listing of Genealogical and Historical Websites from East to Western Sea, available at http:// www.islandnet.com/~jveinot/cghl/cghl.html. Once you have the registration number, the birth certificate can be ordered from your provincial vital statistics department. The cost is about $22 per certificate, but can vary from province to province. The certificate will give the parents’ names and the subject’s date and place of birth. Many soldiers of the C.E.F. were born in the United Kingdom and immigrated to Canada. To obtain a UK birth certificate, the LDS Family History Centre is also a good source for registration numbers. You may get additional information to assist you through the UK’s National Archives at www.nationalarchives.gov.uk. Once you have the registration number, the certificate itself can be obtained from the General Register

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Office at P.O. Box 2, Southport, UK, PR8 2JD, at a cost of £9.25 (as of May 2014), which must be paid by money order in pounds sterling. You may also send an e-mail directly to [email protected] or order directly online using a credit card at http:// www.gro.gov.uk/gro/content/certificates/default.asp. If you do not have the registration number, you may obtain it from the Free Birth, Marriages and Deaths website (http://freebmd.rootsweb.com), which is almost complete for the years from 1837 to 1970, and which more than covers the relevant years for a UK-born soldier of World War I. The certificate still has to be ordered from the General Register Office. Another means of obtaining UK birth registration numbers is through the website www.findmypast.co.uk; however, there is a fee for searching the files. Certificates can be ordered online using a credit card through the same link. Recently, the website Ancestry.ca has added free searches for birth records and attestation papers so it is worth investigating. The easiest and most logical means of obtaining information on your relative is to start at home. Parents, grandparents, and great-grandparents may have kept memorabilia of a father, brother, son, mother, sister, or daughter who served overseas. Letters, photographs, medals, ribbons, uniforms, and other odds and ends could be filed in a suitcase or box, stored in an attic or basement, in a cupboard or drawer — anywhere they might have been put for safekeeping. Photos of the subject in uniform are useful for cap badges, medals, stripes, and insignia. Badges of rank will show on the jacket, and a cap badge will identify the regiment. If you have any Great War medals, take a look around the rim. The lettering there will always give name, number, and regiment or corps. The 1911 Canadian census is a good source of information and is now available online. It can also be obtained on microfilm from the National Archives of Canada by interlibrary loan. Now indexed, the Census is fully searchable on the Library and Archives Canada website (www.collectionscanada.gc.ca). If your soldier was born in the United Kingdom, information can be obtained from the indexed 1911 UK census, which is available online for a fee or through a membership with Ancestry.ca or findmypast. From the census, you will learn age, place of birth, and occupation, and you will be able to identify other family members if your subject was living at home. The Canadian census also includes religion and year of arrival in Canada, if the subject was not Canadian-born. A wealth of information can be found in small town weekly newspapers. Contents of letters home were often passed on to be published in the paper, so that a family could share whatever tidings they had received. Many of these community newspapers have been microfilmed and can be ordered through interlibrary loan. Libraries often also have microfilm readers, usually one or two connected to a photocopier. Scrolling through miles of microfilmed newspaper can be tedious. Most papers, however, have a section called Items of Local and General Interest or something similar, and you can fast-forward to the relevant page with community news. Once the details of name, regimental number, rank, place of birth, and/or hometown are established,

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attestation papers can be located online from the website of Library and Archives Canada (www.collectionscanada.gc.ca) or by writing to: Library and Archives Canada Textual Records Reproduction Services 395 Wellington Street Ottawa, ON K1A 0N4 Fax: 613-995-6274 To make the search easier either online or by mail, have as much information on hand about the soldier as you can. There may be many individuals with the same or similar name, especially if it is a common surname such as Smith or Johnson, so a middle name, an address, and the names of parents and/or next-of-kin will help to identify the correct person. To find attestation papers online at the Library and Archives Canada website, click on Archives and then Ancestor Search, and scroll down to Military: Soldiers of the First World War. An example of the first page of a downloaded attestation record is included here. This example gives the subject’s first name as both Alan and Allan. Note that, if you enter Allan, or even just A Hodnett, you are told there is no record available. However, as Hodnett is a relatively uncommon name, entering it alone produces five names, including Alan S. Hodnett, the entry being sought. You can also use an asterisk as a wildcard character, and enter the first letter or letters of the name — for example, Al*. If you have the regimental number, using it alone or with the name should produce the correct record. More information on searching records can be found via the Search Help function in the left sidebar. If you do not have access to the Internet, copies of attestation papers can be ordered by mail from the Library and Archives Canada address provided. You will need to supply as much information as you can, but the most useful is the regimental number. Orders are processed within thirty days of receipt. Attestation papers are usually supplied free of charge. To obtain a full military record, you must order by mail and pay in advance. The charge is $0.40 per page, and the average record can consist of as many as 75 pages. Files include attestation papers, medical and dental records, and other documents relating to training, discipline, pay, and discharge or notification of death. Names of battalions in which the subject served are included in these documents, but battles and exact postings are not. For information of that nature, you can consult the official history, Canadian Expeditionary Force 1914-1919, by G.W.L. Nicholson, a book that is available in most libraries. Also available are the War Diaries, which you can access through the Library and Archives Canada website. Click on Online Research then Ancestor Search and scroll down to Military: War Diaries of the First World War. If you know which battalion a soldier served in, most of the diaries will give a day-to-day account of movements and events. Included here are two pages from the 5th Canadian Infantry Battalion War Diaries. The first is from July 1916 and the second from September 1918. Maps of the various

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companies’ positions are included, and appendices list casualties, although the names of “other ranks” are not listed except if they have been singled out for valorous conduct. If your relative was killed in action or died of wounds, an excellent source of information is the Commonwealth War Graves Commission website: http://www.cwgc. org. Soldiers are listed with their rank and regimental number, as well as any military honours. Sometimes the names of next-of-kin are included, and their burial place is identified, complete with a photograph and description of the cemetery. Another similar source is The C.E.F. Roll of Honour: Members and Former Members of the Canadian Expeditionary Force Who Died as a Result of Service in the Great War, 1914-1919, compiled and edited by Edward H. Wigney, available in libraries. Regimental museums are well worth a visit. If you are making an inquiry about a particular member of the regiment, it might be advisable to write, telephone, or e-mail ahead. Most of these museums are staffed by volunteers, and the opening hours can be unpredictable. Also, retrieving material could take time, so a little warning would be a courtesy. The museum curators will be interested in any material you bring, such as letters and photographs. They might ask for copies for their archives, so if you can, it would be good to bring extra photocopies with you. The museum itself will have an assortment of uniforms, badges, weaponry, and photographs from all the wars in which the regiment served. Having acquired all this material and information on your relative who served in the war, the next step might be to plan a tour of battlefields. Nearly all the men of the Canadian Expeditionary Force saw service on the Western Front in France and Belgium, and it is relatively easy to explore the battlefields there. During the war, Newfoundland was a separate Dominion, and in 1915 the Newfoundland Regiment was sent to Gallipoli as part of the British Expeditionary Force to the Dardanelles. Many tours of Turkey include a stop at Gallipoli. This book is your guidebook to the battlefields, monuments, and cemeteries. To accompany it, I recommend the IGN Cartes de Tourisme et Découverte, scaled at 1:100 000. In this series, 102 Lille Mauberge and 103 Amiens Arras are most useful. For greater detail, IGN publishes Cartes de Randonnée, scaled at 1:25 000. They are ideal if you wish to concentrate on one or two small areas, or are exploring on foot or by bicycle. Google Maps is a superb tool, particularly at the planning stage, but may not be practical for you to access on the road. Global Positioning Systems (GPS) is also useful, and the newer IGN maps provide coordinates to assist in your search. It is always a good idea to do research before you leave home and best to plan a

Facing page: An example of an attestation paper. Overleaf: Excerpts from the War Diary of the 5th (Western Cavalry) Battalion, July 4-7, 1916 and September 2, 1918.

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route in advance. The routes in this book are planned for you, designed as day trips arranged around battlefields. In some areas, however, there are many more sites than you will be able to visit or absorb in a single day. The cemeteries and memorials are fascinating, and each requires time for full appreciation. If you are searching out the burial place of a specific person, I recommend doing that first, while you are still fresh, before visiting further afield. When you are visiting the cemeteries, you will see inscriptions that have particular meanings. “Buried near this spot” was a term used when a group of burials were found and identified but not individually. There are many variations of the term, such as “buried nearby,” “believed to be buried in this cemetery,” or “known to be buried in this cemetery.” “Missing” often meant that a man had been blown to pieces, none of which could be identified. A memorial headstone with the words “Their glory shall not be blotted out” (supplied by Rudyard Kipling) indicates that the original grave was lost as a result of subsequent shell fire. This standard inscription can be superseded by an epitaph supplied by the family.164 Because it was not possible to identify who was who, headstones were erected in alphabetical order over the graves. Every man received a headstone, but the headstone would not be marking the actual burial place.165 For travellers who are not confident enough or fit enough to undertake a self-guided tour, I recommend a bus tour with one of the many companies that organize trips to France and Flanders. You can choose a tour company that will arrange everything, including flights from Canada, or you can travel independently overseas and meet up with a tour in France or England. By joining a bus tour, you will see all the principal sights of interest. There is usually a chance to visit places like the In Flanders Fields Museum at Ieper and the new visitor centres at Thiepval and Lijssenhoek, as well as an opportunity to walk over and experience some of the battlefield areas such as Beaumont-Hamel and Vimy. If you have a relative buried in one of the cemeteries, and you wish to visit, you are advised to choose a company, such as Bartlett’s Battlefield Journeys, that will provide you with a tailored, pre-arranged itinerary and some additional research on your ancestor. Not to be missed, no matter how you choose to travel through the battlefields, is the nightly ceremony of the Last Post in Ieper. Every evening, shortly before eight o’clock, Ieper police stop traffic through the Menin Gate. Volunteer buglers from the town’s fire brigade perform the Last Post Ceremony. The ceremony has been held nightly, except for the years of World War II, since November 11, 1929, “in honour of the soldiers of the British Empire who fell at Ypres or in the neighbourhood during the war of 19141918.”166 And finally, if you cannot leave home, it is my hope that this book can do your travelling for you, giving you summaries of the battles in which your ancestor may have fought, images of the places he may have seen on the long road from Dover to Mons, and perhaps even a picture of his final resting place. You may also enjoy The Canadian Letters and Images Project. Begun in August 2000, it is a partnership of the History Departments of Vancouver Island University, Nanaimo, British Columbia, and

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the University of Western Ontario, London, Ontario. Available to the public online, contributions from across the country recount Canadian experiences from any war “as told through the letters and images of Canadians themselves.” Among those included are the letters of my grandfather, Jim Evans. You can access the project at http://www. canadianletters.ca/about.html. From beginning to end, researching an ancestor who served in the Great War is an undertaking with its own rewards. In the course of tracing a particular life, you learn not only something of your family’s history, but also about life in Canada at the time and about the war itself, a period of history that is too important to be forgotten.

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Acknowledgements

Writing is a lonely business, as authors frequently observe. Nevertheless a project of this scope could not be accomplished without many others. Foremost, my late husband, Denis Shaw, without whose support and example I might never have turned back to the road not taken. From my former boss, the late Jerry Dolovich, I learned that research can be an exciting skill and dead ends are just another beginning. Historian and good friend, the late Robert H. Johnston, toured the battlefields in 2001, instilling in me the notion of doing a similar trip in pursuit of my grandfather’s last months. My thanks go to James Lorimer for the suggestion that began the book project. Photographer Jean Crankshaw’s beautiful images illuminate the text, and her skills with a spreadsheet have been invaluable for our two collaborations. Without David Bartlett and Chris Wesley of Bartlett’s Battlefield Journeys, this work would not have been possible. Knowledgeable and experienced, they guided me and others in a small group to the battlefields and cemeteries of France and Flanders, equipping us with maps and outlines of history. In the van, CDs of songs and poetry of the period lent atmosphere as we travelled highways and back roads. With Chris as guide, I attended the rededication ceremonies at the Vimy Memorial. Over the years David has answered endless questions with patience and humour, and every year did his best to accommodate my wish list of sites while planning the itineraries of others in the group. Seasoned battlefield travellers, Tony and Lynne Nutkins were companions on nearly every trip. From them I heard many an anecdote and learned obscure details prompting much discussion and laughter as we travelled and over drinks in the evenings. Also a thank you to Tony for providing photographs of sites that got missed in our travels. Michael and Chris George’s book on the Kent Coast and the Canadian military stationed there provided me with background on troop activity before crossing to France. Michael also took me on a tour of Hythe, Folkestone, and Shorncliffe so I could see for myself places familiar to my grandparents in the war years, a tour that included lunch and meeting Chris at their home in Folkestone. In Hamilton, my thanks go to Gordon Beck of McMaster University’s Lloyd Reeds Map Collection, who arranged for the Chasseaud upside-down map used to illustrate the Battle of Festubert. His interest and readiness to assist are very much appreciated. Also my thanks to Dr. Carl Spadoni and staff members Kimberly Scott Kerr and Beverly Bayzat of the William Ready Archives and Research Collections at McMaster for their interest and help. At the beginning, hours were spent poring over Nicholson’s Canadian Expeditionary Force 1914-1919 housed in Research Collections until a legacy from my aunt, Gwladys Evans Yeaman, enabled me to purchase my own copy. Bev is responsible for the scans of Nicholson’s maps and the Chasseaud map.

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My thanks also to historian Desmond Morton who kindly supplied me with a photocopy of his Queen’s Quarterly article after I discovered someone had excised the relevant pages from the bound journal in McMaster’s Mills Library. And thank you to Christine Spensley Amsden of St. Andrew, Manitoba, who kindly chauffered me to the dedication ceremony in Winnipeg for the Pine Street Boys, and to my cousin Joan Peacock Cave-Browne-Cave of Langley, BC, who helped me navigate the route to Chilliwack for the celebration of the return of Jamie Richardson’s bagpipes to Canada. My first mentor when I began inquiries into the military of World War I was a colleague of my husband, geologist Stuart Ross Taylor of Canberra, Australia, who has made a hobby of military history. His extensive knowledge of the subject and his interest inspired and informed me in the early days of this project. Not to be forgotten are my many writing mentors, starting at McMaster University Continuing Education with Dr. Edith Smith, Robert Nielsen, Margaret Dyment, and Lorraine Gane. At the Victoria School of Writing, I enjoyed workshops with Gail AndersonDargatz and P.K. Page. Finally, I thank the Quick Brown Fox himself, Brian Henry and his travelling workshops. Writing may be a lonely business but not 100 per cent of the time. Membership in the Hamilton branch of the Canadian Federation of University Women enabled me to join their creative writing group. To each monthly meeting I brought a chapter to be critiqued for clarity, phrasing, and punctuation. I owe a vote of thanks to Jean Rae Baxter, Linda Helson, Alexandra Gall, Trudi Down, Barbara Ledger, and Debbie Welland. And where would I be without my editors, Karen Dunn Skinner and Barry Norris? Karen worked over my text, corrected some serious mishandling of information, and asked the probing questions needed for greater clarity. Barry provided the polish my sentences and punctuation needed to improve readability and made useful comments or suggestions on content. Angela Williams and Julie Scriver at Goose Lane Editions guided me through the minefields of preparing for publication. I cannot thank them all enough. A final word for my niece, Alix Dostal Leschinsky. Over the past many months, she has been my personal cheering section. Thank you for your keen interest and enthusiasm. It meant a lot. I have tried for accuracy but landmarks and old roads change and new roads are built. The learning curve was steep, and a few details may have fallen by the wayside. Any errors are my own.

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Notes

Please note: Historical information for the cemeteries described in this book comes from the website of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission, www.cwgc.org. Cemetery details may be accessed by putting the name of the cemetery into the search box at: http://www.cwgc.org/debt_of_honour.asp?menuid=14&searchFor=cemetery.

Introduction 1 Harold W. McGill, Medicine and Duty: The World War 1 Memoir of Captain Harold W. McGill, Medical Officer 31st Battalion C.E.F., edited by Marjorie Barron Norris (Calgary: University of Calgary Press, 2007), p. 3. 2 G.W.L Nicholson, Canadian Expeditionary Force 1914-1919 (Ottawa: Queen’s Printer, 1962), p. 7.

PART I: A Static War of Trenches 1 Dover to Calais 3 Niall Ferguson, The War of the World: Twentieth Century Conflict and the Descent of the West (London: Penguin Books, 2006), p. 117. 4 Barbara Tuchman, A Distant Mirror: The Calamitous 14th Century (New York; Toronto: Ballantine Books, 1979), p. 91. 5 Michael George and Christine George, Dover & Folkestone during the Great War (Barnsley, UK: Pen & Sword Military, 2008), p. 29. 6 Ibid., p. 77. 7 Lynn MacDonald, The Roses of No Man’s Land (London: Penguin Books, 1980), p. 340. 8 Tim Cook, Shock Troops: Canadians Fighting the Great War 1917-1918 (Toronto: Viking Canada, 2008), p. 612. 9 Rose Coombs, Before Endeavours Fade: A Guide to the Battlefields of the First World War (London: Battle of Britain International, 1994), p. 7. 2 Poperinge and Talbot House 10 John Keegan, The First World War (Toronto: Key Porter Books, 1998), p. 184. 11 Coombs Before Endeavours Fade, p. 10. 12 Keegan, The First World War, p. 183.

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13 Judith Rice and Kenneth Prideaux-Brune, Out of a Hop Loft (London: Darton, Longman & Todd, 1990), p. 5. 14 Frederick G. Scott, The Great War as I Saw It (Toronto: F.D. Goodchild, 1922), p.230. 15 Rice and Prideaux-Brune, Out of a Hop Loft, p. 8. 16 Ibid. 17 Philip Thomas Byard Clayton, Tales of Talbot House in Poperinghe and Ypres (London: [s.n.], 1925), p. 54. 3 Neuve-Chapelle, March 1915 18 Lynn Macdonald, 1915: The Death of Innocence (London: Penguin Books, 1997), p. 82. 19 Tim Cook, At the Sharp End: Canadians Fighting the Great War 1914-1916 (Toronto: Viking Canada, 2007), p.106. 20 Coombs, Before Endeavours Fade, p. 66. 21 Ibid., p. 67. 4 Tne Second Battle of Ypres, April 1915 22 Nathan M. Greenfield, Baptism of Fire: The Second Battle of Ypres and the Forging of Canada, April 1915 (Toronto: HarperCollins, 2007), p. 361. 23 Alexander Barrie, War Underground (London: Frederick Muller, 1962), p. 64. 24 Greenfield, Baptism of Fire, p. xix. 25 Coombs, Before Endeavours Fade, p. 37. 26 Norm Christie, For King & Empire: The Canadians at Ypres, April 22nd-26th 1915 (Ottawa: CEF Books, 2005), pp. 68-69. 27 Chris Wesley, Bartlett’s Battlefield Journeys, field notes, 2005. 5 In Flanders Fields, May 3, 1915 28 John F. Prescott, In Flanders Fields: The Story of John McCrae (Erin, ON: Boston Mills Press, 1985), p. 95. 29 Daniel G. Dancocks, Welcome to Flanders Fields, The First Canadian Battle of the Great War: Ypres, 1915 (Toronto: Douglas Gibson, 1988), p. 250. 30 Terry Heard and Brent Whittam, ww1cemeteries.com, Essex Farm Cemetery. 6 Festubert and Givenchy, May 1915 31 Daniel Dancocks, Sir Arthur Currie: A Biography (Toronto: Methuen, 1985), p. 55. 32 Cook, At the Sharp End, p. 171. 33 Nicholson, Canadian Expeditionary Force 1914-1919, p. 100. 34 Norm Christie, Other Battlefields of the Great War: Festubert, May 1915 Givenchy, June 1915 Hill 70 & Lens, August 1917 (Ottawa: CEF Books, 2007), p. 65.

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7 St- Eloi, 1916 35 Kenneth Radley, We Lead Others Follow: First Canadian Division 1914-1918 (St. Catharines, ON: Vanwell Publishing, 2006), p. 138. Mount Sorrel, 1916 Scott, The Great War as I Saw It, p. 69. Coombs, Before Endeavours Fade, p. 42. The numbers refer to the height of the hill in metres. In the early months of the war, certain far-sighted Canadians recognized the need for heavy guns and the machinery to move them. Public-spirited citizens, among them the T. Eaton Company of Toronto, equipped motor machine gun units that bore the company name. 40 Peter Chasseaud Rats Alley: Trench Names of the Western Front 1914-1918 (Stroud, UK: Spellmount, 2006), p. 19. 41 Norm Christie, For King & Empire: The Canadians at Mount Sorrel, 1916 (Ottawa: CEF Books, 2000), p. 69; however, Christie incorrectly identifies the battalion as Queen Victoria’s Rifles, a British regiment. 42 Christie, The Canadians at Mount Sorrel, p. 70. 43 Ibid. 44 David Bartlett, Bartlett’s Battlefield Journeys, personal communication. 45 See the website of Veterans Affairs Canada, http://www.vac-acc.gc.ca/ remembers/sub.cfm?source=memorials/ww1mem/hill62. 46 Christie, The Canadians at Mount Sorrel, p. 72. 8 36 37 38 39

9 Newfoundlanders at the Somme, July 1, 1916 47 Norm Christie, For King & Empire: The Newfoundlanders in the Great War (Ottawa: CEF Books, 2003), pp. 20-21, quoting Major Arthur Raley, Adjutant, Newfoundland Regiment. 48 David Macfarlane, The Danger Tree: War and the Search for a Family’s Past (Toronto: Macfarlane, Walter & Ross, 1991), p. 96. 49 Coombs, Before Endeavours Fade, p. 84. 50 Christie, The Newfoundlanders in the Great War, p. 118. 51 Coombs, Before Endeavours Fade, p. 85. 52 Christie, The Newfoundlanders in the Great War, p. 105. 53 “Tommy” was slang for a British private soldier, and comes from the name Tommy (Thomas) Atkins, a sample name used in specimens of completed official forms. 54 Terrence C. Musson, Cycling the Somme; available online at http://homepage. ntlworld.com/terence.munson/webfiles%20folder/sitep4a.html.

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10 Canadians at the Somme, September-November 1916 55 Cook, At the Sharp End, p. 424. 56 Corporal Clarke was one of three soldiers awarded the V.C. who had lived on the same Winnipeg street — Pine Street, later renamed Valour Road. 57 Cook, At the Sharp End, p. 428. 58 Peter Hart, The Somme (London: Weidenfield & Nicolson, 2005), p. 377. 59 Paul Reed, Somme: Courcelette (Barnsley, UK: Leo Cooper, 1998), p. 66. 60 Coombs, Before Endeavours Fade, p. 89. 61 See the website of Veterans Affairs Canada, http://www.vac-acc.gc.ca/ remembers/sub.cfm?source=memorials/ww1mem/Courcelette. 62 Reed, Somme, p. 125. 63 Ibid. 64 Cook, At the Sharp End, p. 439. 65 Reed, Somme, p. 118. 66 Scott, The Great War as I Saw It, pp. 154-157. 11 67 68 69

The First of March Gas Raid, 1917 Pierre Berton, Vimy (Toronto: Anchor Canada, 2001), p. 127. Christie, Other Battlefields of the Great War, p. 84. Arras France Tourism Guide; available online at http://arras-france.com/montsaint-eloi-abbey/.

12 Canadians at Vimy, April 1917 70 McGill, Medicine and Duty, p. 267. 71 Nicholson, Canadian Expeditionary Force 1914-1919, p. 241. 72 Ibid., p. 244. 73 Dancocks, Sir Arthur Currie, p. 177. 74 Cook, Shock Troops, p. 71. 75 Ibid., p. 81. 76 Ibid., p. 84; a creeping barrage is a curtain of gunfire moving ahead of moving troops. 77 Ibid., p. 90. 78 Ibid., p. 86. 79 Nicholson, Canadian Expeditionary Force 1914-1919, p. 247. 80 Tim Cook, The Madman and the Butcher: The Sensational Wars of Sam Hughes and Sir Arthur Currie (Toronto: Allen Lane Canada, 2010), p. 189. 81 See the website of Veterans Affairs Canada, http://www.vac-acc.gc.ca/ remembers/sub.cfm?source=memorials/ww1mem/vimy/vimy_contact. 82 Melissa Moore, Legion Magazine, July/August 2007, p. 22. 83 Norm Christie, For King & Empire: The Canadians at Vimy April 1917 (revised) (Ottawa: CEF Books, 2002), p. 45.

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84 Ibid., p. 56. 85 Natalie Salat, Legion Magazine, July/August 2007, p. 12. 86 Christie, The Canadians at Vimy, p. 79. 87 Nicholson, Canadian Expeditionary Force 1914-1919, p. 254. 13 The Attack on the Arleux Loop, April 28, 1917 88 Agar Adamson, Letters of Agar Adamson, edited by N.M. Christie (Ottawa: CEF Books, 1997), p. 278. 89 Nicholson, Canadian Expeditionary Force 1914-1919, p. 270. 14 The Fighting at Fresnoy, May 3-8, 1917 90 Ibid., p. 278. 91 From the citation in the London Gazette, June 27, 1917, quoted by Veterans Affairs Canada, http://www.veterans.gc.ca/eng/sub.cfm?source=collections/virtualmem/ Detail&casualty=1566529. 92 Sidney C. Hurst, The Silent Cities: An Illustrated Guide to the War Cemeteries and Memorials to the ‘Missing’ in France and Flanders: 1914-1918 (London: Naval & Military Press, 1993), p. 148. 15 The Capture of Hill 70, August 15-18, 1917 93 Jeffery Williams, Byng of Vimy: General and Governor-General (London: Leo Cooper, 1983), p. 168. 94 Cook, Shock Troops, p. 306. 95 Nicholson, Canadian Expeditionary Force 1914-1919, p. 292. 96 Tonie Holt and Valmai Holt, My Boy Jack? The Search for Kipling’s Only Son (Barnsley, UK: Leo Cooper, 2001), p. xvii. 16 Passchendaele: The Third Battle of Ypres, October 15 - November 10, 1917 97 Daniel G. Dancocks, Legacy of Valour: The Canadians at Passchendaele (Edmonton: Hurtig Publishers, 1986), p. 141. 98 Ibid., p. 51. 99 Ibid., p. 86. 100 Nicholson, Canadian Expeditionary Force 1914-1919, p. 323. 101 Cook, Shock Troops, p. 318. 102 Dominiek Dendooven, Ypres as Holy Ground: Menin Gate & Last Post, translated by Ian Connerty (Koksijde, Belgium: De Klaproos Editions, 2001), pp. 21-23. 103 Norm Christie, For King & Empire: The Canadians at Passchendaele (Ottawa: CEF Books, 2007), p. 45. 104 See the website of Veterans Affairs Canada, http://www.veterans.gc.ca/ remembers/sub.cfm?source=feature/week2001/intnews/31Oct01. 105 Ibid. 106 Christie, The Canadians at Passchendaele, p. 65. 334 Canadians at War

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17 Crashing through the Hindenburg Line, November 20, 1917 107 Brough Scott, Galloper Jack: A Grandson’s Search for a Forgotten Hero (London: Pan Books, 2004), p. 256 108 Robert Woollcombe, The First Tank Battle: Cambrai 1916 (London: Arthur Barker, 1967), p. 85. 109 Nicholson, Canadian Expeditionary Force 1914-1919, p. 337. 18 The German Offensive, March-July 1918 110 Lynn Macdonald, To the Last Man: Spring 1918 (London: Penguin Books, 1999), p. 38. 111 Cook, Shock Troops, p. 396. 112 Nicholson, Canadian Expeditionary Force 1914-1919, p. 369. 113 John R. Grodzinski and Michael R. McNorgan, “‘It’s a charge, Boys, it’s a charge!’ Cavalry Action at Moreuil Wood, 30 March 1918,” in Fighting for Canada: Seven Battles, 1758-1945, edited by Donald E. Graves (Montreal: Robin Brass Studio, 2000), p. 274. 114 Peter Hart, 1918: A Very British Victory (London: Weidenfeld & Nicholson, 2008), p. 256.

Part II: The Hundred Days, August 8-November 11, 1918 115 Cook, Shock Troops, p. 402. 116 Ibid. 117 Ibid., p. 403. 118 Nicholson, Canadian Expeditionary Force 1914-1919, p. 384. 119 Cook, Shock Troops, p. 503. 19 The Battle of Amiens, August 8-11, 1918 120 William R. Bird, Ghosts Have Warm Hands (Ottawa: CEF Books, 2002), p. 96. 121 Cook, Shock Troops, p. 451. 20 The Battle of Arras, August 26-September 5, 1918 122 Daniel Dancocks, Spearhead to Victory: Canada and the Great War (Edmonton: Hurtig Publishers, 1987), pp. 93-109. 123 Ibid., p. 466. 124 Cook, Shock Troops, p. 497. 125 Norm Christie, For King & Empire: The Canadians at Arras, August-September 1918 (revised) (Ottawa: CEF Books, 2005), p. 63. 126 Christie, The Newfoundlanders in the Great War, p. 118. 127 Trefor Jones, On Fame’s Eternal Camping Ground: A Study of the First World War Epitaphs in the British Cemeteries of the Western Front (Pinner, UK: T.G. Jones, 2008), pp. 182-183. Notes 335

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128 Ibid., p. 9. 129 James Lloyd Evans, My Darling Girl: Wartime Letters of J.L. Evans 1914-1918, edited by Susan Evans Shaw (Hamilton, ON, 1999), p. 47. 21 Canal du Nord, September 27 - October 11, 1918 130 John Swettenham, To Seize the Victory: The Canadian Corps in World War I (Toronto: Ryerson Press, 1965), p. 218.. 131 Cook, Shock Troops, p. 548. 132 Norm Christie, For King & Empire: The Canadians at Cambrai, September-October 1918 (revised) (Ottawa: CEF Books, 2004), p. 70. 22 The Battle of Valenciennes, November 1-2, 1918 133 Dancocks, Spearhead to Victory, p. 183. 23 Mons and the Armistice, November 1918 134 Williams, Byng of Vimy, p. 234. 135 Cook, Shock Troops, p. 574. 136 Gregor Dallas, 1918: War and Peace (London: Pimlico, 2002), p. 121.

PART III: Outside the Canadian Corps 137 Desmond Morton, “Forward,” in Beneath Flanders Fields: The Tunnellers’ War 1914-1918, by Peter Barton, Peter Doyle, and John Vandewalle (Montreal; Kingston, ON: McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2004), p. 5. 24 The Canadian Railway Troops 138 Corelli Barnett, Britain and Her Army 1509-1970: A Military, Political and Social Survey (Harmondsworth, UK: Penguin Books, 1970), p. 390. 139 See the website maintained by Peter Broznitsky, Mitson Consulting Services, http://www.russiansinthecef.ca/crt/index.shtml. 25 The Canadian Forestry Corps 140 Nicholson, Canadian Expeditionary Force 1914-1919, p. 499. 141 Charles Wesley Bird and J.B. Davies, The Canadian Forestry Corps: Its Inception, Development and Achievements (London, 1919), p. 8. 142 Ibid., p. 15. 143 Ibid., p. 9. 144 Ibid., p. 14. 145 Nicholson, Canadian Expeditionary Force 1914-1919, p. 500. 146 Ibid.

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26 The Canadian Tunnelling Companies 147 Barton, Doyle, and Vandewalle, Beneath Flanders Fields, pp. 7-8. 148 Nicholson, Canadian Expeditionary Force 1914-1919, p. 501. 149 Ibid., p. 502. 27 Canadians in the Air Services 150 Bill Freeman and Richard Nielsen, Far from Home: Canadians in the First World War (Toronto: McGraw-Hill Ryerson, 1999), p. 156. 151 Dendooven, Ypres as Holy Ground, pp. 38-39. 28 Shot at Dawn 152 Cook, Shock Troops, p. 246. 153 Desmond Morton, “The Supreme Penalty: Canadian Deaths by Firing Squad in the First World War,” Queen’s Quarterly 89 (3, 1972): 345. 154 Julian Putkowski and Julian Sykes, Shot at Dawn: Executions in World War One by Authority of the British Army Act (Barnsley, UK: Leo Cooper, 2003), p. 103. 155 Anon., Remember: Their names will live forever more. . .The National Memorial Arboretum Guide (Alrewas, UK: National Memorial Arboretum, n.d.), p. 122. 156 His last hours were recounted by Canon Frederick Scott in his memoir, The Great War as I Saw It. 157 Cook, Shock Troops, p. 252. 158 Putkowski and Sykes, Shot at Dawn, p. 11. 159 Ibid., p. 15. 160 Ibid., p. 12. 161 Ibid., p. 11. 162 Cook, Shock Troops, p. 253. 163 Morton, “The Supreme Penalty,” p. 351.

Researching a Canadian Soldier of World War I 164 David Bartlett, Bartlett’s Battlefield Journeys Field Notes. 165 Christie, The Canadians at Mount Sorrel, p. 73. 166 Coombs, Before Endeavours Fade, p. 29.

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Bibliography

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Adams, Sharon. “The First World Soldier Laid to Rest.” Legion Magazine, May/June 2011. p. 58. Adamson, Agar. Letters of Agar Adamson, edited by N.M. Christie. Ottawa: CEF Books, 1997. Barrie, Alexander. War Underground. London: Frederick Muller, 1962. Barnett, Corelli. Britain and Her Army 1509-1970: A Military, Political and Social Survey. Harmondsworth, UK: Penguin Books, 1970. Barton, Peter, Peter Doyle, and John Vandewalle. Beneath Flanders Fields: The Tunnellers’ War 1914-1918. Montreal; Kingston, ON: McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2004. Berton, Pierre. Vimy. Toronto: Anchor Canada, 2001. Binyon, Laurence. For the Fallen Other Poems. London: Hodden and Stoughton. 1917. Bird, Charles Wesley, and J.B. Davies. The Canadian Forestry Corps: Its Inception, Development and Achievements. London, 1919. Bird, William R. Ghosts Have Warm Hands. Ottawa: CEF Books, 2002. Chasseaud, Peter. Rats Alley: Trench Names of the Western Front 1914-1918. Stroud, UK: Spellmount, 2006. Christie, Norm. For King & Empire: The Canadians at Arras, August-September 1918 (revised). Ottawa: CEF Books, 2005. . For King & Empire: The Canadians at Cambrai, September-October 1918 (revised). Ottawa: CEF Books, 2004. . For King & Empire: The Canadians at Mount Sorrel, June 1916. Ottawa: CEF Books, 2000. . For King & Empire: The Canadians at Passchendaele, October-November 1917. Ottawa: CEF Books, 2007. . For King & Empire: The Canadians at Vimy, April 1917 (revised). Ottawa: CEF Books, 2002. . For King & Empire: The Canadians at Ypres, April 22nd-26th 1915. Ottawa: CEF Books, 2005. . For King & Empire: The Newfoundlanders in the Great War. Ottawa: CEF Books, 2003. . Other Battlefields of the Great War: Festubert, May 1915 Givenchy, June 1915 Hill 70 & Lens, August 1917. Ottawa: CEF Books, 2007. Clayton, Philip Thomas Byard. Tales of Talbot House in Poperinghe and Ypres. London: [s.n.], 1925. Cook, Tim. At the Sharp End: Canadians Fighting the Great War 1914-1916. Toronto: Viking Canada, 2007. 338

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. The Madman and the Butcher: The Sensational Wars of Sam Hughes and Sir Arthur Currie. Toronto: Allen Lane Canada, 2010. . Shock Troops: Canadians Fighting the Great War 1917-1918. Toronto: Viking Canada, 2008. Coombs, Rose. Before Endeavours Fade: A Guide to the Battlefields of the First World War. London: Battle of Britain International, 1994. Dallas, Gregor. 1918: War and Peace. London: Pimlico, 2002. Dancocks, Daniel G. Legacy of Valour: The Canadians at Passchendaele. Edmonton: Hurtig Publishers, 1986. . Sir Arthur Currie: A Biography. Toronto: Methuen, 1985. . Spearhead to Victory: Canada and the Great War. Edmonton: Hurtig Publishers, 1987. . Welcome to Flanders Fields, The First Canadian Battle of the Great War: Ypres, 1915. Toronto: Douglas Gibson, 1988. Dendooven, Dominiek. Ypres as Holy Ground: Menin Gate & Last Post, translated by Ian Connerty. Koksijde, Belgium: De Klaproos Editions, 2001. Evans, James Lloyd. My Darling Girl: Wartime Letters of J.L. Evans 1914-1918, edited by Susan Evans Shaw. Hamilton, ON, 1999. Ferguson, Niall. The War of the World: Twentieth Century Conflict and the Descent of the West. London: Penguin Books, 2006. Freeman, Bill, and Richard Nielsen. Far from Home: Canadians in the First World War. Toronto: McGraw-Hill Ryerson, 1999. George, Michael, and Christine George. Dover & Folkestone during the Great War. Barnsley, UK: Pen & Sword Military, 2008. Greenfield, Nathan M. Baptism of Fire: The Second Battle of Ypres and the Forging of Canada, April 1915. Toronto: HarperCollins, 2007. Grodzinski, John R., and Michael R. McNorgan. “‘It’s a charge, Boys, it’s a charge!’ Cavalry Action at Moreuil Wood, 30 March 1918.” In Fighting for Canada: Seven Battles, 17581945, edited by Donald E. Graves. Montreal: Robin Brass Studio, 2000. Hart, Peter. 1918: A Very British Victory. London: Weidenfeld & Nicholson, 2008. . The Somme. London: Weidenfield & Nicolson, 2005. Holt, Tonie, and Valmai Holt. My Boy Jack? The Search for Kipling’s Only Son. Barnsley, UK: Leo Cooper, 2001. Hurst, Sidney C. The Silent Cities: An Illustrated Guide to the War Cemeteries and Memorials to the ‘Missing’ in France and Flanders: 1914-1918. London: Naval & Military Press, 1993. Jones, Trefor. On Fame’s Eternal Camping Ground: A Study of the First World War Epitaphs in the British Cemeteries of the Western Front. Pinner, UK: T.G. Jones, 2008. Keegan, John. The First World War. Toronto: Key Porter Books, 1998. Kipling, Rudyard. “The Coward.” In The Years Between. London: Methuen, 1919. Macdonald, Lynn. 1915: The Death of Innocence. London: Penguin Books, 1997. . The Roses of No Man’s Land. London: Penguin Books, 1980. . To the Last Man: Spring 1918. London: Penguin Books, 1999.

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Macfarlane, David. The Danger Tree: War and the Search for a Family’s Past. Toronto: Macfarlane, Walter & Ross, 1991. McGill, Harold W. Medicine and Duty: The World War 1 Memoir of Captain Harold W. McGill, Medical Officer 31st Battalion C.E.F., edited by Marjorie Barron Norris. Calgary: University of Calgary Press, 2007. Morton, Desmond. “Forward.” In Beneath Flanders Fields: The Tunnellers’ War 19141918, by Peter Barton, Peter Doyle, and John Vandewalle. Montreal; Kingston, ON: McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2004. . “The Supreme Penalty: Canadian Deaths by Firing Squad in the First World War.” Queen’s Quarterly 89 (3, 1972): 345-352. Nicholson, G.W.L. Canadian Expeditionary Force 1914-1919. Ottawa: Queen’s Printer, 1962. Pedley, Anne. “Researching a Relative Part One.” The Great War Magazine, no. 19 (May 2005): 52-33. . “Researching a Relative Part Two.” The Great War Magazine, no. 20 (July 2005): 32-33. . “Researching a Relative Part Three.” The Great War Magazine, no. 22 (November 2005): 36-37. . “Researching a Relative Part Four.” The Great War Magazine, no. 23 (January 2006): 34-35. Prescott, John F. In Flanders Fields: The Story of John McCrae. Erin, ON: Boston Mills Press, 1985. Putkowski, Julian, and Julian Sykes. Shot at Dawn: Executions in World War One by Authority of the British Army Act. Barnsley, UK: Leo Cooper, 2003. Radley, Kenneth. We Lead Others Follow: First Canadian Division 1914-1918. St. Catharines, ON: Vanwell Publishing, 2006. Reed, Paul. Somme: Courcelette. Barnsley, UK: Leo Cooper, 1998. Rice, Judith, and Kenneth Prideaux-Brune. Out of a Hop Loft. London: Darton, Longman & Todd, 1990. Scott, Brough. Galloper Jack: A Grandson’s Search for a Forgotten Hero. London: Pan Books, 2004. Scott, Frederick G. The Great War as I Saw It. Toronto: F.D. Goodchild, 1922. Swettenham, John. To Seize the Victory: The Canadian Corps in World War I. Toronto: Ryerson Press, 1965. Thucydides, Pericles. Pericles’ Funeral Oration: Thucydides’ History of the Peloponnesian War, Book II, XXXV-XIVI, edited by Fanis I. Kakridis. Athens: The Hellenic Parliament, 1998. Tuchman, Barbara. A Distant Mirror: The Calamitous 14th Century. New York; Toronto: Ballantine Books, 1979. Williams, Jeffery. Byng of Vimy: General and Governor-General. London: Leo Cooper, 1983. Woollcombe, Robert. The First Tank Battle: Cambrai 1916. London: Arthur Barker, 1967.

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Index

y:

Please note: All Army units are listed under Army, country of origin. All battles are listed under battles. All cemeteries are listed under cemeteries. All memorials are listed under memorials. A Acheville France 173 Adamson, Colonel Agar 150 Adamson, Mabel 150 Adanac Cemetery 119 Addis, Reginald 253 Air Force, Royal 271, 302, 309, 310 Royal Flying Corps 137, 310 Aitken, William Maxwell, 1st Baron Beaverbook 16 Aix-Noulette France 183 Albert Basilica 116 Alexander, Quartermaster Sergeant William 181, 315, 317 Algie, Lieutenant Wallace Lloyd 274 Allward, Walter 96 Amiens France 109, 136, 217, 219, 221, 222, 225, 229, 232, 241, 245, 249, 251, 300, 335 Ancestry.ca 320 Ancre River 21, 141 Arleux-en-Gohelle France 171-173 Arleux France 261, 334 Arleux Loop France 171 Armagh Wood Belgium 88, 89 Armentières France 46, 65, 70, 71, 86, 136 Army, Australian and New Zealand Anzac Corps 69, 70, 121, 186 Army, Belgian 51 7th Belgian Field Artillery 305 Army, British 32, 43, 129, 151, 226, 278 2nd Division 171 3rd British Division 83, 305 Third Army 144, 211

4th Army 122 4th Battalion Middlesex Regiment 290, 292 Fifth Army 141 7th Division 43 9th Battalion Leicestershire Regiment 88, 203 11th Division 52 29th Division 103, 107, 214 57th Division 278 Kings Own Scottish Borderers 109 Newfoundland Regiment 80, 103, 107, 214, 215, 323 Queen Victoria’s Rifles 332 Reserve Army 122 Royal Engineers 151 Royal Horse Guards 91 South Lancashire Regiment 167 Army, Canadian 278. See also Canadian Expeditionary Force 1st Brigade 173 1st Canadian Division 41, 43, 86, 143, 144, 163, 171, 175, 187, 232, 254 1st Canadian Heavy Battery 182 1st Canadian Infantry Brigade 63 1st Canadian Motor Machine Gun Brigade 217, 223 1st Tunnelling Company 303, 305 1st (Western Ontario) Battalion 65, 97, 187 2nd Canadian Division 83, 143, 144, 162, 175, 187, 232, 305 2nd Canadian Infantry Brigade 63, 68, 171

341

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2nd Canadian Railway Troops 300 2nd (Eastern Ontario) Battalion 181, 187 2nd Tunnelling Company 93, 303, 305 3rd Canadian Division 89, 143, 144, 162, 186, 187, 232 3rd Canadian Infantry Brigade 50, 68 3rd (Toronto Regiment) Battalion 187 3rd Tunnelling Company Canadian Engineers 303 4th Battalion, Canadian Mounted Rifles 244 4th Canadian Division 135, 143, 144, 186, 187, 232 4th Canadian Infantry Brigade 128 4th (Central Ontario) Battalion 253 5th Canadian Division 249 5th Canadian Mounted Rifles Battalion 286 5th (Western Cavalry) Battalion 93, 253, 255 6th Canadian Infantry Brigade 128 7th (1st British Columbia) Battalion 191 7th Battalion 313 8th (90th Winnipeg Rifles) Battalion 191, 247 10th (Canadians) Battalion 181, 254 12th Manitoba Dragoons 19 13th (Royal Highlanders of Canada) Battalion 125, 243, 268 14th (Royal Montreal Regiment) Battalion 47 15th (48th Highlanders of Canada) Battalion 47 16th (Canadian Scottish) Battalion 93, 123, 129 18th (Western Ontario) Battalion 136, 168 19th (Central Ontario) Battalion 182 20th (Central Ontario Regiment) Battalion 133, 274 21st Canadian Battalion 131 22nd (French Canadian) Battalion 241, 254 24th (Victoria Rifles of Canada) Battalion 91, 254 27th (City of Winnipeg) Battalion 173, 202

28th (North-west) Battalion 253, 290 29th (Vancouver) Battalion 253 31st (Alberta) Battalion 191 38th (Ottawa) Battalion 133, 276 42nd (Royal Highlanders of Canada) Battalion 191 43rd (Cameron Highlanders of Canada) Battalion 273 44th (Manitoba) Battalion 136 46th (South Saskatchewan) Battalion 284 49th (Edmonton Regiment) Battalion 164 50th (Calgary) Battalion 164 50th Northumberland Division 201 54th (Kootenay) Battalion 101, 135, 136 72nd (Seaforth Highlanders of Canada) Battalion 135 73rd (Royal Highlanders of Canada) Battalion 135, 136 75th (Mississauga) Battalion 135, 136 78th (Winnipeg Grenadiers) Battalion 248, 257 85th (Nova Scotia Highlanders) Battalion 203, 264 172nd Tunnelling Company 305 224th Forestry Battalion 301 239th Overseas Railway Construction Corps 298 Canadian Army Medical Corps 59, 302 Canadian Army Service Corps 302 Canadian Cavalry Brigade 217, 221, 222, 232 Canadian Field Artillery 57, 90, 163, 201 8th Battery 90 Canadian Forestry Corps 301-302 Canadian Motor Machine Gun Brigade 241 Canadian Mounted Rifles 5th Battalion 90 Canadian Railway Troops 297-300 10th Battalion 97 Chinese Labour Corps 181, 299, 300 D21 Battery 201 Eaton Motor Machine Gun Battery 90, 92, 93 Fort Garry Horse 214, 216, 219, 221, 222

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B Squadron 212, 214 King’s Royal Rifle Corps 56 Lord Strathcona’s Horse 219 Newfoundland Regiment See Army, British, Newfoundland Regiment Medical Corps 59 Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry 55, 56, 90, 150, 265 Royal Canadian Dragoons 217 Royal Canadian Regiment 100, 278 Royal Engineers 151, 241 Royal Flying Corps 309, 310 Royal Newfoundland Regiment 80 Tank Corps 211, 216 Army, French 122, 226 Army, German 112 First 43 243rd German Division 217 Army, Indian Meercut Division 43 Arnold, Gunner Frederick Stanley 315 Arras France 104, 109, 126, 135-136, 141, 145, 151, 169, 172, 175, 177, 225, 227, 232, 251, 252, 259, 261, 265, 269, 273, 275, 278, 309 At the Sharp End 16 attestation paper 322 Atwell, Colonel Dave 221 Auberchicourt France 282 Aubers France 43 Aubers Ridge France 43, 47, 140 Aubigny France 276 Aubigny-en-Artois France 275 Auchonvillers France 104, 107, 111, 124 Auger, Private Fortunat 315 Aulnoy-lez-Valenciennes France 281 Avion France 145, 163, 164 Avre River 217 Avril Williams’s Guest House 104, 111 Ayette France 275 B Bailleul-Sir-Berthoult France 172 Baker, Sir Herbert 46 Banteux France 211 Bapaume France 126, 269 Barlin France 180, 181

Bartlett’s Battlefield Journeys 14, 55, 326 Basilica of Notre-Dame-de-Lorette 140 Bate, Major Edward Yeld 129 battles Amiens 229-232, 245, 249, 335 Arleux 173, 180 Arras 142, 235, 249, 251, 298, 335 Aubers Ridge 46, 47, 140 Beaumont-Hamel 103 Bourlon Wood 94 Cambrai 264, 277 Canal du Nord 261-264 Courcelette 94 Drocourt-Quéant 13, 142, 249, 251, 265 Dury 94 Festubert 46, 47, 63-69, 72, 177 Fresnoy 180 Givenchy 63, 65, 68, 69, 137, 177 Hill 60 89, 93 Hill 61 88 Hill 62 88, 94 Hill 70 68, 70, 72, 137, 142, 175-178, 180-183, 303, 334 Hill 145 96, 135, 143, 171 Hill 165 140 Hooge 94 La Bassée 47 Le Quesnel 94 Lens 137, 183 Lys 46, 140 Marne 297 Mons 288-290 Moreuil Wood 217, 219-220 Mount Sorrel 77, 90-94, 97, 100, 101 Neuve-Chapelle 43, 45, 47, 140 Passchendaele 94, 134, 185-189, 192, 201, 202, 205, 208-209, 298, 334 Pimple, The 144, 151, 171 Rifle Wood 219-220 Scarpe (2nd) 171 Somme 90, 103, 104, 121-125, 129, 131, 134 St-Eloi 83, 94 St-Julien 50, 94 Valenciennes 279, 281 Vimy Ridge 94, 135, 137, 140-144, 156-

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157, 161, 163, 164, 166, 169, 171, 180-183, 298 Westrozebeke 55 Ypres 63, 88, 96 Ypres (1st) 91 Ypres (2nd) 49, 55, 134 Ypres (3rd) 55, 185, 334 Bayernwald Belgium 307 Beaucourt France 109 Beaucourt-en-Santerre France 244 Beaumont-Hamel France 103, 111-113, 326 Beckett, Lieutenant-Colonel Sam 136 Belgium 15, 20, 27, 192, 208, 217, 241, 295, 323 Bellevue Spur Belgium 186, 205 Bent, Lieutenant-Colonel Philip Eric 202, 203 Béthune France 47, 71-72, 136, 145, 178, 180 Beuvry France 71 Binyon, Laurence 5, 15 Bishop, Air-Marshall William Avery 309 Blomfield, Reginald 310 Blue Line 186 Boezinger Belgium 62 Bois de Bonval France 162 Bois de Hourges France 221 Bois des Cuisiniers Belgium 49 Boisleux-au-Mont France 275 Borden, Sir Robert 228 Bouchoir France 248 Boulogne France 27, 28, 31, 232 Boulogne-sur-Mer France 31 Bourlon France 264, 269, 270, 271 Bourlon Wood France 94, 211, 264 Brillant, Lieutenant Jean 199, 241 British Expeditionary Forces 28, 32, 90, 94, 140, 217, 249, 287, 323 Brittain, Vera 13 Brown, Private Harry 181 Bruay-la-Buissière France 180 Brussels Belgium 293 Buissy France 257 Bulfin, Brigadier General E.S. 94 Bully-les-Mines France 182, 183 Burghers of Calais, The 26, 28 Burton, Private R.C. 92 Butler, Trooper Alexander 315

Byng, General Sir Julian 122, 142, 144, 163, 209, 211 C Cagnicourt France 251 Cahill, Private Martin Joseph 111 Cairns, Sergeant Hugh 284, 285 Caix France 245, 247 Calais France 15, 27-29, 31, 52, 145, 222, 281 Cambrai France 196, 209, 211-214, 216, 249, 252, 256, 261-262, 264-265, 269271, 274-278, 288 Campbell, Captain D.M.C. 212, 216 Canada Bereft 145, 159 Canada in Flanders 16 Canadalaan Belgium 93, 94, 98 Canadian Battlefields Memorial Committee 94 Canadian Corps. See Canadian Expeditionary Force Canadian Expeditionary Force 13, 15, 18, 20, 72, 103, 121-123, 142-144, 163, 166, 168, 186, 217, 225-226, 251, 259, 261, 265, 279, 285-286, 290, 295, 297, 301302, 305, 313, 315, 319, 321, 323, Burial Unit 166, 168 Canadian Genealogy and History: A Listing of Genealogical and Historical Websites from East to Western Sea 319 Canadian Letters and Images Project 326 Canal d’Yser 58, 62, 73 Canal de l’Escaut 273 Canal de St-Quentin 213 Canal du Nord 249, 251, 256-257, 261, 262, 264-266, 279, 336 Carrière Wellington Museum 259 Carter, Private Harold George 136, 315 Castel France 198, 217, 219 Cayeux France 244 cemeteries 2nd Canadian Sunken Road 133 Adanac 119, 129 Adelaide 241 Aix Noulette Communal Extension 183 Ancre British 109, 113 Anzac (Australian and New Zealand Army Corps) 70

344 Canadians at War

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Arras Road 164, 166 Auberchicourt British 282, 284, 298, 299, 304 Aubigny Communal and Extension 276 Aulnoy Communal 282 Bapaume Post Military 131 Barlin Communal Extension 180 Beaucourt Military 244 Bedford House 100 Beehive 174 Bellicourt British 300 Beuvry Communal 71 Bouchoir New British 248 Bourlon 299 Bourlon Wood 269-270 Bruay Communal Extension 180 Bucquoy Road 275 Bully-Grenay Communal British Extension 182 Cabaret Rouge British 136-140, 153 Caix British 245 Cambrai Communal 277 Cambrai East Military 276-277 Canada 237, 273 Canadian No. 2 152, 160 Cantimpré Canadian 270 Cayeux Military 244 Chalk Pit 266 Chapel Corner 266, 269 Chocques Military 72, 177-178 Courcelette British 128 Crest 274, 275 Crucifix Corner 241 Démuin British 243 Dominion 200, 254-255 Drummond 271 Duisans British 275 Dury Crucifix 256 Dury Mill British 256 Epinoy Road 269 Essex Farm 40, 60-61, 62, 75 Flesquières Hill 216 Fosse No. 10 Communal Extension 181 Fouquescourt British 248 Fromelles (Pheasant Wood) Military 72, 81 Givenchy Road Canadian 152

Grove Town 14 Guards, Windy Corner 71 Hangard Communal Extension 243 Hangard Wood British 242 Hawthorn Ridge 80, 107-108 Haynecourt British 270 Hillside 247 Hinges Military 71 Hooge Crater 96, 98 Knightsbridge 107 La Chaudière Military 163-164, 166 Langemark German 52, 53 Lapugnoy Military 178, 179 Larch Wood (Railway Cutting) 93 Le Quesnel Communal 245, 247 Le Quesnel Extension 200, 244-246 Le Touret Military 46-47 Le Trou Aid Post 47, 68 Lecluse Crucifix 269 Lichfield Crater 166-167 Lièvin Communal Extension 183 Lijssenthoek Military 89-90, 196, 208 Lillers Communal and Extension 72, 177-178 London and Extension 109, 111 Malincourt German 273 Manitoba 247 Maple Copse 91, 92, 93 Marcoing British 196, 214, 215 Maroc British 182 Mazingarbe Communal and Extension 182 Menin Road South Military 97, 100 Mézières Communal Extension 244 Mill Switch 273 Mons (Bergen) Communal 293 Moreuil Communal Allied Extension 221-222 Namps-au-Val British 222-223 Niagara 273-274 Nine Elms Military 166 Noeux-les-Mines Communal and Extension 181 Onnaing Communal 286 Ontario 236, 265, 266 Orange Hill 252 Orchard Dump 172, 174

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Parngy British 223 Passchendaele New British 195, 205, 206 Perth (China Wall) 91 Poelcapelle British 52, 205 Poperinghe New Military 314 Portuguese Military 46 Prison Cemetery. See Ypres Reservoir Cemetery Quarry 266, 268 Quarry Wood 266 Quéant Communal British Extension 257, 258 Quéant Road 257 Quebec 233, 254 Raillencourt Communal Extension 271 Railway Dugouts Burial Ground (Transport Farm) 100 Ramillies British 273 Regina Trench 128 Rosières Communal and Extension 247 Rue-David Military 68 Rue-Pétillon Military 68, 70, 72 Sailly-sur-la-Lys Canadian 69 Sains-lès-Marquion British 265, 267 Sancourt British 272, 273 Sanctuary Wood 93, 94 Serre Road No. 2 109 St. Julien Dressing Station 50 St. Sever and Extension 221 St. Symphorien Military 239, 290-292 Sunken Road 120, 133 Sun Quarry 14, 15, 253-255 Thiepval Anglo-French 124 Thélus Military 162 Tigris Lane 253 Toronto 243 Triangle 266 Tyne Cot and Memorial 185, 194, 201203, 208 Upton Wood 254 Valenciennes (St. Roch) Communal 286 Villers-Bretonneux Military 199, 241-242 Villers Station 135 Vis-en-Artois British and Memorial 254 Vrèly Communal Extension 247

Wancourt British 252 Warvillers Churchyard Extension 247 Wimereaux Communal 31, 59 Windmill British 252 Wood 243-244 Woods 85 Wye Farm Military 68 Y Farm Military. See Wye Farm Military Cemetery Y Ravine 107-108 Ypres Reservoir 100, 205 Zillebeck Churchyard 91 Zivy Crater 168 Channel Tunnel 28 Chérisy France 14, 253 Chocques France 72, 178 Churchill, Winston 190 Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS) Family History Centre 319 Clarke, Corporal Leo 121-122, 133-134, 332 Clarkson, Adrienne 164 Clayton, Philip 32, 41 Clemesha, Frederick 96 Combe, Lieutenant Robert Grierson 173, 174 Commonwealth War Graves Commission 14, 15, 47, 85, 109, 124, 128, 146, 243, 245, 247, 252-253, 274, 323, 330 Comte, Private Gustave 315 Connaught, Prince Arthur, Duke of 228 Cook, Tim 16 Cope, Private S.J. 166 Cosgrave, Captain Lawrence 58 Courcelette France 94, 114, 121-125, 128129, 131 “Coward, The” (Rudyard Kipling) 316 Crankshaw, Jean 18, 241 Crest Farm 186, 194, 205 Croak, Private John Bernard 243 Crossley, Adjutant Gordon 221 Cuinchy France 70, 71 Currie, General Arthur 63, 94, 144, 175, 186, 187, 226, 251, 279, 281, 287, 295 D Dailey, Private William Edward 133 Danger Tree 79, 102-104, 107

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Dannes-Camiers France 59 Davis, Reverend William Henry 244 De Fehr, Driver Benjamin 313, 315 DeComyn, Andy 312 Degasse, Private Arthur Charles 315 Delisle, Private Leopold 315 Denain France 270, 282 Department of Veterans’ Affairs 146 Desire Trench 123 Dibgate UK 27 Dick, William Reid 240, 310 Dieusaert, Jan 307 Digue de Canal 273 Domart-sur-la-Luce France 219 Dover UK 27, 326 Drocourt-Quéant Line 13, 142, 249, 251, 265 Drummond, Lieutenant Joseph Rayson 271 Duhallow Block 68, 70 Duhamel, Ronald J. 313 Duisans France 275 Dunkerque France 31 Durand Group 151 Dury France 94, 251, 256 E Eaton Hall 68 Écluse de Bracheux France 214 Écurie France 164 Edward III, King 29, 281 Eleu France 164 Elizabeth II, Queen 161 England. See United Kingdom English Channel 27 Evans, Captain James Lloyd 13, 15, 20, 253, 255, 327 F Fabek Graben 121-123, 128 Fairburn, Private Edward 136, 315 Farbus France 143, 162-163 Farbus Wood France 143, 162 Festubert France 46, 47, 63, 65, 70 Feuch France 252 Flanders Belgium 15, 18, 57-59, 85, 96, 150, 175, 185, 326 Flers-Courcelette France 122 Flesquières France 196, 216

Fleurbaix France 45, 46, 65, 68-69, 71 Flowerdew, Captain Gordon 219, 221-222 Foch, General Ferdinand 226, 261 Folkestone UK 27, 28, 39 Fontaine-Notre-Dame France 274 Fort Rouge France 31 Fouquescourt France 248 Fowles, Private Stephen McDermott 136, 315 France 13, 15, 20, 27-29, 31, 39, 43, 45, 46, 63, 96, 145, 149, 150, 192, 241, 295, 301303, 315, 323, 326 Franqueveille, Count de 269 Free Birth, Marriages and Deaths 320 Fresnes-Rouvroy Line 249 Fresnoy France 173, 174, 334 Fresnoy-en-Gohelle France 173 Froissart’s Chronicles 29 Fromelles France 72 G Gallipoli Turkey 323 Gault, Dorothy 55 Gault, Hamilton 55 Geelan, Private Robert Henry 247 General Hospital No. 3 (McGill) Canadian 59 General Register Office 320 George V, King 144, 201 George Price Footbridge 294 Germany 29, 217, 225, 276 Givenchy France 63, 65, 71, 145 Givenchy-lès-la-Bassée France 65 Goodstein, Joseph J. 277 Gotto, Basil 252 Goulot France 162 Graham, Sergeant T. 268 Grange Tunnel 146, 150 Gravenstafel Ridge Belgium 49, 52 Graves, Robert 13 Great Britain. See United Kingdom Great War Magazine, The 18 Guémappe France 253 Gueudecourt France 21 Gusthart, Private John James 253

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H Haig, Field Marshall Sir Douglas 90, 122, 175, 187, 209, 211, 225, 232, 316, Hall, Sergeant-Major Frederick 134 Hamel France 104, 107, 109, 228 Harper, Stephen 161 Havrincourt France 211 Havrincourt Wood France 211 Haynecourt France 270 Hellfire Corner Belgium 75, 87-88, 91, 93, 100, 190 Helmer, Lieutenant Alexis 57-58, 62 Hendécourt-les-Cagnicourt France 253, 256-257 Hessian Trench 123 Higgins, Private John Maurice 315 Hillier, General Rick 164 Hindenburg, Field-Marshall Paul von 279 Hindenburg Line 13, 141-142, 163, 209, 211-213, 249, 251, 261, 277, 298 Hinges France 71, 72 Honey, Lieutenant Samuel Lewis 257-258 Hooge Belgium 18, 41, 96, 100. See also t’Hoge Belgium Hooge Chateau Wood Belgium 56 Hooge Crater Museum 78, 96, 97 Hourges France 229, 245 Hundred Days campaign 225, 257, 259, 335 Hundred Years’ War 28 I Ieper Belgium 17-18, 21, 23, 42, 44-46, 50, 62, 65, 85-86, 91, 93, 96, 100-101, 192-193, 208, 305, 326. See also Ypres Belgium Imperial War Graves Commission 44 “In Flanders Fields” 57, 58, 60 In Flanders Fields Museum 326 Inchy-en-Artois France 266, 268 Iwuy France 273 K Kemball, Lieutenant-Colonel Arnold 136 Kenora Trench 123 Kerr, Private Henry Hesey 315 Kipling, Lieutenant John 177 Kipling, Rudyard 93, 177, 316, 326

Kitchener’s Wood Belgium 49, 50 Knight, Sergeant Arthur George 254 L l’Agache France 264 La Boutillerie France 68 La Croix Blanche France 65 La Targette France 140 LaLancette, Private Joseph 315 LaLiberté, Private Comé 314, 315 Langemark Belgium 52, 291 Langemark Line 52 Lapugnoy France 178, 180 Larch Wood Belgium 93 Last Post Association 192 Last Post Ceremony 326 Lawless, Private Thomas 164 L’Epinette France 65, 71 Le Quesnel France 94, 232, 244-245, 247 Le Sars France 21, 123 Learmonth, Major Okill Massey 181 Lécluse France 254, 256 Lens France 145, 159, 163, 175, 177, 303 Les Rouges Blancs France 72 Letters of Agar Adamson 150 Library and Archives Canada 321 Lichfield Crater 166-167 Liévin France 163, 183 Lille France 28, 86, 223 Lille Gate 44, 46, 65, 85-86, 305 Lillers France 72, 178 Lindenreet Belgium 192 Ling, Private Wilson Norman 315 Lodge, Private Harold Edward James 182, 315 London UK 28, 41, 240, 310 Longeval France 109 Loos France 177-178 Ludendorff, General Erich 279 M Macfarlane, David 103 Mailly-Maillet France 104 Malaspina College. See Vancouver Island University Manitoba Cemetery 247 Maple Copse Belgium 91, 93

348 Canadians at War

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Marcelcave France 243 Marcoing France 211, 214 Marquion France 266 Marquion Line 264 Martinpuich France 109, 125 Masnières France 211, 213-214 McCrae, Lieutenant Colonel John 31, 57-62, 74 McDougall, Lieutenant-Colonel Alexander 301 Meaulte France 14 Meetcheele Belgium 186 memorials 85th (Nova Scotia Highlanders) Battalion 203 Arras British 240, 308, 310 Australian National 241-242 Bourlon Wood 269, 271 Canadian 1st Division 163 Canadian Cavalry Brigade and the Fort Garry Horse 213, 221-222 Canadian Corps artillery monument 162-163 Canadian liberation of Mons 238 Canal de St-Quentin 213 Courcelette Canadian 116-117, 125126, 131 Crest Farm Canadian 194, 205 D.21 Battery, Canadian Field Artillery 201 Demarcation Stones 75, 87-88 Dury Canadian 256-257 Flying Services 240, 310 Fort Garry Horse and Captain Harcus Strachan VC 213-214 George Price 293-294 German 276 Great Caribou Monument 79, 107-108, 252 Hill 62 Canadian 93-94, 96-97 Kitchener’s Wood 39 Le Quesnel Canadian Battlefield 200, 245, 246 Le Touret 34, 45-46, 47 Lieutenant-Colonel Mike Watkins 151 Lille Gate 44, 65, 85-86, 305 Memorial to the Newfoundland Missing 107

Menin Gate 17, 58, 62, 85, 91, 190193, 214, 310, 326 Miners 180, 307 Miner, The 305 Moroccan Division 145, 152 Mouquet Farm Australian 122 National Memorial Arboretum 314 National War 140, 296, 302, 304 Newfoundland Memorial Park 79, 104107, 109-111 Oppy Kingston-upon-Hull 170, 172 Pine Street Boys 134 Pozières Windmill 126 Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry 55-56, 74 Royal Air Force 240, 310 Shot-at-Dawn 312, 314 St. Julien Canadian 6, 48, 50-51 Tank Corps 126-128 Tanks 216 Thiepval 118, 124, 242 Tunnellers 85, 305-306 Tyne Cot Cemetery 185, 194, 201-203, 208 Vimy 65, 69, 94, 96, 124, 144, 146-148, 151, 154, 158-159, 161-162, 174, 192, 221, 226 Vis-en-Artois British Cemetery 254 Menen Belgium 18, 192. See also Menin Belgium Menin Belgium 18, 192. See also Menen Belgium Menin Gate 17 Mercer, Major-General Malcolm 89, 208 Mesen Belgium 23, 305. See also Messines Belgium Messines Belgium 23, 185, 305. See also Mesen Belgium Mézières-en-Santerre France 244 Miner, The 305 Miraumont France 129 Mœuvres France 264, 266 Moles, Private Thomas Lionel 101, 315 Monchy-le-Preux France 233, 249, 252 Mons Belgium 13, 15, 225, 238, 270, 287288, 290-291, 293-294, 326, 336 Mont Cassel France 31-32

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Mont des Cats Belgium 32 Mont Houy France 281 Mont Kemmel Belgium 32 Mont-Saint-Éloi France 140 Mont-Saint-Éloi Abbey 153 Moore, Melissa 161 Moreuil France 217, 219-222, 229 Moreuil Wood France 217, 221-222 Morton, Desmond 313 Mosselmarkt Belgium 187 Mount Sorrel Belgium 87-90, 96 Mountsorrel UK 89 Mouquet Farm 116, 121-124, 128 Mousetrap Farm 50 Müller, George 112 Munday, Sapper John 241 Munnings, Alfred 302 N Namps-au-Val France 222-223 National Archives of Canada 320 National Archives (United Kingdom) 319 Navy, British Royal Naval Air Service 309, 310 Nesle France 223 Neuve-Chapelle France 43, 45- 47, 65, 70-71 Neuville-St-Vaast France 166, 168 Nicholson, G.W.L. 18, 321 Nieuwpoort Belgium 94 Nobbs, P.E. 96 Noeux-les-Mines France 181 Nores, Sapper Henry 97 North Sea 23, 264 Nunney, Private Claude Joseph Patrick 276 O Observatory Ridge Belgium 88, 90-91 Ocean Villas Tea Room 104, 111-112 Odlum, Victor 313 Onnaing France 286 Opal Trench 13 Oppy France 171-172 Oppy-Méricourt Line 171, 173 Orix Trench 13 Otis, Sapper K.R. 298 Ottawa ON 140, 296, 302 Otterpool UK 27

Owen, Wilfred 13 P Pargny France 223 Paris France 27, 145, 217, 223-232 Parr, Private John 290 Passchendaele Belgium 18, 23, 94, 175, 185-188, 190, 192, 201-202, 205-206, 209, 264. See also Passendale Belgium Passendale Belgium 18, 23, 201, 203-205. See also Passchendaele Belgium Passendale Church 17, 195, 204 Pattison, Private John George 164 Pedley, Anne 18 Pericles 15 Péronne France 223, 251, 261 Perry, Private Eugene 315 Pershing, General John 228 Peterson, Private Herbert 164-165 Pétillon France 47 Petite Fontaine France 274 Pheasant Wood France 72 Philippa of Hainault, Queen 29, 281 Pilken Belgium 23 Pine Street Boys 133-134 Poelkapelle Belgium 39, 52 Polygon Wood Belgium 203 Poperinge Belgium 31-32, 42, 94, 208, 316317. See also Poperinghe Belgium Poperinghe Belgium 31. See also Poperinge Belgium Pozières France 121, 128, 133 Pozières Ridge France 126 Price, Private George L. 290, 293-294 Q Quéant France 257, 259 R Raillencourt France 274 Railway Wood 12, 21 Ramillies France 273 Ravebeek Valley Belgium 186-187, 205 Red Line 245 Regina Trench 119, 123, 125, 128-129 Reims France 145, 223 Renfrew ON 301

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Reynolds, Private Edward James 315 Ribécourt France 214 Richardson, Piper James 123, 129, 131 Riencourt-les-Cagnicourt France 257 Rifle Wood France 219, 221-222 Rijelseweg Belgium 305 Riqueval Bridge 260 Riqueval France 260 River Tame 314 Road of Remembrance 38-39 Robecq France 71 Robertson, Private James Peter (Singing Pete) 202-204 Roberts, Private John William 315 Rodin, Auguste 26, 28 Rosendal Chateau 100 Rosières-en-Santerre France 232, 247 Rouen France 221-222 Rouvroy-en-Santerre France 248 Roye France 221 Rupprecht of Bavaria, Crown Prince 141 S Sailly-lez-Cambrai France 271 Sailly-sur-la-Lys France 69 Sains-en-Gohelle France 181, 182 Sains-lès-Marquion France 264-266, 269 Saint-Omer France 145 Salisbury Plain UK 27 Salouel France 222 Sancourt France 272-273 Sanctuary Wood Belgium 88-91, 94, 97 Sanctuary Wood Trench Museum 78, 93, 95 Sandling UK 27 Saskatoon SK 284 Sauchy-Lestrée France 266 Scott, Canon Frederick G. 41, 131, 181, 317, 337 Scott, Lieutenant Frederick Gundy 140 Scott, Captain Henry Hutton 131-132 Second World War 213 Seely, Brigadier-General Jack 198, 217 Sensée Canal 261 Sensée River 209, 211 Serre France 109 Servins France 136 Shankland, Lieutenant Robert 134

Shock Troops 16 Shorncliffe UK 20, 27 Sifton, Lance Sergeant Ellis Welwood 168 Sinicky, Private Dimitro 315 Sint-Elooi Belgium 85, 305-306. See also St-Eloi Belgium, St. Eloi Belgium, St-Elooi Belgium Sint-Juliaan Belgium 18, 50-52, 192. See  also St-Julien Belgium Skindles 32 Smith, Sapper A.M. 304 Smythe, Conn 140 Soissons France 141 Soldatenfriedhof. See cemeteries; Langemark German Somme Canal 261 Somme France 103, 121, 129, 199, 228, 332 Souchez France 136 Steenakkermolen 192 Steenvoorde France 31, 208 St-Eloi Belgium 18, 32, 83, 85. See also Sint-Elooi Belgium, St-Eloi Belgium, St. Elooi Belgium St. Eloi Belgium 96 St. Eloi Craters 83, 84 St-Elooi Belgium 18. See also Sint Elooi Belgium, St-Eloi Belgium, St. Eloi Belgium, Stewart, Lieutenant-Colonel Charles 265266 St-Julien Belgium 18, 49, 50. See also SintJuliaan Belgium St. Martin’s Church 277 St. Martin’s Plain UK 27 St-Omer France 31 St-Pol France 275 St-Quentin France 209, 211, 213, 241, 244 St-Quentin Canal 260, 278 Strachan, Harcus 212 St-Symphorien Belgium 290 Stubbs, Private Albert 167 Sugar Factory France 128, 131 T t’Hooge Belgium 18. See also Hooge Belgium Tait, Lieutenant James Edward 246, 248 Talbot, Lieutenant Gilbert 41, 94

Index 351

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Talbot, Neville 41 Talbot House 30-33, 41, 42, 94 Tank of Flesquières Association 216 Tattersall, Private Thomas 133 Thélus France 162, 163, 168 Thennes France 219 Thiepval France 116, 123, 326 Tilloy-lès-Mofflaines France 253, 275 Tilloy-lez-Cambrai France 273 Tincques France 227 Torrepootlaan Belgium 192 Tor Top Belgium 88, 89, 90 Totenmühle. See Steenakkermolen Touring Clubs of France and Belgium 87 Turner, General Richard 63 U United Kingdom 13-14, 19-20, 27, 29, 192, 249, 272, 301, 319, 320, 326 University of Western Ontario 327 Unknown Soldier 137, 139, 154 Australian 241 Upton Wood France 254 V Valenciennes France 270, 279, 281, 285-286 Valour Road 134 Vancouver Corner Belgium 6, 48, 50-52, 55, 96, 192 Vancouver Island University 326 Vapour Farm 186 Vauthier, Paul Moreau 87 Verdun France 25, 121 Verschoot, Antoine 191 Victoria Cross 122-123, 129, 134, 164, 167, 174-175, 181, 186, 202, 204, 212, 219, 232, 241, 243, 251, 274, 276-277 Vienna Cottage 205 Vienne, Jean de 27, 52 Vietnam War 13 Ville-sur-Haine France 293, 294 Villepin, Dominique de 161 Villers-au-Bois France 135 Villers-Bretonneux France 217, 223, 229, 241, 245, 300 Vimy France 47, 94, 96, 137, 141, 145, 163, 168, 169, 305, 326, 333

Vimy Ridge France 140, 142, 145, 150, 151, 157, 159 Vimy Ridge National Historic Site of Canada 149 Vine Cottages 186, 187 Vrély France 247 W Wakefield, Lord 41, 42 Wancourt France 252, 253 War Diaries 321, 323 Warvillers France 247 Watkins, Lieutenant-Colonel Mike 151 Welsh, Private Charles 315 Western Front 22, 23, 31, 63, 87, 107, 123, 140, 219, 228, 256, 290, 292, 297, 303, 310, 323 Westhoek Belgium 55 Westrozebeke Belgium 52 Wigney, Edward H. 323 Wijtschate Belgium 185, 305, 307. See also Wyteschaete Belgium Willerval France 174 Wilson, Private James H. 315 Wimereux France 31, 59, 60 Windy Corner. See Cuinchy France Winnipeg MB 134, 247, 332 Woodrow, Private Arthur Hirsch 253 Wotan Stellung. See Drocourt-Quéant Line Wyteschaete Belgium 305. See also Wijtschate Belgium Y Yeaman, Gwladys (Evans) 13 Young, Private Elsworth 315 Ypres Belgium 18, 23, 25, 32, 37, 43, 63, 87, 190, 303, 314, 326. See also Ieper Belgium Ypres Salient 24, 32, 41, 57, 88, 93, 97, 190, 202 Z Zillebeke Belgium 85, 91, 94, 100 Zivy Crater 168 Zollern Graben 123 Zonnebeke Belgium 55, 186, 201 Zonnebeke Church 201 Zwarteleen Belgium 88

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