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Date: August 1918

Thursday 1 August 1918

On parade all day until 3:30 P.M. Large number of men volunteer for draft to leave at once. Down to Paymaster. Arranged to have my assigned pay overpayment corrected. No money to pay until tomorrow. Had early dinner & played ball against 7th Bgde. officers. Our team sadly outclassed. Hogarth & Forsythe up to see me from 2nd Wing. Visiting at 3rd Hdqrs. Played cards till quite late.

Friday 2 August 1918

Steady rain all morning. Busy getting draft equipped. Warned that I should likely conduct draft to the line. Inspected draft with Took McLeod at 3:30K. Draft postponed till Tuesday. Went down to Aub. St. V. & had dinner with Hogarth. Rained all the way down & I got soaked without a coat. Back at 9K. Had supper of bread & butter & Champaigne given us by the Madame.

Saturday 3 August 1918

3rd Wing. C.C.R.C.
Route March off, Rain. Stuck around billett all day. Barber over & cut my hair. Sat by fire nearly all afternoon reading. Went to Movies with McLeod & Gainor. Good show. Bed 11:30 P.M.

Sunday 4 August 1918

Church Parade 9:30. Col. Hamilton Gault in charge. Over at 10:30. Barber down to cut Wrights hair. Gainor, Dove, Cook & I off to B--- after dinner in R.A.F. tender. Spent very pleasant day as well as "beaucoup" money. Met Alvin Kennedy of #8 Platoon. In hospital. Expects to fly Hanly-Pages soon. Met Lawson of "C" Coy. C.M.R. Had supper at New Club 11 P.M. Home 1 a.m.

Monday 5 August 1918

On parade all day. Threatens rain all day. Started game of baseball against 7th Bgde. Stopped 1st innings rain. Played cards all evening.

Tuesday 6 August 1918

Dull or shiny. Had late breakfast. Only one C.M.R. platoon on parade. Wright looking after it so I took morning off. Wrote Dad. Off Parade all afternoon also studied & read for awhile. Had tea & played cards till dinner time. Stuck around mess. till midnight. Note from Chenoweth.
Wrote Dad.

Wednesday 7 August 1918

Clear fine morning. On Parade & at Lewis Gun range. Wrote Eva & laid down for afternoon. Intended going for a bath but overslept till dinner time. Capt. Hewitson "C" Coy. arrives wing on way back from hospital. Wright & I over to "Y" for paper & cigarettes & up to parade grounds to sports.
Wrote Eva.

Thursday 8 August 1918

Took charge of 125 1 C.M.R.'s for bath at A.St.V. McLeod & I inspect Identity discs on return. On Parade all afternoon. Had good practice of new platoon formation for open warfare. Over to theatre at 7K to see movies.

Friday 9 August 1918

On parade till 10:30. Up to see demonstration by special platoon from Honorable Artillery Coy. Fine display of Inspection of platoon, guard mounting. Drill on sentry. Go Bayonet Fighting etc. On parade all P.M. Down to 9th Bgde. grounds & saw special platoon 3rd Div. put on new platoon formation. Also very good. Fooled around billett with Pte. Wooster 4th C.M.R.'s with rifle, bombs & grenades. Over to mess played cards till 11K.

Satuday 10 August 1918

Route March till 12 noon. Warned along with Wright to proceed to battalion tomorrow. Through gas & got things ready for leaving. Had sing song in Mess after dinner. Tosh McLeod & Sandy Thorne over to billett for salvage purposes. Gave my high boots to McLeod & he got me a tommie tunic in return.
Wrote Dad.

Sunday 11 August 1918

Carron St. Martin
Got up about 8:30. Warned while at breakfast draft to leave at 10:30. Got busy & packed up. Col. Gault inspected drafts & gave all a cheery Au Revoir. Moved off to station at 12 noon. Train leaves at 2K. Arrived B---s at 9P.M. Rotten arrangements. Slept in Chateau & found Wright in a.m. Met Len Cuff on train. Passed several + trains going down. Lots of heinie prisoners coming in.

Monday 12 August 1918

Up at 6 a.m. Wright & I wandered for an hour to get some information re. moving. All our men sent out on a working party at 5 a.m. Got a move order at 5 p.m. to leave tomorrow. Over to
B---s wood 3 kilos at 10 P.M. Found 1 C.M.R. q.m. stores & canteen also Meredith (Taylor) 196th. Too late to start back so slept on ground there. Left Cuff at 10.30. Went to M. Gun Camp.

Tuesday 13 August 1918

Boves Wood
Up at 7:30. Purchased shorts & had patches put on our Tommie Tunics. Walked to town & had shave & wash. Kits gone up to horse lines before we got back. Taken by our own Transport. Met George Duncan riding motorcycle for 4th M.T. Looking fine. On his way to see Gunner Longworth. Dust is something abominable & choking on the roads. Left B---s at 2K on an ambulance. Saw Longworth at + roads. Reached B---t at 4 P.M. Stayed there all night. Saw Noonan, Pettersen, Thompson, & bunch of 46th boys. Hosford & Badger also on way to 5th batt.

Wednesday 14 August 1918

Left B---t at 10K & reached battalion at 3K. Posted to "A" Coy. Got Carter of #2 Platoon for my batman. Dug me a funk hole & put my bed roll in it. Bombed by Heinie during night. Killed two 2nd C.M.R.'s & bunch of horses. Found Major Bradbrooke, Lieut. McKenzie & Lt. Young with "A" Coy. Given charge of #2 Platoon. Met Cpl. Smith who had been in charge during last advance. "Simon" first 249th man killed with 1 C.M.R.'s on Aug. 10th.

Thursday 15 August 1918

My first day in front line.
Letters from Mother July 19th
" " Dad " 21st
" " M. Lafrance
Wrote Dad.
Up at 5:30. Went about 4 kilos to front line. Looked out on our next objective. Line held by 42nd R.H.C.
Capt. Kennedy "A" Coy. back to Battalion from Job North.

Friday 16 August 1918

Le Quesnel Wood
Moved from F---s about 6 p.m. back to large orchard by Le Quesnel.
Wrote Eva.

Saturday 17 August 1918

New Somme Front.
Walters over from 46th to see old 196th boys.

Sunday 18 August 1918

Le Quesnel Wood
Padre not well, so no church parade. Stuck around orchard all day. "Heinie" downs one of our observation baloons about 6P.M. Two men down in parachutes. Coates of old 7 Platoon 196th (now 46th) over to see us. Orchard bombed at Midnight. Wounded five of the 5th C.M.R.'s & a few horses killed. Warned for Orderly officer tomorrow.
Three letters from home, July 12th, 14th, & 26th. Two from Eva July 12th & 14th. Also letters from Vera (Calgary). Rossie Colquhoun, R. Monteith. Jean Hendry & Card from Aunt Ella.

Monday 19 August 1918

Fine cool morning. Kennedy, McKenzie & Young out on wiring party of 150 men at 8:30a.m. Inspected coy. cook kitchens. Canteen up from Boves Wood also men's packs left back before the advance. Capt. Pethrie & Lieut. Shannon arrive back to battalion at noon. Wrote Florence Pelton & R. Monteith. Volunteered & took Young=s place on burial party. Went 7 or 8 kilos & buried 12 bodies, 1 Imp. Officer. Awful mess, all dead ten days. Back at 6:30. Fallis in to see me. With Eaton M.M.G. Battery. Billeting party goes out at 7K. Officers kits & whole transport leave Le Quesnel wood at 9 P.M. Slept in salvage.

Tuesday 20 August 1918

Amiens & Doulens
Went with whole Coy. to gas school at 8:30 a.m. Batt. moved out of Le Quesnel wood at 5:45 p.m. Marched to Maison Blanche & took lorries & busses. Got moving at 8:30. Passed through Amiens & Doulens & finally piled out at 2:30 a.m. at Bougnet Maison. Walked 6 kilometres to Pommeras. Put men in billets & flopped down ourselves. Young, McKenzie, & I slept in small room above "A" Mess.
Wrote Dad.

Wednesday 21 August 1918

Woke up in a sweat & pestered to death with flies at 10:30 a.m. Got a wash & something to eat & went down to men's billett. Hot sunny day. Canadians nick-named "Foch's Pets" & name quite common talk after their "Over the Top" Aug 8-10th. Young & I go scouting for some smokes. Found "Y" Canteen but no cigarettes. I was pulled out of bed about 9:30 to see that all lights were out in men's billets. Got bunch of mail about 10K. Dad (July 29th), Mother (July 31). Both from Kenora. Eva's (July 29 & 31). Rita Taylor (July 31) & Ed Robinson (July 14).
Wrote Eva.

Thursday 22 August 1918

Pomera & Mondicourt
Got up about 6a.m. Batman up early with my bed roll. Came in on Transport during night. On parade all morning. C.O. inspects Batt. & gives "A" severe balling out. No parade in afternoon. Very hot. Bob Shannon & I over to Mondicourt & had hot bath. Orders to move suddenly come in. Young on advance party. Batt. moved away at 4 P.M. Marched three kilos & took busses from there right into Arras. Men discard packs in heavy rain & pitch dark. Off by platoon & met guides. Moved into Blangy reserve line east of Arras. Platoons in side of trench in funk holes. Found deep dug out for Coy. Hq. & the six officers. Bed 2 a.m.

Friday 23 August 1918

On trench duty at 4 a.m. Laid in Blangy reserve line all day. Started out with Major Bradbrooke & bunch to look over front line. Cramps bad in my stomach so had to turn back after a few hundred yards. Maps & all sorts of dope for big show start coming in. Beautiful clear day.

Saturday 24 August 1918

Resting in Blangy Reserve.

Sunday 25 August 1918

Blangy Reserve. More maps etc. & orders for "over the top" early next morning. Moved forward by platoons at midnight in a drizzling rain. Trenches pretty sloppy & I fell in the mud & also all over myself. Moved up Arras-Cambrai road for piece then up Pieves road, london avenue & into Pioneer Trench. Found dug out for my platoon & waited for zero hour.

Monday 26 August 1918

Advance to Monchy
McDonaugh & Riault killed. Zero hour goes at 3 a.m. Dandy barage opens on time & away they go. "A" Coy. moves out at zero + 75 minutes. Moved my platoon forward in Artillery formation under heavy machine gun fire from Mount pleasant on our left flank. Reached our final objective by 8a.m. after going about 4 miles. B, C, & D Coys all disorganized. Saw Bud Lawson having his ankle dressed. B, C & D on through Monchy but had to fall back. 9th Bgde. too late to leap frog & Hun has chance to re-gain himself. McKee, Smith, McMillan, Shannon & Sydie killed. McKee buried west of Monchy.

Tuesday 27 August 1918

"A" Coy's along with remnants of B, C, & D (all the officers by latter were made casualties) rested in Musket, Bayonet & Rifle trenches all day & night. Kept men in the deep dugouts with posts only on duty along the trench. Plenty of prisoners taken on the 26th but souvenirs snapped up by 1st Coys. through the line. Took Cap, shoulder strap & cigar case from one hun.
Enjoyed my little bunk in the dugout with my whole platoon & had fun cooking my own meals on a brazier. No casualties in my platoon yet except one man attached to S. Bearers.

Wednesday 28 August 1918

About 10a.m. whole batt'n moved across to a position behind & south of Monchy. Barage of ours opened up at 11K before we got into our new position & we passed whole line of deafening field guns. About 12K we moved on in Art. formation to support attack by 43rd, 58th & 5th C.M.R.'s Passed over heaps almost of dead huns & through bunch of gas. Rested in shell holes from 2:30 to 7K. Went on from there to within 500 yards of front line. Found 3rd batt. badly disorganized & both flanks exposed.

Thursday 29 August 1918

Best news ever. Everyone all in when news came at 1 a.m. that Imperials would relieve us. "A" Coy. relieved about 3 a.m. Moved my platoon back & passed through bunch of gas in a swamp. Marched all night right back into Arras. Into barracks & tumbled into bed at 8a.m. & slept right thru to 5 o'clock. Pulled out to go billeting for A Coy. had to rush my supper & beat it. Whole batt. moved across town & got into cellars for the night. A officers got fine house. Bed rolls & kitchen stuff arrives at 11 P.M. Had supper & went to bed. Wrote up my diary.

Friday 30 August 1918

Lattre St. Quentin
Up at 8K. Had breakfast & went over to men's billets. Had clothing parade & got them new pants & Tunics. Orders to move at 2 P.M. so stopped parade suddenly. Left Arras in F.M.O. at 2 P.M. & got to Lattre St. Quentin at 6:45 P.M. Billets in corrugated hut. Pretty cool. Had cold supper at 8 P.M. Started long letter home. Bed 10:30. Saw Capt. Clarke to have Pte. Guillaume transferred to "A" Coy. as my batman.

Saturday 31 August 1918

Had breakfast at 8a.m. On parade with Platoon till 10:30. Cool morning. Got breeches from R.Q.M.S. 60 Reinforcements and 6 officers reach battalion. Mr. Wright (formerly L.S.H.) comes to AA@ Coy. "Townie" Townsend, Dennis Bros. & Stenberg arrive in draft. Talked to Matthews of B196. Put into 43rd Camerons & mad about the deal. Gailloux transferred from "C" to "A" Coy. Had chat with Russ R. Talks of "Y" work. Over the top 4 times in 2 mos. Got Hun P.C.'s from McConnell. Wrote 21 page letter Dad. Started letter to Eva.

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Original Scans