6th Bde CMGC War Diary - April 1916  
6th Brigade Canadian Machine Gun Company
War Diary - April 1916
Transcribed from National Archives of Canada, Records of the Department of Militia and Defence, RG9, Series III-D-3 (War Diaries), Volumes 4982 & 4983, 6th Canadian Machine Gun Company, February 1916 - August 1918; Microfilm Reels T-10813 & T-10814. © National Archives of Canada. Reproduced by Permission.
Back to  March 1916  Go to  May 1916
Army Form C. 2118.
Place Date/Hr  Summary of Events and Information
Weather bright, Physical drill before breakfast, Parades I & II at 9.45 AM. Skeleton marching order, Parade new Draft. Free marching order. No 1 Gun tested on the Range. Football match in afternoon, Old men v. New Draft. Received orders to be at SCHEXKEN April 2nd 8.45 A.M.
2 Weather very bright. REVEILLE 4.30 A.M. We left X1.D 4.3 at 8 A.M. arrived at SCHEXKEN 8 A.M. We headed the 6th CANADIAN INFANTRY Brigade on march to ZEEVOTEN (H.31.D 2.9) en Route orders as the destination were changed to RENINGHEIST Camp E (M.35 A2.8). Arrived via WESTOUTRE at noon, where we were billetted with the 28th N.W. Battalion. Four new Colt MACHINE Guns received from 2nd Pioneer Battalion with spare parts complete. We "stood too". Limbers loaded ready to move from 8 P.M. - 12.45 P.M. when moving orders were cancelled.
3 Capt. T.A.H. TAYLOR reported back to duty from Leave and took over command of the Company from Lieut. A. EASTHAM. Two Colt Machine Guns complete with spare parts from each of the following Battalions, 28th, 29th, 31st making a total of fourteen for Machine Gun Company. Parades with 28th N.W. Battalion at 11 A.M. for the purpose being inspected GENERAL ALDERSON. New gun crews made up. The company complete with fourteen guns and transport moved off from CAMP E (M.5.a.2.8) at 5 P.M. to take up positions in VOORMEZEELE district, travelling via LA CLYTE and DICKIE BUSCH. Arrived at H36.d.8.-2½ at 8 P.M. Reliefs of the 8th Brigade IMPERIAL Machine Gun Company, were at once commenced. No 1 Section under LIEUT. EASTHAM received three guns in CONVENT School, one gun in SEPTEMBER Post (Lieut. EASTHAM also acting as 2nd in Command of Company. No 2 Section under Lieut. BASEVI proceeded to positions in SPOIL BANK, LOCK POST, HILL TOP and ARUNDEL HOUSE. No 3 Section under Lieut. HILL releived Brigade Machine Gun Company Guns in FRONT LINE extreme left of Brigade frontage namely U28 to B.23. No 4 Section under Lieut. MacLELAN releived guns in S.P.8 and MOATED GRANGE (This section only possessed two guns) on the right section of the Front Line. Two Colt Machine Guns belonging to the 27th Battalion, together with two guns belonging to BORDENS Machine Gun Battery, were placed on right flank. On the extreme left flank were placed two Colt Machine Guns belonging to the 31st Battalion at U.27 and U25 and two Colt Machine Guns belonging to the 29th Battalion in VOORMEZEELE FORT.
night 3-4 So by 2.30 AM. When releif completed, there were protecting our Brigade flanks four Colt Machine Guns, on right of Front Line, and six Colt Machine Guns on left of Front Line, while in reserve and second Lines, were twelve Colt Machine Guns, along with four Vickers Guns, belonging to 56th MOTOR MACHINE COMPANY. The later guns at V4. NEW TRENCH, FRENCH TRENCH and SARDINE BOX. Nothing was done regarding Lewis Guns at this period as it was impossible to discover definitely what guns were in the right sector of the Front Line. Apparently there were three Lewis Guns of the 1st Gordons whose crews were utterly exhausted. Two Guns were taken away and the third was left with the 27th Battalion. There was also still intact one Gun of some other IMPERIAL Regiment probabilty of the K.O.R.B. on the left sector of the Front Line; there were four guns of the 13th Kings LIVERPOOL REGIMENT in P77.P64 T19 and T21. Two Guns of the EAST YORK'S in U23 and U24 and Three Guns of the KINGS SHROPSHIRE LIGHT INFANTRY at U25 & U28.
4 Weather warm; slight mist. Capt. T.A.H. TAYLOR inspected Front Line positions. Pte. CROUSE, F.C. of No 3 Section, 6th CANADIAN INFANTRY BRIGADE MACHINE GUN COMPANY was wounded by shrapnel, at U.24. The following Lewis Guns teams were assembled. Three from NORTHUMBERLAND FUSILERS. Also three officers and thirty O.R. made up from 24th, 25th, 26th, 28th and 29th Battalions reported at our Headquarters. Lieut. EASTHAM made reconnaisance of Left sector, visiting all Machine Gun positions in Front Line Second and Reserve Lines.
5   1 A.M. Three Lewis Guns and temas of NORTHUMBERLAND FUSILERS together with three officers and crews without guns from 8th & 6th CANADIAN INFANTRY BRIGADES mentioned above (those crews were to releive crews of IMPERIAL BATTALIONS supposed to be still in Front Line and advanced Sector of Front Line) proceeded to Right Sector of Front Line. On arrival found that no Guns were available as crews serving Lewis Gunners had pulled out with undamaged guns with exception of one gun left with 27th CANADIAN BATTALION by 1st GORDON'S which was maned by 27th CANADIAN BATTALION in point fourteen. Three NORTHUMBERLAND FUSILERS CREWS were then established in points seventy three (73) ninty two (92) and thirty three (33) under Lieut F.C. McLORG of the 28th BATTALION. Last crew releiving their position about 5.30 A.M. The remaining crews were then taken back to VOORMEZEELE. One crew fron 22nd 
     5 P.M. At 5 P.M. Capt TAYLOR and Lieut McLORG made way to Point 14. The trench by this time was practically impassable and to avoid too much movement Lieut McLORG proceeded along to crew at 33. He found two of them had been slightly wounded and trench filled in everywhere except where they stood. Gun was still working however and prepared to stay where they were. All that time there were about twelve 27th BATTALION with them and six wounded men. At 9.30 P.M. releif crew from 22nd BATTALION under Lieut BROWN, 24th BATTALION under Sgt NAYLOR, 25th Battalion under Lieut DOUGLAS and 26th Battalion under Lieut LOCKHART arrived in P trenches. Lieut MacLORG went over situation with officers and sergeant but releifs could not be started until about 11.30 P.M. owing to heavy Bombardment. Lieut MacLORG with Lieut DOUGLAS and his crew then proceeded from POINT 14 to 33. The heavy bombardment had wiped out guiding marks left by Lieut MacLORG and no trace of missing crew could be found. Returning to Point 14 crew and gun were left there and Lieuts McLORG and DOUGLAS went out again and searched for the other Lewis crew without success. Royal Scots gun crews reported at VOORMEZEELE (in an exhausted condition) and turned over five Lewis guns, two of which belonged to WEST YORKS. The crews were sent back to report to their unit.
6 After the above mentioned officers returned to Point 14 it was decided that Lieuts. DOUGLAS and BROWN and their crews should be posted at Point 14. Lieut LOCKHART and crew had been posted at P92. And Sgt NAYLOR and crew at 73. During all this time fairly heavy bombardment with "Minniwerfers" and H.E. but practically all were the left of P.14 about 3 A.M. bombardment became general and very heavy and Lieut McLORG who had been trying to get through 6th CANADIAN INFANTRY BRIGADE Machine Gun Company without success took up his position at end of communication trench between our old Line and German Line. After some considerable time a Machine Gunner who had been with Lieut LOCKHART at Point 92 came down wounded. He reported that they had spotted the Germans in the grass about twenty yards away and had wiped them out. The Gun however jammed on the third magazine by this time gun in P73 had been withdrawn. Lieut McLORG returned to VOORMEZEELE about 7.30 A.M. and reported situation to Capt TAYLOR. Lieut EASTHAM then proceeded with Lewis crews of 27th,28th and 29th Battalions reporting to Colonel SNIDER O.C. Right Sector at whose disposal they were placed. Lieut EASTHAM then proceeded front line right sector but acting under Colonel SNIDER's instructions the crews were placed in support trench P5. After short rest Lieut McLORG proceeded there and took charge.
     4.30 A.M. Capt TAYLOR wounded by shrapnel at VOORMEZEELE. Lieut EASTHAM taking over Command. Heavy bombardment all day. The Guns lost in GERMAN attack where those belonging NORTHUMBERLAND FUSILERS. At Points 33 & 92 and gun at Point 14 (which Lieut WEBSTER of 27th Battalion perois to being releived by Lieut BROWN 22nd Battalion) belonging to 1st GORDON'S. The other gun of the NORTHUMBERLAND FUSILERS was brought out by Sgt NAYLOR who returned to VOORMEZEELE with his section intact but with gun out of action through dirt. In the afternoon crews reported from 18th, 19th, 20th and 21st Battalions and about 8 P.M. Lieut EASTHAM left VOORMEZEELE with these crews and proceeded via CONVENT LANE to releive 2nd Lieut SIMPKIN 13th THE KINGS (LIVERPOOL) REGIMENT at Points 64, 77, T2 and R5 considerable time was required. Releif being complete about 2 A.M. on the 7th of April.
7 About 12.30 A.M. Two guns from P5 were detached and sent to strengthen a Bombing party which was to man CRATER. These returned early without being required, Crew of 20th Battalion returned to VOORMEZEELE about 10 A.M. and Sgt NAYLOR was sent up to replace them at Point 77. Two crews 27th and 28th were withdrawn from P5 and sent to reinforce the Left, being held at R.5 and later being sent to man CRATERS under instruction from O.C. 28th Battalion. Early in morning twelve new Lewis guns arrived three of these were manned with crews from 28th Battalion under Lieut NEIL and held for emergences during night. The roads south of St ELOI were swept intermittently by fire from Colt gun in vicinity of MOATED GRANGE. [???] reported from Canadian Base Depot.
8 The weather was rather cold. Lewis guns in our charge overhauled. Releif commenced by the 4th CANADIAN INFANTRY BRIGADE. Releif on right sector completed about 11.30 P.M. Releifs on left sector not complete until about 2 A.M. on Apl 9th. We arrived in RENINGHEIST about 3 A.M. 9th.
9 Weather fine. Muster parade 10 A.M. Steel helmets gas helmets and rifles inspected. Crews spent remainder of day cleaning guns.
10 Weather wet. Parade 10 A.M. Guns examined ammunition checked and cleaned. No parade in afternoon.
11 Weather still wet. Parade 10 A.M. All belts refilled. No parades after dinner.
12 Weather again wet. Parade 10 A.M. distribution of spare belts and spare parts to crews. No parade afternoon.
13 Weather very windy and cold. Parade 10 A.M. Rifle inspection by Brigade armourers. All L.E. rifles turned into ordnance. Lieuts EASTHAM and BASEVI inspected trenches in vicinity of VOORMEZEELE.
14 Heavy Rain. No parades.
15 Weather cold and showery. No parades in morning. Received two Colt Machine Guns from 27th Battalion, making our full compliment of sixteen guns. Parade at 2 P.M. inspection of gas helmets. Route march. N.C.O's instructed in use of "Tower Respirators". "Stand Too" from 9 P.M. until 12 midnight ready to move. Order to move received.
16 Weather fine. Moving orders cancelled. Men resting.
17 Weather fine. Received orders to move. Limbers loaded. Orders cancelled. Amended half an hour late. Eventually moved off at 6.15 P.M. to releive 5th CANADIAN INFANTRY BRIGADE MACHINE GUN COMPANY at VOORMEZEELE. Arrived there at 8.30 P.M. releifs of both Right and Left sectors. Completed by 2 A.M.
18 Weather chilly. Lieut. EASTHAM inspected our position on the Left sector Two of our guns in P.1 and P.2 releived by 27th BATTALION. Orders received from Brigade to place guns in BUS.-HO and WHITE HORSE CELLARS. Above positions inspected by Lieut EASTHAM and reported to Brigade that both positions were unsuitable for Machine Guns.
19 Weather again chilly. Morning is very quiet. In afternoon CRATERS heavy shelled with MINNENWERFERS and H.E. Five men of our No 7 Gun Crew S.P.8 wounded by shrapnel. One man wounded in VOORMEZEELE. Our No 2 crew took over S.P.8 position.
20 Weather fine. One man killed and three wounded on our No 14 Gun Crew in U 28 at about 1 A.M. Crew and gun taken from ARUNDEL HOUSE to replace above casualties. Part of 6th BRIGADE Releived by 4th BRIGADE.
21 Weather fine. VOORMEZEELE shelled intermittently during morning. Direct hit registered on our HEAD QUARTER (H.36.D8.2½) with H.E. at 10 A.M. four men wounded. Fire broke out in building over CONVENT VOORMEZEELE about 9.30 P.M. Enemy shelled heavily with shrapnel and H.E. and registered another direct hit on our Headquarter (H.36.D8.2½). Lieuts EASTHAM and GALLBRAITH visited our positions in SPOIL BANK U28 and HILL TOP.
22 Weather very wet. Enemy quiet. 4th BRIGADE MACHINE GUN COMPANY commenced releif at 7.15 P.M. Completed same except Two of our Guns and crews which were left in VOORMEZEELE FORT by 3 A.M. Our men reached J DETAIL CAMP RENINGHEIST at 4.30 A.M.
23 Weather fine. No parade. Men resting.
24 Weather fine. Six crews complete with guns sent to support 4th BRIGADE MACHINE GUN COMPANY at VOORMEZEELE.
25 Weather fine. Parade 10 A.M. Gas helmets and rifles inspection. Guns and belts cleaned and overhauled. Two crews complete with guns sent to VOORMEZEELE by Motor Bus to suport 4th Brigade. Order to move camp received.
26 Weather fine. Moved camp to RENINGHEIST.
RENINGHELST 27 Weather fine. Eight guns crew returns from VOORMEZEELE. One other Rank proceeded on Leave. Parade at 10 A.M. Gas helmet and rifle inspection.
28 Weather fine. Parade at 10 A.M. Spare parts helmets and spare barrels issued to the no's one of gun crew. Guns cleaned and overhauled. One officer and one O.R. proceeded on leave.
29 Weather fine. Parade at 10 A.M. Gas helmets and rifle inspected. New gun crews organised. Promotions sanctioned to complete Establishment. Enemy planes active.
30 12.30 P.M Weather fine. "Stand Too". Gas Attack on the Kemmel Front. Orders received to be ready to move in twenty minutes. Limbers loaded everybody standing by with gas helmets. Moving orders cancelled. Stand down 10 A.M. Enemy planes very active.
     10 A.M. Nothing to report.
[Signed] J. Basevi  Lieut.
For O.C.
6th Bde. M.G. Comy.
Back to  March 1916  Go to  May 1916
Return to the  6th Bde CMGC War Diaries Contents Page
Return to the  6th Bde CMGC Contents Page
This Transcript Copyright © 2002 Brett Payne All Rights Reserved