6th Bde CMGC War Diary - April 1917  
6th Brigade Canadian Machine Gun Company
War Diary - April 1917
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.
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Army Form C. 2118.
Place Date/Hr  Summary of Events and Information
Coy Hdqrs
St. Vaast
Weather fine but cloudy. Crews cleaning guns and filling belts, also carrying up ammunition 90000 rounds. Repairs to dugouts and trenches damaged by shell fire. 11000 rounds fired on targets located at A12 a 6.7 to A11 a 9.9½, Balloon Avenue CT, A6 b 6.½ to A10 b 6.3., A5 c 4½.8 to A5 c 5.4.
2 Weather cold with heavy wind. Heavy snow fall towards night. Crews cleaning guns filling belts and carrying up ammunition 90000 rounds. Repairs to dugouts and trenches damaged by shell fire. Building anti-aircraft positions near V8 position. 11000 rounds fired on targets located at A12 a 6.7 to A11 a 9.9½, BALLOON AVE CT, A6 b 6.½ to A10 b 6.3., A5 c 4½.8 to A5 c 5.4. and A12 a 9½.9¾ to A12 c 4½.9½.
3 Weather fine with wind. Crews cleaning guns and filling belts. Carrying up ammunition 14000 rounds. Repairs to dugouts and trenches damaged by shell-fire. 7000 rounds fired on targets located as follows: Squares A5b A6c and A11b.
St Vaast
4 Weather fine. Crews cleaning guns and filling belts. Repairs to dugouts and trenches damaged by shell-fire. The Company was relieved during the night 4/5th April by the 4th and 5th Cdn M.G. Coys. [O.O. No 51 attached]  No 4 Coy relieving in Thelus Rt. Sub-Sector and No 5 Coy relieving in the Thelus left sub-sector. Relief was complete at 1.30 a.m. April 5th when Company moved to hut billets in Mount St. Eloy. The Company went into line for the tour of duty at full strength and had five casualties all shrapnel wounds.
Mt St Eloy 5 Weather fine and very clear. Company resting. Thorough examination of guns, equipment and spare parts.
6 Weather dull and cloudy with heavy rain showers. Company resting and preparing for coming operation.
7 Weather fine but cold and cloudy with heavy wind. Company resting and preparing for coming operation.
8 Weather cloudy with wind and showers. Company moved into the line to join in attack on Vimy Ridge as follows.  [O.O. No 52 attached]  Nos. 1 and 2 Sections under Lts Waddington and Stonehewer moved independently across country and took up Barrage Positions along RHINE TRENCH. These guns formed complete Battery with Lt WADDINGTON as Battery Commander. They were in position with guns laid at 12 midnight night 8/9th. Nos. 3 and 4 Sections under command of Lts HARDIMAN and WILLIAMS were attached to the 27th and 29th Bns respectively. These sections joined the Battalions at Mt St Eloy at 8.30 p.m. and moved into assembly positions with them. The OC and 2nd in Command moved to Bde Hdqrs in Zivy Cave early in the evening.
Zivy Cave 9 Major Eastham O.C. visited all the battery positions of his group, that is 2 batteries consisting 8 guns M.M.G. Bde 8 guns 6th Cdn M.G. Coy and 8 guns 13th M.G. Coy (British), at 2.30 a.m. and found every one in place and guns correctly laid. At Zero hour these guns opened fire in accordance with Corps Instructions and continued firing until Zero + 75 when they ceased fire and proceeded to new position in the vicinity of Thelus from which they were to cover the advance of the 6th Cdn Inf Bde. Lt Waddington's guns passed safely through the barrage and were dug in with guns laid by 9 a.m. No casualties occurred while moving but shortly afterward No 2 Section had Ptes French and Defayette killed and 4 men wounded by shell fire while later in the day Ptes Lee and Relph were caught in fumes from gas shells and were slightly gassed. Upon the 6th Cdn Inf Bde obtaining their objective these batteries ceased fire and laid their guns on S.O.S. line in accordance with Corps Instructions.
No 3 Section under Lt. Hardiman advanced about 8.30 a.m. in Rear of "D" Company 29th Bn. 2 gun temas under Lt. Tucker on the right of D Coy and 2 gun teams under Lt. Hardiman on left flank. The teams advanced through consolidation lines until enemies wire was reached at B1 c 7.4. From this point Lt. Hardiman with two guns took up position covering advance of D Coy to the Bois de Ville. Whilst these covered advance Lt Tucker with two guns entered the wood, dug in and got into action firing heavily upon enemies artillery with good results until ammunition began to run short when men were sent back to carry up supply. As soon as D Coy had dug in Lt Hardiman and guns moved into the Bois des Ville on the left of the two first guns. Owing to the fact that D Coy 29th Bn had 8 Lewis guns in the wood and that the field of fire in the wood was poor  these 4 guns were withdrawn 150 yards from the wood which gave them a much greater field of fire.
No 4 Section advanced under Lt Williams in rear of D Coy 27th Bn. The final objective was reached without casualties. Two guns being placed in unfinished German Trench in front of 2nd line of wire on crest of slope and one gun on each flank of 27th Bn. Weather was stormy with snow, rain and wind.
Zivy Cave 10 Weather stormy with showers of snow and rain. The barrage guns under Lt Waddington were informed that hostile troops were massing North of Willerval and were ordered further forward so as to sweep area in question. [O.O. No 53 attached]  Shortly after battery opened fire the enemy retired. No 3 Section received the same information and fire was brought to bear by all 4 guns. A German gun captured by the Section was brought into action by Lt Hardiman assisted by Ptes Halstead and Climie. Hostile parties were dispersed and heavy casualties inflicted. Late in the afternoon the 27th and 29th Bns advanced strong patrols towards the Sunken Road and Railway. The left advance of 29th Bn was covered by a barrage from these guns and captured German gun 10 000 rounds being fired.
On the afternoon No. 4 Section under Lt Williams pushed forward a party with 1 gun in front of FARBUS in order to protect the flank of the 27th Bn STATION WOOD. During this advance Sgt McGirr captured six Germans and a machine gun in a dugout. This gun was immediately placed in position and both guns with those in rear kept up a steady fire on advancing infantry and artillery. [Special Brigade Order attached]  Lts Waddington, Williams, Tucker and Hardiman rendered exceptionally good services throughout whole of the operations as did Sgts McGirr and Eustace, L/Cpls Olmstead and Rust, and Ptes Woodean, Climie and Halstead. The Company went into action 12 under strength and the total casualties were 3 killed 12 wounded and 2 gassed.
Late in evening the order was received to move to Support Lines.
Zivy Cave 11 Company arrived in support lines and position in old German front and support lines about 3.30 a.m. Day spent in cleaning guns ammunition and re-arranging crews. Orders received at 11 p.m. to move to Mt St Eloy next day. [O.O. No 54 attached]  Weather wet and stormy. 5 O.R's reinforcements arrived.
Mt St Eloy 12 Weather fine with wind. Company moved off from position at 9 a.m. arriving at 1 p.m. Remainder of day spent in resting.
Mt St Eloy 13 Weather fine but cloudy. Muster parade held. Company cleaning guns, filling belts, cleaning ammunition and equipment. Crews and Sections reorganized. LT DICKIE returned from M G School CAMIERS. Lts ROWLAND HUGH LOCK and JOSEPH DUDLEY WALLBRIDGE reported for duty from BASE DEPOT. Lt HUGH BAKER CARTER reported for duty from G.H.Q. CADET SCHOOL.
St. Vaast
14 Weather fine. Company cleaning guns, checking spare parts and filling belts. Company moved to Neuville St Vaast and took up support positions. [O.O. No 55 attached]  Movement complete by 8 p.m. Transport moved to AUX RIETZ. Lt Williams visited 5th Cdn M G Coy preparatory to relief.
Coy Hdqrs
T26 a 7.4
15 Weather wet and stormy. Company relieved 5th Cdn M G Coy in the line as follows. [O.O. No 56 attached]  No. 1 Section under Lt Waddington in outpost line with Hdqrs at THE QUARRIES T22 a 6.6. Nos. 2 and 3 Sections in FARBUS VIMY Railway Embankment from T26 a 3.9½ to T26 c 7.7. No. 4 Section at BONNEVILLE RAVINE S29 d 7.4. Relief complete 6 p.m.
Coy Hdqrs
T26 a 7.4
16 Weather wet and stormy. Owing to relief of the left flank 6th Cdn Inf Bde the 4 forward guns moved to the right in accordance with altered front. This change was not completed until 6 a.m. 17th inst by which time the guns were again dug in.
17 Weather showery. Major Eastham O.C. and Lt Waddington went over the whole outpost area in order to pick most suitable positions for guns in outpost line, and also selected indirect fire positions. After dusk 2 guns No. 3 Section under Lt Hardiman took up positions in advance of outpost line and and kept up an intermittent fire throughout the night on ACHEVILLE and tracks and roads on which movement had been observed through squares T18, U13 and U19.
18 Weather showery. 2000 rounds fired at low-flying planes. 4 guns of the 14th Cdn M.G. Coy under Lt DICK reported at Hdqrs for indirect fire work. At dusk these guns took up position near QUARRIES and fired throughout the night on selected targets as also did No. 3 Section. 12 000 rounds were fired. Ptes Eckford and Williams were killed by shell in gun position.
19 Weather showery. 3000 rounds at low flying planes. No. 2 Section under Lts Dickie and Carter relieved No. 1 Section on outpost duty at dusk. Indirect fire continued throughout the night. Enemy much annoyed and he shelled nearby. 12 000 rounds fired.
20 Weather showery. 2500 rounds fired at low-flying planes. No. 8 Crew No 2 Section under Cpl Hunn became casualties by shell hitting position. Cpl Hunn's conduct after being wounded is worthy of the highest praise. Crew was replaced 3 hours later. Direct and indirect fire on enemys wire and and rear country 14 000 rounds fired.
21 Weather fine. 2000 rounds fired at low-flying planes. Company was relieved by 4th Cdn M.G. Coy. [O.O. No 57 attached]  Relief complete by 2 a.m. 22nd. Casualties for tour were 2 killed and 6 wounded. Reinforcements for same period were 15 O.R's.
Aux Rietz 22 Weather fine. Company arrived in Rest Billets near Aux Rietz at 4.30 a.m. Company resting cleaning guns belts and equipment.
23 Weather fine. Muster parade held. All ranks accounted for. Company cleaning guns filling belts checking spare parts. 4 O.R. reinforcements arrived.
24 Weather fine. Company resting. Men paid, bathed and issued with stores. At 12 noon Company was shelled out of billets. Some damage being done to vehicles. Billets moved to point near Mt St Eloy - LA TARGETTE ROAD.
25 Weather fine. Company resting. Gas Helmet Drill. Moving stores. Carrying parties moving ammunition into dumps.
Coy Hdqrs
Watling St
26 Weather fine but cold. Company moved into Support position relieving 5th Cdn M.G. Coy. [O.O. No 58 attached]  Company moved off at 4 p.m. Relief complete by 9 p.m.
27 Weather fine. Company in support position moving to positions in observation line as follows. [O.O. No 59 attached] Nos. 1 and 2 Sections in observation lines at A6a (Roclincourt Sheet), Nos 3 and 4 Sections in Farbus-Vimy Rwy Embankment and relieving Sections of the 5th Cdn Machine Gun Coy. Move was complete at 11 p.m.
28 Weather fine. Company in position in observation line.
29 Weather fine. Company in positions in observation line. Lieuts GEORGE PERCY DOWNING and THOMAS ARTHUR POTTS and 28 O.R's reported from Base.
30 Weather fine. Company in observation line positions. Carrying Parties placed 30 000 rounds S.A.A. in dumps.
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This Transcript Copyright © 2002 Brett Payne All Rights Reserved