War Diaries – 21st Bn. CEF

21st Bn, CEF-Tuesday, August 27, 1918

On this day, in conjunction with the 3rd Canadian Division on the left and the 5th Canadian Infantry Brigade on the Right, the 4th Canadian Infantry Brigade continued the advance. The 19th Battalion (Right) and the 18th Battalion (left) attacked with the 20th Battalion in support and the 21st Battalion in Reserve. The boundaries were Right- Light railway, thence to cross roads, to road junction, thence a line parallel to the Cambrai Road, 700 yards on south-west side. Left- Cambrai Road, exclusive. The operations was in accordance with the 4th Canadian Infantry Brigade Operation Order No.00. At 6.00a.m. the C.O. was called to Brigade headquarters regarding this operation, and was given particulars and instructions by the Brigadier. A meeting of Company Commanders was held at Battalion Headquarters at 7.30a.m., when the advance of the day was discussed, plans laid out and orders issued. Zero hour had been set for 10.00 a.m., and at this hour our assaulting battalions advanced followed by the 20th and 21st Battalions. The 21st Battalion moved in artillery formation on a line approximately 400 yards south-west of the Cambrai Road. During the advance we sustained casualties to the extent of Officers, wounded 3: Other ranks, kill 14, wounded 54, missing 48. The three officers were Lieut. K.C. Cameron, M.C. who replaced Lieut A.W. May in command of “A” Company and Lieuts F.G. Hall and L. Bowell. After the casualties of the 26th, Capt. F. McPHun and Lie H.D. Wigatman came up to the line and assumed command of “B” and “D” companies respectively. Lieut Boswell later died of wounds at No. 7 C.O.S. Our losses in the companies and headquarters were due to the enemy’s artillery and machine gun fire. The battalion Arrived at the Quarries 15 minutes after the objective (River, south west of Vis-En-Artois) was reached by the 18th and 19th Battalions. We remained there during the afternoon, and in the evening Battalion Headquarters was established. During the afternoon, the C.O. and Adjutant visited the Headquarters of the 18th, 19th, and 20th Battalion regarding co-operation. One Company, “C” was placed under the orders of the O.C. 19th Battalion. During the night 27th/28th we detailed parties to carry rations, water and ammunition to the 19th Battalion in the line, Upon their Return, the three Companies, “A”, “B” and “D” withdrew to the trenches in the vicinity of our Battalion Headquarters. During the Night our men had little or no rest. While during the operations of the 26th our aircraft proved their superiority to that of the enemy. German machines were very active on the 27th. The temporarily held up the advance of our men by machine gun fire and the use light bombs. Lieutenants F.G. Robinson, J.A. Grant reported to the Battalion as reinforcements and were posted to “B” and “A” companies respectively. In the afternoon Lieutenant G. D. Woodcock reported from leave of absence, which he had been granted to England.

Image: Canadian wounded; men resting in shellholes. Advance East of Arras. August, 1918, Courtesy of Library and Archives Canada.

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