21st Bn, CEF-Monday, November 11, 1918

Battalion Headquarters was located at the Chateau in the Village, and it was while there that the official notification of the Armistice between the Allies and German was received from the 48th Canadian Infantry Brigade at 0840 hours on the 11th. This news was immediately transmitted by the Commanding Officer to all ranks who received it with enthusiasm. The Brass and Pipe Bands marched to the Battalion Headquarters, amidst great outbursts of joy on the part of the soldiers and civilians gathered around, and played the national aire of the allies. Then followed a march through the streets headed by our Brass Band, with a soldier carrying a large Belgian flag, in which nearly all the inhabitants of the village took part. On this date Captain D.J. More, M.C. returned to duty from hospital. The morning was devoted to P.T. and cleaning up.

Image: Vive le Canadien. Civilians of Namur cheer a Canadian officer on his arrival. November, 1918, Courtesy of Library and Archives Canada.

21st Bn, CEF-Sunday, November 10, 1918

On the morning of the 10th the number in the advance were 416, 50 other ranks in charge of Corpl. J.McLennan, M.M. had been detailed for the Brigade Evacuation Party and 18 other ranks under Serg. G.E. Dobbs for the Divisional Burial Party. The number at Transport, including bands, Q.M. Stores, Water Detail and Regtl. Transport was 106. 60 Other Ranks were on leave and these away from the Battalion on course, etc, totaled 90. On his date Lieut D.K. MacDonnel, O.C. “B” Coy, was wounded by shell-fire, 1 other rank was killed and 6 other ranks wounded by shell-fire. 3320054 Pte. L. Sullivan, who was killed was a member of “A”Company and was considered a most efficient soldier. He was taken on strength of the 21st Canadian Battalion on August the 28th, 1918. His home was Rapids Des Junction, Quebec, Canada. In all 11 officers went forward with the Battalion on the morning of  Nov 10th. Captain F.L.Ludlow and Lieut W. Nicholson remained with the rear details. Q.M. Stores and Transport. Owing to the casualties during August, September and October fighting the Battalion was very short of Officers. The following officers advanced with the Battalion. Headquarters: O.C., Lieut-Col-H.E Pense, D.S.O., M.C. Adjutant, Capt F. D Raymond, M.C. Intel Officer. Lieut. R.A. Stewart, Sig Officer, Lieut. J.G. Caldwell, “A” Company Lieut N.W. Edwards, Lieut J.L. Smith, “B” Company Lieut F. G. Robinson, Lieut G. D. Woodcock, “C” Company Lieut D.K.MacDonell. “D” Company Lieut R.J. Gill, Lieut W.I. Flemings. The Advance of the 21st Canadian Battalion halted at Forcean on the 10th were the unit rested overnight.

Image: Canadian Patrol crossing the railway in Valenciennes under heavy machine gun fire. November, 1918, Courtesy of Library and Archives Canada.

21st Bn, CEF-Saturday, November 9, 1918

On the 9th,inst, 8 officers were on leave in England, while Major G.S.S. Bowerbank, M.C. proceeded on leave this date the Battalion, in other ranks, totaled 826 men.

Image: The flooded Station at Valenciennes. November, 1918, Courtesy of Library and Archives Canada.

21st Bn, CEF-Friday, November 8, 1918

The weather remained unsettled with occasional showers as on the day previous. The 21st Canadian Battalion moved forward at 0900 hours to Baisirue (S.18.0) and occupied billets in the village. Owing to the enemy having shelled this place the day before, many of the civilian population were found to be suffering from the effects of the gas. Before our arrival many had already succumbed but the Medical Officer of the Battalion did much to alleviate the suffering of these who were yet alive. Shortly after leaving Blanc Misseron (0915 hours) the 21st Canadian Battalion crossed the frontier into Belgium. It was twelve months since this unit last marched in Belgian territory. At 1800 hours on this date the Battalion moved to Elouges in accordance with Operation Order No. 240. Owing to continued rainfall the roads were in a very bad state but on arrival at our destination the Battalion was accorded a most sincere and hearty welcome by the inhabitants of the village. Battalion Headquarters was established at T.10.s.40.80.

Image: (Belgian) A Belgian girl gives Canadian Artillery horse a drink. November, 1918, Courtesy of Library and Archives Canada.

21st Bn, CEF-Thursday, November 7, 1918

Preparations were made for the move forward and at 1140 hours the 4th Brigade move order arrived. The 21st Canadian Battalion then proceeded to the new location in 8.9b.70.80 near Quiévrechain. The roads were in a very bad state due to the shelling of the day previous and the enemy’s demolition. Several times en route the Battalion was held up to allow the Engineers to make the necessary repairs which enabled traffic to be returned. The destination was reached at 1540 hours and the Companies and sections occupied billets reserved for them. The village of Blanc Missiron bore evidence of the enemy’s shelling of the day before. At 2250 hours a warning order of the next day’s move was received from the 4th Brigade headquarters.

Image: Canadians dashing into Valenciennes under heavy gun fire. November, 1918, Courtesy of Library and Archives Canada.