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Date: 1916

Choice of Unit- and why.

Gravel-crushers? Artillery advantages of studying etc. Correlation of Infantry and Artillery. Early phases of War in Artillery Lack of Ammunition- [Ypres?] 2nd battle. - Gas - Repulse of huns. Undying glory for Canadian Arms.

- Picture in C.P.R. Beg London admired.

Artillery at Ypres. - no ammunition Dying at their posts. Guns recaptured.

Lloyd George's speeding up of munitions output. Latter part of war - [Beaueoup?]!

Training in Canada. Toronto. Preliminary work "P.T." Riding [mtd?]: gun drill.

Petawawa gun drill evening.

Driving and riding and manoeuvres early to late. Amherst.

Aug. 14 we let Colborne on last leave for Petawawa and next week started east over C.P.R. and L.C.R. Pleasant 2 wks in Amherst. Great People.

Left Amherst Sept.11 for Halifax great send off - even [heine?] prisoners waved goodbye. In middle afternoon embarked on "Canneronia" and were lucky in receiving good quarters in a second class cabin. Lay in harbor all next day and enjoyed the sights. Several Cruisers and Destroyers at anchor. Sailing following morning at 6:15 a.m. Passed close by the Great Olympic the and soon found that we were one of in convoy. Lead by the cruiser "Drake" and T.P. Destroyer we sailed through gap in Submarine nets at harbor mouth in single file.

Northland [?] Canneronia and Metagame.

First day very pleasant. Fishings mocks a Grand Banks off Newfoundland. Visit to stoke hold. 20 below water line 15 boilers 45 fires 3 for each stoke men who slave in harshness and terrible heat 8hrs a shift night and day. - Whales seen in distance

Second day - Fog horns Sick most of time spent in lying about the decks those able, did life boat drill and P.T.

Afternoon of 9th day tiny specks on horizon were seen which within half an hour were along side with the speed of express trains Destroyers. Silent welcome On our own [?] and speeding for Liverpool.

Evening of 9th day - Beautiful phosphorescence. Silvery moonlight Broken rest. Pleasing lights of northern Ireland and Scotland.

Great reception from hundreds of ships in harbor and factories on the shore.

Disembarkation, Entraining within hour Funny little engines. - Joy of landing. Start within the hour and at 3am following day arrived in Witley Surrey in South Eastern part of England.

Second night in Camp Zepplin Raid - Two brought down in Essex.

Quarrantine for 2 wks 6dys leave.
Leave to London.
Hub of the Empire
* 300
* St. Pauls (Roberts (Bobs) Wellington & his Car Nelson
* Tower - Bloody Tower signs of Good old days when English Princes were imprisoned.
Westminister Abbey-
Sandbags. - Gothic Architecture
Buckingham Palace on wayhome
"Is George home?
Whithall - Changing the Guard [?] by Coldstream Guards Trooping Colors.
The Air-Raids. Zepps. Oct. 1st at Potter's Bar. The fall of the raider Visit to Potter's Bar near Enfield munition Works. Huge file of wreckage in as oak - The Old lady's conversation. Have you seen my nephew in Canada and Nova Scotia.-

Finally back to Camp and Intensive training began.
Formation of 6-gun-battery. Received Guns, wagons, horses and saddlery. Working early and late.

Answering our names 5 mins after Reville.
Some play - football, baseball, boxing Picture shows. "Y" entertainments. Pleasant life but fed up. We are ready, 14 months from enlistment in Toronto we actually sailed for France. Great joy at news. - Trip to Southampton embarksation Sailed at 6.30 in evening passing numerous hospital ships, and the Aquatania Docked at le Haure at 4 a.m. moved off to a Concentration Camp. - Corporal on Pickgnet Duty.

Stayed for 3 days and here received the final shipment of necessary clothing and equipments.

Side-down pullmans 8 gorses or 40 men. Corporal and old army man and he swiped a bale of straw to strew on our floor Our nubsection travelled in one car except for several drivers detailed for horses. Good night sleep.- and in morning we hear the rumor that We are going to hell take Vimy Ridge. All is excitment. We hardly take time to eat so interested are we in the surrounding country and nights. Scots, Tommies and French [Noilus?] are seen at every town While trains of troops -and tanks are creeping northward like ourselves.

Detrained at Brias, near St. Pol - in record time 20 minutes and made a forced march of 18 miles to Camblain L'Abbe. - mud to knees. in little woods at mason- in back

Battery split up- Section

We go to 13th Battery 2nd Dudnon

Kind reception. - We sleep in.- They tend our horses steal our nickel bits, become ashamed and return them before we awake.

Moving up the following evening

First Impressions! Mar. 28th. - Fired 150 [romads?] at Heine.

Preparations for the big battle- Roads- Transport- Ammunition, Guns, Tanks. Silent Batterys.
Routine firing done at German wire and various German Headquarters

Thelus a much [?] village-

Easter Sunday April 8th a beautiful morning. We cleaned up our clothes to elleberate and sewed on buttons. Fired for two hours at fresh wire that was discovered on a part our front. Warmed that the battle was to take place the following morning.

The Battle.

My turn for guard came at 1.40 a.m. and on being awakened at that hour the night was seen to be cloudy and threatening rain.

Replemshed siege lamp built up the firs Called the guard in next fit to came a bunch [?] enjoyed some hot cocoa, biscuits cheese and "bully" while we discuss the coming show.

Our officer warned me to awaken the men at 4.30 and gave me the lines for the first 5 barrages.

The crew eagerly cleared the fit for action, not fuses and gave the gun a last dab with the polishing rag and a feed of oil. Watches were synchronized at 5.20 and it was announced that the zero hour was 5.30. During the last half hour a strange quiet filled the place. Broken only by the pattering of the rain which now began to fall in a steady stream.
Are you ready number 1?
" " " " 2?
Five minutes to go.
4 "
3 "
2 "
1 "
10 sees.
5 " . Whistle!
We'er off.

Original Scans

Original Scans