18th Battalion War Diary November 1918
Narrative of Action for November 8/9 1918
Map Ref. Sheet 45 1/40,000
The night of 8th November 1918 the Battalion was billeted in ELOUGES (T/10) in close support to the 5th [Canadian] Infantry Brigade. On the 9th at dawn the 4th [Canadian] Infantry Brigade were ordered to jump through the 5th Brigade and go forward as far as the could. The 18th Battalion (left) and 21st Battalion (right) attacking, with the 19th and 20th Battalions in support. The 5th Brigade Outpost line was reported as follows: from 0.32.b and d through U.xx.b.[i] and d. U.8.b. and d. to woods in U.15.a. and c. The 3rd Canadian Division on the left and the 63rd Naval Division on the right.
The Battalion formed up at 0600 hours in ELOUGE and left the village in close order. The order of attack was” “A” Coy on the right; “B” Coy on the left; “C” Coy right support’ “D” Coy left support. On the nearing [sic] the formation and pushed forward. The impetus and dash of our men was so great that the enemy rearguard simply fled and by 1400 hours “A” Coy had established a line East and North of NOIRCHAIN (V 12) a distance in all of 14,000 yards. Here the advance was held up by an enemy machine gun nest on the high ground in the village of CIPLY. As soon as it became dusk our patrol pushed forward and by midnight the whole of CIPLY was in our hands and “A” Company had established a line past and north of NOIRCHAN V.18, a distance in all of 14,000 yards. Here the advance was held up [by] Enemy M.G.-Post’s [sic] on the high ground in the vilage [sic] of CIPLY. As soon as it became dusk our patrol pushed forward and by midnight the hole of CIPLY was in our hands, and “A” Coy holding the line along the railway at Q.25.On the morning of the 10th the Supporting Battalions (19th and 20th Battalions) were due to jump through us at about 0800 hours, but as we had gone ahead so rapidly and communications becoming difficult, it was after 09.30 hours before these Battalions overtook us. Meanwhile we had several patrol encounters with the enemy, who was again retiring. Our troops followed him up and our most forward post was established on the high ground on the outskirts of HYON (Q.20.c.40.60) where targets in the shape of Bosche [sic] were keenly taken advantage of by the Rifle Sections overlooking the valley. Many notable instances occurred during the advance some of which will be remembered by the troops as long as they live. The civilian population of each town that was liberated by our advancing infantry came out of their homes and cheered and wept in turn. Flowers and victuals of all kinds were distributed to the troops and it was somewhat difficult to get through a place without offending someone by refusing their gifts. However, the Battalion had work of a more serious nature to perform, and the forward patrols had again come in touch with the enemy. A Platoon under Lieut. Smith surprised a party of German Sappers in the act of blowing a huge road mine at V.11.s.50.35 The Sapper who was about to fire the mine was shot dead, but the remainder of the party got away in a German Red Cross Ambulance. Another Platoon under Lieut. Morgan did excellent work in clearing out German machine gun nests which might have caused serious loss to the Battalion. “D” Company under Lieut. Goodman completed the capture of CIPLY (North) on the night of the 9th and was in communication with our “A” Company latterly by midnight.
The operation was a very successful one and largely resulted in the capture of IDES. The spirit shown by all ranks was of the highest order, and the Battalion can look back with pride at their last “stunt” was one of the longest on record during the war and performed with the least casualties. The total distance of the advance was approximately 16,500 yards[ii], and the casualties amounted to twelve (two killed and ten wounded.)
[i] Coordinate is illegible. Double xx in place of actual text.
[ii] Approximately 15 kilometers.