War Diary of the 18th Battalion: December 1918

Confidential

War Diary

of

18th CANADIAN BATTALION – 2nd CANADIAN DIVISION

From 1st December, 1918 to 31st December, 1918

Volume 40

With appendices 1 – 30

Place Date Hour Summary of Events and Information
      Maps for reference: Marche 9, Germany 1 M, 1 L, 2 L. 1/160,000 attached. Appendix No. 27. 28. 29, and 30.
Mean- 23.05.40. Marche 9 1 The Battalion moved in full marching order 08.00 Hrs. for VILLERS STE. GERTRUDE, the usual noonday halt was made for dinner. From the Noon Hour on the country became rolling, and hilly and very heavily wooded. The Battalion arrived at the destination at 15:00 Hours. Capt. T.H.C. Rayward, and batman returned from Instructor’s Course at Senior Officer’s School, Aldershot, England. 1 O.R. to hospital. 1 O.R. from leave. Appendix No. 1.
Villers Ste. Gertrude. 2-G.95.35 Marche 9 2 Battalion resting in billets. 12 O.R’s on leave and 2 O.R’s returned from leave. 3 O.R’s to Hospital and 1 O.R. returned from Hospital.
3 Battalion resting in Billets awaiting move order. 2 O.R’s to hospital.
4 The Battalion moved in full marching order at 08:30 Hours and marched via GRAND MONIL to ODEIGNE. It rained practically during the entire march of the day. A noonday halt for dinner was made, the Battalion arriving at its destination at 16:00 Hours. The march to-day was stedily [sic] uphill into the heart of the Ardenne Mountains. Lieut. R.E. Rouse and 2 O.R’s from leave and 2 O.R’s to Hospital. Appendix No. 2.
Odeigne 3-I 20.10 Marche 9 5 The Battalion moved off at 08:30 Hours in full marching order for COUTRIL, dropping down the latter part of the march into open country. Battalion arrived at its destination at 15:00 Hours. 2 O.R’s to Hospital. Appendix No. 3.
COUTRIL 4-K 98.60 6 The Battalion moved off at 08:00 Hours in full marching order for WALL RODE, Germany, crossing the Frontier shortly after 10:00 Hours, and passing through St. Vith about 14:30 Hours, arrived at destination at 16:00 Hours. 8 O.R’s from leave and 3 O.R’s to hospital. Appendix No. 4.
WALLERODE 5-C 90.35 Germany 1-M 7 The Battalion moved off at 08:30 Hours for MANDERFELD, arriving there at 15:30 Hours. The country roundabout assuming more of an agricultural aspect. 1 O.R. to Hospital and 2 O.R’s returned from Hospital.
MANDERFELD 4-H 60.10 Germany 1-M 8 Battalion resting in billets. Capt. R.R. Hartry and 7 O.R. from leave. 2 O.R’s to Hospital.
MANDERFELD 4-H 60.10 Germany 1-M 9 The Battalion moved off at 08:30 Hours for DAHLEM, arriving at destination at 16:00 Hours. The Battalion Headquarters being located in the Post Office. 1 O.R. from leave and 1 O.R. on Course. Appendix No. 6.
DAHLEM 3-K 60.45 Germany 1-M 10 The Battalion moved off in fighting order at 08:30 Hours and marched to MUNSTEREIFEL, arriving at destination at 15:00 Hours. Lories provided by Brigade, carrying the Men’s packs. The Battalion was billeted in a Boy’s Boarding School. Appendix No. 7.
MUNSTEREIFEL Germany 1-L 11 The Battalion moved at 08:30 Hours in fighting order, and marched to KUCHENHEIM, arriving at destination at 13:30 Hours. The Battalion Headquarters being located in the Burgomeister’s house. 18 O.R’s from leave 1 O.R. to hospital and 1 O.R. returned from Hospital. Appendix No. 8.
KUCHENHEIM Germany 1-L 12 The Battalion moved in fighting order at 08:30 Hours and marched to DUISDORF, arriving at 12:00 Hours. 2 O.R’s from leave and 1 O.R. to Hospital. 1 C.S.M. and 11 O.R’s [to] 2nd Divisional Headquarters, Bonn, for Guard Duty. Appendix No. 9.
DUISDORF Germany 2-L 7 D 35.40 13 The Battalion moved off in full marching order at 08:00 Hours and marched via Bonn, crossing the famous RIVER RHINE at that point to its final destination in the town of Hennef (Sieg). In passing through Bonn the Battalion marched with rifles at the slope and bayonets fixed and passed in review at the east end of the Bonn Bridge, before the Corps and Divisional Commanders. Lieut.-General A.W. Currie, Corps Commander, taking the salute. Maj.-Gen. H.E. Burstall, Commander of the Division, and the Divisional Staff being immediately in the rear of Lieut.-Gen. Currie on the reviewing stand. Upon the arrival of the Battalion in Hennef, 13:30 Hours, Batt’n. Hdqr’s was located in the office of a manufacturing establishment on Frankfurter Strasse, and Hdqr’s officers were billeted in a large Chateau nearby. The Men of “A”, “C” and “d” and Hdqr’s Companies were assigned to billets they were to occupy during their stay in the area. These billets being in private homes of the civilian population. “D” Company proceeded without delay to the village of Happershass, where they were to be on duty as Outpost Company. 3 O.R’s from lave. Appendix No. 10.
HENNEF 6 G 90.80 Germany 2-L 14 On this second day of the stay of the Battalion in this are the Officers and men rested in their billets, recovering in a measure from the hardships of the march. Conforming with Army Orders issued to the Burgomeister and from him to the population in general, many civilians have reported to Batt’n. Hdqr’s. for the necessary Identification Passes for use in the local area. These passes being a description of the holder and having further, his or her photograph attached thereto. Several men of the Battn. having knowledge of the German Language, have been selected for Batt’n. duty as Interpreters, etc. 1 O.R. on Hand Compositors Course. 5 O.R’s from leave. 2 O.R. Canadian Corps Cyclists returned to their unit. 2 O.R’s to Hospital.
15 The Battalion formed up on parade and marched though the town to a theatre, in which nothing in the way of amusement was presented for quite some time, and in which the Battalion now held Church Service. The Padre, being in fine form, gave the Battalion an excellent sermon, which was thoroughly appreciated by all members of the Batt’n. present. 1 O.R. to Brigade Duty as Paymaster’s Clerk. Appendix No. 11 attached.
16 The Battalion carried on with training, as per syllabi attached. Between “A” and “D” Companies’ billeting areas a fine large field was located and it served as an excellent Drill Square or Parade Ground. 1 O.R. to Hospital. Appendix No. 12.
17 Battalion Headquarters Staff and Company moved today to the village of Allner, locating the Battalion Orderly Room in a magnificent large Castle, or as termed in the German tongue, Schloss. The Schloss is a huge and very fine specimen of Architectural Art of an earlier period, and is built entirely of stone. Its is surrounded by a beautiful park. When one has seen the Castle and Grounds he is immediately struck with the thought that it is emblematic of the utmost in luxury and convenience. The Batt’n. Headquarters Officers have appropriated the entire Castle and appurtenances for their quarters, having installed themselves in the Sleeping Chambers and using the Breakfast Rooms, Dining Rooms, Drawing Rooms, Billiard Rooms, etc. at their will. The Castle maintains a large staff of servants and consequently the order of the house is of the finest and our Officers are living, as is their due, in every luxury. In a large forest in the rear of the Castle Grounds Dear [sic] and small game abound and the Officers of the Battalion secure a great measure of enjoyment from their hunting and shooting expeditions. The remainder of the Battalion remain in Hennef and are continuing with their training as per syllabi attached. 6 O.R’s from leave. 1 O.R. to Hospital. Appendix No. 13.
Allner 6 G 90.80 Germany 2-L 18 The Men of the Battalion have now fully recovered from the hardships of the march and are training as per Syllabi attached. The spirit of the men is superb and they are entering into the daily routine of their stay here and are carrying on their various duties with an eagerness and willingness that is proverbial with the Canadians as a whole. Clothing parades are being held almost daily and the various Company Quartermasters are as rapidly as possible fitting the men with the required new clothing so that the Battalion has now approached the appearance of smartness that is second to none in the allied Armies and in the Canadian and British Armies in particular. 1 O.R. to Hospital. Appendix No. 14.
19 The Battalion continued their training as per syllabi attached. Lieut. S.G. Stokes and 4 O.R’s on leave. Appendix No. 15.
20 “B” Company moved to-day to Brel to continue their duty as Outpost Company there. The remainder of the Battalion continuing their training per Syllabi attached. 3 O.R’s on leave. Appendix No. 16.
21 The Battalion continues training as per Syllabi attached. 4 O.R’s on leave, 1 O.R. to Hospital. Appendix No. 17.
22 The Battalion attended Church Service to-day and enjoyed an excellent sermon, the Padre being in his usual good voice. Major J.J. Richardson and 3 O.R’s on leave. 2 O.R’s attached to Battalion as interpreters. Appendix No. 18.
23 The Battalion continued training as per Syllabi attached, and are maintaining duties in control of the area in the following manner:-
Duties of Commandant and Town Major combined in towns of Hennef (North of Railway), ALLNER, Happerschloss, Heisterschloss, Brehl, Mushmuchl and Weldergoven, in the person O.C. Battalion occupying this district. Headquarters at Schloss in Allner. One H.Q. Officer has office at Hennef permanently for purpose of stamping identification cards. District Administration is carried on by the Battalion Administration through the Burgomeister. No civilians are employed.

One Railway Control Post on broad gauge Railway station at Hennef, which has phone connection to Inter-Allied Railway Commission at Cologne. On the outpost line we have two main Control posts, four subsidiary posts and tow patrols, reference map Germany 2-L.

No. 1 Post (subsidiary) at railroad bridge under V. in Weldergoven.

No. 2 Post (subsidiary) on dirt road just east of village of Weldergoven, just above N. in Weldergoven.

No. 3 Post (subsidiary) on bridge over river where Hennef road joins Allner road. Directly above W. in Weldergoven.

No. 4 Post (Main Control) on bridge in Muschnuehl road, directly below M. in Muschnuehl.

No. 5 Post (subsidiary) on foot bridge S.E. of village of Brehl halfway between l. in Brehl and T in Triesch.

No. 6 Post (Main Control) on bridge where main road Winterschield crosses river.

No. 1 Patrol covers ground between No. 4 and No. 5 Posts.

No. 2 Patrol covers ground along river from junction main Winterschield road with main Brehl-Schied Road.

Traffic with Neutral territory only through main control posts.

Subsidiary posts to guard bridges and prevent traffic to foot paths etc.

No. 377223 Pte. Bihl W. (193 Labour Co’y) and No. 3108760 Pte. Wieber J. (11th Co’y Cdn. Forestry Corps) are attached from 4th C.I.B. as interpreters at Railway Control Post. We have no F.(b) Police attached.

3 O.R’s on leave and 3 O.R’s returned from leave. 5 O.R’s attached to 2nd Divisional Train. 1 O.R. to Hospital. Appendix No. 19.

24 The Battalion continued training as per Syllabi attached. 4 O.R’s on leave and 2 O.R’s returned. Appendix No. 20.
25 “‘A MERRY CHRISTMAS TO ALL’. Christmas  Day dawned bright and clear, with just a touch of snow upon the ground, which gave the vicinity a very “Christmas-like” appearance.The members of the Battalion were in excellent spirit and thoroughly prepared for anything the day might bring forth. The Officers of the Battalion made every preparation for a fine Christmas Dinner and the men were awaiting it with very keen anticipation. At the appointed hour the tables in the different Company mess-rooms, especially selected for the day, were teeming with good things to eat, and they assuredly presented a most pleasant sight.

“A” Company Mess-room was located in a large hall in the Northern section of the town. “C” Company enjoyed its dinner in a very picturesque theatre in the centre of the town, while “D” Company had theirs in one of the schools the town affords. “B” Company being on duty as Outpost Company, had arranged to  have dinner in one of the schools in the village of Brohl.

Each of the mess-rooms was decorated in a most pleasant and “Christmas-like” style and tended to heighten the then very high spirit of the men. The tables were loaded with Apples, Oranges, Nuts, Ginger-ale, Cakes, etc. and from the serving tables in the rear came the most appetizing odours of Turkey, meats, vegetables, Christmas Plum Pudding and other items to be served as the dinner progressed.

The men took their places at the tables in a very business-like manner, the different platoons being kept together, and then began what was their first Christmas dinner and also, in all probability their last one in German Territory.

Lt.-Col. L.E. Jones and ad Staff Officers and the Officers of the different Companies were in attendance at each of the dinners of the Companies and during the progress of the dinner Lt.-Col. Jones made a short [entered in pencil] speech of good will, wishing the members of the Battalion a “Very  Merry Christmas” and every prosperity for the coming year, which as he remarked would be the one year that would never be forgotten by any one present or by the world in its entirety, being the Anniversary year of the Ending of the War. He again complimented the members of the Battalion upon their share of the conflict and expressed himself as being more than pleased with their conduct in the past and present.

At the close of his address the men express their appreciation of his remarks by rising and giving him three of the most hearty cheers and a “Tiger”.

At the close of the dinner the faces of the men showed, very glowingly, their entire satisfaction. Altogether the occasion was carried off in an excellent manner and it will be one that will never be forgotten by any of the members of this battalion.

2 O.R.s on leave and 3 O.R.s returned.

26 The Battalion continued training as per Syllabi attached. 4 O.R’s on leave and 1 O.R. returned. 1 O.R. to Hospital. Appendix No. 21.
27 The Battalion continued training as per Syllabi attached. 3 O.R’s on leave and 24 O.R’s  returned. 4 O.R’s attached to Repatriated Prisoners of War Camp, Wahm. 1 O.R. attached as reinforcement. 2 O.R’s to Hospital. Appendix No. 22.
28 The Battalion continued training as per Syllabi attached. Lieut. C.D. Smith and 4 O.R’s on leave. Appendix No. 23.
29 The Battalion attended Church Service and enjoyed another of the Padre’s excellent Sermons. Capt. C.H. Boulden and Capt. W.A.S. Porter and 5 O.R’s on leave, and 1 O.R. returned. 1 O.R. to Fitters Course at Duran. 1 O.R. to Hospital. Appendix No. 24.
30 The Battalion continued training as per Syllabi attached. 1 O.R. on leave to Paris and 1 O.R. returned from leave, from United Kingdom. 1 O.R. returned from Hospital Appendix no 25.
31 The Battalion continued training as per Syllabi attached. 4 O.R’s on leave. 1 O.R. to Hospital and 1 O.R. returned from Hospital. Appendix No. 26.

War Diary

Appendices (Not Including Maps)

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