28th Battalion History

The Somme - Fall 1916

July 4, 1916

The Battalion proceeds by bus to trenches, 32-38 left sector.

July 5, 1916

The Battalion relieves the 19th Battalion.

July 10, 1916

The Battalion is relieved by the 14th Battalion and moves to Brigade support, Bedford House. Whole effective strength used on working parties.

July 13, 1916

The Battalion receives 100 replacements from the 68th Battalion.

July 21, 1916

The Battalion moves to Micmac Camp.

July 22, 1916

The Battalion is transferred to Ridgewood to relieve 6th Northumberland Fusiliers in Brigade reserve.

July 23, 1916

The Battalion is relieved by the 26th Battalion and moves to Divisional reserve at Quebec Camp.

July 31, 1916

The Battalion relieves the 19th Battalion in trenches 25-28 etc. (St.Eloi).

August 11, 1916

Trench raid on enemy trenches.

August 16, 1916

The Battalion is relieved by the 26th Battalion and moves to Kenora Camp.

August 18, 1916

The Battalion is reviewed by Sam Hughes.

August 20, 1916

Transferred to billets at Steenvoorde.

September 4, 1916

The Battalion marches from Chateau Fort to St. Omer to entrain for the Somme operations.

September 5, 1916

Arrives at Candes(?) and battalion marches to Lavicogne.

September 6, 1916

The Battalion marches to Vadencourt and bivouacs in a woods.

September 7, 1916

The Battalion marches with the Brigade to Albert and bivouacs in the Brickfield.

September 14, 1916

The Battalion moves up to frontline and takes over from the 29th Battalion.

September 15, 1916

At 6:20am, the Canadian 2nd Division attacked north-east astride the Albert/Bapaume road as part of a general British attack in what is known as the Battle of Flers-Courcelette. 6th and 4th Brigades attack towards Courcelette with the aid of 3 tanks for each brigade. This was to be the first use of tanks in battle.

The 28th was on the extreme left south of the Albert/Bapaume road with the 27th Battalion on its right and 5th Canadian Mounted Rifles guarding its left. The Battalion ordered to attack and take a section of "Sugar" Trench along the Bapaume road with the support of two tanks, a third supported the 27th Battalion. The two tanks moved forward along the Bapaume road, until they got stuck in the vicinity of Sugar Trench. The tank supporting the 27th managed to get all the way to Sugar Trench, then travelled along this trench as far as the sugar factory before returning to the Canadian start line. The 28th and 27th both broke through the German front line within 15 minutes and advanced to their objectives.

One source stated that the tanks were quickly out of the battle, one broke down before reaching the start line and the other was set on fire when a German shell exploded its ammunition and the battalion remained in its trenches as a result of the loss of the tanks. However, the Battalion war diary states "Attack successful and objective attained".

September 16, 1916

The Battalion is relieved and marches back to the Brickfields. From Battleground Europe: Courcelette by Paul Reed, the Brickfields are described:

On the outskirts of Albert was the Brickfields, a large billeting area among an old brick factory. The 2nd Battalion found it,

"... an inhospitable area of chalky ground, scantily covered with grass, on a low ridge west of town. Bare and uninviting at the best of times.

On the Brickfields the men quickly discovered that boxes of Small Arms ammunition could be built into substantial walls; and when a tarpaulin was thown over them an adequate hutment was the result. Diligently they applied themselves to the task of creating comfort,their industry accelerated by the downpour which began to drench the place. Huddling within their improvised shelters, they paid little heed to the long-range shelling which was scattered indiscriminately over the area."

September 17, 1916

The Battalion moves to Warloy-Baillon.

September 18, 1916

Move to Lavicogne.

September 19, 1916

Move to Montrelet, all ranks stood march well.

September 20, 1916

The Battalion war diary notes the casualties from Courcellette at 11 Officers & 291 men.

September 22, 1916

Move to Lavicogne.

September 23, 1916

Move to Vadencourt.

September 24, 1916

The Battalion is transported by bus to La Boiselle and proceeds to the frontline.

September 25, 1916

There is heavy shelling on the Battalion sector by the enemy. The enemy attempts an attack on 28th frontline in front of a cemetery but is repulsed. This would be a section of Courcelette Trench on the east side of Courcelette along the Miraumont Road.

September 26, 1916

Heavy enemy shelling. The Battalion is holding the section of front line at Courcelette Trench east of Courcelette. The 28th & 29th Battalions make an attack though the northern section of the Battalion's lines towards the "Practice Trenches" along what was then called Gun Pit Alley, later named Death Valley.

September 27, 1916

Cooperating with 23rd British Division on right. An attack was made along Sugar Trench from the 28th's Block. The Battalion took the German positions west of the Bapaume road (the Practice Trenches) during the day after the Germans fell back to the Regina Trench. The fighting resulted in heavy casualties.

September 28, 1916

Shortly after dawn, a cavalry patrol proceeds along Bapaume Road and covered our front. They report that the enemy is holding Desterment Farm (21a) and there is enemy in some force on Le Sars and Pys line.

September 29, 1916

The Battalion is relieved by the 20th Battalion and moves to reserve in bivouac at X15C, Sausage Valley. Muster Parade revealed 142 casualties.

October 1916

2nd Division's survivors from the Somme moved north through Picardy. Captain D.E. Macintyre meets the Battalion's acting commander, Major Alex Ross with a column of about a company of men near Canaples. When asked where the rest of the battalion was, Major Ross replied, "This is all of the battalion, Mac, We lost a lot of men."

October 1, 1916

The Battalion relieves the 25th and part of the 24th Battalions. (names of trenches unreadable in war diary but probably Kenora and Hessian Trenches)

October 2, 1916

Intermittent shell fire, fairly heavy, especially in Kenora (?) Trench which was held by 'D' Company.

October 3, 1916

The Battalion is relieved by the 43rd Battalion and marches to Brickfield.

October 4, 1916

The Battalion marches to Warloy (?) and is put into a tented camp.

October 6, 1916

Move from Warloy (?) to La Veigne (?).

October 7, 1916

Move from La Veigne (?) via (?) to Halloy des Pernans (?).

October 16, 1916

The Battalion moves to Bois Aix Houlette (?) to relieve the 4th Middlesex in brigade reserve.

October 22, 1916

The Battalion relieves the 31st Battalion in Souchez II (?).

October 28, 1916

The enemy blew a small mine in No Mans Land in front of Rotten Row. The Battalion is relieved by the 31st Battalion and moves to Lorrete Spur.

November 1, 1916

The Battalion holding the Lorette Spur defences.

November 3, 1916

The Battalion relieves the 31st Battalion in Souchez II.

November 7, 1916

The Germans attempt to wire in front of 'YORK CRATER'.

November 9, 1916

The Battalion is relieved by the 31st Battalion and moves to huts in Noulette Wood.

November 10, 1916

The woods is shelled and 2 officers servants are killed. The Battalion moves to new huts at Bouvigny Woods.

November 15, 1916

The Battalion relieves the 31st Battalion in Souchez II trenches.

November 21, 1916

The Battalion is relieved by the 31st Battalion and moves into Souchez Spur defences.

December 3, 1916

The Battalion is relieved by the 31st Battalion and moves to Bouvigny Wood.

December 9, 1916

The Battalion relieves the 31st Battalion in Souchez II trenches.

December 15, 1916

The Battalion is relieved by the 31st Battalion and moves into Souchez Spur defences. Major General Sir H.E. Burstall takes command of the Second Division. Leiutenant General R.E.W Turner appointed General Officer Commanding, Canadian Forces in the British Isles.

December 22, 1916

The Battalion is relieved by the 29th Battalion and then relieves the 31st Battalion in Souchez II trenches.

December 25, 1916

The enemy attempts a raid accompanied with heavy shelling. Battalion casualties were two men killed.

December 28, 1916

The Battalion is relieved by the 31st Battalion and moves to Bouvigny Wood huts.


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