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Canal Du nord


fallenhero
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A soldier I am researching died 28/09/1918 serving the Canadian 1st Division under 10th Battalion 2nd Infantry Brigade. I am pretty sure he died in the battle of Canal du Nord but everywhere I go it lists that the battle was on September 27th. Can anyone help me verify that the my soldier did die in the battle of Canal du Nord.

His Regiment/Service: Canadian Infantry (Alberta Regiment). He represented Canada in the last 100 days of the war. And he belonged to the 1st Canadian Division, 2nd Infantry Brigade.

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Fairly easily answered. Captain E A James "A Record of the Battles and Engagements of the British Armies in France and Flanders, 1914-1918" states that for official purposes, the dates of the Battle of the Canal du Nord are 27th September - 1st October [1918]. One of the units listed as entitled to claim involvement in this engagement is 1st Canadian Division, Canadian Corps, First Army

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You can access Canadian War Diaries online here.

Should confirm where the battalion was.

That said, according to the mother site, the official dates of Battle of the Canal du Nord are 27 September - 1 October.

John

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11th Div were part of The canadian corps at the time and my 9th Sherwood Foresters acted as reserve. The canadians along with 11th Div attacked on 27th, 28th, 29th, 30th sept and 1st october. The Canal Du Nord was crossed on 27th but the push towards Cambrai continued.

sm

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How do you know the loation of the diary since it doesn't state it. I searched up the diaries for 10th batallion on september 28th 1918 and it said that a and performed that day for the troops.

http://data2.collectionscanada.ca/e/e044/e001086712.jpg

Also where can I find some good maps that point out the actions of the 10th battalion in this war.

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You will have to look at the days before and find where they may have written the location in the location column. In addition, you should consult ALL the documents appended to the diaries for that month. There will be operational orders attached and also some descriptions of how the battle went (this is referenced where it says "particulars of Battalion - see narrative" - the narrative is in the appendix). I was VERY lucky a couple of times, and the "narrative" was actually written by my father!

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You will have to look at the days before and find where they may have written the location in the location column. In addition, you should consult ALL the documents appended to the diaries for that month. There will be operational orders attached and also some descriptions of how the battle went (this is referenced where it says "particulars of Battalion - see narrative" - the narrative is in the appendix). I was VERY lucky a couple of times, and the "narrative" was actually written by my father!

So I am suppose to read all the diaries in that month and then look for the indications that guide me to an appendix regarding the battalion?

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Fallenhero

Go to this site: http://www.collectionscanada.ca/archivianet/02015202_e.html and type in 10th Battalion then select a specific date.

In the alternative just type 10th Battalion and click search. That will give you the menu for all of the war diaries for the 10th during the battalion's active service.

You might also look for a copy of Gallant Canadians The story of the 10th Canadian Infantry Battalion 1914-1919 by Daniel Dancocks. This will also provide an excellent account.

Good Luck

CMR

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Sorry, fallenhero, if I wasn't quite clear. As CMR suggests, if you go to the link he provided and search "10th Battalion" and the year "1918" you will get to a page that lists the various references that have War Diary information. Look at Reference #4 - it has the diaries for the dates September and October 1918. You will see a long list of pages for those months. In the front of the list for September, you will see three pages of lists of appendices - if you look there, I think you will find the narrative of the battle referred to on p. 26 (the page you found covering Sept 18) in Appendix 11 - you will see it has a number of pages.

Also, if you look again at p. 26, you will see they do mention that the transport and rear orderly room are moved to Inchy (this is Inchy-en-Artois). If you look on p. 25, you will see they talk about being in the Mercatel Sector and moving to Cagnicourt. Usually the placenames are listed in the lefthand column but the chap writing this dairy doesn't seem to do that. You'll find they mix up ordinary placenemes and trench and sector names, so that if you get a good map you can get an idea of where they were in relation to existing places, but if you want to know more precisely, you would need a trench map.

You need to keep in mind that they rotated in and out of the front line into Division and Brigade and other *reserve* or *rest* areas. This didn't mean they were totally *at rest*, it just might mean they were 10 or 20 miles or so behind the lines. But they still did lots of work there, often going back up to the front or into No Man's Land with working parties at night to lay wire or repair or dig trenches. In this way, you will see fellows getting killed when their battalion is *at rest*; similarly, you see things like the band giving a concert when they are in the front lines. They lived in the trenches and dugouts with a regular racket of shells and guns on a daily basis, then one or other side would make an attack and all Hell would break loose. Such was the soldier's life.

I would support CMR's suggestion that you get hold of the battalion history. I know the one for my Dad's battalion helped me understand a lot about how things worked and what they were likely to be doing at any given time; it also helped me better understand the system of rotation, where usually of four battalions, 2 would be in reserve while two were in the trenches at the front.

My Dad's battalion was with the Second Division, Canadian Corps at Canal du Nord. Up to September 25th, they had been involved in establishing and consolidating a line of posts in front of the Canadian lines that would be important in the subsequent major attack on the 27th/28th, by other battalions of the Canadian Corps (including the 10th). When the actual attack was on, they were in reserve at Hendecourt.

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Was he killed in action or died of wounds?

Also at the time the reserve lines where hit by heavy german artillery fire. Some of my men copped it despite being further back.

sm

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