February 1917 War Diary Summary

thelus-sector-with-trenches-undated-but-before-vimy-attack

Map 51b NW1 – Thelus Sector
(original trench map from the archives of Lt. G. V. Laughton, M.C.) Source: http://cefww1soldierrregan.blogspot.ca/

February 1917 found the Battalion engaged in rest, refitting, and training in the Auchel sector from February 1 to 12 with one day of marching to its next duty station with the 4th Canadian Infantry Brigade, 2nd Division at Ecoivres. During the rest period the soldiers of the 18th could rest and refit but no details of their activities is available from the war diary as it did not include any appendices. The 4th Cdn. Inf. Bde. war diaries relate that the was generally “cold and fine”.

February is a quiet month. The activity on the line when the Battalion enters the battle sector of Thelus is generally quiet and this is reflected in its and the Brigade’s war diaries. The weather begins to improve, becoming “mild” and it is not until February 22, 1917 that the Battalion experiences its first battle deaths. That day Privates Beaver and Jenkins (reg. nos. 195813 and 802590 respectively) are killed in action. There are not details of their deaths and it is not clear if their deaths occurred during a patrol referenced on that date’s War Diary entry. They are, however, buried in adjacent plots in the Ecoivres Military Cemetery (Beaver: IV. D. 24. Jenkins: IV. D. 23.).

ecoivres-military-cemetery-map

Ecoivres Military Cemetery Map. Private Beaver and Jenkins are n Plot IV, Row D and graves 23 and 24.

February 25, 1917, brought “RELIEF” and the Battalion moved out of the line back to Brigade Support and suffered a “severe artillery bombardment” wounding two members of the Battalion.

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