Wednesday, August 5, 2015
Blood and Guts
Some "lost" Imperial units were placed into the line but had to withdraw again at 7 pm. The remnants of the 16th Battalion were already withdrawn from Kitchener's Wood.
A German attack from the wood was broken up by rifle fire and later rifle fire forced the Germans out of the village of St. Julien.
There was no rest that night for the troops who were fighting for 60 continuous hours. The night was spent bringing up ammunition and repairing wire.
A German attack was thwarted at dawn and the shelling was more intense than ever from 9 am to noon. Two companies of the 8th Battalion were brought up to reinforce the 7th and 10th. Three more attacks were thrown back that afternoon.
That night, the Imperial troops formed a line to the rear and the remaining Canadians made a fighting withdrawal to it.
Sir John French's order of the day, "Those splendid troops have averted a disaster..."
Many Vancouver homes were in mourning after the second battle of Ypres. But Canadians held their heads high. Canadians were Canadians not "colonials". They have proven themselves.
The Canadian forces started the journey up the road of savage and intelligent heroism that made the CEF with the Australians the aristocrats of the European battlefields. Those fields called for blood and guts and Vancouver gave her share.
I hope you find the beauty around you.