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28th Battalion History

Winter 1915-16

September 18, 1915

Arrive at Boulogne just prior to 5 AM after a rough crossing and little sleep. A British N.C.O. announces that reveille will be at 0600, and breakfast 0700. The Battalion entrains for the Front area at noon.

September 21, 1915

Arrive in Belgium behind the woods known as "Plugstreet" (Ploegsteert) Bivouac in the open in farm fields for a couple of days.

September 25, 1915

Major General Alderson addresses the Battalion in a muddy field in the pouring rain. He orders the Battalion to enter the trenches that night. The march forward led through Neuve Eglise, then to Kemmel. Guides from the 15th Battalion met them at the crossroads known as "Suicide Corner" and led the various platoons to their places in the line. Battalion HQ moved into a two-story house known as "Doctor's House" because the former occupant was a physician.

September 26, 1915

6 German 8" shells land in HQ area, one clips the roof of Doctor's House, but there were no casualties. Despite being in plain sight, there was no more shelling of the house that winter.

October 8, 1915

Lt. Macintyre made a report of sounds of tunneling to British Tunneling Unit. He was told that counter saps were being dug to intercept the German tunnels. At 5:00 PM, 2 mines exploded under the "Glory Hole" section of trenches where Major C.R. Hill's D Company, from Saskatoon and Prince Albert, was posted. Men were blown 50 yards by the blasts and the brass buttons on their tunics were flattened. The company was nearly wiped out with 34 killed and many wounded. The battalion repulsed the following German attack with rifle and grenade fire from the trenches on either side of the craters.

October 9, 1915

At 3:00 PM, Battalion troops at the "Glory Hole" area were shelled by large shells known as "coal boxes".

October 10, 1915 to February 1916

Battalion carried on with trench routine, rotating in and out of the line. They worked to improve field works, dressing stations & actively patrol "No Man's Land". Rest periods were at the nearby village of Locre. Hot baths were 1 franc at the local convent, soap & towels not included. Meals at the convent were a welcomed break from the regular fare.

November 2, 1915

Lieutenant A.W. Northover receives the Military Cross. I'm still researching the circumstances of this award, any help appreciated.

December 25, 1915

Private J.C. (Darky) Andrews, a sniper from the 28th, observes and breaks up group of soldiers, about 20 from each side, exchanging cigarettes & souvenirs between the trenches. That night, the German sang hymns and carols, Many of the Battalion joined in on "Silent Night".

January to June 1916

Battalion slides to the north to hold the line along the Ypres-Commines canal at the Bluffs, then further north to lines across the Ypres-Menin Road.

January 30, 1916

A trench raid, the 28th Battalion's first, is planned for the night of the 30-31. Between 10:00 PM -1:45 AM Scout-Sergent Turner and Corporal Conlin cut a path through German wire at the foot of Messines Ridge near Wyschaete, Belgium.

January 31, 1916

The trench Raid 2:30 AM, north of Kemmel is timed to coincide with a raid to the south by the 29th Battalion. Lieutenants D. E. Macintyre and K. C. Taylor lead 30 or 33, depending on accounts, men into the enemy trenches through the path cut in the wire. 6 minutes later, rally at entry point & retire. Corporal Conlin was killed along with one or two others, depending on the account. Captain Taylor and another officer were wounded along with 6-8 men, most by a machinegun that enfiaded the trench. The raid was considered a success by higher command, with 39 enemy killed for light casualties. The raid resulted in promotion of Lt. D.E. Macintyre to captain and transfer to 6th Brigade staff as Staff Captain (Intelligence).

February 16, 1916

The 28th and 29th Battalions extend their lines 700 yards north to free up the Northumberland Fusiliers for action elsewhere.

From a Winnipeg paper,
March 15, 1916
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