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28th Battalion History


January 15, 1917

A 28th Battalion sentry on duty at Spinner and Cooker Alley near Vimy Ridge recapture 3 Germans who has escaped from the POW cage at Bruay.

April 9, 1917

Battle of Arras, Vimy Ridge. The battalion formed part of 2nd Division's follow on force. The 26th and 24th Battalions (with intermediate "mop up lines from 22nd and 20th Battalions) took the first objective, Black Line. At Black Line, 25th and 21st Battalions (with more "mop up troops from 22nd and 20th Battalions) passed through to take the second objective, Red Line. After Red Line was secured, 6th Brigade, 27th, 28th, 29th & 31st Battalions came up from reserve in single file, and swinging into extended order, passed through to take the 3rd and 4th objectives, Blue and Brown Lines. Major Alex Ross is now a Lieutenant Colonel and commands 28th Battalion. The 28th Battalion's area of assault included the fortified village of Thélus. This village was unexpectedly easily taken in 20 minutes of fighting due to very effective artillery preparation (11,982 rounds were fired in the attack by 18 pounder guns and 4.5" howitzers).

The Battalion was deployed for assault on Vimy Ridge as follows:

- Riflemen & rifle grenadiers in 1st line.

-Bombers & Lewis gunners in 2nd.

- Moppers up in 3rd.

- A section of riflemen on each flank.

- Lewis gunners & bombers in center.

- 4-5 yards between men, 15-20 yards between lines, 50-100 yards between waves.

- Each company advanced in 2 waves of 2 platoons each.

- Units bringing up the rear used artillery formation (in columns rather than lines) but deployed into lines and waves when it came time to leapfrog other units.

Captain Thain MacDowell of 28th Battalion captured 2 machineguns and bluffed 77 Prussian Guards into surrender, for which he won 1 of the 4 Victoria Crosses awarded that day. Of the 4 awarded that day, he alone survived the war.

May 8, 1917

Early in the morning, with light rain & heavy mist, and after a heavy barrage of gas shells, a group of German troops intent on an assault on the British troops at Farbus, got lost and blundered into the Battalion's lines at the Arleax loop and made it into the trenches. The 28th was in the process of being relieved by the 19th battalion. Despite the confusion of the relief, the two battalions stood together and threw back the enemy with a counter attack.

November 6, 1917

Passhendaele - Corporal P.H. Linsell of 28th Battalion rushes through artillery barrage & Machinegun fire, captures a German machinegun at bayonet point, taking 16 prisoners.

November 7, 1917

Battalion relieved. Bivouac in cemetery near Ypres. Not many left to answer the roll call.

August 26, 1918

The 27th & 28th Battalions outflank an enemy pocket opposite Neuville-Vitasse and round up the surprised defenders with ease. Another attack was then launched under a powerful barrage by these units at 4:30 PM. The attack was aimed at the high ground to the east. Despite great amounts of wire, the high ground was taken, only to meet enfilade fire from a strong point on the right. A company of the 28th was sent over and knock it out. The 27th was rebuffed in an attack on the "Egret" trench after one company made it into this trench. An assault was made after dark, separately, by the 27th and 28th without a preparatory barrage, surprising the defenders and pushing them out.

October 11, 1918

At 9:00 AM, the Battalion assaulted the village of Iswuy. There was heavy street to street, house to house fighting. The 31st Battalion came in to support, making the capture of the village possible.

November 11, 1918

Private George Lawrence Price led a patrol across the Canal Du Centre, near Havre. At 10:55 AM, a German sniper shot Private George Lawrence Price of 28th Battalion in the chest. Pvt. Price died by 11:00 AM, the only Canadian killed that day. His company commander, Captain Evan Ross, was very upset with the other members of the patrol when told of the event, as they had no orders to cross the canal. Private Lawrence is believed to be the last soldier under British command (and possibly on the western front) killed in the Great War.

December 30, 1918

The Battalion postponed Christmas dinner until this date, due to the late arrival of the turkeys.

November 1918-Spring 1919

The Battalion takes part in the occupation of Germany, then is demobilized, eventually returning to Canada.

Post world War 1

The 28th Battalion was perpetuated in World War 2 as the Regina Rifles.

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28th (North-west) Battalion Headquarters is © Copyright 2001 Robert Lindsay. All Rights Reserved