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Sketch History 1916

The following is a very basic sketch outline of history of the 10th Battalion which will be embellished in greater detail on other pages of this website.

1 January Lieutenant Colonel Rattray awarded the Distinguished Service Order.
2 January 10 man patrol loses Private Robert Green captured by the enemy.
3 January 10th Battalion relieved, goes into Divisional reserve at Bulford Camp, begins planning its first raid.
5 January Belated Christmas dinner for half the Battalion from regimental funds.
6 January Belated Christmas dinner for remaining half of the Battalion.
9 January Return to the line.
15 January End of six-day tour, withdrawn to Brigade reserve near Hill 63.
21 January Return to the line, relieve 7th Battalion.
27 January Withdrawn to Divisional reserve at Bulford Camp. Rehearsals for first battalion raid.
2 February Return to line.
4-5 February 10th Battalion launches first raid; four men are killed and seventeen wounded. Forty-five Germans were estimated killed or injured. The Battalion received its first Military Crosses for the action - to five participants. The first Canadian soldier in the First World War to be awarded the bar to the DCM was also so decorated for his participation in this raid.
8 February Relieved and moved to Brigade reserve.
14 February Return to line to relieve 7th Battalion.
19 February Withdrawn to Divisional reserve.
23 February Inoculations for typhoid and paratyphoid.
25 February Inspection by Corps commander, General Alderson.
26 February Return to line.
2 March 1st Canadian Division participates in diversionary action to assist British V Corps in attack on "the Bluff" north of the Ypres-Comines Canal. 10th Battalion assisted by igniting smoke bombs forward of their listening posts, firing rifle grenades, catapulting bombs, firing machine guns, launching rafts with explosives, and attempting to light petrol fires.
4 March Relieved, to Brigade reserve.
9 March Return to line.
15 March Withdrawn to divisional reserve; losses for the six-day tour had been three dead and seven wounded.
16 March Inspection by Major-General Arthur Currie, General Officer Commanding, 1st Canadian Division.
19 March Corps commander General Alderson presents decorations to three officers and five other ranks.
21 March Return to line.
27 March Relieved, to Brigade reserve.
29 March Moved to Corps reserve near Godeswaersvalde.
2 April Church parade and address by Corps commander to 8th and 10th Battalions.
4 April 8th and 10th Battalions march to Poperinghe, where Canadian Corps was taking over new sector. 10th moves to divisional reserve.
8 April Return to line, near Hill 60.
9 April Relief of 14th Battalion in front line complete.
12 April Explosion of camouflet in No Man's Land to defeat enemy mine. First operation in which the 10th Battalion wore steel helmets into battle.
16 April Move to Brigade reserve at Dickebusch.
24 April Move to Divisional reserve at Scottish Lines.
28 April Inspection by General Sir Douglas Haig, Commander-in-Chief, British Expeditionary Force.
2 May Return to line.
10 May Move to Brigade reserve at Bedford House.


10th Battalion at morning ablutions in rest camp. May 1916.
(Library and Archives Canada photo)

10th Battalion field kitchens. May 1916.
(Library and Archives Canada photo)

18 May Move to Divisional reserve at Connaught Lines.
21 May Inspection by General Currie.
26 May Return to line.
31 May Relieved by 5th Battalion, moved to Brigade reserve near GHQ Line.
2 June Major German attack on the 3rd Canadian Division, newly arrived to the front. 10th Battalion ordered to counter-attack GHQ Line.
3 June Counter-attack fails owing to lack of co-ordination and confusion. Casualties for the day run to 149 all ranks, though only one company was actively engaged.
4 June 10th Battalion withdrawn to Dickebusch Huts.
5 June Relieved 5th Battalion in the line.
10 June Relieved after further action on Hill 60, holding ground while the remainder of the Division prepared counter-attacks on other ground lost on 2 June. Into reserve.
13 June Counter-attacks on Mount Sorrel a success, 10th Battalion sent into line afterwards.
14 June Relieved by the 24th and 26th Battalions. Total losses for Mount Sorrel amount to 274 all ranks for the 10th Battalion, who moves to Corps reserve at Camp E.
17 June Brigadier Lipsett, promoted to command 3rd Canadian Division, inspects Battalion.
18 June Corps command, General Julian Byng, inspects 10th Battalion for first time.
29 June Return to line, relieve 13th Battalion north of Mount Sorrel.


Major-General Arthur Currie, GOC 1st Canadian Division, third from left, escorts Canadian senators on an inspection. July 1916.
(Library and Archives Canada photo)

4 July Relieved by 1st Battalion.
10 July Inspection by Brigadier-General  Loomis.
18 July Inspection by Corps commander.
19 July Inspection by Brigadier-General Loomis.
25 July Stand-to-arms for two hours when German mine is exploded under "the Bluff." 7th Battalion fights off German attack with no further need of assistance.
7 August Return to line.
11 August Relieved, to Divisional reserve.


Private Fox of the 10th Battalion competes in a 2nd Brigade sports competition. August 1916.
(Library and Archives Canada photo)

27 August After period of intensive training, battalion begins march with rest of Canadian Corps towards the battlefields of the Somme.
4 September Battalion arrives at Albert.
8 September Lieutenant Colonel Rattray leaves Battalion, promoted to Brigadier-General and sent to a training brigade in the UK. Replaced temporarily by Major Alexander Thomson.
9 September Relieves the 8th Battalion in trenches near La Boisselle and the Chalk Pits.
11 September Relieved by 2nd Canadian Mounted Rifles; two days in the trenches cost the Battalion 55 casualties. Moved to billets at Albert.
13 September Moved to Rubrempré via Warloy into army reserve.
16 September Return to Albert.
22 September Relieved 52nd Battalion in the line.
23 September Relieved by 7th and 13th Battalions, withdrew to 2nd Brigade support positions in the Chalk Pits, having suffered 52 casualties in a single day, including two company commanders.
26 September 10th Battalion, under new commanding officer, Major Dan Ormond, supports two attacks behind creeping barrage onto Thiepval Ridge. Battle remains fluid.
27 September 10th Battalion companies and platoons fight scattered actions with 5th, 7th and 8th Battalions.
28 September 2nd Brigade relieved by 1st and 4th Canadian Mounted Rifles. 10th Battalion suffered 241 casualties in 36 hours of fighting at Thiepval Ridge.
1 October 10th Battalion visited by Brigadier-General Loomis and Major-General Currie.
7 October After staged move to Albert lasting a week, final elements of Battalion arrive.
10 October Return to line to relieve 1st Battalion.
11 October Relieved by 44th Battalion of 4th Canadian Division. Returned to Albert.
15 October Returned to line northeast of Courcelette for last tour of duty on the Somme, relieving 8th Battalion.
16-17 October Relieved by 47th Battalion, marched to Albert.
22 October Marched from Mezerolles to Dernier.
28 October Moved to Estrée Cauchie.
30 October Guard of Honour provided for former Governor General , the Duke of Connaught, visiting Major-General Currie's headquarters.
2 November Move to 2nd Brigade support near Carency in new sector between Arras and Lens.
6 November Move to front lines in the Vimy sector.
10 November Out of front line.
14 November Return to line.
18 November Relief and move to divisional reserve at Estrée Cauchie. Issue of new small box respirator type gas masks.
26 November Move to Berthnoval to 2nd Brigade support.
4 December To trenches for final tour of 1916, relieving 7th Battalion.
12 December Relieved by 15 Battalion, moved to divisional reserve at Estrée Cauchie.
18 December Moved to Divion to corps reserve, where the Battalion remained until the second half of January.

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