Friday, March 28, 2014

96 Years Ago Today, Onward to Moreuil

A trooper in happier, training days
March 28th, 1918. Ninety-six years ago today, the Canadian Cavalry Brigade, attached to the British 3rd Cavalry Division, had for a week been in a desperate fight. The German army had broken through and overrun weakened British divisions on March 21st in Operation Michael. Men and horses are exhausted and have suffered many casualties. For a few days they had been separated into dismounted and mounted groups, but now they are remounted and back together.

4:15 am- the brigade received word of a gap in the defensive line at Montdidier.
6:30 am- the brigade moved off.
9:00 am- They were halted and ordered to bivouac.No sooner were fires started but before water for tea boiled, they were mounted and off again.
"C" Squadron, Lord Strathcona's Horse (Royal Canadians) are very busy. Lt. Flowerdew and a contingent hunt for Germans, but no contact is made. Lt. Harvey has more luck--he and his party meet a party of Germans and attack, driving them from Fontaine. On falling back, he and his men are arrested by the French, who think they are German impostors. General Seely eventually sorts this out, and Harvey is later awarded the Croix de Guerre for his work that day by the red-faced French.
The rest of the brigade spends most of the day waiting in the rain, and by 6 pm they are billeted in Sains Morainvillers.



RealEstateYouLoveToComeHomeTo said...

Thanks, Bob, for this fascinating post. Just these notes enrich my reading these days, having recently finished "Sarah's Key", currently reading "Suite Francaise", and studying "The Monuments Men". Although the three titles are dealing with WWII, the characters constantly refer to WWI because of their personal and cultural connections to its events.

Robert Mackay said...

Very interesting comment. Many historians consider WW II a continuation of the Great War.

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