Witley, January 22, 1917: Reorganization

Monday   Made into a 6 gun Battery today half of the 80th coming to us — We are now supposed to be a group corps

Back in October, Percy’s 48th Battery of the 12th Brigade had become the 81st battery of the 16th Brigade. Over the past month, concrete plans were being put in place to form the Fifth Canadian Division. Sam Hughes had argued for a fifth division, and his son Garnet will soon command it, but it was a not a plum. In fact, Sir Julian Byng, the Canadian Corps Commander since May 1916, used the opportunity to get Garnet Hughes out of France, for the younger Hughes was one of the officers Byng “found wanting and sent back to England to assume less demanding roles.” (1)

By tomorrow morning, the reorganization will be complete: the Fourth Canadian Divisional Artillery will be allocated to the brand-new Fifth Division, as noted in the January 23rd entry of the War Diary of the new  Fifth Canadian Divisional Artillery.(2)

5th division established.JPG

Percy’s brief diary entry makes more sense in the light of a second excerpt from the War Diary, this one from Appendix II:

War Diary reorganization.JPG

Notice that the 13th and 14th Brigades, now the Left and Right Group respectively, each have three batteries of eighteen-pounders, and one Howitzer battery. The Corps Group has two eighteen-pounder batteries and two of Howitzers.

(1) Cook, Tim. Shock Troops. Canadians Fighting the Great War Vol. 2 1917-1918. 2008. 18.
(2) War Diary of the Fifth Canadian Divisional Artillery.Vol. 1 January 23, 1917 to February 28, 1917.Library and Archives of Canada. 1

Copyright 2017. See “More about this project.”

 

 

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