Liévin/Boyeffles, February 8, 1918

Friday  Fritz shelled & snipped [sic] the roads all day, he heavily shelled Happy Valley this afternoon rain fell [at] frequent intervals thru’out the day. I left the gun position about 4 and arrived at the W.G [wagon] Lines at 6 the rain kept off am well

Lens-and-Suburbs vimyridgehistory com_LI“There is a battle scarred hollow in the neighbourhood of St. Pierre known as Happy Valley. Jutting out into it from the town is a mountainous slag heap known as the Double Crassier, made famous by the first battle of Loos.[1915] Many times the members of the [60th] Battery had stood at a safe distance, and watched the Happy Valley as it was ploughed up by German shells, and had thanked Providence, which looks after all good gunners, that it was not their fate to hold it against the enemy.” (1) double_crassier history of 47th London archive org

“Quite in accord with the chances of warfare,” (1) of course, the Battery was ordered in and out of (different) positions in Happy Valley more than once beginning last October. Fortunately, “either the enemy thought he had made the valley untenable, or had turned his attention in other directions, for while the Battery held this position, not a round fell within five hundred yards of the guns.” (1)

That was October; this month, the 60th are back in Happy Valley, just in time, it seems, to be shelled. (2)

The map is found in Fiona MacKellar’s “thematically organized collections of original historical sources” called Canada’s First World War Experience; where she found it, I cannot tell.
The photograph of the Double Crassier (double slag-heap) is from Alan H. Maude, The 47th (London) Division, 1914-1919 (1922), facing page 28.

(1) 60th C.F.A. Battery Book, 1916-1919. [1919]. 48.
(2) 60th C.F.A. Battery Book, 53.

Copyright 2018. See “More about this project.”

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