Ypres Salient map highlighting the Canadian 1st Division Front Line and rear area.2nd Canadian Brigade Reserves Assist 3rd Canadian Brigade

22 April 1915: 20.30

10th Battalion (1st Canadian Division reserve)

At 8pm the 3rd Brigade had requested 2nd Brigade to move troops into the gap between St. Julien and Mouse Trap Farm. 2nd Brigade replied that 10th Battalion was presently on the Wieltje-Fortuin road and that the battalion was under instruction to take up position on the Wieltje-St. Julien road without delay. At 8.45pm the message was received at 1st Canadian Division headquarters (Chateau des Trois Tours, near Brielen) from 2nd Brigade confirming that 10th Battalion had now occupied the G.H.Q. Line.(1)

7th Battalion (2nd Brigade's reserve battalion)

Map showing 2nd Canadian Brigade reserves.

The same message confirmed that the 7th Battalion was proceeding to 'Locality C' to protect the left of 2nd Brigade.(2) The commander of the 2nd Brigade, Brigadier-General Currie, decided that 'Locality C' was the vital tactical feature which had to be held in order to retain his line, and indeed to protect the southern part of the Ypres Salient.

Locality C

This was one of the supporting points which the French had originally constructed behind the front line when they held this sector from the autumn of 1914. This point was on the skyline on the western part of the Gravenstafel Ridge. It is described as:

“... consisting chiefly of a rather poor trench, 200 yards long, facing north-east, built in the usual French thin parapet style, with no depth, no thickness and no parados, and, in common with the other supporting points, in a less than half-finished state, the trench two feet deep. Along the front, about ten yards away, was a barbed wire fence.” (3)

D Company, 5th Battalion (D Coy 5/)

This company, under Major G S T Pragnell, was in reserve behind the front line located on the Wieltje-Gravenstafel road. 2nd Brigade HQ ordered it to move northwards up the St. Julien-Fortuin road and entrench on a slight rise about 150 metres south-east of St. Julien. From about 8.30pm it sent out patrols to 'Locality C' and Kitchener's Wood and would continue to do so for the next 18 hours.

2nd Brigade HQ and 2nd Battalion East Kent Regiment (2/EK)

Meanwhile at the 2nd Brigade rear headquarters in Wieltje efforts had been made for the past hour to establish a defensive line by digging a trench north of Wieltje Farm. The Staff Captain, Captain R P Clark, gathered together about 100 men, who included the reserve machine gun section, the transport drivers, cooks and storemen. They were able to link with the right of the 2nd Battalion East Kent Regiment (the Buffs). This battalion (in the 28th Division 85th Brigade reserve) had moved forward from its billets in St. Jean into a position north of La Brique and St. Jean.

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