Ypres Salient map highlighting the location where the 1st Canadian Division relieved the French in the front line from mid April 1915.Canadian 1st Division relieves French 11th Division

17 April 1915

At 10.00am on 17th April the 1st Canadian Division completed its relief of the French 11th Division and Lieutenant-General E A H Alderson took over command of the sector from General Ferry. As the Canadians moved into the sector, the outgoing French soldiers told them that it was generally a very quiet part of the line and they had had very few casualties over the past few months.

Map of the Ypres Salient showing the relief of the French by the British 27th, 28th and 1st Canadian Divisions from early April 1915.

The 1st Canadian Division had been withdrawn from the British First Army in the Neuve Chapelle sector in French Flanders from 6th April 1915. It was being moved into the British V. Corps area of the British Second Army in Belgian Flanders. This was so that the V. Corps would be able to cover the extended frontage which had been allotted to it from April from north of the Ypres-Menin Road to the Ypres-Poelcappelle road.

The War Diary of the 10th Canadian Battalion stated for the afternoon of 14th April 1915:

“BN [Battalion] paraded and loaded into 40 motor busses [sic] and was transported to VLAMERTINGHE, then marched to WIELTJE where guides were supplied by the FRENCH OFFICIALS and approximately 1500 yards of trench taken over all cleared rations and ammunition taken in at 4.30am” (1)

The relief by the Canadian Division had begun on the night of 14th April with the following Brigades from east to west:

Next>> Condition of the Line of Defence in the former French sector


(1) 10th Canadian Battalion War Diary, April 1915, WO 95/3770, National Archives, Kew, Surrey

British Military Operations: France and Belgium 1915, pp. 158-161