Battle of the Scarpe (1918)
Lt. Charles Smith Rutherford VC MC MM from the 5th Canadian Mounted Rifles of the 3rd Canadian Infantry Division performed actions that would earn him the Victoria Cross. He captured a German party of 45, including two officers and three machine-guns, then captured another pill-box along with another 35 prisoners and their guns.
Heavy rains during the night resulted in slippery ground, difficulties in assembling troops and late starts for the assaults. Stiff resistance from the Germans and their heavily defended positions limited gains to around 3 kilometers.
The 2nd and 3rd Canadian Infantry Divisions seized an important portion of the German Fresnes-Rouvroy defence system after three days of intense fighting. Total casualties are reported as 254 officers and 5,547 other ranks. They captured more than 3,300 prisoners, 53 guns and 519 machine guns.
Lt-Col. William Hew Clark-Kennedy, 24th Battalion, 2nd Canadian Infantry Division, earned a Victoria Cross by personally driving the advance despite being severely wounded, and suffering from intense pain and loss of blood.
Lt-Col. A. E. G. McKenzie, Commanding Officer of the 26th (New Brunswick) Battalion, was killed during action on 28 August. He was posthumously awarded a bar to his Distinguished Service Order.
Brutinel's Brigade, the first fully motorized brigade in the British Empire armies, advances the front line by approximately one kilometer by seizing Bench Farm and Victoria Copse. The Canadian Corps Cyclist Battalion established posts right up to the Scarpe River.
Soldiers from the Canadian Corps cleared portions of the Fresnes-Rouvroy trench system, including Upton Wood. After holding all day under heavy fire, they drove off a German counterattack, capturing 50 prisoners and five machine guns in the process.
- The Second Battles of Arras 1918
- War Diaries - Canada and the First World War - Library and Archives Canada
- "No. 31012". The London Gazette (Supplement). 12 November 1918. pp. 13471–13472.
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2016-03-03. Retrieved 2019-10-12.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)