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You couldn't see anything

First World War Audio Archive

You couldn't see anything

5:30 in the morning was our jump off. Honest to goodness

Hill 62 Memorial Belgium.

you couldn’t see anything for a few minutes. It was snow. I think just about the time the first gun fired was about when the snow started. The guns were wheel to wheel for miles.

Courtrai Memorial Belgium.

The whole front was approximately 14 miles. Actually our part

Le Quesnel Memorial Belgium.

was only four but then you see we had the 51st hound division to our right again and there was other... Actually, when you

Gueudecourt Memorial France.

come to think of it, we got all the glory for Vimy. We were only a small part of it. Four miles roughly is approximately the

Dury Memorial France.

extent of our front line. There was snow coming from the west,

Monchy Memorial France.

you see, blowing towards east where the Germans were facing the west, you see. Well it may have had some effect on it.

Passchendaele Memorial Belgium.

I know when the snow storm let up our machine gunners

Masnières memorial France.

had a field day because the Germans were running, had left the front, would pour out of their dugouts and started running down towards Givenchy. There was a draw down through

Bourion Wood Memorial France.

the, you know, like a drainage system. You’d call it a ravine

Courcelette Memorial France.

here, but it wasn’t very deep and that’s where they were taking

Beaumont-Hamel Memorial France.

shelter and burrowing down through this and their dugouts were dug in from the sides of this little bit of a draw. I don’t know

St. Julien Memorial Belgium.

what you’d call it. And they were running down towards Givenchy. My God, one of our machine gunners come up there. Must have

Canadian National Vimy Memorial France.

sprayed 25 to 30 of them. Just sprayed it, you know.

Mr. MacLeod describes in general his assault at Vimy and in particular how the snow helped them surprise the enemy. Describes an incident where many fleeing Germans are machine gunned.

James Neil MacLeod

James Neil MacLeod was born on November 12, 1899. Left school to enlist in Sherbrooke, Quebec, on December 10, 1915. Mr. MacLeod was a member of the 117th Battalion in Canada and England, joining the 24th Battalion for his tour of duty in Europe. He participated in many major battles: Arras, Vimy, Amiens, Somme and Michael Offensive. He was wounded in the elbow August 27, 1918. After his discharge, Mr. MacLeod lived in Quebec, moved to New York state to work for the New York Central Railroad. Married Mae R. Mulvaney in 1927. Mr. MacLeod died June 8, 1981.

Meta Data
Veterans Affairs Canada
Person Interviewed:
James Neil MacLeod
War, Conflict or Mission:
First World War
117th Battalion

Copyright / Permission to Reproduce


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