Arthur Douglas Crease Letters, Diaries and Scrapbooks
Letters from Arthur Douglas Crease of Victoria to his brother Lindley Crease and his mother Sarah Crease; instructions for the offensive of July 26, 1917; a regimental notebook, diaries and scrapbook. Learn more.
*All transcriptions are provided by volunteers, and the accuracy of the transcriptions is not guaranteed. Please be sure to verify the information by viewing the image record, or visiting the BC Archives in person.
...watched the big shells dropping in Lens and Givenchy-en-Gohelle, or directed strafes on "the Pimple," that German O. P. of ill-fame, which for son long dominated the position.
Below the ridge of Notre Dame, on the south, where it can be approached only by steep spurs separated by ravines, is the little Souchez River, and all that remains of Souchez. Car-ency and Ablain St. Naizaire. It was here that the sternest fighting of the great Battle of Artois in the Spring and Summer of 1915 took place. Cut British divisions, holding on for dear life to the line in front of Bethune, saw little of the great struggle which our French allies were carrying on so near at hand. It was not till later, when they had won for us the ridge and surrendered it, not without a pang, one thinks, to our safe-keeping, that the graveyards and the broken guns, the shattered tower of Ablain St. Nazaire Church, and the scrap of iron that was once the famous Sugar Refinery of Souchez, told their tale.
The view from Lorette must look far different now from what it was in the days when one could watch from its heights the German shells crashing into Carency, mingling the black smoke of their bursts with clouds of pink dust from some ruined farmhouse, or the transport crawling in the dusk along the Ablain road. It was in those days that the gipsy bomber, whose story was told in some verses in Punch a few years ago, found his favorite spot in the battlefield from which he could not tear himself away on the slopes of Notre Dame:
But most he loved to lie upon Lorette
And, couched on cornflowers, gaze across the lines On Vimy Ridge--we had not Vimy yet-- Pale Souchez's bones, and Lens among the mines. Till, eagle-like, with hoarse indignant...
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Gunners arose from some deep-delved lair, To chase the intruder from their sacred peaks And cast him down to Ablain St. Nazaire.
There are no sentinels on Lorette now, for one may walk unscathed on its chalky heights. The duck boards om the Souchez marshes must be gone, Cabaret Rouge is no longer a minia-ture Piccadilly-circus of the trenches, and tthere is peace in Zouave Vallay. But the dead lie thick around Notre Dame de Lorette. And the citizens of Lille looking across o' nights at the "lantern of the dead" that is to shine from the belfry tower, may spare a thought for the men who gave their all for their city's freedom for France and for the Right.
NEW WESTMINSTER, Sept. 11.-- The lacrosse game between Van-couver and New Westminster, which was postponed today on account of the heavy rainfall, will be played next Wednesday at 3 p.m., it was announced here tonight.
BC Archives, MS 2879
Box 83 File 1
"Diary of the war", diary and scrapbook of Arthur Douglas Crease, 1915 - 1919.