ANCRE HEIGHTS

      The battle honour Ancre Heights was awarded for operations conducted 6-10 October 1916. These actions occurred during the Battle of Ancre Heights 1 October to 11 November 1916 during the Somme offensive. The Battle of the Ancre Heights was the continuation of British attacks after the Battle of Thiepval Ridge conducted 26-27 September. The front extended from Courcelette near the Albert–Bapaume road, west to the village of Thiepval.  British possession of the heights would deprive the German army of observation towards Albert to the south-west and give the British observation north over the Ancre valley to the German positions around Beaumont Hamel, Serre and Beaucourt.

Following the Battle of Theipval Ridge on 26-27 September the battle weary 15th Bn moved back to the brickyards in Albert, then further to the rear at Warloy for a badly need period of rest.  Two hundred reinforcements, many from the 92nd Bn (48th Highlanders of Canada) were absorbed into the unit.  On 5 October the unit headed back to the front in preparation for the start of the Battle of Ancre Heights.

Shortly after midnight that evening the unit relieved the 58th Bn C.E.F. in support positions at the ruins of the Sugar Refinery located near Courcelette. Two companies moved into the front line on the night of 6 October while the other two companies were tasked with digging a trench system that was to be used for a forward jumping off position.The 13th and 16th Bn assaulted on the morning of 8 October with the 14th and 15th Bns in support positions.  The attack faltered and bombers from the 15th Bn were called upon to provide support by transporting mills bombs to the 16th Bn at Regina Trench. Numerous bombers including a future World War 2 R.S.M. of the 48th Highlanders, Cpl Shaw were awarded the Military Medal for their actions.  During the afternoon the unit stood by ready to go forward to relieve the 16th  but this unit was able to fall back and reorganize.

On the morning of 10 October the unit was relieved and returned to Albert thus ending their participation in the Battle of Ancre Heights. The unit suffered 2 officers wounded, 14 NCOs and men killed and over 40 men wounded. This was the third and final battle honour the unit earned during the 1916 campaign on the Somme. Only the theatre battle honour Somme is emblazoned on the Regimental Colour.

   
Canadian Expeditionary Force 1914-1919
by Col GWL Nicholson
LtCol CE Bent and 15th Bn Officers
10 October 1916