On August 26th, 1918, only weeks after its costly victory at Amiens, the Canadian Corps advanced from Arras in the general direction of Cambrai. The main obstacle barring the route was the Drocourt Queant Line, a German defensive position pf vital importance.
After six days of bloody combat, the Canadians pushed the enemy back 10 kilometers and reached the outposts in front of the Drocourt Queant line. The most impressive of these was the Crow’s Nest, the wooded hill behind this marker. The capture of this well-fortified redoubt was critically necessary for the success of the main attack against the Drocourt Queant line.
The 15th Battalion (48th Highlanders) of the 3rd Brigade, 1st Canadian Division, was ordered to capture the Crow’s Nest, as well as the ruins of Hendecourt Chateau in an adjacent wood. Before dawn on September 1st, the 15th Battalion advanced from trenches to the west of the Hendecourt-Drury Road behind you. Supported by a rolling artillery barrage, the Highlanders assaulted and captured the Crow’s Nest and the Hendecourt Chateau Wood and consolidated their line beyond the objective. The enemy, recognizing the importance of these positions, launched three determined counterattacks, but all failed.
Despite having suffered numerous casualties, the capture of the Crow’s Nest and Chateau Wood by the 15th Battalion secured a critical ‘jump-off’ position for the follow-on assault of the Drocurt Queant line by the Canadian Corps on September 2, 1918.
The soldiers of the 15th Battalion (48th Highlanders) who fell on the field of honour on September 1st and 2nd, 1918 are forever at rest in the Dominion Cemetery at Hendecourt.