St. Eloi and Mount Sorrell

Until the 11th the situation was quiet and probably would have remained so had the garrison been less aggressive. About 9.30 that evening the advanced posts reported that between two and three hundred Germans were approaching the Crater. Their proximity alarmed the garrison. However, it was only a working party which started to work on the trenches and wire. Lieut. Keslick at once reported this to Battalion Headquarters, and was allotted two additional machine-guns besides the one he had, and the support of a battery of artillery for harassing purposes. At about 2 a.m. all was ready. The unsuspecting enemy, caught in the open at a range of about a hundred yards, suffered very heavily. The fire lasted for about half an hour, from the end of which time until dawn he was observed clearing away the casualties. Col. Rogers, who had happened along to inspect the crater and its garrison, helped to direct our Lewis gun fire.

Such success could not but inspire retaliation; and in any case the Germans had not long to wait for an opportunity of revenge. Next day dawned fine and clear, offering unequalled facilities for observation. Balloons went up behind the enemy lines, and both from these and from observation posts we felt the sensation of innumerable field-glasses focussed upon us. That these signs foreshadowed an immediate bombardment we were confident, and this confidence was quickly justified. The enemy's bombardment began at half-past nine and lasted two and a half hours. Shells of every size and shape, "rum jars", "minnies", "pineapples", fell from every conceivable angle, the centre of which was a crater not more than seventy feet in diameter. During that time clods of earth, revetting, sandbags and wire were perpetually in the air. At the end of it the defences were a wreck and the garrison and shell shocked remnant, only eleven were unhurt.

D. J. Corrigall, The History of the Twentieth Canadian Battalion (Central Ontario Regiment), Canadian Expeditionary Force in the Great War, 1914-1918 (Toronto: Stone and Cox Limited, 1935), p. 61.