October 30, 1917: The exhausted soldiers of both Divisions are replaced with fresh battalions and the battle continues. The 3rd Division, now hanging on in shell holes, is given the formidable task of capturing the remaining length of Bellevue Spur. The battalions spread into three groups for a full frontal attack, but heavy German opposition and artillery fire crush their efforts. Individual feats of bravery again save the day, and they manage to capture two major German defences at Source and Vapour Farms. Again the 3rd Division is short of its objective, but it secures additional ground and is now on drier land. Heavy losses are suffered in this attack, particularly by Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry (PPCLI) and the 49th Battalion.
The 4th Division also launches a three-pronged attack from the stronghold it had established partway up Passchendaele Ridge. They have great difficulty determining where they are to attack: All landmarks shown on reference maps had been obliterated; roads, trees and most buildings were reduced to dust. Nonetheless, the attack goes according to plan. Although suffering heavy casualties, they capture a series of fortified buildings – Vienna Cottages and Crest Farm – both near Passchendaele.
The battle of Passchendaele saw the Regiment advance, before dawn, up a gully waist deep in mud in the pouring rain to capture its objective – which British generals had assessed as requiring a full Division of 15,000 soldiers.
When the veterans returned to Vancouver they brought with them sixteen battle honours. This recognition of courage did nothing to dispel the fact that, of the 3,791 officers and men who served as Seaforths during the war, 2,515 of them became casualties.
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