It was not until 10 o'clock that orders were received from Brigade that hostilities would cease at 11 a.m. Meanwhile "B" Company on the right, having worked its way against stiff opposition to a position on high ground to the right of Bois du Rapois, encountered heavy machine-gun fire from a strong nest of German machine guns. The company, having pressed cautiously forward, was in position for the final assault upon this stronghold, when, with dramatic suddenness enemy guns which remained in position fired their final salvos. The lead had been played by Heinie, who, rather than pack unused ammunition back, had burst forth with everything he had in one last fusilade and our guns gave answer...


The shell fire lasted for about five minutes. Then at the stroke of 11, like a roll of heavy thunder, now fading away to be lost in the misty distance, the booming noise of gunfire, the rattle of machine-gun and rifle fire, the shouting of men faded quickly out, and the ear now caught the music of a hundred church bells pealing out from every direction their gratitude for peace after four years of warfare and its horrors.

A German officer stepped from the position which our men, in another moment would have stormed, and fired a white "Very Light." The troops watched him cautiously. He gave an order and from the ground arose the figures of his men. They dismantled their guns, pouring out the water from the jackets. They packed their equipment with deliberate calm as men might lay down their tools when another day's work is done, and, lining up, walked off in the direction of the village of Boissoit.

Our men followed and took up positions on the outskirts of Boissoit toward and along the Canal du Centre, already reached by "C" Company which during the last assault, had gone through Bon Vouloir. Miners who, under German occupation, that morning had descended the mines at Havre, came from the pits in the evening to find themselves liberated and the British troops in possession. The people of the village gave vent to their joy by bringing forth their best wine - hidden for years beneath earthy cellar floors - and mixed with the troops who readily shared with them what remaining food and iron rations their knapsacks could provide.

During the afternoon low dismal clouds began to gather and with them came a steady rain to which none paid heed as the festivities or the duties of the troops went forward. The Germans who had crossed the canal celebrated boisterously by staging a brilliant fireworks display for several hours during which they set off every available flare they could find.

H. C. Singer, History of the 31st Canadian Infantry Battalion, C.E.F. (n.p., [1939?]), pp. 429-431.