Wednesday 10 January 1917
Gas attack on our left by the enemy.
Cold & misty rain.
I go to Neuville St. Vaast to survey north of the village, a piece of ground with many trenches over it.
Enemy busy with T. Mortars. Our Stokes guns reply vigorously. I make my survey & on way back visit P.P.C.L.I. H.Qtr. where I learn from Regtl. Sergt. Major Jordon that I’ve been “Mentioned in Dispatches”. It appeared in Regtl. Orders.
*Considered uncivilised prior to World War One, the development and use of poison gas was necessitated by the requirement of wartime armies to find new ways of overcoming the stalemate of unexpected trench warfare. Although it is popularly believed that the German army was the first to use gas it was in fact initially deployed by the French. In the first month of the war, August 1914, they fired tear-gas grenades (xylyl bromide) against the Germans. Nevertheless the German army was the first to give serious study to the development of chemical weapons and the first to use it on a large scale. (www.firstworldwar.com)
*Mention in Dispatches is awarded for valiant conduct, devotion to duty or other distinguished service. During the First World War, 5467 MIDs were awarded to Canadians. (www.forces.gc.ca)