The Final Hundred Days: Mons

The clock ticked downwards towards the Armistice.

Behind the lines, in the forest of Compeigne, talks of an official armistice to end the First World War had been held. The German delegation, led by Matthias Erzberger, had been given a deadline on which they could agree to armistice terms dictated by the Allies. On the morning of November 10th, a decision had yet to be made.

With the circumstances surrounding the ceasefire unclear, Corps Commander Arthur Currie ordered an advance into Mons.

The capture was predicated on an encircling approach. On the southern end of the city, the 2nd Division would sweep forward and link up with the 3rd Division, who were based on the eastern edge of town.

Although the men in the front line were fiercely torn over whether or not the assault was worth the cost, they did their duty.

As in the past few days, the Royal Canadian Regiment teamed with the 42nd Battalion for the evening’s operations. At 11pm, the two units crashed through German defences in the southern portion of the city. To the north, D Company of the 42nd and the RCR’s B Company swept through the suburb of Ghlin, and punched into Mons over the bridges there.

Fighting would continue through the night. This would be the Canadian’s last evening in combat. Only hours remained until peace.