29 June 1917
Capture of Avion Trench - Part II

A Centennial Action – Part II

On the heels of their success in the early morning of 28 June 1917, at 7:10 p.m. the same day, the second phase of the advance along the Souchez River resumed. Kicked off in the midst of a heavy thunderstorm, the surprised Germans were quickly beaten and objectives consolidated. North of the Souchez River, the 46th Division held Hill 65. On the southern side, the 4th Canadian Division had secured Eleu and most of Avion, while the 3rd Cdn. Div. established a strong flank astride the Avion-Arleux road. Flooding of the Souchez restricted the opportunity to exploit the advances and as the Germans regrouped from the initial surprise they put in strong counter-attacks. By the end of 29 June 1917, the advance had gained approximately half a mile, with British troops entering the western outskirts of Oppy.

Taken in August 1917, this photograph depicts a solitary rail car amidst the utter destruction of the Canadian sector along banks of the Souchez. Not a trace of rail tracks or a station remain, while in the background, the “famous Central Electric Generating Station” is merely a twisted heap.
Credit: Canada. Dept. of National Defence/Library and Archives Canada/PA-001728.
Map of the Souchez-Avion Sector, where the Canadians and British advanced along the Souchez River, 28-29 June 1917.
Credit: Nicholson, Canadian Expeditionary Force, 1914-1919, p. 280.