On April 14, 1917, the Newfoundland and Essex Regiments received orders to continue the push east from Monchy-le-Preux. They would advance behind a creeping barrage towards their first objective, Shrapnel Trench. They were then to continue to Infantry Hill, 914 metres outside the village. Once captured, these objectives would further deepen the Allies' salient into German territory.

Initial battle plans had called for the 87th and 88th Brigades to advance simultaneously.   However, on April 13, military authorities realized that the 87th Brigade, which had been doing relief work, would not have time to get organized for the attack. They decided that the 88th Brigade would proceed on its own.   Further, the battle plan only involved two regiments from the 88th Brigade — the Essex and the Newfoundland.

With no support available on the Regiment's right, it was decided that "A" Company would prepare strongholds to the right of the advancing "C" and "D" Companies. These strongholds would be the Regiment's only protection on its right flank (side) as it advanced into enemy territory.