20 August 1918; Monday

Up at 7 o’clock. On parade at 8 o’clock. Detailed for the A D S at 2 o’clock. Arrived at the ADS shortly before tea time. Had a bit talk with Harvey. He left me Richard Feverel1 to read. On duty at 9 o’clock and kept awake with a struggle all night. Read a good bit. Did a scrap of French.

Heard that the French have advanced a little nearer Noyon2.


  1. The Ordeal of Richard Feverel: novel by George Meredith. See also The Ordeal of Richard Feverel and Arthur Linfoot’s Library

  2. Noyon: about 60km S. of the Somme battlefield; Michelin square K10. 

The Ordeal of Richard Feverel

cover imageThe Ordeal of Richard Feverel  (subtitled “A History of Father and Son”) is the earliest full-length novel by George Meredith, published in 1859.

Sir Austin Feverel’s wife deserts him to run away with a poet, leaving her husband to bring up their boy Richard. Believing schools to be corrupt, Sir Austin, a scientific humanist, educates the boy at home with a plan of his own devising.

Arthur Linfoot wrote that his comrade, Harvey, had lent him “Richard Feverel” on 20 August 1918, while stationed at Choques, midway between Lillers and Béthune in Northern France. He continued to read the book in the following days.

 

16 August 1918; Friday

Up at 7 o’clock. Informed that the C O is not satisfied with the progress made with the work and that we must do an hour extra in the afternoon, and be C B1 at night. At night finished at 4.30 and told that the progress of the work done is satisfactory and that we may go out at night. Worked at our own dugout and dug the back out but it fell in. Night wasted. Received letter from home. Wrote letter to Ernie.


  1. C B: Confined to Barracks. 

14 August 1918; Wednesday

Up at 7 o’clock. Paraded at 8 o’clock. Bath and clean change in the morning, and then fatigues all day. Did a scrap of French and read a bit.

Jerry over at night and bombed a distance away. Terrific machine- and anti-aircraft gun-fire.

Good news from the French and British fronts.

13 August 1918; Tuesday

A stretcher case in about 2 o’clock. A lot of shelling in the night. Did a scrap of French, wrote a letter home, washed a pair of socks and my feet and read a bit. Relieved in the morning at about 9.30. Slept a little in the afternoon and got down soon at night. Absolutely tired out. Jerry over at night and terrific anti-aircraft gun fire.