30 June 1916; Friday

This is an extract from Arthur Linfoot’s own transcription of his diary, written in 1976.

(This and the next few days written from memory when we left the Line for a rest. It was all very confusing and we lost all sense of time.)

Up at 7 o’clock and we went up the bank for breakfast as usual. Lovely summer morning and we were aware of the contrast between the peaceful country scene behind us and the war a mile or two in front of us to the East. Received orders for stretcher bearers of B and C sections (I was in C) to go up the line tonight. Paraded in the afternoon and given two extra iron rations (3 altogether) and handed in our packs (valises) to the quartermaster’s store. A perfect June evening. Had a meal at 8.30. I read 23rd Psalm and a chapter from St. John’s Gospel. Detailed off in bearer squads and I was with Paddy Graham, Duggins and Leaky. Paraded in the farmyard. Getting dark; intensely exciting; very quiet. As we stood on parade a troop of cavalry passed through the village street, sabres hanging down sides of horses. Very dramatic and encouraging. Our brigade (57th Infantry) passed through the village and we joined them at about 10 p.m. Progress terribly slow due to congestion of masses of troops on narrow road. Frequent and long halts. Welshmen in our Division sang quietly most of the way. No sound from the guns tonight. Only one gun spoke out at long intervals. Paddy and I carried our stretcher most of the way. Reminded me of the book “The Invasion of 1910”. Lay down beside a broken down barn for a short time. Reached assembly trenches about midnight.