Monthly Archives: June 2016

17 June 1916; Saturday

Up at 7 o’clock. Paraded first thing and cleaned waggons. An hour’s physical drill and pretty hard too. Nice little march in the afternoon. Walked into the village at night and got a paper. Russians still advancing. Posted letter home and one to Green.

Fine night.

Called at farm house and had two glasses of coffee.
and heard guns at the front very distinctly.

16 June 1916; Friday

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

Paraded 7 in the morning and marched to Rainneville. The whole Brigade passed before us and it was an impressive sight. Full marching order. About eight miles. Warm day. New billet in a barn at a French farmhouse. Better and cleaner than the last one. Had café au lait in the farmhouse. Went to bed early (i.e., lay down on the straw). Wrote letter home.

16 June 1916; Friday

Paraded in the morning and marched to Raineville. Parts† of whole brigade marched past and it was a most interesting sight. Carried full pack about 8 miles. Warm day. Found new billet. In a barn in a French house. I had coffee and lay in the house. Quaint old fashioned house with big fire place. New billet much cleaner than the old one. Went to bed early.


Wrote letter home and posted letter to Betty.

  1. Rainneville (B): 10km NNE of Amiens and about 30km E of Longpré-les-Corps-Saints (A); on D11; ref G8. ALL spells it “Raineville”, but it is only identifiable in Michelin with the two n’s; the location seems consistent. See also Note on Locations in France

14 June 1916; Wednesday

Paraded in the morning with full pack and marched to a village a nice distance away and back. Physical drill in the afternoon. Walked to the village1 at night.

Received letter from home and one from Betty.

  1. “Walked to the village…”: Possibly Vignacourt again? Not the same village “a nice distance away” as had been the objective of the earlier route march on this day. 

13 June 1916; Tuesday

Got up about 6 o’clock. Double along the road first thing. Breakfast dinner and tea as usual. Paraded 9.30 with skeleton equipment and overcoats and gas helmets. Marched about 8 miles. It rained heavily and the roads were fearful. Our coats wet through. Had to go to bed at night with nothing to cover us. Managed all right and had good night. Used newspaper to help me to keep warm.

12 June 1916; Monday

Up at 6 o’clock. Shaved and dressed. Detailed off for water duties. Pump smashed so they had to go to town for water and I got off. Took pay books up for pay. Read a bit. Walked into Vignacourt at night. It rained as we were going up.

Snails†. Big spider. Charlie Ford and the lot of them drunk and had a sing song.

11 June 1916; Sunday

Up at 6 o’clock. Detailed off for fatigue and told to sweep up first and then had to wash out the hospital. Finished about 9 o’clock and did nothing further. Wrote letter in the afternoon. Meals as usual. ASC1 section returned and were pretty full of what they had seen. A lot of dirtiness talked. Went to a service at night in the village with Lee and La Vere2. C of E and enjoyed it very much. Sang “O Jesus I have promised.” Called in at the R.C. church. A soldier playing the organ and played all sorts of things. Pretty organ. Some missionary figures in the church. All coloured. Splendid windows. Big, high church. Met a chap who objects to swearing. Walked back with him.

  1. “ASC”: Army Service Corps, later the Royal Army Service Corps 

  2. ALL wrote this name as one word, Lavere, from 24 July onwards. 

9 June 1916; Friday

Up at 6 o’clock. Shaved and washed in a bucket of pond water, – green. Scrambled through breakfast, dinner and tea. Got to know men a bit better . On fatigue in the morning and afternoon. Physical drill first thing in the morning – a short double. Beginning to get to know men better.

Paraded before a Captain Newton and told him that I had been a lance-corporal1.

  1. See note on 31 May about ALL’s possibly mistaken demotion to Private while aboard Karnak. In an interview given in 1976, ALL recalled a conversation with an officer about his demotion shortly after his arrival in France. This may have been the same conversation with “Captain Newton” as is recorded in this diary entry, although ALL did not mention a name during the interview.

    ALL said, “When I was made Lance Corporal in the barracks at Sheffield, I was full Lance Corporal with pay. I was moved up to Alnwick. We came back and we were there a month or two before I went to France. Now almost invariably Lance Corporal was acting rank and when he crossed overseas he took down his stripes and when I was on the boat there was a strange officer who didn’t know me at all and said ‘take your stripes down’ and I did as I was told. When we got to the unit in France where I was going to, I remember the officer who saw me, examined you when you joined up. He looked up at me and he said ‘but you were a Lance Corporal and now you are a Private’. He said ‘do you mind acting as a Private?’ I said, ‘no, not at all.’ He said, ‘alright’, but I had Lance Corporal’s pay.”