1 July 1916; Saturday

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

Lay awake with the cold. Dozed off a few times. About 6 o’clock awoke with the tremendous heavy firing of guns and big shells passing flying overhead. Stood by our billets and watched troops moving up. (the Albert – Bapaume road). Had breakfast of cheese, biscuits and margarine and tea.

Received our orders and then returned to dugouts. Bombardment continued. Lincolns moved off and captured first line (we heard). Desperate fighting going on. 8th Division has lost about half its strength. Watched German aeroplane being shelled by our guns. Heavy batteries behind us pounding away all day. Even horse ambulances full of wounded galloping back down the Bapaume Road. Told to turn in at 10 p.m. and almost immediately received orders to go up the line. Some uncertainty about orders then marched off after about twenty minutes. In Albert about 30 minutes later. (Now quite dark.) Were given steel helmets at our main dressing station in Albert, taken from casualties. All very bewildering noise with two 15” howitzers in Albert firing as quickly as they could. Marched out of Albert up the road. In the fields on either side massed British field guns and French 75s and behind us massed heavies. All blazing away. Scores of green flares dancing in the sky before us with occasional red flares calling for support. Terrific noise and real Bedlam. Utter confusion.