2 July 1916; Sunday

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

Left the road for a communication trench. Left our skeleton equipment at an aid post and were given two shell dressings each. Moved up the trench in single file led by the guide. Trench full of men: reinforcements, carriers of ammunition, rations, and water. Others coming down. Progress desperately slow. Guide lost his way three times and we had to move back. Machine gun and sniper fire and just about dawn we crossed No Man’s Land and entered a trench just captured where one of our regimental M.Os. was attending men in a dugout. We were given a man with a compound fracture of left tibia. Germans now shelling our front line heavily and we had to wait until they eased off. Trench a sea of mud here. Most difficult to get loaded stretcher down trench, especially round traverses. Took ages. Were nearly down when regimental stretcher bearer followed us and asked us to go back with him. Found several wounded unable to walk and carried them back to aid post. (No idea of time: now dark again.) Gas alarm and we had to wear masks. Lay down for a rest. Very heavy bombardment and heavy fighting in front. (some lead pencil marks too faint to read.) Sgt. Brown took several squads of bearers and led us out of front line trench on to open ground. Green flares going up all round. Crawled close to ground with machine gun bullets just overhead. Troops in trench (9th Welsh I believe) ready to go over at dawn. Noise, confusion and darkness. Led to a waterlogged empty trench and waited there until dawn in a few inches of water. At dawn collected stretcher cases at a German dugout just captured.