3 July 1916; Monday

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

Led by Sgt. Brown. A heap of 8 or 10 bodies lay like sardines in a sap next to the dugout door. Our squad got last man from the dugout. A man on heap of dead with piece out of his skull still alive, so next squad brought him down to dressing station. Went back from dressing station with Sgt. Brown. Lot of wounded. Stretcher squad had been blown to pieces in trench. We walked over mutilated bodies, with the stretcher. Man with genitals blown off. Infantry still advancing. Heavy fighting and gunfire in front. Heard that Sgt. More and two privates had gone down with shell shock. Dead beginning to smell badly. Got orders to return to dressing station. Saw a man on a stretcher who had gone insane. Saw a German . . . . . . . (cannot read) Joined Bill Jolly (Welsh boxer) and two B section men and went up to aid post. Very heavy shelling just in front and Jolly and one man lost nerve. Persuaded them to go on. Found N.F. sgt. with big wound in thigh who had been in a funk hole since first attack. Brought him down. Trench blown in just in front of us. Sheltered in small sap until shelling eased off. Had drink of tea. Fell in again and went up with Sgt. Brown. About 70 squads ( ? bearers surely ? ) . Lot of wounded. Water in trench. A sap full of water with several dead in it. Water pink. One of our snipers near me had his right thumb blown off by a German sniper. “He saw me first”. he said. Dressed his thumb with my 1st field dressing.