8 July 1916; Saturday

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

Moving again at dawn. Helped a 59th F.A. man to carry a case to the dressing station. Coming back met Capt. Johnson who told me to rest, to lie down. Everywhere covered with watery mud. Found some of our men in dugout eating biscuits and drinking tea. Had some. Got another case and carried it down with the usual struggle to get past men coming up, and everybody weary and bad tempered. More biscuits jam and tea at about 5 o’clock. Felt faint and utterly. Everybody tired out. Sketchy meal revived me. Shoulders back and feet aching with carrying heavy men. Back to headquarters. Capt. Johnson thanked us for work done under appalling conditions and asked for volunteers to bring in a few more before we lay down. (Now quite dark) About halfway across old No Man’s Land Germans laid down a box barrage. A few men in front hit and the leading officer decided it was not worth the risk so we returned empty handed. I slept in a trench. Germans dropping Jack Johnsons1 in a wood just behind us to knock out some guns there.

  1. Jack Johnsons: German 150 mm heavy artillery shells, which burst with characteristic black smoke. After the boxer Jack Johnson (1878-1946), the first black American world heavyweight champion (1908-1915).