25 July 1916; Tuesday

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

Slept badly owing to “chats”1 and a big naval gun. Up at 6 o’clock. Marched off to Capt. Johnson’s for breakfast and got it there. Marched off about 7.30 to the trenches. Our squad (Bascombe, Houghton, Hall and me) at the aid post (German dugout) near Bazentin Wood. Expected a few light wounds and sick cases. About 9 o’clock at night a man walked in with an ugly shrapnel wound in his shoulder, a man with his skull smashed and one with a knee wound besides smaller cases. Carried the worst down to the dressing station in the chalk quarry on the road. Germans had been shelling all day but stopped while we went down with these cases. Had two cases of shell shock all day. Very heavy journey down with the stretchers; dark, heavy ground (battered out of shape by countless holes and three men to a stretcher) Sergeant Fraser and Hall joined us and they took a string of walking wounded down to the quarry aid post and went into a German gas barrage. I stayed up until 1.30. All quiet – went to sleep.

(Note: a dead German buried on his face in the wall of the trench near the entrance to the deep dugout we were using as an aid post near Bazentin Wood had only his left leg from the knee downwards and his right foot sticking out of the side of the trench. In the dark we knew when we had reached our dugout by feeling this stiff sticking out leg.)

  1. “Chats”: Lice