Monthly Archives: September 2016

17 September 1916; Sunday

Up at 7 o’clock. At 8.45 communion service. Busy all day in the ward. Went to service in the Y.M. at night and played the piano. Picked wrong tune for one hymn, and chose the new tune for Onward Christian Soldiers1 for the last hymn.

Received news of big victory by the British on the Somme.


  1. The “new tune” for Onward Christian Soldiers was probably the one most known today, composed by Arthur Sullivan in 1871 and named “St Gertrude” after the wife of his friend Ernest Clay Ker Seymer. The tune which had previously been used for Onward Christian Soldiers was a melody from the slow movement of Joseph Haydn’s Symphony in D, No. 15. Evidently “St Gertrude”, despite then being some 45 years old, was still considered new – at least by ALL. 

16 September 1916; Saturday

At the ward as usual. Busy all day. A lot of patients in. Football match in the afternoon and our team won. 5 – 1.

Received news of big fresh advance1 on the Somme.


  1. There was indeed a ‘big fresh advance’ on the Somme on 15 September, assisted by tanks, which according to the prevalent view (which ALL shared) were too few and too sparsely distributed to achieve a decisive impact; in other words wasted due to premature use. The push was in the centre (the old 34th and 19th Divisions area), astride the Albert – Bapaume road, initially as far SE as Delville Wood, and by the evening of 15 September it had reached Courcelette on the Albert – Bapaume road, some 2km beyond Pozières, but still 8km short of Bapaume. 

Anna of the Five Towns

Cover ImageEnoch Arnold Bennett (27 May 1867 – 27 March 1931) was an English writer and novelist. Anna of the Five Towns, first published in 1902, is one of his best-known works.

Anna Tellwright, daughter of a wealthy but miserly and dictatorial father, living in the Potteries area of Staffordshire. Her activities are strictly controlled by the Methodist church. The novel tells of Anna’s struggle for freedom and independence against her father’s restraints, and her inward battle between wanting to please her father and wanting to help Willie Price whose father, Titus Price, commits suicide after falling into debt.

Arthur Linfoot wrote that he had finished reading Anna of the Five Towns on 15th September 1916, while stationed at the military hospital at Méteren in Northern France.