Category Archives: October 1916

All diary entries written in October 1916

27 October 1916; Friday

Up about 7 o’clock. Helped officers’ servants by washing up breakfast things. Wrote letters to Ernie and Charlie. Wet day again. Received letter from Hilda Linfoot1.

  1. Hilda Linfoot: believed to be Hilda Tate Linfoot, ALL’s cousin, daughter of Charles Poulter Linfoot, who with his brother William Gaylard Linfoot and their families emigrated to New Zealand on 25 July 1912. Hilda had sent ALL a birthday card in January 1914 (Diary, 31 January 1914). Very little other communication is recorded until now, but the Diary mentions further letters in 1917 and 1918, and Hilda’s address in Auckland is noted in ALL’s 1917 Diary. Hilda was a younger sister of Lily Linfoot, who married Willie Marshall; see 10 June 1914. See also Family page and Hilda disambiguation page. 

26 October 1916; Thursday

Had practice going all day. Received news of big French successes at Verdun1 and also that we captured 200 Germans in a counter-attack up here. Read a good bit and got into bed in good time. Pretty cold and wet. Received letter from Charlie and papers from home.

  1. Verdun was a key point in France’s defence system, very strongly fortified, 100km E of Reims. French defeat there would have had great strategic and symbolic significance to both France and Germany. The prolonged siege took a heavy toll on French manpower, significantly influencing Allied strategy. See Battle of Verdun (Fourth Phase, 20 October – 2 November) at Wikipedia. 

24 October 1916; Tuesday

Up before 6 o’clock and marched off before washing or shaving. Arrived <at> a dressing station and we were stuck in a tent standing by. Got mud up to the eyes taking down a tent. A few shells came over. Had to move again and put up some new tents. Received parcel from home after my bread ration was finished. Ike† and most of the others went on to the aid post. I was left behind1 on account of being sick. Got down to bed about 8 o’clock and slept pretty well.

  1. “Left behind” might suggest that ALL remained at Brickfields after “Ike and most of the others” left. 

23 October 1916; Monday

Brickfields near Albert
Brickfields camp – see footnote 3

Up about 7.30. Helped in the ward a bit. Packed up things and moved off shortly after dinner. I rode with two divisional patients as bus-man in the first car and the others marched. Arrived about 2 kilometres from Albert1. The M.G.C.2 man and I walked to a Y.M. hut but we got nothing to eat so had some tea. Waited by the fire until about 6 o’clock when the rest came up. Slept in a tent† and had a good night.

Brickfields Camp W3

  1. The map shows the start and end points of this journey, Val-de-Maison (A) and the approximate location of the Brickfields camp at Albert (B). Source

  2. M.G.C.: Machine Gun Corps. 

  3. The Brickfields, an old brick factory on the outskirts of Albert, was used as a large billeting area by Allied troops. Its close proximity to Albert and the front line made it an ideal position for soldiers to stay in makeshift shelters for short periods of time. The Photograph – ‘Brickfields near Albert’  – is from Museum Victoria and not from ALL’s archive.