Up at 6.45. Felt pretty rotten after a poor night. Very busy first thing. Lieutenant Moores went and died. Stayed in at night. A little bit of shelling but not in our direction.
Up at 6.30. Very busy first thing. Did a bit French in the afternoon. Read a bit of Stacpoole’s novel1. Received another officer – R G A2. Fine onset†. Out at night with Dai Davies and Driver. We went to the concert hall where there was a lecture on Egypt by Bishop Gawain†. It was pretty interesting and the Army Group Commander was in the chair. An orchestra was in attendance and we sang two hymns. Sergeant Holmes went with us and when he saw the hymn books <he> came out again, and afterwards said it was a swindle advertising a lecture and then having hymns. Met an old Sheffield chap in a shop at night.
Shelled by big high velocity gun during the night and put the wind up many of us.
Up at 6.45. Not quite so warm. Usual work. Had short walk in the town in the afternoon. On at night. A new officer in with impetigo1. Did a little French and read a bit of Stacpoole’s2 Wilderness†3. Sergeant Powell and Steve Bott called and told of the shelling up the line. They had 60 cases through the dressing station last night. In at night and managed all right. Received another officer in my ward – a captain in the R A M C. Busy until nearly 11 o’clock.
Stacpoole: If correct, could be either: Henry De Vere Stacpoole (1863 – 1951); a very popular and prolific Irish author; best-known for his novel “The Blue Lagoon” (adapted as films many times, most famously in 1980), or; HDVS’ eldest brother, William Henry Stacpoole (1846 – 1914); doctor of divinity, Dean of Kingstown school and also a published author. ↩
Stacpoole could be either Henry De Vere Stacpoole (1863 – 1951), a very popular and prolific Irish author best-known for his novel The Blue Lagoon (1908; adapted as films many times, most famously in 1980), or; HDVS’ eldest brother, William Henry Stacpoole (1846 – 1914), doctor of divinity, Dean of Kingstown1 school and also a published author.
No book entitled “Wilderness” appears in bibliographies of either Stacpoole although much of HDVS’ oeuvre (including The Blue Lagoon) takes wilderness as a theme, while WHS’ books are all science fiction. This may suggest that the book Arthur Linfoot was reading on this day was by Henry De Vere Stacpoole, although which of his books this was remains unclear.
Up at 6.30. Kept busy all day. Stayed on at night. Had walk round the town in the morning. The Germans had put a big gun again and shelled heavily round about. I lay awake a good while listening.
Heard that a lot of artillery and suchlike had been killed the night before and that the dressing station had 70 wounded there. Wrote letter to Mr Eaves about Mr Mullens1. Did a bit French at night and read a bit.
Up at 6.30. Busy as usual. My turn off at night. Went to the Y M service by Amiss†. Enjoyed it very much. Good singing and good hymns. Watched the Germans shell an observation balloon and the observers go down in their two parachutes.
Fritz1 shelled heavily at night and did some damage.
Up at 6.45. Kept busy first thing but had fair amount of spare time in the afternoon. Read a bit.
Up at 6.30. Busy in the morning. 4 patients in for me. My turn in at night. Managed very well. Glorious weather. A lot of guns going up1. Received letter from home telling more [sic] that Mr Mullens2 had died on Sunday on his way to preach at Shiney Row3.
Mr Mullens: James Mullens, a lay minister from the South Durham Street United Methodist Free Church in Sunderland, where ALL had been a member prior to joining the RAMC. ALL had also recorded Mr Mullens’ death in his diary a few days earlier on Sunday, 20th May, the day it happened. It is probable that this earlier diary note was added later, some time after the news reached ALL on the 24th. Mr Mullens was 73 years old at the date of his death. See also all diary entries tagged “Mullens”. ↩
Shiney Row: mining village between Penshaw and Houghton-le-Spring, 5 miles SW. of Sunderland. ↩
Up at 6.45. Shaved and dressed and commenced duty as usual. Lee helped me as he had no patients. Glorious day. Kept pretty busy. A lot of guns going up the line. My turn out. Walked about a good lot and didn’t do much. Looked up a bit French in the Y M. A German aeroplane over and a few pieces of shell and a dud fell in the town. A continuous stream of guns moving up1.