Up at 5.30. Paraded at 7.15 and marched off at 7.30. Splendid day. Very fine morning but rather warm. Marched about 15 kilos1 and arrived at Semoine2 at about midday. Received letters from home and Franchie. Had wash in stream near to the billet. Walked into village last thing and wrote two letters.
Up at about 6.30 and on parade at 8 o’clock. Finished packing up the little hospital in the Salle de Reunion. Spent afternoon writing to Hilda Linfoot1 and to Charlie in reply to a letter just received. Glorious weather. Had walk at night and sat by the road-side and sang a few hymns through. Beautiful evening. Some of the men in the billet drunk and talked a lot of rot.
Up about 6 o’clock and on parade at 8 o’clock. Off after dinner and commenced letter to Hilda Linfoot1. Had long walk at night with John Dory, Harvey and Holman. Received parcel from home and demolished it. Glorious day. Heard that we are going to move shortly and received orders to clear patients and prepare to pack. Lay awake until after 1 o’clock in the morning. The men had a glow-worm in the billet last thing. First one I have seen as far as I remember.
Up shortly after 7 o’clock. On duty about 8 o’clock. Practically nothing to do all morning. The news in the papers more reasonable. The speech of Kühlmann causing a lot of contention†1. Worked until nearly 7 o’clock. Did a bit French and then had a walk last thing with Harvey. Read through Bennett’s “The Author’s Craft”2 and talked it over a bit with Harvey.
It is a short exposition on writing but doesn’t explore technique in the same depth as some modern writers’ guides do, rather concentrating on emotional aspects and the need for an author to express passion and beauty.
Arthur Linfoot wrote that he had “read through” this book and discussed it with a comrade, Harvey, while posted at Pleurs, south of Épernay on 27 June 1918.
Up about 7.30 and spent most of the day preparing the hospital at the Salle de Reunion. Fine day. Good news in the papers. The Italians have driven back the Austrians, affairs in Austria are pretty serious, Lloyd George speaks of the possibility of Russia re-joining the allies and Kuhlmann1 made a reasonable speech.
Richard von Kühlmann (1873 – 1948): in German London embassy 1908 – 1914; negotiated Brest-Litovsk Treaty with revolutionary Russia, and Treaty of Bucharest with Romania, which Ludendorff considered gave inadequate guarantees on Eastern frontier; briefly German Foreign Secretary, said in Reichstag (July 1918) that the War could not be ended by arms alone; speech ‘misinterpreted’ by the Generals, had to resign. ↩
Up about 7 o’clock. Told after morning parade to go on the advance party. Went off in car about 10.30 to Fleurs1 – a pretty village. Got a good billet. The men who made the disturbance up for trial and got pretty well off. Better news in the paper. The Italians have done well and the River Piave flooded and helped them2. The rough men in the billet had a lot to say through drinking too much watered wine.
Up at about 7 o’clock. On parade at 9 and spent morning going through stuff on limber and getting new kit – I got a new canteen. Better news from Italy. Corporal Ogilvy, Pat Gibson, Bulmer, Franklin and some B section men drunk and a lot of noise and commotion in the billet last thing at night.
Up at about 7 o’clock. Eggs for breakfast. Paraded at 9 o’clock and dismissed after inspection. Wrote to Charlie most of the morning and had a short walk before dinner with Harvey. Finished Charlie’s letter and posted it in the afternoon. Received letter from home in the afternoon. Had walk at night. Saw some very large cross† sloe-berries. Glorious night.
Anniversary Sunday1 at home.
Up about 7 o’clock and on parade at 9 o’clock. Dismissed after inspection and kit inspection at 10 o’clock. Spent day looking up a bit French and writing to Charlie. Walked to next village at night with Harvey, Holman, and Billy. Fine night.