Category Archives: 1976

These entries comprise Arthur Linfoot’s own transcription of part of his diaries completed in 1976.

6 July 1916; Thursday

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

Moved off at dawn to village just captured by infantry. Red brick dust told of houses once being there. Several German dead lying around. Picked up wounded at a dugout. Coming back had to re-cross the old open space between the lines and a German field gun was shelling the only place where we could get across our old trench system – frequently but regularly. Each squad in turn crouched with the stretcher on their shoulders and as soon as the expected shell burst and the splinters stopped buzzing, ran across the space. Some close shaves but all made it. Quite thrilling. Back to Albert for a rest and slept in the estaminet with the red tiled floor.

7 July 1916; Friday

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

Hauled up at 7 o’clock and told we should be on parade. Grabbed biscuits and got a drink of tea and marched off to the ruined chateau; a new place. Very heavy bombardment going on. Marched from dressing station up the line and our guide got lost as usual. Hopelessly mixed and Paddy and I carried a stretcher with two regimental bearers. Had to cope with a man who was mad with shell shock. A man died as Paddy and I carried him (I was at the back). Convulsions, sick and died. Carried him to relay post at old German front line. Sergeant there swore at us for wasting time on a “stiff” and threw him over into the old No Man’s Land. We are in the Heligoland Redoubt Land trenches and where parapet blown down get occasional glimpses of far country behind Albert. Carried all day. Just before dark Captain Johnson met us xxxx directed us to a dugout to rest until daylight. All day many troops moving through trenches and making stretcher bearing in the narrow space very difficult.

8 July 1916; Saturday

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

Moving again at dawn. Helped a 59th F.A. man to carry a case to the dressing station. Coming back met Capt. Johnson who told me to rest, to lie down. Everywhere covered with watery mud. Found some of our men in dugout eating biscuits and drinking tea. Had some. Got another case and carried it down with the usual struggle to get past men coming up, and everybody weary and bad tempered. More biscuits jam and tea at about 5 o’clock. Felt faint and utterly. Everybody tired out. Sketchy meal revived me. Shoulders back and feet aching with carrying heavy men. Back to headquarters. Capt. Johnson thanked us for work done under appalling conditions and asked for volunteers to bring in a few more before we lay down. (Now quite dark) About halfway across old No Man’s Land Germans laid down a box barrage. A few men in front hit and the leading officer decided it was not worth the risk so we returned empty handed. I slept in a trench. Germans dropping Jack Johnsons1 in a wood just behind us to knock out some guns there.


  1. Jack Johnsons: German 150 mm heavy artillery shells, which burst with characteristic black smoke. After the boxer Jack Johnson (1878-1946), the first black American world heavyweight champion (1908-1915). 

9 July 1916; Sunday

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

When in the Line hurt knee on barbed wire. Now swollen and painful. We moved back to Albert for a rest. Germans shelling the town so taken back to Laviéville. All worn out so taken in ambulances – four kilometres. Good billets in barn. Washed and shaved after few days without either. Parcel from home. Meal of bully beef, biscuits and tea and real butter from parcel. Slept well.

(Diary written up when out resting. Some incidents remembered years later, omitted.)1


  1. This footnote by ALL probably refers not just to this day’s entry but to most prior entries too. 

10 July 1916; Monday

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

Up at 7. Spent morning scraping mud off clothes and puttees with jack knife. Paraded 3 o’clock. C.O. read message from Divisional Commander thanking us for good work and saying appreciated by troops. Walked to village Y.M.C.A. Newspaper from home. Everything so peaceful this side of Albert. Rather cold. Lost service and sunshade in trenches.

11 July 1916; Tuesday

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

Up again at 7 o’clock. Physical drill at eleven. Cleaned clothes and buttons. In the afternoon cleaned waggons and rubbed grease on the wheels. Got some grease on my tunic and belt. Read account of North Sea battle in a “News Chronicle” received from home this morning (Jutland). Lovely summer morning. Sat outside billet cleaning grease off tunic and belt. Had short walk with Lee before turning in.

12 July 1916; Wednesday

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

Up at 7 o’clock. C. of E. parade at 11. Some good hymns: thanks for survival. Read a few verses from bible and article by Claudius Clear in British Weekly sent from home. In village shop the old woman gave me a 2 franc piece I had dropped there some time ago. She found it after we left her shop and remembered me. Went to open air concert outside Town Major’s house in village. Our C.O. and another officer took part in sketch. Washed socks and pants and wrote letters.

13 July 1916; Thursday

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

Slept badly. Hunted in shirt and pants. Found six big lice. Usual morning parade. Physical drill and waggon cleaning. No afternoon parade: lay down. After tea walked to Ribemont with Duggins and Leaky. Had eggs and chips and bought chocolate. Several thousands of cavalry passed through our village during the evening. Everybody excited and talking of break through and cavalry charge in the morning. Horses two abreast and occasional horse carrying machine gun only. Took ages to pass.

14 July 1916; Friday

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

No bread and wretched dinner of boiled bully beef. Physical drill at 11 o’clock. Got hair cut. Rain in the morning, fine afternoon. Issued with new cap to replace cap lost up the Line – two sizes too small. On guard from 6 until 10 p.m. Found some blankets and slept on a bed in hospital barn. Very comfortable.

15 July 1916; Saturday

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

On guard from 6 to 8 a.m. Had breakfast and wrote letters. On guard again 10 to 2 p.m. Just commencing dinner when ordered to return to billet and pack our kits ready to move. Paraded twenty minutes later at transport lines. Waited there all afternoon and then were sent back to billets to wait. Beautiful summer evening. Wrote letter to Ernie. Turned in about ten.