Category Archives: 1976

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

17 July 1916; Monday

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

Dull damp morning. Rumour that four men of the 104th ambulance that relieved us at the chateau were killed by one shell. No longer standing by. Walked to Ribemont with Walsh and Lee after tea and had eggs and chips. Rained and got wet. Turned in about nine, but kept awake by noisy argument between Forrest and his pals on football until about eleven. Watched rats playing about in the roof of barn all day.

19 July 1916; Wednesday

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

Up at 7 o’clock. Physical drill in the morning. Fine all day. Letter from Geo. Crawford and replied to it. Washed feet in horse bucket. Marched off at 7.30 and reached destination at about 4 a.m. Passed close by rear of batteries and interested to notice the rim of the gun breeches light up red flame when the gun is fired in the dark.

20 July 1916; Thursday

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

Don’t know where we are. Near the Line as artillery all round. Put in new squad; Bascombe, Houghton and Hall. Tossed up for who should sleep on stretcher and I won. Got a blanket and slept well from 4 to about 7 a.m. Had breakfast at 9 and washed and shaved. Near a noisy 6” naval gun. Watched masses of infantry, endless field guns and 8 or 9 heavy guns draw by tractors go towards the Line. Aeroplanes swarming overhead. Once counted 22. Saw one shot down. Saw German field gun being brought back. Received orders to move but these were immediately cancelled and we stayed all night. Found out we are not far from Chateau. Rather to the right of it. Slept well.

21 July 1916; Friday

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

Up at 8 o’clock. Watched aeroplanes. Glorious morning. Read “The Passing Show” and two chapters of 1st Corinthians. Received orders to move at 12.30 p.m. Hunted for chats (lice) and found over twenty in my shirt. Left our camp about one o’clock. Arrived further up road near a battery of 60 pounders and dug into the bank to make a shelter for a dressing station. Got down for the night on the ground with Piggy Wood, Bascombe, Houghton and a few others. Orders to be up at 5 o’clock. Very cold and damp at night and a terrible noise from the guns just over the road and some 8” guns not far away. Germans shelling the road just ahead. Watched aeroplanes being shot at. Beautifully fine.

22 July 1916; Saturday

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

Up at 5 o’clock and marched off. Felt pretty jaded to start with. Walked past Mametz Wood and on to Bazentin Wood. Bascombe and I left at the East Lancs. Aid Post. Had breakfast (cooked ourselves). Other two of our squad – Houghton and Hall – there. Took down a man on our backs. I ran some messages. Very heavy shelling and machine gunning towards and after dark. Returning from the East Lancs. Post to the Post in Bazentin Wood met a Jock with an ugly wound in his thigh. Carried him on my back until we lost the cover of the bank from machine guns. Trench crowded with troops so stayed on top. Shell very close and filled our lungs with fumes and eyes with dirt. Got too far along trench (on top) and took him to Kings Own aid post by mistake. Got back to our post by light of flares and gun flashes.

23 July 1916; Sunday

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

Bazentin Wood “searched” by German shells from end to end. About one o’clock a shell struck the edge of our trench and blew it in about 6′1 from us burying Denham and Hughes (machine guns played over us.) Bascombe and I dug them out with our hands and electric torch. A nightmare. Got them into the big dugout. (German – one corner almost down to the ground – been hit by a 15” shell.) Spent a short time there. Glad to get out. Rather be hit by splinter than buried alive. Breakfast tea and biscuits at 8 o’clock. Resumed carrying from aid post to Bazentin Wood to East Lancs post behind it. Mortally wounded Sergeant on stretcher left out to die. Beyond doctor’s aid and unconscious. Took string of walking wounded down. One couldn’t keep pace. I carried him. Tremendous heavy bombardment by our guns. Noise deafening. Some hideous sights in Wood both British and German.


  1. 6′ – 6 feet; a little under 2 metres. 

24 July 1916; Monday

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

Arrived at some place at about 10 o’clock and lay down with Lavere. Ordered to move again and after delay moved off to the place near the chateau where we were on Friday. Lay down to sleep again with Lavere and slept well in spite of being very damp with heavy dew. Had breakfast about 10 o’clock. Had shave and wash. Received parcel and letter from home. Lavere and I built a shelter against the heavy dew. A wall of old sandbags and our ground sheets tied together and raised in the middle as a cover. Letter from Leishman from the barracks with photograph of NCOs.

25 July 1916; Tuesday

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

Slept badly owing to “chats”1 and a big naval gun. Up at 6 o’clock. Marched off to Capt. Johnson’s for breakfast and got it there. Marched off about 7.30 to the trenches. Our squad (Bascombe, Houghton, Hall and me) at the aid post (German dugout) near Bazentin Wood. Expected a few light wounds and sick cases. About 9 o’clock at night a man walked in with an ugly shrapnel wound in his shoulder, a man with his skull smashed and one with a knee wound besides smaller cases. Carried the worst down to the dressing station in the chalk quarry on the road. Germans had been shelling all day but stopped while we went down with these cases. Had two cases of shell shock all day. Very heavy journey down with the stretchers; dark, heavy ground (battered out of shape by countless holes and three men to a stretcher) Sergeant Fraser and Hall joined us and they took a string of walking wounded down to the quarry aid post and went into a German gas barrage. I stayed up until 1.30. All quiet – went to sleep.

(Note: a dead German buried on his face in the wall of the trench near the entrance to the deep dugout we were using as an aid post near Bazentin Wood had only his left leg from the knee downwards and his right foot sticking out of the side of the trench. In the dark we knew when we had reached our dugout by feeling this stiff sticking out leg.)


  1. “Chats”: Lice