5 July 1918; Friday

Up at about 6.30. On parade. Spent morning at squad drill and a short march. Paraded at 8 o’clock. Went for bath in the stream in the afternoon. Did a little French. Read 3 essays by William James1 on releasing the energies of men2 and habit† 3 and found them exceptionally good. Wrote letter to Joe, called in to see Sergeant Powell and went for short walk. Changed billet.


  1. William James (January 11, 1842 – August 26, 1910) was an American philosopher and psychologist, and the first educator to offer a psychology course in the United States. 

  2. The Energies of Men is an essay by William James, published c. 1907. The full text is available here

  3. Habit, if correct, may refer to William James’ book, Habit, apparently published c. 1887. 

4 July 1918; Thursday

Up about 7 o’clock. Merely inspection and then dismissed. Wrote letters during the morning. Spent most of day reading and writing. Did a little French. Had a bath in the stream in the afternoon and a walk to a neighbouring village at night with Bob Fraser, Harvey and Holman. Saw the remains of a German bombing plane.

3 July 1918; Wednesday

Woke about 7 o’clock. Had breakfast at a station by the way. Finished journey at Hesdin1 at about noon. Got motor-lorries and went to Ouve2, about 30 kilos. Got there about 5 hours owing to breaking down and losing the way. Walked round village at night. Received two letters from Ernie and one from Gertie in which she tells me about her progress at the piano. Decent news from the line. Weather fine. Sergeant Powell unwell. Turned in about 9.30.


  1. Hesdin (B); about 210km N. of Paris (A). 

  2. Ouve: probably Ouve-Wirquin (C), 30km N. of Hesdin; 14km SW. of St Omer; Michelin square E4. 

2 July 1918; Tuesday

Marched off from Semoine at about 12.45am and arrived at Mailly1 at about 4am. Had breakfast and then entrained. Biscuits, cold meat and cold bacon for the day. Started off about 5 o’clock. Watched the sun rise and set from the railway waggon door. Enjoyed ride. Passed the outskirts of Paris. Saw Eiffel Tower2 and the Church of the Sacred Heart. Some very nice people, and splendid country and clean villages. Thoroughly enjoyed the ride. Turned in about 9.30 and slept well. Had tea at a wayside station about 6 o’clock.


  1. Mailly: Mailly-le-Camp (B), 8km due E from Semoine (A), on the A26/E17 from Troyes to Châlons, Michelin map 515 square F10. 

  2. (C) on the map marks the location of the Eiffel Tower, which ALL saw as his train passed through (though evidently did not stop at) Paris. 

1 July 1918; Monday

Up about 7. Read all the morning, partly French and partly St. Luke and found it most interesting. Lay down most of the afternoon. Walked round village after tea and then lay down until falling-in time. Sorry to leave the south.

30 June 1918; Sunday

Up at 5.30. Paraded at 7.15 and marched off at 7.30. Splendid day. Very fine * 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.


  1. 15 kilos: 15 kilometres. 

  2. Semoine (B): 15km indeed due E from Pleurs (A), 37km SW from Châlons, Michelin map 515 square E10. 

29 June 1918; Saturday

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.


  1. Hilda Linfoot: ALL’s cousin in New Zealand. See Hilda disambiguation page

28 June 1918; Friday

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.


  1. Hilda Linfoot: ALL’s cousin in New Zealand. See Hilda disambiguation page

27 June 1918; Thursday

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.


  1. Kühlmann speech: See footnote yesterday

  2. Arnold Bennett’s “The Author’s Craft”: non fiction work of 1914. See also The Author’s Craft and Arthur Linfoot’s Library

The Author’s Craft

cover imageThe Author’s Craft is a short book written in 1914 by Enoch Arnold Bennett, author of another book previously mentioned by Arthur Linfoot, Anna of the Five Towns.

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.