Diary entries written by Arthur Linfoot while stationed at the army hospital in Bailleul, or which mention Bailleul for other reasons. Bailleul is in Northern France, 16km SW of Ypres (Ieper; “Wipers”) in Belgium.
Up shortly after 7 o’clock. Paraded at 9. Cleaning waggons until 12 o’clock. Sergeant-major ordered me over Baileul[sic] after dinner1. Gave me five minutes’ notice. Rode down in car with Bromley. A splendid place. Washed and cleaned up in the afternoon and then went to the concert. A very good concert. Good orchestra. First half turns and second half “dramatic fragment.” Looked up news at night, which spoke of heavy fighting. Went to bed late.
Will have to play my cards very carefully. Finished reading Villette2.
“Baileul”: Actually Bailleul (B), 10km SSW of La Clyttte/Klijte (A). As usual “after dinner” means “after lunch”; the move to Bailleul would have been in the afternoon, not the evening. ↩
Up at 7.30. Had eggs and chips for dinner along with Harvey. Had full marching order inspection and then cleaned the waggons. Walked into Baileul1 in the afternoon. Had tea and then went to the Merry Munroes2 and enjoyed their concert. Returned about 9 o’clock.
Bailleul (B): 5km NW. of Outtersteene (A) and 16km SSW. of Ypres; Michelin square I3. ↩
Merry Munroes: Another soldiers’ revue? See “Merry Mauves” on 22 and 26 September 1916, also at Bailleul. ↩
Up at 7 o’clock. The 111th Ambulance took over from us at 9 o’clock. Went up to the Belgian house and had dinner and then paraded at 2.15, full pack. Marched to Bailleul1 station and entrained there. Slept most of the time in the train and arrived at our destination2 about midnight.
Bailleul (B) is 3km E of Méteren (A) and 16km SW of Ypres. ↩
Up shortly before 7 o’clock. On duty as usual. Not so busy. Billy Truman a bit better. Wet day. Off at night and went to Bailleul. At the concert and it was very good. With Holman. Called at the house of the Belgians and bought a piece of lace to be sent to Marmie.
Up at 6.45. At work as usual. My afternoon off. Went over to Bailleul with Harvey. Our team playing football against M.A.C. and lost 1 – 0. At the Merry Mauves1.
Received news of Zeppelin raid and 2 brought down2.
“Merry Mauves”: The soldiers’ revue first mentioned on 22 September. ↩
Zeppelin raid: On the night of 23 September 1916, a group of four Zeppelins comprising L31, L32, L33 and L34 staged a raid on London and the surrounding counties. Two of these, L32 and L33, were shot down, the former near Billericay with the loss of all hands. The latter crash landed at at New Hall Farm, Little Wigborough; the crew survived and were taken prisoner. L33 was not completely destroyed and was used to inform the design of British airships R33 and R34. See also List of Zeppelins at Wikipedia. ↩
Up at 6.30. Went to the C.C.S. and had tooth stopped. Fine day. Called at Y.M. in Bailleul and looked at some papers. Went over to the house at the top of the village with Duggins and had some supper. Running short of cash and Wood had to dig us out.
Heard that the Zeppelin1 was brought down by an airman named Robinson23 who had been presented with the V.C.
Lt. William Leefe Robinson of the Royal Flying Corps (as it still was) was the first British pilot to shoot down a German airship over Britain during the First World War and was indeed given the V.C. for this act. He was himself shot down in 1917 in France by one of the Red Baron group, and was thought dead for around 2 months until a letter arrived from him at a PoW camp. He was repatriated in 1918 but died of influenza on 31 December 1918. ↩
A similar incident is recorded on 7 June 1915 when Sub-Lt. Reginald A J Warneford RNAS brought down a Zeppelin over Ghent in Belgium by bombing it in the air. ↩
Went to Baileul[sic] at 8.30 to have tooth done. Got there about 9 o’clock. Walked round town. Had dinner at the C.C.S. Left Bailleul about 3 o’clock. Called in at the house in the village we found the other night and had coffee. Munton, Taylor and Moss. Worked an hour extra at night. Wrote letter to Dorothy and commenced one to Father in reply to one <I> had received from him today.
Worked outside in the morning at the dining hall. My afternoon off. Went with Duggins to Baillel[sic]. Walked so far and then jumped on the back of a motor lorry. Had a good day. Posted a few postcards. Went to the Y.M. and played the piano. First time since I have been in France. Went to the pictures and enjoyed them. Rode back in horse ambulance. Charlie Farr, Sam Hall, and Corporal Salisbury† in and they were all pretty well drunk. Had a good day.