Tag Archives: Bailleul

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.

7 April 1918; Sunday

Packed up and handed over to A Section in the morning. Marched to Vierstraat1 (between Wijtschate and Kemmel) at noon and arrived about tea time. Opened main dressing station. On night duty first night. Not much to do.

  1. Vierstraat (B): 15km NE of Bailleul (A), where ALL had been since 2 April, and 3km NE. of Kemmel (C); Michelin square J2. 

5 April 1918; Friday

Up about 7 o’clock. On parade and detailed off for the dispensary. Busy all day. Put up flagstaff and flag. Out for short walk at night.

The magazines came out. Bought six and sent them home, Ernie, Charlie, Marmie, Franchie and office1.

  1. ALL may have contributed to this magazine number – hence the copies for home; he mentions ‘writing’ occasionally, and specifically for the magazine on 6 and 11 May 1918. 

3 April 1918; Wednesday

Up about 7.30. Read all morning “Mr Britling Sees It Through”1. Received orders first thing after dinner to proceed to the new camp outside Bailleul with Billy Truman and Harman. Went by car. Had tea with Australians and had chips at night. Slept well. Rest of ambulance to follow in the morning.

  1. Mr Britling Sees it Through: Very popular novel by HG Wells about an ordinary man’s war, published in 1916 and described in David C. Smith’s 1986 biography of Wells (H.G. Wells: Desperately Mortal: A Biography) as Wells’ “masterpiece of the wartime experience in England”. We (ALL’s offspring) had a copy (and read it) during WWII. See also Mr. Britling Sees it Through and Arthur Linfoot’s Library

2 April 1918; Tuesday

Up at about 7.30. Paraded at 10 o’clock and marched to a camp near to Baileul1. Glorious day. Walked into Meteren2 at night and had some eggs at Jeanne’s. Beautiful afternoon and pleasant walk. Rained last thing.

  1. Baileul: ALL always omits one ‘l’ from ‘Bailleul’ in his longhand; the transcription follows this, but where he writes it in shorthand, ie phonetically, it is transcribed with the correct spelling. Bailleul (B); is 6m SW of Locre (A). 

  2. Méteren (C); 4km W of Bailleul. 

10 November 1917; Saturday

Up shortly after 6 o’clock. Raining all morning. Got ready for parade at 9.15. Marched to Bailleul station. Had train to near Hazebr.<ouck> and marched to Wallon Cappell1. Our billets just outside the village.

  1. Wallon-Cappell (C): 5km W. of Hazebrouck, on D642 to St Omer; Michelin square G3. Map shows entire journey from Bailleul (A) via Hazebrouck (B). 

8 November 1917; Thursday

Up about 7 o’clock. On parade at 9 o’clock. Helped to pack in the morning. Got pass to Bailleul in the afternoon but Ernie didn’t turn up there so I only went into Locre. Returned in good time.

Heard of the death of Willie Whittaker 1 in a letter from Ernie.

  1. ALL also recorded this in a note added to his diary on the date of Willie Whittaker’s death, 22 October 1917

1 November 1917; Thursday

Up at midnight. Breakfast 12.15. Paraded for rations 1.15. Fritz1 plane over and delayed for an hour. Marched to train 3 o’clock. Got into compartment with only one door. 12 hours on the journey. Arrived at Bailleul about 3 in the afternoon. Had dinner and got a lorry to Locre. Walked from there to Kemmel2 and arrived just after 4 o’clock. Commenced to write letter home, fine day, looked through letters received. Harvey and Holman up the line.

Arrived at Ambulance after leave.

  1. Fritz: a name given to German troops by the British and others in the First and Second World Wars. 

  2. The map shows the entire journey, from Saint-Martin (A) to Kemmel (D), via Bailleul (B) and Locre (C).