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.

19 October 1917; Friday

Left Kemmel with Clifford† at about 10 o’clock and arrived at Bailleul about 11.30. Had dinner and reported at the station. Train started about 1.40. Weary Journey. Arrived at Boulogne1 about 11.30 and went into rest billets.


  1. This journey marks the beginning of ALL’s only period of home leave during his service in France. The map shows this stage of ALL’s journey home, from Kemmel (A) to Boulogne (C) via Bailleul (B). 

29 August 1917; Wednesday

Up at 7 o’clock. Paraded first thing and then dismissed. Wet morning and walked into the village shortly before dinner. Fell in at about 4.30 and marched into the village about 5 o’clock. Got into buses and rode into Wizernes1 in about an hour. Got into the train there, left shortly after 7 o’clock and arrived at Baileul about 9 o’clock. Best journey I have done in France. Marched to Boeschepe army camp and arrived shortly before midnight2. Got tea and turned in about 1 o’clock.


  1. Wizernes: 5km SSW. of St. Omer (Michelin square F3); Boeschepe is 8km NNW. of Bailleul, Michelin square I3 – just W. of the Ypres Salient. 

  2. The map shows the entire journey from Nielles-les-Bléquin (A), through Wizernes (B) and Bailleul (C), to Boeschepe (D), the latter only about 3km NE of Mont des Cats, where ALL had briefly stayed in May. 

10 August 1917; Friday

Up at 7 o’clock and on parade at 8 o’clock. Did nothing in the afternoon. Holman and Harvey going on leave and are to stay behind in the camp. Moved off about 6 o’clock and marched through Bailleul. Band played well in Bailleul. Entrained at the station and waited until 11 o’clock before we moved off. 44 of us in one cattle truck and no room to lie down or move about. Spent a most uncomfortable night.

9 August 1917; Thursday

Up at 6 o’clock and saw Captain Crawford off. Received quite a lot of money in tips. Gibbons fighting† drunk. Squad next up and marched back to Berthen1 at about 4.30, arrived about 6 o’clock. Slept in the receiving tent with Harry Bascombe and Ben Jenkins.


  1. Berthen (B) about 7km NNW of Bailleul (A). 

6 August 1917; Monday

Up at about 7 o’clock. Kept busy all day. Off in the afternoon and went to the Church Army reading room and read two short stories from a magazine. On duty at night and did some French. Lay awake and talked to Freddie about churches and festivals of the church year.

Rumours of the Division going out and of the ambulance moving.


Although the diary is silent on the matter, 6th August 1917 was the day on which ALL’s Sheffield barracks friend, Ralph Kenyon Sandwith, was killed in action near Kemmel in Belgium.

The images here are of a postcard sized portrait of RKS which exists in ALL’s collection. The front is signed “Ralph K. Sandwith” and the back has an address in Louth, RKS’ home address presumably written by RKS himself, and a note in ALL’s hand about the date of the photograph (1915) and the circumstances of Sandwith’s death (at Kemmel in 1917). Private Sandwith was about 21 years old at the time of his death, and 19 years old at the time of the photograph.

See also all diary entries tagged “Sandwith” and Ralph Kenyon Sandwith at Lives of the First World War.

Autographed portrait of Ralph K. Sandwith from ALL’s archive.
Postcard bearing autographed portrait of Ralph K. Sandwith from ALL’s archive.
Reverse of postcard
Reverse side of postcard with the handwritten text “88 Upgate, Louth, Lincs” (right) presumably written by Sandwith himself – his home address – and “1915 – Killed at Kemmel 1917” (left), apparently written by ALL.