Tag Archives: Birthday

Diary entries referring to birthdays. Arthur Linfoot was born on 17 January 1890. His father, Christopher William Linfoot, was born on 4 September 1855. Birthdays of other friends and family are also occasionally featured. See also the Family page.

17 January 1918; Thursday

My 28th Birthday     Up about 7.30. A lot of patients in for breakfast. Kept busy all day and a record day. Over 140 patients to go. A stretcher wounded case in at night. I had two green envelopes1 given me by a patient and wrote a letter home at night. Received a letter and card and photo group with Billy Peake on it from home. Went to bed about midnight.


  1. Green envelopes: Letters from soldiers on active service were subject to censorship but, as a privilege, soldiers were also given one green envelope per month in which they could send uncensored personal and private letters. If unused, perhaps these green envelopes were a gift to ALL, hence ALL’s letter home later this day? 

6 June 1917; Wednesday

Up at usual time. Grand day. Received orders quite suddenly to go back to headquarters. Went into town and bought a towel, a soap box and some other things. Charlie’s birthday.

Returned from town and found that I had to †pack it in†. Hurried to La Clytte in a car. Everything ready for the push. Big guns in the valley firing. Marquees† up and all ready. Fritz1 shelled La Clytte regularly for the last few nights. Had a bit rest and then marched up the line with our stretchers and everything. I picked a wheeled stretcher. No shelling as we came up but signs of recent shelling and dead horses. Arrived at Ridge Wood and the brasserie about 11 o’clock. Got down2 in the brasserie but had to go out again into the little R E signals dugout.


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

  2. “Got down” meaning “lay down to sleep”. 

17 January 1917; Wednesday

My Birthday 271.     Up at 5.30. Breakfast at 6. Fell in full pack at 7 and marched off about 7.20. Heavy fall of snow and still falling as we marched. Several of us fell down as we came down the hill from the camp. The march tired me a lot and I was nearly beat after the first stretch. Put into a deep dugout near to the Welsh aid post, along with Sergeant Powell, Holman, Bascombe and other 9. Slept pretty comfortably on the floor. Ball, the new man, on gas alert a bit. Went up to aid post and had to get down a few times. They knocked in the parapet near shortly before we went along. A lovely birthday!


  1. “27”: 17 January 1917 was ALL’s 27th birthday. 

2 September 1916; Saturday

On guard at 9 o’clock. My turn in the middle. Had a few short walks and called in Y.M.

[The foregoing words are superimposed on “Father’s birthday” and “Dorothy 7th”, written faintly in longhand.] 12

On from 1 o’clock in the morning until 5 o’clock. Gas alert put on and gave me some trouble. Pinched some petrol and washed tunic next morning3.


  1. ALL’s father’s birthday was the 4th of September, not the 2nd. ALL noted his father’s 59th birthday on 4th September 1914, so he would have celebrated his 61st birthday two days after this diary entry. 

  2. “Dorothy” refers to Dorothy Wiseman, ALL’s niece and daughter of his elder sister, Marmie, and her husband, Joe Wiseman. “7th” refers to the date of Dorothy’s birthday, 7th September, and not to her age. The 7th of September 1916 would have been her 4th birthday. See also: Family

  3. “Washed tunic”: possibly to remove discolouration of buttons caused by gas? (q.v. gas test on 3rd June). 

17 January 1916; Monday

On parade in the morning. Funeral of Sergeant Bell in the afternoon. Firing party, band and full procession. Had walk at night with Black. Met his girl and her sister and talked a bit. Walked up the road a bit and talked over marriage and girls generally.

Sgt. Bell’s funeral.

My 26th Birthday. Received cakes from home and <money> from Charlie.