Tag Archives: Chapel

Arthur Linfoot was a Christian and regular church-goer. He records his attendance at chapel and church services of many kinds throughout his diaries.

25 February 1917; Sunday

Busy all day. M O called round twice† and rumour of the evacuation of Serre1. All sorts of news going round all day. Went to service at night at the Y M C A.


  1. Serre (C): Michelin square I7, about halfway between Gommecourt (A) and Thiepval (B) and 12km E of Acheux-en-Amiénois (D). This was evacuation by the Germans. See the Capture of Serre at The Accrington Pals and Serre at World War One battlefields. 

11 February 1917; Sunday

Up at 7 o’clock. Busy all day. Finished shortly before 7 o’clock at night. Went to service in YM hut. Ned, the dog1, went with us. Pretty good service. Sang “Sun of my soul2.”

Frost still holding.


  1. This is the only mention in the diary of Ned, the dog. Dogs were used extensively by all sides during the conflict so the presence of a dog is unsurprising. Given that ALL was attached to a medical facility, it is possible that Ned was a casualty dog although he may just have been a mascot or pet. See Animals during the war at the BBC Schools World War One site. 

  2. Sun of my soul, a hymn written in 1820 by John Keble (1792-1866) after whom Keble College, Oxford is named. 

31 December 1916; Sunday

Up about 7 o’clock and on duty as usual. Kept busy all day. Managed to get away at 7 o’clock at night and went to the Y M service. It was very good and the parson preached from the text “Fear not”. The last hymn “For all the saints” went very well indeed. Slept out the year. McGowan was drunk and made a collection to buy some bottles of beer.

THE END

17 September 1916; Sunday

Up at 7 o’clock. At 8.45 communion service. Busy all day in the ward. Went to service in the Y.M. at night and played the piano. Picked wrong tune for one hymn, and chose the new tune for Onward Christian Soldiers1 for the last hymn.

Received news of big victory by the British on the Somme.


  1. The “new tune” for Onward Christian Soldiers was probably the one most known today, composed by Arthur Sullivan in 1871 and named “St Gertrude” after the wife of his friend Ernest Clay Ker Seymer. The tune which had previously been used for Onward Christian Soldiers was a melody from the slow movement of Joseph Haydn’s Symphony in D, No. 15. Evidently “St Gertrude”, despite then being some 45 years old, was still considered new – at least by ALL.