Tag Archives: Concert

Arthur Linfoot regularly records his attendance at concert parties throughout his service in France. These appear to have been a mixture of planned concert parties and impromptu events.

26 June 1917; Tuesday

Up at 7 o’clock. Not much to do and learned a bit French in the morning. Capt. Johnson left us to go to number 4 stationary hospital at York. He shook hands with us at parting. Very sorry to lose him.

The Duke of Connaught in the town presenting medals gained in the recent fighting. My turn on so I wrote home. Glorious day. Received letter from Franchie to say that she has got well again. Returned letter to Franchie. Went to Merry Mauves with Driver and they were very good.

21 June 1917; Thursday

Up at 6.45. Kept busy all day. A lot of staff officers and a few generals down at our place investigating who captured a certain objective – 25 or 36 Division. My night off. Went to Pierrots1 with Harry Bascombe and Whittaker. Whittaker lost his cap under the platform and a French lady found it for him. Pretty fair show. A big row in the town between Home and Australian troops. Tried to buy rosary for a man in my ward but couldn’t get a decent one.


  1. Pierrots: Another concert party? 

30 May 1917; Wednesday

Up at 6.30. Very busy first thing. Did a bit French in the afternoon. Read a bit of Stacpoole’s novel1. Received another officer – R G A2. Fine onset†. Out at night with Dai Davies and Driver. We went to the concert hall where there was a lecture on Egypt by Bishop Gawain†. It was pretty interesting and the Army Group Commander was in the chair. An orchestra was in attendance and we sang two hymns. Sergeant Holmes went with us and when he saw the hymn books <he> came out again, and afterwards said it was a swindle advertising a lecture and then having hymns. Met an old Sheffield chap in a shop at night.

Shelled by big high velocity gun during the night and put the wind up many of us.


  1. “Stacpoole’s novel”: See footnote on 29 May and Arthur Linfoot’s Library

  2. R G A: Royal Garrison Artillery, the branch in which Ernie Linfoot was serving. 

22 May 1917; Tuesday

Up at about 6.50. On duty as usual. Kept fairly busy. Off at night and went to the Pierrots. They were fairly good but I didn’t enjoy it as much as I have done concerts. With Gus Rodman and Dai Davies. Went to bed late as usual. A lot of guns1 going up the line.


  1. “A lot of guns”: this was in preparation for the Battle of Messines Ridge, which began on 7 June with the detonation of 19 mines of unprecedented size under the German lines (2 more are still there, unexploded.) On this occasion, the artillery barrage did not begin until the mines were blown, so that the Germans had no warning of the attack, which took place immediately after a comparatively short but intense bombardment. Apparently the Germans had not picked up any signs of the impending attack, though it seems from ALL’s diary that artillery movements were there to be seen.

    Passchendaele, or the 3rd Battle of Ypres, which began on 31 July, followed Messines Ridge, and besides its quasi-political objective (to relieve the French army, by then suffering from mutinies following the failure of Nivelle’s attack of mid-April – 9 May in the Reims/Chemin des Dames area and the associated British attack at Arras), it was intended at least to capture the higher ground to the south and east of Ypres, from which the Ypres salient was constantly threatened, and possibly to enable the capture of the Belgian sea-ports. The front line ran in an approximate semi-circle round the east side of Ypres, and from the southern point of this the Messines Ridge ran further southward. 

17 May 1917; Thursday

Up at 6.30. Kept busy all day. My turn out. Went to the Merry Mauves. They did W W Jacobs’ story on The Monkey’s Paw1.


  1. W W Jacobs: very popular writer of short stories and novels. His best‐known short story, “The Monkey’s Paw”, had apparently been adapted for the stage by the Merry Mauves. ALL was already familiar with WW Jacobs’ work and had written about it on 8 June 1914. See also Arthur Linfoot’s Library 

5 May 1917; Saturday

Up at 5.30. A lot of trouble during the night between old Wilson and Marsh. Finished about 7.30. Had breakfast and turned in. Slept until tea time. Went to concert at night in the dining room. Steve Bott, John Dory, Sergeant Cooper and several others including the C.O. and Captain Andrews took part. Gus played and played very well. Pretty busy at night with the officers. Got through all right. Wrote letter to Charlie.

29 April 1917; Sunday

Up about 7.30. Busy in dispensary all morning. Had walk out with Sheldrake in the afternoon. Saw the graperies†. Had tea in a house in the town. Went to the concert hall at night and heard Bob Taylor Brown. He preached a very good sermon. Had short walk alone towards Méteren afterwards. Received orders to pack in the morning and returned to headquarters. Called in the church in the afternoon and heard the organ.

26 April 1917; Thursday

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.


  1. “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. 

  2. Villette: Novel by Charlotte Brontë first mentioned by ALL on 9th April. See also Arthur Linfoot’s Library

19 April 1917; Thursday

Up at 7 and on duty about 7.30. Cleaned things up for the visit of the G O C. 1 He arrived shortly after 3 o’clock and inspected the place. The hospital satisfactory. Went in the car to Reninghelst. Just too late for the concert so went into the Y M hall and heard a band concert by the Royal Fusiliers band. Called in on the way back and had eggs and coffee. Sergeant Powell and Holman with me. Got back at 8.45.

Learn that the French are making a big offensive.


  1. “G.O.C.”: General Officer Commanding. 

14 April 1917; Saturday

Up at 6 o’clock and out on the dugout after the fatigue. Stayed up until 3.45 and arrived back about 5 o’clock. Sergeant Wilson with us and the chaps pulled his leg all the time. Had a rather awful dinner. Was very tired at night. Had a short walk and went down to La Clytte Y M and listened outside to the Follies.