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.

8 September 1918; Sunday

Arrived at Paris at about 6 o’clock1. Taken by motors to A P M place2 where we were lectured and afterwards taken to the Hotel Bleriot†. Cleaned up and had breakfast, then walked round the town. After dinner3 got room and lay down for a while. Went to Army and Navy Club at night and heard fine concert by Miss Lena Ashwell’s4 party.

Arrived at Paris.

  1. ALL arrived at 6:00am, having travelled all night. 

  2. “APM” probably means “Assistant Provost Marshall“, essentially the local head of the military police. “Place” probably means the APM’s HQ. This possibly explains the lecture – servicemen on leave in Paris were put on notice to behave themselves? 

  3. “Dinner” means “lunch”, as usual. 

  4. Lena Ashwell: previously transcribed as ‘O’Dell’, without identification, but ‘Ashwell’ appears probable; Lena Margaret Ashwell 1872-1957; OBE 1917; born Lena Margaret Pocock (Ashwell was her adopted stage name), suffragist, trained at Royal College of Music, London; with War Office resistance but patronage from Princess Helena Victoria, she organised numerous drama and good-quality music parties for advanced locations in France from 1915 (said to have been the first to do this on a large scale: 25 parties by 1918). Is it verifiable that one of her parties performed at the Army & Navy Club in Paris on 8 September 1918? 

11 July 1918; Thursday

Up at 4.30 am. Paraded at 6 o’clock. Got in the buses at the top of the hill and rode to Auchel1, a mining town near Lillers etcetera. Rotten billet in the top of a house, next to the roof. Took out a pan-tile to make light. Went to a concert at night given by a concert party, Camouflage, and it was splendid. The best I have seen in France. They sent an invitation for 100 of us and we were marched up. Turned in and slept well.

  1. Auchel (B): About 30km SE of Ouve-Wirquin (A) and 8km S. of Lillers; Michelin square G4. 

20 March 1918; Wednesday

Up about 6.30. on duty at 7 o’clock. Kept pretty busy all morning. Didn’t do much in afternoon. DMS 1 round and made drastic change in the ward. Concert of Number Nines2 at night. Pretty good considering the * and * *3. Had short walk afterwards. Little chat with John Dory and A B Watt and Watt lent me a paper to read an article on the “Chance of peace”

  1. “DMS”: Director of Medical Services 

  2. The Number Nines (assuming as always that the transcription is correct) were presumably a Forces concert party (and if so, presumably based on some medical unit) – ALL had previously mentioned the Number 9s [sic] on 15 August 1917

  3. The shorthand looks like “cooper and impairment file”, or “Immermann violin”; I can’t guess what it might really be. (DL)