Tag Archives: Current affairs

Arthur Linfoot often noted newsworthy events not directly related to the war.

8 July 1918; Monday

Up about 7 o’clock and on duty. Received other two patients in the afternoon, making a total of 7. Had bath in the stream in the afternoon. Got boilers and baths underway. Heard that the German minister1 in Moscow had been assassinated2. Harvey and Holman went to number 8 C C S for duty. Wrote letter to Mother and one to Franchie Inwood at night. Thunder storm after tea. Sanders came to help us.


  1. “German minister”: Actually the German ambassador to Russia, Wilhelm von Mirbach

  2. The assassination (on 6 July 1918) was an attempt by the Left Socialist Revolutionaries to re-start war between Russia and Germany. 

26 June 1918; Wednesday

Up about 7.30 and spent most of the day preparing the hospital at the Salle de Reunion. Fine day. Good news in the papers. The Italians have driven back the Austrians, affairs in Austria are pretty serious, Lloyd George speaks of the possibility of Russia re-joining the allies and Kuhlmann1 made a reasonable speech.


  1. Richard von Kühlmann (1873 – 1948): in German London embassy 1908 – 1914; negotiated Brest-Litovsk Treaty with revolutionary Russia, and Treaty of Bucharest with Romania, which Ludendorff considered gave inadequate guarantees on Eastern frontier; briefly German Foreign Secretary, said in Reichstag (July 1918) that the War could not be ended by arms alone; speech ‘misinterpreted’ by the Generals, had to resign. 

1 December 1917; Saturday

Up at 7 o’clock and on double1 as usual. Spent morning at stretcher drill. Went to match in the afternoon. We scored first half. They equalised second half. Played extra time and we scored shortly before time. Ambulance team beat North Lancs 2 – 12. Letter in the Daily News from Lord Lansdowne asking what we are fighting for?3


  1. Double march, or run. See all diary entries tagged “double“. 

  2. A rematch? See 28 November

  3. Henry Petty-Fitzmaurice, 5th Marquess of Lansdowne, famously wrote a letter which called for Britain to negotiate a peace with Imperial Germany  in 1917. The letter was published in The Daily Telegraph on 29 November 1917; presumably The Daily News had subsequently picked up the story. The letter was highly controversial at the time. See Lansdowne Letter at Wikipedia. 

18 March 1917; Sunday

Mooned about until 2 o’clock. Came back to the billet and roused * house. Up at 6.30. Cleaned up ready for parade. Dull morning. Marched off about 11 o’clock. Passed through Hazebrouck1 and saw the people going out of the big church. Sat by the roadside and had tea served up. Arrived at Outersteene2 about 4.30. Decent village and good billet. Went out with Holman and had eggs and chips. Supposed to finish guard but didn’t go on it. Had short walk in the direction of Meteren3. Four of our chaps went into Méteren. Turned in early. Had meat and tinned tongue for supper. 22 kilos. Heard rumour of Bapaume being captured and revolt in Russia4.


  1. Hazebrouck (B): 11km NE. of Boësighem (A); Michelin square H3. 

  2. Outersteene (C): Outtersteene is 10km E. of Hazebrouck, 5km SW. of Bailleul (D), Michelin square I3. 

  3. Meteren (E): Méteren is 6km NNE. of Outtersteene, 5km W. of Bailleul (D); also Michelin square I3. 

  4. The February revolution in Russia had started on 8 March 1917 (23 February in the Julian calendar). 

6 February 1917; Tuesday

Up at 7 o’clock. Busy all day as usual. Finished about 7 o’clock. Had a man very ill with pleurisy and had him taken over to the building.

Billy Truman got other three leave cards with another at the billet last thing.

Heard that President Wilson1 had withdrawn his ambassador and that Count Bernstorff2 had been given his passport. A lot of talk of war between USA and Germany.


  1. President Woodrow Wilson broke off diplomatic relations with Germany on 3rd February 1917 following the latter’s decision to re-introduce a policy of unrestricted U-boat warfare two days earlier; see yesterday’s diary entry. The text of President Wilson’s speech to Congress announcing this development is available here

  2. Johann Heinrich von Bernstorff (14 November 1862 – 6 October 1939) was a German politician and the ambassador to the United States from 1908 to 1917. 

5 February 1917; Monday

Up as usual. Busy all day. Billy Truman received orders to go on leave and cleared off after dinner. I took over his tent for a short time and then Harvey came up to it.

Heard of the Germans’ submarine scheme1 and war demands of America.


  1. Germany had resumed unrestricted submarine warfare on 1st February. Unrestricted submarine warfare had previously been Germany’s policy, but this policy had been quietly discontinued in late 1915 following the aftermath of the sinking of the Lusitania

19 December 1916; Tuesday

Up about 7 o’clock. Busy all day. Went off to Y M at night. Mr Lloyd George [entry apparently uncompleted.] 1


  1. David Lloyd George had become Prime Minister of the United Kingdom a few days earlier, on 6 December 1916, following the resignation of Herbert Asquith. It is possible that ALL had intended to write a note to this effect, or to comment on some act or decision by Lloyd George subsequent to his appointment as PM. 

20 May 1916; Saturday

On Main Gate Guard from 9.15. Managed pretty well. Had a lot to do at night especially. Leishman helped me through and I put on the guard room clock at 2 o’clock1.

Daylight Saving Bill came into force at midnight2.


  1. See note below re daylight saving. “I put on the guard room clock” presumably means “I advanced the guard room clock by one hour.” 2 A.M. was the time at which the hour officially changed. 

  2. Daylight saving time was introduced in Britain by the Summer Time Act 1916 and was implemented in 1916 as GMT plus one hour and Dublin Mean Time plus one hour (Dublin time was 25 minutes behind London at this time). For 1916, DST extended from 21 May to 1 October.