Tag Archives: Current affairs

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

29 December 1918; Sunday

On duty as usual. Off in the afternoon and wrote and did a little French. Had short walk with Harvey. Got election results1

Coalition Majority2

Mostly Conservative3.

Greenwood and Hudson4 in for Sunderland. Lot of Labour5 leaders out.


  1. Election day had been 14 December and ALL had submitted his postal vote on  13 December. Counting had been delayed until the 28th so that ballots cast by soldiers serving overseas could be included. 

  2. The Coalition Government was of course a continuation of Lloyd George’s wartime Coalition Government, after the 1918 election comprising 332 Coalition Conservatives, 127 Coalition Liberals, 9 Coalition National Democrats, and 4 Coalition Labour; there were also 57 Labour members, 73 Sinn Fein members who did not take their seats, and 47 Conservatives and 36 Liberals who did not join the Coalition. 

  3. ALL’s choices (13 December) had been Hamar Greenwood (Liberal, 27,646 votes) and Frank Goldstone (Labour, 9,603 votes). Goldstone lost his seat in the 1918 election, having served as Labour Chief Whip since 1914. 

  4. Ralph Milbanke Hudson, Unionist, 25,698 votes 

  5. Although the 1918 election is well known for the loss of (Asquith-supporting) Liberal leaders, Labour’s Ramsay Macdonald and Arthur Henderson also lost their seats (and, as already noted, the Labour Chief Whip); ALL clearly wrote “Labour”, not “Liberal” (the shorthand differs only by the ‘l’ stroke at the end of “Liberal”). 

13 December 1918; Friday

Up shortly after 6 and on parade. Off in the afternoon. Did a little French. Received ballot paper1 and voted for Goldstone and Greenwood2. Off in the afternoon.

President Wilson arrived at Paris3.


  1. The 1918 general election was called immediately after the Armistice and was held on 14 December 1918. The count was delayed until 28 December so that the ballots cast by soldiers serving overseas could be included.  

  2. The candidates for Sunderland were Frank Goldstone (Labour), Hamar Greenwood (Liberal) and Ralph Milbanke Hudson (Unionist).  

  3. President Woodrow Wilson spent six months in Paris for the Peace Conference, and was the first U.S. president to travel to Europe while in office. He disembarked from the George Washington in Brest on December 13. 

27 July 1918; Saturday

Up at 7 o’clock. Rain most of the day. Wrote letter home and one to Ernie. Received letter from Harvey. Did a little French and washed some clothes. Heard of the Coventry strike1.


  1. There was an engineering and munitions strike in Birmingham and Coventry in July 1918, caused by ‘the embargo’: a Government prohibition of the employment of additional skilled men in specified firms; it applied to very few firms, and was not generally known until a misleading notice by one of the affected firms drew attention to it. The strikes ended after a week, when the Government announced that those still on strike on 29 July would have their protection certificates withdrawn, making them eligible for conscription. 

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).