Tag Archives: Doullens

Diary entries written while Arthur Linfoot was at Doullens in Northern France. See also maps.

30 March 1918; Saturday

Arrived at Strazeel 1 at about 7 am. Went to * *2 in motor lorries. Wet night. Walked into Locre at night.

  1. Strazeel: Strazeele (B), 80km NNE. of Doullens (A); 7km E. of Hazebrouck on D642 Bailleul road; Michelin square I2. This means that since the Retreat began on 21 March, the 58th Field Ambulance had been withdrawn completely from the Somme/Ancre theatre, where the German breakthrough occurred, a good 45km north to the Ypres area. 

  2. The indecipherable destination after Strazeele looks a bit like “Monday Green” – possibly an Army-created name? – I cannot find any name on the map, within walking distance of Locre (C), which remotely fits the shorthand. 

29 March 1918; Friday

Up about 8 o’clock. Had breakfast and packed up ready for moving. Rather stormy and showery. Marched to Doullens1. Lay down by roadside from 7 until past 12 o’clock. Got into train and went north.

  1. Doullens (B); 11km SW. of Humbercourt (A). 

11 March 1917; Sunday

Up at 6 o’clock. Packed up things and parade 7.45. I was told off as waggon orderly, so got my pack off the strappings. Had a lot of trouble on the way with the waggons sticking on the hill near Doullens and on the bad road in Bouquet Maison1, Reached our destination about midday – a farm about 4 kilos beyond Bouquet Maison. Rested in the afternoon. Had a shave, wash and brush up and tea at the farm house with Piggy Wood, Ernie Castle, Barber, Truman, and Ike.

Had a good tea. Went to bed early.

10 kilos.

  1. Bouquet Maison: probably Bouquemaison (B), on D916 road to St Pol, 6km N. of Doullens (A); Michelin square G6. 

10 March 1917; Saturday

Up at 7 o’clock. Paraded 9 o’clock. Waggon orderly so had my pack carried. Got very muddy on the way. Reached Brettle1 about 2 o’clock, after a breakdown on the bank near Doullens. Walked into Doullens at night with Ike Taylor. Had a tea of 4 eggs and coffee and bread, and then went to the pictures. Arrived home about 8 o’clock. The billet warden drunk and I nearly got across his path by saying he polluted my water bottle through drinking out of it. Had some amusement out of him and got down about 10 o’clock.

18 kilos.

  1. Brettle: Brétel (A) is 1km W. of Doullens (B) town centre; Michelin square G7. 

30 November 1916; Thursday

Up at 7. Parade at 7.25 for a double1. Hard work. Parade 9.15 for physical drill and afterwards short route march. Off in the afternoon. Walked into Doullens with Holman. Had 2 eggs for tea. Bought tea cosy for Mother. Heard of Air Raid and 2 Zeppelins brought down. One near Durham2.

  1. “Double”, if correct, would mean “double march”, ie a run; there appear to have been sporadic attempts to improve the men’s fitness when not in the line. 

  2. The Zeppelin brought down “near Durham” may have been L34, shot down near Hartlepool, about 20 miles from Durham, on 27 November by Second Lieutenant I. V. Pyott, flying a B.E. 2C aircraft of C flight 36 Squadron based at Seaton Carew aerodrome.