Tag Archives: Doullens

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

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. 

17 October 1916; Tuesday

Left Authie about 9.30. Part of the morning† Harry Bascombe left at the hospital in the village. Had to wait several times for the Division to move and in one place had to put off our pack and push the waggons up a very steep bank. Marched about 9 miles. Arrived at Val de Maison1 about 4 o’clock. I felt pretty rotten and got down in a tent† *.

Temperature 101.4 at night2.

  1. Val de Maison: presumably the Val de Maison (B) in Michelin map square G7, 3km E. of N25, mid-way between Doullens  and Amiens, 9 miles/14.5km from Authie (A); it would be about 20km march from Val de Maison to the Brickfields camp at Albert on 23 October

  2. “Temperature”: Presumably ALL’s body temperature. 101.4°F is c. 38.5°C – a moderate fever – the malaise causing this fever is not specified. 

7 October 1916; Saturday

Arrived Doullen1 at midnight. Stood about until about 2 o’clock and then marched off. It rained heavily at first. Arrived Authie2 about 5.30 and after waiting some time we were billeted in a wood† in some little houses. Rained most of the day and we slept a good bit. Pretty tired after our walk.

  1. Doullen [sic]: Actually Doullens (A above, Michelin map square G7) is 28km NW of Albert – some 22km from the N end of the Somme front. 

  2. Authie (B above, Michelin square G7) is 12km ESE of Doullens, and 18km NW of Albert; back in the Somme area.