Tag Archives: Ernie

Ernie was Arthur Linfoot’s elder brother. See also the Family page.

3 March 1918; Sunday

Up about 7 o’clock. In bed all day. Bad weather. Went to a C of E service at night and it was very good. They took a full musical service as they had an excellent orchestra (the *) with them. The orchestra also played a couple of selections which were very fine. I wrote to Charlie and Ernie last thing. Came on duty at about 8 o’clock and turned into bed about one o’clock. My face rather badly broken out round my mouth, but my general health much better.

9 February 1918; Saturday

Up about 8 o’clock. Down to headquarters. Long argument at night with Sergeant Cooper and the rest †on the subject of† red lamps1.

Received letter from Ernie to say that he will probably be going on leave about this time.

  1. “Red lamps”, if a correct transcription, almost certainly refers to the widespread use of licensed brothels by troops in France during WW1. According to this piece on WW1 brothels at the BBC, brothels displayed blue lamps if they were for officers and red lamps for other ranks.

    Given ALL’s strong religious principles and his well documented position on a related moral issue, alcohol, there can be little doubt that ALL was against while Sergeant Cooper and the rest were for red lamps, hence the argument noted here, although the exact nature of the argument can only be guessed at. 

24 January 1918; Thursday

Up about 7.45. Not much to do all day. Walked to headquarters in the morning with the report. Heard that the Goeben and Breslau1 have been in a scrap and put out. Wrote to Ernie.

  1. Goeben and Breslau: there is a long story behind this brief reference: these German battle-cruisers had been on station in the Aegean in 1912 during the two Balkan Wars, and were still in the Mediterranean in August 1914. The Royal Navy failed to intercept them on the outbreak of WW1; Turkey gave them asylum, but had not yet declared war, so the two vessels were transferred to the Turkish Navy to avoid having to intern them (Goeben became the Yavuz Sultan Semil, and Breslau the Midilli.) This was quite a cause célèbre in August 1914, though it is not mentioned then in ALL’s diary. Now, in January 1918, the Turkish effort in Palestine (where Charlie Linfoot was) was failing, but the British Aegean Squadron had only coastal gunboats, destroyers and two pre-Dreadnought battleships, and in the temporary absence of the two old battleships the Turkish Navy brought these two battle-cruisers out to attack the small ships at what became the Battle of Imbros (20 January). The Turks badly damaged the gunboats etc, but both Yavuz Sultan Semil and Midilli struck mines; Midilli sank and Yavuz S S was disabled, and beached in the Dardanelles, effectively finishing off Turkey’s navy. Although the two ships had had Turkish names since August 1914, they were evidently still known in Britain by their original German names. 

18 January 1918; Friday

Up at 7.20. Shaved and got ready. Rain in the afternoon. Not many patients in the morning. Finished nicely. Had some wounded in at night and one young lad died as they brought him. Received letter from Ernie and replied to it. Read sermon by Dr Newton on the Mother of Christ and thought it extremely good. Went to bed rather late.

3 January 1918; Thursday

Up about 7.45. On parade at 9 o’clock. On working party in the wood. Some German planes over and dropped bombs. Killed a few men and several horses. One of the planes brought down with a bomb. Wrote letter to Ernie. Fine bright day.

Sergeant Rogers warned me to go to the walking wounded station to relieve Mills at once. Went on the car immediately after dinner. Helped with some field artillery wounded. Went to bed about 9.30.

10 December 1917; Monday

Up about 8 o’clock. No rations up so we had iron ration biscuits and bully for breakfast with a drink of tea with no sugar. Paraded at 10. I reported sick and was given duty. The American officer put a bandage on my ankle. Spent afternoon writing a letter home. We tried to improve our billet but the sergeants took it from us because two officers took theirs. Received letters from Gertie, Mother, Ernie and Hilda Linfoot1 in New Zealand. Got down to it about 8 o’clock. Got a look inside of a tank. Walked round inside of it and was very much interested in it. Quite a lot2 where we are. A rumour that some of us are going to a place on duty.

  1. Hilda Tate Linfoot, ALL’s cousin. See Hilda disambiguation page

  2. “Quite a lot [of tanks]”: By this stage of the war in late 1917, tanks were deployed in large numbers – see also note on 22 November