Tag Archives: Football

Arthur Linfoot occasionally wrote of his attendance at football matches, usually at Roker Park (Sunderland) in the early part of the diaries. The later diaries mention football much more frequently as a pastime popular among troops in France.

25 August 1917; Saturday

Up at about 7 o’clock. On parade in the morning doing squad drill. Swim before dinner. Pay parade in the afternoon. I studied a little French. Football match at night between our team and the Lancs brigade. We won 2 – 0. Had walk round with Holman and finished up with eggs at the station cafe with John Dory, Harvey and Holman.

Definite news from Piggy Wood that we are moving in a day or two.

Italians doing well and captured 20,000 prisoners, French over 7,000.

We are fighting very hard round Lens and in front of Ypres1.


  1. “We are fighting very hard . . . in front of Ypres . . .”: this was no doubt a reference to Passchendaele (or the Third Battle of Ypres; see 31 July). Passchendaele (now Passendale) is at (A) on the map. Lens is further south (at B, Michelin square D5), about half-way between Ypres and the Somme battlefield; it had been behind the German line until early 1917, when the Germans withdrew to their Hindenburg Line, thus obtaining a considerably shorter and much more heavily-fortified defensive line, and surrendering the Somme area, Bapaume, Péronne and Noyon. 

15 March 1917; Thursday

[This entry written on page for 16 March, “16” altered to “15”.]

Up at 8 o’clock and rested all day. Spent the forenoon in the village. After dinner cleaned waggons and then went to the Canadian camp and listened to the Divisional band and watched two football matches. After tea went round the village with Stanton. Called in the church and stayed a few minutes to a service and heard the organ. Turned in pretty early.

2 November 1916; Thursday

Up about 7.30. Rained heavily in the morning. Played football good part of the day. Had bath in the afternoon in the village of Aveloy1. Got out fine in the evening. Helped Billington as usual. Helped with the supper at the officers’ mess. Rumours of peace, which we would like to believe but dare not. No post.

Shelled heavily during the night and not so far away.


  1. Aveloy: there is an Aveluy (A), 2km N. of Albert town centre, not far from the Brickfields camp (B), Michelin square H7. 

27 September 1916; Wednesday

Busy all day. Not feeling very well. An observation balloon brought down near us. Had short walk at night with Bascombe and Barburn† after 7.30. Usual day’s work. Our team playing football against Black Watch won 1 – 0.

Received news of Zeppelin raid on north east coast1.


  1. Zeppelin raid: This was actually part of the same raid as ALL had noted the previous day; the four Zeppelins which attacked London on the night of 23-24 September (two of which had been brought down as noted by ALL) were actually part of a larger group of 12 Zeppelins, the others targeting different parts of the UK, including the North-East. See also German strategic bombing during World War I at Wikipedia. 

26 September 1916; Tuesday

Up at 6.45. At work as usual. My afternoon off. Went over to Bailleul with Harvey. Our team playing football against M.A.C. and lost 1 – 0. At the Merry Mauves1.

Received news of Zeppelin raid and 2 brought down2.


  1. “Merry Mauves”: The soldiers’ revue first mentioned on 22 September

  2. Zeppelin raid: On the night of 23 September 1916, a group of four Zeppelins comprising L31, L32, L33 and L34 staged a raid on London and the surrounding counties. Two of these, L32 and L33, were shot down, the former near Billericay with the loss of all hands. The latter crash landed at at New Hall Farm, Little Wigborough; the crew survived and were taken prisoner. L33 was not completely destroyed and was used to inform the design of British airships R33 and R34. See also List of Zeppelins at Wikipedia. 

16 September 1916; Saturday

At the ward as usual. Busy all day. A lot of patients in. Football match in the afternoon and our team won. 5 – 1.

Received news of big fresh advance1 on the Somme.


  1. There was indeed a ‘big fresh advance’ on the Somme on 15 September, assisted by tanks, which according to the prevalent view (which ALL shared) were too few and too sparsely distributed to achieve a decisive impact; in other words wasted due to premature use. The push was in the centre (the old 34th and 19th Divisions area), astride the Albert – Bapaume road, initially as far SE as Delville Wood, and by the evening of 15 September it had reached Courcelette on the Albert – Bapaume road, some 2km beyond Pozières, but still 8km short of Bapaume. 

1 April 1916; Saturday

At football match in the afternoon. Sheffield United v Sheffield Wednesday.

Zeppelin Raid over Sunderland1.

22 killed. 100 injured. Damage to Deptford, and Monk<wearmouth>.2


  1. At about 10pm on the evening of 1 April 1916 German Imperial Navy Zeppelin L11 under the command of Korvettenkapitan Viktor Schutze crossed the coast to attack Tyneside. The defences around the River Tyne had recently been strengthened. Because of this and the prevailing adverse weather conditions, Schutze decided to manoeuvre round and attack the less well protected port of Sunderland

  2. A commemorative clock dedicated to the memory of the victims was recently installed at the Wheatsheaf junction in Monkwearmouth. 

25 March 1916; Saturday

On parade in the morning. Went to the football match in the afternoon with Bennett, Johnson and Plummer. Went on the car to Young’s café and had poached eggs. I bought a new razor and a knife and returned to barracks. Went to the Wesley guild meeting and was trapped in to play. Broke down in a song but managed to get through it. Had short walk round with Mr Inwood afterwards.