Tag Archives: Joe

Joe Wiseman was a close friend of Arthur Linfoot and was married to his elder sister, Mary, known to the family as “Marmie“. See Family page.

29 October 1917; Monday

Up about 9 o’clock. Went up to see Mr Eaves1. Wrote to Harvey’s brother and wrote up diary.

[Diary reverts to pencil at this point – obviously written up after ALL’s return to France.]

Sister Annie2 called at night and we had a long argument on men – whether they are as good as parsons think they are or not. She stayed until 7 o’clock. I had supper and then we all went up to the station. I left by the 9.15. †Annie Freeman† at the station to see Teddie Tudor† off but he wasn’t going. †Dee Frere† and Hilda3 there. Called at Granny in the afternoon just after tea. Jack at the station too and Joe.

Left Sunderland 9.15 for Newcastle. Arrived Newcastle about 10 and left again after an hour4. Got5 seat in the train.


  1. Edward Eaves was a minister at the South Durham Street United Methodist Free Church. According to the diary, ALL had written to Mr Eaves twice, on 28 December 1916 and 28 May 1917, the latter shortly after Mr Mullens, another minister at the church, had died, presumably to offer condolences. Mr Eaves had officiated at Mr Mullens’ funeral. 

  2. “Sister Annie” is also named as a mourner at the funeral of Mr Mullens on 23 May 1917. See also note on 28 December 1916

  3. It is unclear which Hilda this may have been. 

  4. The map shows the first part of ALL’s journey back to France, from Sunderland (A) to London (C) on an overnight train, via Newcastle (B). 

  5. There is an indeterminate mark in the shorthand between “Got” and “seat”; it could be “no”, but this seems inconsistent with “fairly good journey”, in the 30 October entry. 

20 October 1917; Saturday

Up pretty well all night. Got breakfast about 7 o’clock. Went down to boat and moved off from the quay about 9.20. Arrived about midday at Folkestone and London at 4.30. Got 5.30 express and arrived home1 shortly after midnight. Found Joe and Father waiting for me.


  1. “Home” was 47 Eldon Street since 11 February 1915. The map shows ALL’s journey from Boulogne (A) to home (D) via Folkestone (B) and London (C). 

8 April 1917; Sunday

Up about 8 o’clock. A glorious day. Read one of the sermons received from Joe. Read a sermon on †Judas and the Great Commonwealth†123. Were sitting outside at night when an aeroplane was shot above us. Came into the door of the dugout and a piece of shell fell pretty near. Splendid night. Harry Howells lost his pay book and 50 francs. Wrote a long letter to Joe. Had our usual porridge for supper. Bonny night. Read sermon in the †Great Commonwealth†. Turned in about 9.30.


  1. “Judas and the Great Commonwealth”; the transcription is uncertain but, if correct, this sermon would have used a text from a book of the apocrypha, 2 Maccabees 13 vv 13-15, which describes how Judas Maccabeus, defending “the laws, the temple, the city, the country, and the commonwealth”,  led a small army to victory against a superior foe by entrusting the outcome to God. 

  2. Sermons were certainly being preached on this text in early 1917; see this notable example from a service held in St Paul’s cathedral on 20 April 1917 to mark the entry of the USA into the war and attended by the King and Queen and the American ambassador. 

  3. The story of the same Judas Maccabeus from another book of the apocrypha, 1 Maccabees, is retold in an oratorio by G. F. Handel, Judas Maccabaeus, written for the Duke of Cumberland after his victory at the Battle of Culloden. 

5 April 1917; Thursday

Up at 8 o’clock. Not much to do all day. Read British Weekly and Sunday School magazine† received from home. The batteries put over a very heavy bombardment about 9 o’clock.

Rumour that U S A has declared war on Germany.

Received letter and papers from home and Joe.

8 September 1916; Friday

Up shortly after 6.30. On duty all day. Received long letter from Joe and one from Mother telling me that George Crawford1 had enlisted. Fine day and good news from the front.

Fire at the house at the hospital. We were out all night at it. I got a job to watch the stuff we carried out of the ward. Got to sleep about 5 o’clock.


  1. George Crawford, of the Hendon Paper Works office, mentioned frequently in the 1914 diary (see footnote on 30 January 1914), according to an address in the 1917 diary entered the Army Veterinary Corps. See also all posts tagged “George Crawford” and George H. Crawford at Lives of the First World War. 

26 July 1916; Wednesday

Got piece of shrapnel out of the L† & Y1 shoulder2. Stayed up until 1.30, then lay down until about 7 o’clock. Had quiet night although the Germans sent over gas shells all the while. Were relieved at 8 o’clock. Marched down to dressing station, then to the billets near the chateau, after calling at an Army Service park. Got to know a big ammunition dump had been fired. Sergeant Jones killed and Sergeant Brown wounded about 8 o’clock. 2 men gassed the night before and a few men down the line. Fine day. Returned to old billets with Lavere. A dead German buried in the side of the trench and his foot sticking out and smelled horribly. Got to know a day or two ago that Ted Trim had got a DCM3 on July 2nd. Received parcel from home and letter from Joe. Had eggs and brown bread and butter to tea.

Two pieces of trench art (the matchbox cover engraved "The Great War"; the paper- knife engraved "Albert", and "Ancre" on the reverse; the handle is a spent .303 cartridge, for a Lee Enfield rifle or a Lewis machine-gun); and a piece of shrapnel preserved by ALL (exact origin not known but possibly related to the July 26 diary entry).
Two pieces of trench art (the matchbox cover engraved “The Great War”; the paper- knife engraved “Albert”, and “Ancre” on the reverse; the handle is a spent .303 cartridge, for a Lee Enfield rifle or a Lewis machine-gun); and a piece of shrapnel preserved by ALL (exact origin not known but possibly related to the July 26 diary entry).

  1. “L & Y”: the “L”, though unclear, seems corroborated by ALL’s transcription (but should be “Y & L”): the 8th and 9th Battalions of the Yorkshire & Lancashire Regiment were in 70th Brigade, 8th Division – not the 34th or 19th Division, but nevertheless in the central sector of the front. 

  2. ALL wrote in his more detailed 1976 narrative that he had kept this piece of shrapnel as a souvenir – possibly though by no means certainly the one in the illustration accompanying this entry. 

  3. “DCM”: the Distinguished Conduct Medal was for Other Ranks; officers got the Distinguished Service Cross.