Tag Archives: Leave

Diary entries written by Arthur Linfoot both in anticipation of and during periods of home leave.

7 April 1916; Friday

Went out with Mother in the morning. Visited Granny and Whittakers and Uncle George and Aunt Mary. Stayed in and played duets all the afternoon. Left by the 6.38. All family to see me off, and Willie Whittaker, Uncle Jack and Hilda1 and Whittaker family. Joe travelled with me to Pallion. Met Shepherd at Durham and travelled by a through train. Got car into city and arrived at barracks about mid night.


  1. See Hilda disambiguation page. 

6 April 1916; Thursday

Up late. Went to Mill1 in the morning and saw them all.

Nedderton.

Went to Newcastle by 3.30 train. Arrived Stannington2 at 4.5 and Betty waiting for me. Took me to their digs. Introduced to Miss Wells. Had tea. Another chap arrived after tea. Sat in with Betty in front of the fire and talked. Betty had a headache. Had supper. Had to hurry to the station. Betty set me down. Train a few minutes late. Stayed a few minutes in the station. Said goodbye to Betty.

Arrived Newcastle after 11. Left 11.45 and in Sunderland after mid night.


  1. “Mill”: Hendon Paper Mill, where ALL had been employed prior to joining the RAMC. See also Sunderland map. 

  2. Stannington: adjacent to Nedderton, but apparently on the rail line. 

5 April 1916; Wednesday

Visited Grandmother, Whittakers’1 and Jack’s. Mr Dill’s funeral in the afternoon and I went over to see it with Ernie. Met George Crawford2 who was in the procession. Climbed Ernie’s backyard wall to get in. Ernie took my photo3. Down to chapel at night and saw Mr Blott, Arthur Mullins, Billy and Edie and a few more.

Arthur Linfoot in Uniform
Photograph of ALL in uniform, with lance-corporal’s stripe, seated in a back yard; undated, but possibly taken while on embarkation leave, April 1916.
Ernie Linfoot in Arthur Linfoot's Uniform
Photograph of Ernie, ALL’s elder brother, apparently wearing ALL’s uniform and seated in the same back yard, possibly taken on the same day.

  1. “Whittakers'”: Willie Whittaker‘s family. Willie might not have been there, having enlisted in November 1915, although he was present a few days later. 

  2. George Crawford: a colleague of ALL from the Hendon Paper Mill, still working there as late as the 1950s. 

  3. While apparently taken in a back yard, there is no other evidence to suggest that the photograph of ALL accompanying this entry (top) is the one taken by Ernie on this day although a very similar photograph of Ernie himself (bottom) also exists in a family collection. See also Family page

4 April 1916; Tuesday

Lay in late. Went down to see Ernie. Out with Mother and over the water1 to see the damage done by the Zeppelin raid2. Out late in afternoon. Called at Whittakers3. Called for Ernie at night. Went over with him to Whitburn later. Had photo taken at Eccles’† in Holmeside4.


  1. “over the water”: phrase commonly used by ALL and his contemporaries for “across the Wear to north Sunderland”; nothing to do with the Jacobites. 

  2. “Zeppelin raid”: Presumably the raid on Sunderland of 1 April noted in that day’s diary entry

  3. “Called at Whittakers”: Willie Whittaker‘s family. Willie might not have been there, having enlisted in November 1915, although he was present a few days later. 

  4. Holmeside was (and remains) a shopping street in the middle of Sunderland. Perhaps “Eccles” was a commercial photographer? 

3 April 1916; Monday

A lot of parading with the draft. Route march in the afternoon and we lay down a long time while the band played. Received orders to put in passes in the afternoon. Received them back at night. Borrowed 5/-­ off Bennett. Wired home. Got the 8.33. Delayed at York. Arrived about 2 o’clock at home. Watson and I travelled to Sunderland together.

Home on Final Leave.

30 March 1916; Thursday

Turned out at 7 o’clock parade and left it early after reporting Jackson sick. On parade at 9, 10.30 as usual and went to be medically examined at 11.30 in the orderly room. Both Captain McGlashan and another officer along with Lieutenant Johnson examined me. Got leave off route march in the afternoon and dusted. Tea brought along with Jackson. Arm pretty painful. Rumours current about final leave and Holden told me we would probably get it.

Got to know definitely that I’m on the draft.

In soldiers’ home at night. Wrote up diary.

20 February 1916; Sunday

Got up late. At chapel late with Father in the morning. Went with Ernie at night and sat in Tulips’pew. Called at Grandmother’s in the afternoon and saw her, Aunt Esther and Uncle Jack. Spoke to a few chapel friends. Ernie and Hilda and Moira to dinner and tea and we had two chickens and pork for dinner. Played piano a bit. Sent postcard to Betty.

At Home.

Ernie’s finger better, Father’s not much. I got out a spelk1. Shook hands with Father.


  1. Spelk” is/was a dialect word meaning “splinter”. Spelks were a common hazard for timber workers – ALL said his father normally left them in until they festered, when the spelk could be got out more easily; he said this did no harm, because he had “good blood” – but maybe not this time. 

19 February 1916; Saturday

On fatigue with Ted† Copeland in the morning. Left off the job at 11 o’clock and got dressed. Got 12.8 train from Alnwick and arrived home shortly before 3 o’clock. Went down for Ernie at the shop1 with Joe. Called at Wiseman’s and then went over to Ernie’s nice house and saw Hilda and had tea. Called for Ernie at night again. Had walk out with Father, Joe and Ernie last thing. Went to bed late.

Weekend at Home.

Father got bad finger and Ernie too.


  1. “… at the shop”: presumably Hills’; see 21 January

18 February 1916; Friday

Received letter from Betty in reply to mine1. Wrote acknowledgement and said that I would be travelling through Morpeth. Out in the town at night and got one or two things. A bottle of scent for Gertie and a brooch for Dorothy.


  1. ALL wrote his letter to Miss Mack on the 15th February and received a reply from Betty on the 18th. ALL continues to use Miss Mack’s first name only from this point on.