On duty at night and did a little French. Off duty at 9 o’clock. Slept very little during the day. Heard that the British have advanced round about Achiet le Petit and the French are advancing towards Noyon. Very good news. On duty at 9 o’clock at night. Read a good bit of Richard Feverel1.
Up at 7 o’clock. On parade at 8 o’clock. Detailed for the A D S at 2 o’clock. Arrived at the ADS shortly before tea time. Had a bit talk with Harvey. He left me Richard Feverel1 to read. On duty at 9 o’clock and kept awake with a struggle all night. Read a good bit. Did a scrap of French.
Heard that the French have advanced a little nearer Noyon2.
Sir Austin Feverel’s wife deserts him to run away with a poet, leaving her husband to bring up their boy Richard. Believing schools to be corrupt, Sir Austin, a scientific humanist, educates the boy at home with a plan of his own devising.
Arthur Linfoot wrote that his comrade, Harvey, had lent him “Richard Feverel” on 20 August 1918, while stationed at Choques, midway between Lillers and Béthune in Northern France. He continued to read the book in the following days.
Up all night and rather tired. Heavy shelling round about but none too near. Relieved about 9. Read some of The History of Mr Polly1. Up with diarrhoea a few times during the day.
Heard that the British have advanced to Ruyaulcourt2 and taken 17 thousand prisoners and 250 guns.
New number of the magazine out.
Turned in to sleep from 3 am to 6.
The History of Mr. Polly has three parts. The first part (chapters 1–6) tells of his life up to age 20, when he marries his cousin and sets up a shop. The second part (chapters 7–8) tells of his suicide attempt, after which he abandons his shop and his wife. The third part (chapters 9–10) and an epilogue sees him becoming a happy and settled assistant innkeeper.
Arthur Linfoot wrote that he had read some of The History of Mr Polly on 9 August 1918, while stationed at Choques, midway between Lillers and Béthune in Northern France.
Up at about 6.30. On parade. Spent morning at squad drill and a short march. Paraded at 8 o’clock. Went for bath in the stream in the afternoon. Did a little French. Read 3 essays by William James1 on releasing the energies of men2 and habit† 3 and found them exceptionally good. Wrote letter to Joe, called in to see Sergeant Powell and went for short walk. Changed billet.
Up shortly after 7 o’clock. On duty about 8 o’clock. Practically nothing to do all morning. The news in the papers more reasonable. The speech of Kühlmann causing a lot of contention†1. Worked until nearly 7 o’clock. Did a bit French and then had a walk last thing with Harvey. Read through Bennett’s “The Author’s Craft”2 and talked it over a bit with Harvey.
It is a short exposition on writing but doesn’t explore technique in the same depth as some modern writers’ guides do, rather concentrating on emotional aspects and the need for an author to express passion and beauty.
Arthur Linfoot wrote that he had “read through” this book and discussed it with a comrade, Harvey, while posted at Pleurs, south of Épernay on 27 June 1918.
Up at 6.30. Rather dull morning. On parade as usual and spent morning digging a hole. Read all afternoon1 and had pass to Epernay at night with Harvey. It rained heavily and rather spoiled our visit. Had splendid dinner. Back about 9 o’clock.
Up about 7 o’clock. Paraded at 9. Not much to do. Read a good lot of Wells’ “Passionate Friends”1 and wrote home and to Charlie. Received letter from home. Not much in the news. Our Divisional band played in the village in the afternoon and in the evening an Italian band played splendidly. Had walk with Holman at night. Quite a †new life† with this place. Saw the girl I spoke to a few days ago2. Some bonny kiddies in the town. The troops of four armies in the crowd. Heard that Austrians had attacked on the Italian front.