Tag Archives: Mack

The “Mack” (McGill?) family in Alnwick appear to have been members of the Clayport Presbyterian Church, which Arthur Linfoot attended regularly during his days in Alnwick. He appears to have been particularly fond of Betty Mack.

11 March 1916; Saturday

On fatigue in the morning. Went out to meet Betty at night. Snowing pretty heavily. We stayed in a gateway all the night. I told her I was interested in her and she admitted interest in me. Was terribly wet when I returned to the camp. A few minutes late. Fell over a netting at the top of the camp. Most of the men in the room on pass. Corporal Collins on leave.

26 February 1916; Saturday

On parade as usual in the morning. Read a bit in the afternoon. Met Betty at 5.30 on the High† Road. Snowed pretty heavily both when I was waiting and when we were together. Sheltered behind a tree in the High† Road, and then again in the plantation at the foot of the High† House Road. Talked a good many things. I told her about our family and she told me about her people too. Elder sister married and in Glasgow, brother at the front. Other sister school teacher and younger sister at home. Brother younger too. Grandmother died recently. Told me that she had knocked about with a chap for 3 years and he went to the front. I said was he gone 1 and she said yes. Left her at 9 o’clock. Had a pleasant night.

  1. “Gone”: Possibly a euphemism for “dead”,  presumably having been killed in action? 

25 February 1916; Friday

On parade as usual. Met Betty at night on the HH House Road1 and stayed out with her until after 9 o’clock. Talked a fair amount of rot and a bit sense. She said she knew I was imaginative. Spent a pleasant night. Arranged to meet early tomorrow night. Late pass stopped.

Black went on pass for the weekend.

  1. “HH House Road”: has not been definitively identified. However there is a Heckley High House (marked on map) to the north-west of Alnwick, the location of which which would appear to be consistent with the diary record.

    See also Alnwick map. 

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. Went down in the car and saw Gertie in it. 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. 

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.