Tag Archives: Méteren

Diary entries written while Arthur Linfoot was stationed at Méteren in Northern France. He was working at the military hospital there during most of this time.

2 April 1918; Tuesday

Up at about 7.30. Paraded at 10 o’clock and marched to a camp near to Baileul1. Glorious day. Walked into Meteren2 at night and had some eggs at Jeanne’s. Beautiful afternoon and pleasant walk. Rained last thing.

  1. Baileul: ALL always omits one ‘l’ from ‘Bailleul’ in his longhand; the transcription follows this, but where he writes it in shorthand, ie phonetically, it is transcribed with the correct spelling. Bailleul (B); is 6m SW of Locre (A). 

  2. Méteren (C); 4km W of Bailleul. 

12 July 1917; Thursday

Up at 7 o’clock. The German big gun sent over some shells and killed 10 people and wounded a lot. Walked to Méteren at night with Driver. Went part of the way with Piggy Wood and Vic Draper†. Called at the old hospital and in the Y M. Bought a †Bob Nanning†1 and read good part of it. Lieutenant Jones went out.

  1. Probably a book of some kind although the transcription of the author’s name is uncertain. 

10 May 1917; Thursday

Up at 5.30. Turned in after a bath and slept until about 1 o’clock. Up pretty early but had no dinner. Ordered at 3.50 to be ready at 4.15 to go to Bailleul1. Got out there and marched off with the party. Captain Jackson and a few * men came down from Ypres to the town hall shortly before we got there. Fell out at Meteren 2 and waited about half an hour for Sergeant Holmes. Had short walk round the town at night and got down to bed pretty late. Very warm day.

  1. Bailleul: now correctly spelled 

  2. The map shows the entire journey, from Mont des Cats (A), via Méteren (B), where ALL fell out during the journey, and back to Bailleul (C). 

28 April 1917; Saturday

Up at 8 o’clock. Helped to rig up dispensary during the morning. Did a bit French at dinner time. Walked into Méteren1 at night and called at Jeanne’s†2. Bought an apron for Gertie. Stayed a good while and talked. A young New Zealander there. Returned about 8 o’clock.

  1. Méteren (B); 3km W of Bailleul (A). 

  2. Jeanne’s: Possibly the same “Jeanes” or “Jennis” mentioned on 20 March. A café? 

20 March 1917; Tuesday

Up at 7.30. Parade at 10 o’clock. Pottered about all day. Walked into Meteren 1 at night with Harvey and Holman and called at Jeanes2. Had eggs and chips and spent a pleasant evening. Lost our way coming back and arrived about 9 o’clock.

  1. Méteren (B) is 6km NNE. of Outtersteene (A), 5km W. of Bailleul; Michelin square I3. 

  2. Jeanes, or Jennis: nothing more is known, although “Jeannes”, also at  Méteren, is mentioned again on 28 April; possibly the same place. A café or similar? 

6 October 1916; Friday

Up at 7 o’clock. The 111th Ambulance took over from us at 9 o’clock. Went up to the Belgian house and had dinner and then paraded at 2.15, full pack. Marched to Bailleul1 station and entrained there. Slept most of the time in the train and arrived at our destination2 about midnight.

  1. Bailleul (B) is 3km E of Méteren (A) and 16km SW of Ypres. 

  2. Doullens (C), see next day’s entry

5 October 1916; Thursday

Up at 6.30 and on duty as usual. The 111th Ambulance1 came to take over in the afternoon. I spoke to a few of the old Hillsborough lot. A third bomb accident at night2.

Bought a lace collar at night from the Belgian refugee people.

  1. The 111th Field Ambulance was at this time with the 16th (Irish) Division

  2. The diary makes no reference to a first or second bomb accident, and offers no clue about the nature of any of these accidents, but Mills bombs (hand grenades) were sometimes used in ponds or watercourses to kill or stun fish (for eating), and their time-fuses could be unreliable. 

3 October 1916; Tuesday

Kept busy all day. Another bombing again after dinner and 2 stretcher cases and two walking cases through it. Paid at 4 o’clock. A bit of a commotion through Billy Truman having got bed wet and a man upstairs having a touch of diphtheria.

Another Zeppelin brought down near London1.

  1. “Zeppelin brought down”: This probably refers to the destruction, on the night of 1-2 October 1916, of Zeppelin L31, which was shot down by an aircraft from No. 39 Squadron and crashed near Potters Bar, killing its entire crew of 19 including its very experienced captain, Heinrich Mathy. L31 had previously taken part in the raid on London of 23-24 September (noted by ALL in his diary entry of 26 September) during which L32 and L33 had been shot down.