Tag Archives: Mont des Cats

Arthur Linfoot was billeted in the Abbey at Mont des Cats in Northern France for about a week in early May 1917. See postcard and related footnote accompanying the 2 May entry.

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 Baileul. Got out there and marched off with the party. Captain Jackson and a few men came down from Ypres to the town track† shortly before we got there. Fell out at Meteren 1 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. 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). 

9 May 1917; Wednesday

Awoke at 5.30. Emptied tubs. Took temperatures and looked to officers’ mess kitchen fire. Fine morning. Slept from about 1 o’clock to 5.30 in the chair. Went to bed but didn’t get much sleep. Up at 2 o’clock and had walk in the afternoon. Went on duty at 7.30. Kept pretty busy. Slept in chair from 2 to 5 o’clock.

8 May 1917; Tuesday

Woke at 5 o’clock. Emptied tubs and took temperatures. Looked after mess fire. Lay down in the morning shortly after 8 o’clock but didn’t get to sleep. Quartermaster and the padre pulled us out of bed and moved us to one of the side rooms. Didn’t sleep there†. Up at 1 o’clock. Went out with Holman in the afternoon and walked to a neighbouring village where we had boiled eggs and stuff for tea. Fine day. Slept for about half an hour in the field. Came on duty at 7.30. Managed all right. Had some cold meat and potatoes for supper.

7 May 1917; Monday

Up at 5.30. Took temperatures and emptied bucket as usual. Turned into bed about 9 o’clock and slept until 2 o’clock. Walked into the village of Berthen1 after tea. Read a bit in the afternoon and went on duty at night. Shaved† two officers – one deaf and had killed† a lot of Germans. Busy until after midnight. Went to sleep at 2 o’clock and woke at 5 o’clock.


  1. Berthen (B): 2km E of Mont des Chats (A) and midway between Poperinghe (to the North) and Bailleul (to the South), rather to the W. of both; Michelin square I3. 

6 May 1917; Sunday

Up at 5.30. Kept busy until 7 o’clock. Finished at 7.30 and had breakfast. Went into bed but slept badly. Up at 2 o’clock and washed. Did a bit French in the afternoon. Glanced at the British Weekly. At the evening C of E service in the dinner hour. News that the British have lost Bullecourt1, but the French have advanced a bit and captured some prisoners.


  1. Bullecourt is in the triangle Arras-Cambrai-Bapaume, 4km E. of the A1/E15 road; Michelin square J6. 

5 May 1917; Saturday

Up at 5.30. A lot of trouble during the night between old Wilson and Marsh. Finished about 7.30. Had breakfast and turned in. Slept until tea time. Went to concert at night in the dining room. Steve Bott, John Dory, Sergeant Cooper and several others including the C.O. and Captain Andrews took part. Gus played and played very well. Pretty busy at night with the officers. Got through all right. Wrote letter to Charlie.

4 May 1917; Friday

Commenced work again 5.0. o’clock. Had bath first thing after breakfast. Went to bed and stayed there until after dinner. Had late dinner and lay down again. Went into grounds after tea and read and tea and did a bit of French. Glorious night.

Rumours that the British have had a nasty setback.

3 May 1917; Thursday

[Pencil exceptionally faint on this page.]

Up at 5.30. Felt chilly sitting. Got everything cleaned up and had breakfast. Went to bed about 9 o’clock. Slept very well†. Up at 2 o’clock. Glorious day. Received letter from Hilda Linfoot in New Zealand1. Lay down out on the grass in the grounds and read. Harvey with me. Went on duty at 7.30. Massaged the legs of Lieutenant Radford, took temperatures of officers etcetera. Sat up until shortly after midnight. Didn’t go to bed. Simply sat in the chairs.


  1. See Hilda page. 

2 May 1917; Wednesday

Postcard of the Abbey at Mont des Cats
Postcard of the Abbey at Mont des Cats (see footnote)

Up at 6 o’clock. Got ready for the march. Fine morning. Arrived at Mont des Cats12 at about 1 o’clock. Very hot on the march and the heavy bank at the end nearly did us all in. A splendid place. An old priory or something of the sort with monks in it. A very large place. Watched view from the top. Had dinner and then went to our billets upstairs. On night duty. Went on at 7.30. Old Sergeant Wilson incensed†. Didn’t get down to bed at all. Took officer’s temperature. Sat in easy chairs to sleep.


  1. Mont des Cats (B): 12km W. of La Clytte/Klijte (A), Michelin squares H3/I3. 

  2. ALL brought home a postcard (image above) from his 1935 tour of his battlefields showing the Abbey at Mont des Cats, with a note that he had lived there for a week. Interestingly, the name “Mont des Cats” had been neatly excised from the card, presumably during WW1 for security reasons – but the card must still have been in the shop’s stock in 1935.