Tag Archives: Paris

Arthur Linfoot spent a week on leave in Paris from 8 to 15 September 1918, having briefly passed through Paris without stopping a few months earlier in July.

15 September 1918; Sunday

Up about 9. At the Madeleine church in the morning to a service and walked through the Tuileries Gardens1. Had lunch at the Y M near the barracks. Went up to the Invalides2 in the afternoon and had a hurried look at Napoleon’s tomb and then back, tea and to the train. Moved off at about 4.40. Had an A S C man in the carriage who †had been south†. He spoke French and was rather enlightening†. Arrived at Rouen3 about mid-night.

  1. The Tuileries Garden is a public garden located between the Louvre Museum and the Place de la Concorde in the 1st arrondissement of Paris. It was created by Catherine de’ Medici as the garden of the Tuileries Palace in 1564 and is famously the subject of Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition, No. 3, “Tuileries (Children’s Quarrel after Games)”. 

  2. Les Invalides is a complex of buildings in the 7th arrondissement of Paris, containing museums and monuments, all relating to the military history of France, as well as a hospital and a retirement home for war veterans. 

  3. Rouen (B), about 120km NW. of Paris (A). 

13 September 1918; Friday

Up at 6 o’clock. Breakfast 6.30 and off to the Fontainebleau1 by train about 30 miles. Spent morning in the palace, had lunch, and then the afternoon driving through the woods. Returned by first class train and arrived about 6 o’clock. Went to English theatre at night and saw Billeted2 – a tip top piece.

  1. The Palace of Fontainebleau (B) is located 55km SW of the center of Paris (A), and is one of the largest French royal châteaux. It is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. 

  2. Billeted was a 1917 play by F. Tennyson Jesse and H. M. Harwood

12 September 1918; Thursday

Up at 7.45. Visited the church of Sacred Heart in the morning. Wonderful church. In the afternoon went on boat trip to St. Cloud1. Meals on the boat and fine trip. In the afternoon had dinner at the Hotel D’Iena and then went to the Opera Comique and saw Sapho by Daudet2. Splendid day.

  1. Saint-Cloud (B) is a suburb of Paris, about 10km from the centre of the city (A). 

  2. Alphonse Daudet (13 May 1840 – 16 December 1897) was a French novelist and author. In 1884, he wrote a book “Sapho”, which he and Adolphe Belot (6 November 1829 – 18 December 1890) adapted as a play in 1885, presumably the play seen by ALL on this day.

    Somewhat parenthetically, in 1910 another play, an English adaptation of Sapho by Clyde Fitch, was at the centre of a famous New York City indecency trial involving the play’s star, Olga Nethersole and her co-star, Hamilton Revelle

11 September 1918; Wednesday

Up about 8 o’clock. Breakfast before 9. Went and drew extra money and had lunch at the Army and Navy Club. Walked round Latin Quarter. Saw Nôtre Dame, the Pantechnicon1 and Church, the House of Senate at the Luxembourg, Church of St Etienne2 and many other places. Had dinner at the Army and Navy Club and went to English theatre and saw The Tyranny of Tears3. Most enjoyable day.

  1. The shorthand clearly says “Pantechnicon” – but should it be”Panthéon”? 

  2. Saint-Étienne-du-Mont is a church in Paris, located on the Montagne Sainte-Geneviève in the 5th arrondissement, near the Panthéon. 

  3. The Tyranny of Tears: A Comedy in Four Acts; 1899 play by Charles Haddon Chambers

9 September 1918; Monday

Up about 8 o’clock. Joined Y M party and went by train to Versailles1. Very wonderful place. Built by Louis XIV. Saw church, ball room, throne room, bed room, board† rooms, senate room, mirrors†, etcetera. Went to English theatre at night and had dinner2 in French restaurant.

  1. The map shows the journey from Paris (A) to Versailles (B). B marks the location of the palace. 

  2. “Dinner”, for once, actually appears to mean “dinner”, not “lunch”. 

8 September 1918; Sunday

Arrived at Paris at about 6 o’clock1. Taken by motors to A P M place2 where we were lectured and afterwards taken to the Hotel Bleriot†. Cleaned up and had breakfast, then walked round the town. After dinner3 got room and lay down for a while. Went to Army and Navy Club at night and heard fine concert by Miss Lena Ashwell’s4 party.

Arrived at Paris.

  1. ALL arrived at 6:00am, having travelled all night. 

  2. “APM” probably means “Assistant Provost Marshall“, essentially the local head of the military police. “Place” probably means the APM’s HQ. This possibly explains the lecture – servicemen on leave in Paris were put on notice to behave themselves? 

  3. “Dinner” means “lunch”, as usual. 

  4. Lena Ashwell: previously transcribed as ‘O’Dell’, without identification, but ‘Ashwell’ appears probable; Lena Margaret Ashwell 1872-1957; OBE 1917; born Lena Margaret Pocock (Ashwell was her adopted stage name), suffragist, trained at Royal College of Music, London; with War Office resistance but patronage from Princess Helena Victoria, she organised numerous drama and good-quality music parties for advanced locations in France from 1915 (said to have been the first to do this on a large scale: 25 parties by 1918). Is it verifiable that one of her parties performed at the Army & Navy Club in Paris on 8 September 1918? 

7 September 1918; Saturday

Travelled all night in truck and arrived at Rouen about 9 o’clock1. Left our things at a rest camp, had dinner2 at a restaurant and visited the town. Went through St Ouen’s church3 and up the tower, and through the cathedral4. Pleasant day. Moved off at 9 o’clock at night to Paris5.

  1. ALL arrived at 9:00am, having travelled all night. 

  2. “Dinner” means “lunch”, as usual. 

  3. Saint-Ouen Abbey Church is a Gothic church in Rouen. It is famous for both its architecture and its Cavaillé-Coll organ, described as “a Michelangelo of an organ” by Charles-Marie Widor, which would doubtless have been of some interest to ALL (himself a capable organist) although he makes no mention if it here. 

  4. Rouen cathedral; the other famous Gothic church of Rouen. 

  5. The map shows ALL’s continuing journey, from Rouen (A) to Paris (B), where he eventually arrived on 8 September. 

3 July 1918; Wednesday

Woke about 7 o’clock. Had breakfast at a station by the way. Finished journey at Hesdin1 at about noon. Got motor-lorries and went to Ouve2, about 30 kilos. Took us about 5 hours owing to breaking down and losing the way. Walked round village at night. Received two letters from Ernie and one from Gertie in which she tells me about her progress at the piano. Decent news from the line. Weather fine. Sergeant Powell unwell. Turned in about 9.30.

  1. Hesdin (B); about 210km N. of Paris (A). 

  2. Ouve: probably Ouve-Wirquin (C), 30km N. of Hesdin; 14km SW. of St Omer; Michelin square E4.