Tag Archives: Ranald MacDonald

Ranald MacDonald appears to have been known to Arthur Linfoot through the South Durham Street United Methodist Free Church. He is first mentioned on 30 August 1914. Intermittent correspondence with Ranald MacDonald continues throughout the diaries. See also Private Ranald MacDonald at Lives of the First World War.

13 July 1918; Saturday

Up about 7 o’clock. Busy until 6 o’clock at night. Walked round town and round pit head. Saw the engine room, the winding gear and watched men and tubs going up and down. Watched the girls sorting at the screening place. Very interesting. Had a drink of coffee with Steve Bott and Edgar, Billy and Steve. The news pretty good. Received letter from Ernie and one from Ranald MacDonald. Jerry over at night but dropped nothing very close.

3 June 1918; Monday

Up about 6.30. On duty at 8 o’clock. Fine morning. Jerry crossed machine-gunning first thing. Heard that a chap called Sharpe1 had been killed in the morning. He was buried at night near to the dressing station2 and we paraded for it. Had short walk at night.

Received 3 letters, 2 from home and one from Ranald MacDonald.


  1. Sharpe: Probably 118184 Private F E Sharpe, 58th Field Ambulance, RAMC. Now buried at Marfaux British Cemetery (B), approximately 4km N of Nanteuil-la-Forêt (A). 

  2. Sharpe was re-interred at Marfaux British Cemetery in February 1920, as part of the “concentration of graves” process initiated by the Army Graves Service. See glossary at the CWGC and Lewis on 4 June

27 December 1917; Thursday

On working party again. Stayed at night with Harvey, Holman and Mills and had tea <in> another little dugout. Left about 8 o’clock and came down. Met Mark Jackson, half drunk, and he came into the billet and talked until late. Had good night’s rest.

Received Christmas card from Ranald MacDonald. Big peace rumours. Read account of the official entry into Jerusalem1.


  1. “Official entry into Jerusalem”: Following a long battle, Jerusalem had  fallen to the Allies on 9-10 December 1917. On 11 December 1917, Field Marshal Edmund Henry Hynman Allenby, 1st Viscount Allenby, GCB, GCMG, GCVO (23 April 1861 – 14 May 1936), commander of the Egyptian Expeditionary Force (EEF), made his formal entry into Jerusalem on foot through the Jaffa gate, instead of by horse or vehicle, to show his great respect for the holy place. 

18 August 1917; Saturday

Up at 7 o’clock. Sergeant Hughes told me that we may be going to Boulogne today. The brigade sports on and most of our chaps went out for the day. Over 4 leaves through. Started off for Boulougne [sic] about 11.40 and went there within 90 minutes including a puncture on the way. The country very beautiful and I enjoyed the ride immensely. Went up to the hospital but found that Ranald had been cleared on the 14th to England. Walked round the town a bit. Had dinner with the others. Went down by a beach and watched the sea and the shipping. A lot of girls, both English and French and they looked very pretty. Had tea in the Y M and got the car about 5 o’clock. Stopped on the way back for the chaps to go into a pub. Bought a packet of photographs.

16 August 1917; Thursday

Up at about 7 o’clock. Parade at 9 o’clock and went on with the cleaning up. Parade at 2 o’clock and route march. At night went out with John Dory and read and wrote a bit. Had supper at the Sedan1 Hotel. Got permission to go to Boulogne2 first car.


  1. Sedan: a surprising name? – as Sedan was the scene of the principal French military disaster of the Franco-Prussian War. 

  2. ALL evidently planned to visit Ranald MacDonald in hospital at Boulogne.