Tag Archives: Recruitment

Diary entries which mention, sometimes very tangentially, events related to the recruitment of Arthur Linfoot or others into the armed forces.

6 November 1915; Saturday

Got up at 9 o’clock. Walked down to the office1 about 12 o’clock. Saw all but Oliver and Mr Aitken. Oliver has enlisted in the Royal Engineers and is at the War Office. George to be married next Wednesday. Edward leaving to go to Fourstones2. Didn’t see Mr Aitken. Walked round the town with Joe in the afternoon. Played the piano a bit. Mrs Wiseman and Co. to tea. Went down to see Willie Wanless.


  1. “The office”: Hendon Paper Mill, where ALL had been employed prior to joining the RAMC. See Sunderland map

  2. “Fourstones” refers to another paper mill (marked on map) near a village of the same name, between Hexham and Haydon Bridge on the river South Tyne. The Edward mentioned in this diary entry evidently planned to take up employment there.

    Unlike the Hendon Paper Mill, Fourstones Paper Mill remains a thriving business to this day. 

27 July 1915; Tuesday

At work as usual. Mother not well first thing. Busy all day. Bid goodbye to the people at the office last thing. George Crawford gave me a Testament. Mother Got new purse, new glass1, new nail brush, handkerchiefs, and so on. Went to the station at night and made enquiries about the train. Willie Whittaker up. Went to bed late. Had a bath.


  1. “Glass”, if correct, is probably “mirror”. 

26 July 1915; Monday

At work as usual. Decided to go into R.A.M.C. Met Tommy in the morning going to the recruiting office to join the R.G.A1. I went down at night. Waited from 7.30 until 9.45. Waiting for over an hour for Major Burn to swear us in. Met Uncle Jack outside and he waited for me. Went down to Grandmother’s and bid her, Aunt Esther, Mrs Whittaker and Lily goodbye.

Sworn in at the Recruiting Office. Received 1/112. 11 of us sworn in, including Willie Reed. Went to bed late.


  1. “R.G.A.”: Royal Garrison Artillery

  2. One shilling and elevenpence – about 9.5p – roughly equivalent to £9.50 in 2015. 

24 July 1915; Saturday

Work as usual. Busy all morning. Finished about 2 o’clock. Went into the town and met Tom and Willie. Willie can’t join. Tom and I went into the recruiting office, and decided to do something on Monday night. Tom not very keen. I decided to join either R.A.M.C. or Royal Anglesey Engineers1. Had walk in town at night with Willie and Charlie, and finished off at Grindon2.


  1. “Royal Anglesey Engineers”: apparently there actually was a territorial Royal Anglesey Royal Engineers (sic), though why ALL should have thought of joining it is quite unclear. 

  2. Grindon: a suburb of Sunderland, approximately three miles to the west of the city centre along Chester Road. 

6 June 1915; Sunday

At church as usual. Went down to Sunday School and met John Wilkinson and stayed to talk to him. Walked up Holmeside with him. He has joined the Flying Corps and is going away next week. Had usual walks. Fine day. Mr Chadwick preaching.

Air Raid on Hull1. 24 killed, 40 injured.2


  1. Internet accounts are unclear, but Hull suffered either 8 or 12 Zeppelin raids from 1915 to 1918, with raids in 1916 -­ 18 considered the worst; as the total killed is stated as 54, 24 on 6 June 1915 seems high. Zeppelins could carry 2 tons of bombs, eg 4 x 500lb, much more than aircraft then could, and could fly above the fighter aircrafts’ ceiling. 

  2. See also: Education Resources at the National Archive. The material on this page relates to the June 1915 Zeppelin raid on Hull and suggests a somewhat lower number of casualties. 

5 June 1915; Saturday

Busy as usual, finished about 2 o’clock. Had walk into town in the afternoon and bought a tie with Mother’s money for Charlie.

Russian Flag Day. Mr Churchill made a speech at Dundee1.

Had walk with Willie at night and a soldier stopped us in town and asked us if we thought of enlisting.


  1. The text of Churchill’s speech, seemingly defending his role in the Dardanelles, is available at WinstonChurchill.org

3 June 1915; Wednesday

At work as usual. Had dinner at the office. Got well up to date. Went down to chapel at night and walked up with Blaikie and Willie Whittaker. Spoke to Billy Winter on the telephone and offered him to keep in touch about enlisting. Fine night. Kitchener received decoration of K.G.1

Turkish transport sunk by British submarine.


  1. From the London Gazette: “The KING has been graciously pleased, on the occasion of His Majesty’s Birthday, to appoint Field Marshal The Right Honourable Sir Horatio Herbert, Earl Kitchener of Khartoum, K.P., G.C.B., O.M., G.C.S.I.,G.C.M.G., G.C.I.E., to be a Knight of the Most Noble Order of the Garter.”