Tag Archives: Wallon-Cappell

22 November 1917; Thursday

Up about 7 o’clock. On the double1 as usual. On parade and put on the competition squad. Spent afternoon writing and made good progress with French. Heard of victory on the Somme.

British advance on Cambrai 2. 8000 prisoners and many guns.


  1. Double march, or run. See all diary entries tagged “double“. 

  2. The Battle of Cambrai (commenced 20 November) is best known as the occasion when tanks were first used in adequate numbers; the few available in 1916 having had their secrecy blown by being tried prematurely on the Somme, and in 1917, still in small numbers, having been largely wasted in impractical ground conditions at Passchendaele. 

21 November 1917; Wednesday

Up at 7 o’clock. On parade in the morning. Wet day. I played the part of wounded man and was carried on a stretcher for the first time in my life. Football match in the afternoon between our team and the King’s Own1, first round in the cup tie – and we won 6 – 0. Received papers from home and “Everyman”2 published my letter in reply to Roderick Random. Received letter from Charlie written on the 28th October.


  1. The 7th battalion of the King’s Own Regiment was in the 56th Brigade, 19th (Western) Division. 

  2. The text of ALL’s published letter is reproduced here. See all diary entries tagged “Everyman” and also Everyman from the Arthur Linfoot’s library page. 

20 November 1917; Tuesday

Up at 7 o’clock. Double1 before breakfast and usual morning’s work. Spent afternoon on French and reading “Old St Paul’s”2. Had walk at night with Holman and Harvey and discussed music and a few odd things.


  1. Double march, or run. See all diary entries tagged “double“. 

  2. Old Saint Paul’s: William Harrison Ainsworth’s novel, about the Great Fire. See also Old St. Paul’s and  Arthur Linfoot’s library

18 November 1917; Sunday

Up about 8 o’clock. Kit inspection at 9 o’clock. Did French most of morning. Had short walk before dinner. Did some French in the afternoon. Had short walk before tea. Read some of Emerson’s essays1 at night. Had short walk after 6 o’clock.

Finished reading “Sinister Street”2 volume I.


  1. Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote several books of essays, commonly associated with transcendentalism and romanticism. “Essays” most commonly refers to his first two series of essays and it is likely to have been one of these, or a combined edition, that ALL was reading. See also Emerson’s Essays and Arthur Linfoot’s library

  2. Sinister Street”: Compton Mackenzie’s novel, published in 2 volumes, 1913 – 14; there were several sequels, but he was already famous (aged 31/32 and living in Italy on the novel’s proceeds) when he enlisted early in the War, went as a junior intelligence officer to Gallipoli (“Gallipoli Memories”), and later became Army head of intelligence in the Aegean area. See also Sinister Street and Arthur Linfoot’s library