Mark Foreman (b. 24 October 1890 d. 16 June 1917) was my grandfather's brother and only a year younger than my grandfather. His diary is a 6" by 3", 25 line, bound, portrait notebook with attached pencil holding loop. The 33 pages (c100 words a page) of neat cursive script were hand-written by Mark in the months between receiving the diary in October 1916 "as a birthday present from Alma Harris" and the final entry in May 1917. The diary was returned to England with the rest of his effects after Mark's death in a field hospital near the trenches of Northern France probably soon after the last entry. The transcription has been made from a copy taken from the original now held at the Imperial War Museum. For the most part I have typed the diary as read. Grammatical and spelling errors (there were few of these) have not in the main been amended but abbreviations and some place names have been standardised. Punctuation throughout has been reworked. Where I am not sure of a word I have guessed and have shown the word in italics. Each new day and all place names are shown in bold for easy reference. Notes by me are in [parentheses]. Map references are from the full Michelin guide. The page breaks are shown as paragraphs. If you can, please email me at with any information that may shed some light on the places and events in Mark's short war. Selwyn Foreman

Mark's War

A transcription of a First World War diary