Finsbury Rifles, Away from the Western Front: 1st January to 7th January 1916

In this passage we learn about how the Battalion established their camp at Sidi Bishr, including building trenches in the sand.

Although taken at a later point in the year, when the Regiment was located at Ashton Post along the Suez Canal, the image below illustrates some of the challenges facing soldiers building trenches in desert conditions, including shifting sands. We also learn about the diverse weather conditions facing the men and how these impacted daily life at camp.

image of trench reparing.jpg
© IWM (Q 57749)  Image shows a Fatigue Party from the 1/11th London Regiment repairing a trench which had given way.

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Date: 1/1/16

Routine parades and inspection in camp. Surroundings inspected by Brigade Commander and Commanding Officers and defence scheme settled.

Date: 2/1/16

Church parade at 11 am and Brigade arrangements. Battalion duty and provided all guards and duties. Nil report from patrol.

Date: 3/1/16

Violent rainstorm all day, all parades cancelled and start on defence works postponed. Nil to hospital.

Date: 4/1/16

Weather still bad parades under standing orders. In afternoon work commenced on trenches around camp. 5 officers from 3/11th London reported for duty.

Date: 5/1/16

Battalion route march routine as usual. Battalion on Brigade duty. 2 officers temporarily attached 1/10 London returned to duty. 2 men to hospital.

Date: 6 to 7/1/16

Normal camp routine.


Remember to explore our Glossary to find out what any unfamiliar terms mean!

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