Finsbury Rifles

Finsbury Rifles, Away from the Western Front. 5th April to 11th April 1916.

The Battalion moves to Shallufa on the Southern side of the Suez Canal. This is the beginning of a period in which the Rifles will work on inter-canal defences in various camps around the Canal. 

The Suez Canal was part of a vital supply route between the Indian and Atlantic Oceans and thus considered strategically critical for the British Empire and the Allied armies. 

Turkish forces were expected to attack from the East, and a key inter-canal defence duty involved sweeping the sand bordering the canal smooth and inspecting it daily to see if advance raiders had left footprints in the night. 

tents 1916 along suez canal.jpg
© IWM (Q 57727) An example of the 1/11th’s Suez Canal Defences camp lines at Ashton Post, 1916.

Date 5/4/16

Morning spent in cleaning up camp. At 5pm balance of battalion paraded and proceeded by route march to ABU EL ELA station where entrained for SHALLUFA.


Date 6/4/16

Arrived SHALLUFA 6am and crossed SUEZ CANAL to camp at SHALLUFA EAST. Day spent in pitching camp and settling down generally.

Date 7 to 8/4/16

Normal camp routine

Date 9/4/16

Normal camp routine. Battalion working on inter-canal defences.

Date 10/4/16

Normal camp routine.

Date 11/4/16

Normal camp routine. Orders received that  Battalion would shortly move to Kubri. Lieut H Radleff and 17 other ranks arrive from Base Details Camp.

Explore the Glossary to learn more about unfamiliar terms. 

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