Finsbury Rifles

Finsbury Rifles, Away from the Western Front. 12th April to 18th April 1916.

In this passage, the Finsbury Rifles move to Kubri, further along the Suez Canal. We see how the Canal is used to transport supplies while the Battalion marches at 5.30 am, following the procedure practised on their Route Marches. 

Classes are held, once the new camp is sufficiently established, and work begins on new inter-canal defences and sentry posts

Joe Guthrie’s oral history, held at the Imperial War Museum, provides a personal interpretation of this period of the Finsbury Rifles’ journey, and reminds us of how much time was spent in preparing, training and waiting. He tells us that they ‘crossed the canal and dug in’ at ‘several places along the canal‘. The interviewer asks about the Canal, compared to Guthrie’s experiences at Gallipoli, stating that it would have been much quieter. Guthrie agrees saying: 

‘Oh yes, the Turks hadn’t got down to that. They never got to the canal. We didn’t meet them until further up….We had nothing to do with them until we got to Gaza you see…’

Date 12 to 13/4/16

Normal camp routines. 2nd Lieut Leigh to hospital

Date 14/4/16

Camp struck after reveille and bulk of tents and stores sent by boat to Kubri under escort of 2 officers and 38 other ranks. 5 men arrive from Base Details Camp. 2nd Lieutenant LJ Selby to hospital.

Location KUBRI

Date 15/4/16

Battalion paraded at 5.30am and proceeded by route march to KUBRI arriving at 9am. Balance of tents and stores sent by boat under guard of RGM Sgt and 20 men. Day spent in preparing and pitching new camp.

Date 16/4/16

Church parade under brigade arrangements. Battalion on duty and provided numerous guards and fatigues. New camp completed and 2nd Lieutenant V Wigg to Hospital.

Date 17/4/16

Normal camp routine. Parades and specialist classes as usual.

Date 18/4/16

Normal camp routine. Work commenced on inter-canal defences. 100 men employed on Brigade bombing ground. Sites chosen for new outlying sentry posts. I officer (RAMC) and 4 other ranks arrive from Base Details Camp.

Explore our Glossary to learn more about any unfamiliar terms.

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