Finsbury Rifles: Away from the Western Front. 3rd August to 24th August 1916.

Specialist training

Training was carried out intensively whenever a unit was away from the front line. It formed an important part of a soldier’s life, especially given the rapid development of new tactics and technologies as well as the large turnover of men in any given unit. On top of this, while not actively fighting the enemy, the sickness rates were high for all troops stationed along the Suez Canal. Specialist training included first aid, signalling, sniper skills, Lewis gun training and bombing (hand grenade) techniques. This was the period when the separate machine gun sections in each company were reorganised to form the 161 Brigade Machine Gun Company. This offered better support for the brigade and marked the start of a successful military career for the 22 year old Lt John Harding, at that time a junior officer in the 1/11 Finsbury Rifles.

q57855

© IWM (Q 57855) Left to right: Captain-. 1/4th Northands Regiment; Lieutenant Colonel Lambert, 1/10th London Regiment; Lieutenant Harding, 1/11th London Regiment; Lieutenant Colonel John Brown, 1/4th Northans. 162nd Infantry Brigade, 54th East Anglian Division, Mahamdiyeh, near Romani, February 1917. BYRNE STANLEY CESNOLA (COLONEL) COLLECTION

 

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Date 3/8/16

Work on defences. Training and usual routine. Order received for half the Battn to proceed to OLDHAM to relieve 1/6 Essex Regt.

Location OLDHAM

Date 4/8/16

B and C Coy shifting camp to fill vacancy caused by departure of A and D coys to Oldham. A and D under MAJOR FW CLARK proceeded to OLDHAM by route march and relieved 1/6/ Essex Regt.

Location MANCHESTER

Date 5/8/16

B and C Coy training, Routine as usual.

Location OLDHAM

Date 5/8/16

Work on defences and specialist training.

Location MANCHESTER and OLDHAM

Date 6/8/16

Divine service under Regtl arrangements

Location MANCHESTER

Date 7/8/16

B and C coys training. Routine as usual.

Location OLDHAM

Date 7/8/16

Routine work and specialist training. 3 officers and 44 other ranks rejoined.

Location MANCHESTER

Date 8 to 9/8/16

B and C coy training and usual routine.

Location OLDHAM

Date 8 to 9/8/16

Routine work and specialist training.

Locations MANCHESTER and OLDHAM

Dates 10 to 11/8/16

Coy and specialist training. 3 officers and 73 other ranks proceeded to SHALLUFA EAST.

Locations MANCHESTER and OLDHAM

Date 12/8/16

Coy and specialist training

Locations MANCHESTER and OLDHAM

Date 13/8/16

Divine service

Locations MANCHESTER and OLDHAM

Date 14 to 15/8/16

Work on defences and specialist training.

Locations MANCHESTER and OLDHAM

Date 16/8/16

Work on defences and specialist training. Lt WG Pope rejoined from hospital.

Locations MANCHESTER and OLDHAM

Date 17 to 19/8/16

Work on defences and specialist training.

Locations MANCHESTER and OLDHAM

Date 20/8/16

Divine service.

Locations MANCHESTER and OLDHAM

Date 21 to 24/8/16

Company and specialist training resumed.


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