Finsbury Rifles

Finsbury Rifles: Away from the Western Front, 25th October – 22nd November 1916

General Sir Archibald Murray inspects D Company at Kubri East

Archibald_Murray wikimedia commons

General Sir Archibald Murray (1860 – 1945) was an experienced and decorated staff officer who had fought in South Africa and had served in France in the opening months of the First World War. In January 1916 he was appointed Commander-in-Chief of what became the Egyptian Expeditionary Force (EEF) which was largely involved in defending the Suez Canal and keeping it open to all shipping. As Allied policy changed, Murray had to plan the advance across the Sinai Desert and into Southern Palestine. This involved the building of a railway, roads and the all- important water pipeline to supply the troops and animals of the EEF. General Murray’s HQ was in Cairo but he spent 5 days inspecting the Southern Canal Defence zone in late October 1916. The entries for this period in the war diary of the 1/5 Bedfordshire Regiment mention some of the preparations for this visit.



Location KUBRI EAST Date 25/10/16

Routine as usual. No convoys.

Location ON COLUMN Date 25/10/16

Column left for Camp Y at 0630 returning to Camp Z without incident.

Location KUBRI EAST Date 25 to 29/10/16

Routines as usual. Visit of General Sir Archibald Murray to D coy.

Date 30/10/16

Routines as usual. Battalion on training (and night operation) 2nd Lieut GG Critchley left RJC

Date 31/10/16

Routine as usual. Battalion in training.

November and December 1916

Location KUBRI EAST Date 12/11/16

Routines as usual, Divine service.

Date 13/11/16

Routine as usual also specialist classes. Work on defences. Detachment from Gurkha Port returned to Kubri East.

Date 14/11/16

Routine as usual also specialist classes. Capt Tattersall, and 100 other ranks proceeded to Ashton to relieve detachment 5th. Lieut Owen and 100 other ranks proceeded to Salford to relieve detachment.

Date 15/11/16

Routines as usual also specialist classes. Work on defences. Detachments of 100 OR with officers to Ashton and Salford respectively.

Date 16/11/16

Routines as usual, also specialist classes.

Date 17/11/16

Lieut TW Griffiths End NB Hutchinson 2nd Lt CC Badgley left for RF6.

Date 18 to 19/11/16

Routines as usual. Divine service.

Date 20 to 22/11/16

Routines as usual also specialist classes. Work on defences

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