Finsbury Rifles: Away from the Western Front, 23rd November 1916 – 12th December 1916

Lt-Colonel Stanley Cesnola Byrne (1872 – 1936)

 

Q57798 Lt Col SC Byrne at Bir El Mazar

Lt-Col S.C. Byrne at Bir-el-Mazar, February 1917

©IWM Q57798 Byrne, Stanley Cesnola (Colonel) collection
In May 1914, Major Stanley Cesnola Byrne was promoted to Lieutenant-Colonel and became the Commanding Officer of the 11th Battalion, London Regiment (the Finsbury Rifles). He had joined its predecessor, the 21st Middlesex Regiment as a 19-year-old 2nd Lieutenant and had seen action in South Africa in 1900. He remained Commanding Officer of the renamed 1/11 as it trained in England and embarked for Gallipoli in July, 1915. Enemy action and dreadful conditions in the trenches took their toll. On the 19th September Captain Windsor assumed command of the battalion when Lt-Col Byrne was sent to hospital. Although the battalion diary recorded that he was suffering from diarrhoea, it might well have been dysentery which was far more serious.
He re-joined the Finsbury Rifles in November 1916. As he had done in Gallipoli, Lt-Col Byrne produced an extended series of photos which record the day to day experiences of the battalion; guarding the Suez Canal, working with camels, manning the defence systems, celebrating Christmas and crossing the Sinai desert.
However, his health issues had obviously not been completely resolved. On the 11th March 1917, as a terrible sandstorm engulfed the area around El Burj, Major AH Windsor took over command of the battalion once more as Lt-Col Byrne left for England via Alexandria.
He did not return to the Middle East. Once recovered, he continued serving with the Territorial Force. After the war, he commanded the 5th City of London Battalion and after that, a Cadet Force until he retired from the Territorial Force in December 1932, aged 60.

 

Date 23/11/16

Routines as usual, also specialist classes. Work on defences. Lt Colonel SC Byrne TD rejoined and took over command of Battn. Lt Colonel H Windsor CMG relinquished command.

Date 24 to 25/11/16

Routines as usual, also specialist classes, work on defences.

Date 26/11/16

Routine as usual. Divine service.

Date 27/11/16

Routines as usual, also specialist classes, work on defences. Lt H G Landrock rejoined.

Date 28 to 29/11/16

Routines as usual, also specialist classes, work on defences. Lieut GS Kilby left for RJ6.

Date 30/11/16

Routines as usual. The remainder of the Battalion proceeded from KUBRI EAST by route march to GENEFFE bivouac there for the night.

Location GENEFFE Date 1/12/16

Proceeded by route march to Ashton Post.

Location SALFORD Date 1/12/16

3 Officers 187 OR 2 Camp D coys taken our strength

Location ASHTON Date 2/12/16

Routines as usual, also specialist classes, work on defences.

Location SALFORD Date 2/12/16

2nd Lieut Fox left to report to War Office.

Locations ASHTON and SALFORD Date 3/12/16

Routines as usual. Divine service.

Locations ASHTON and SALFORD Date 4/12/16

Routines as usual, also specialist classes, work on defences. Field training GHQ 162 Brigade

Locations ASHTON and SALFORD Date 5 to 9/12/16

Routines as usual, also specialist classes, work on defences. Field firing.

Locations ASHTON and SALFORD Date 10/12/16

Routines as usual. Divine service. Lt C Anderson reported for duty from POW camp El Shatt.

Locations ASHTON and SALFORD Date 11/12/16

Routines as usual, also specialist classes, work on defences

512 OR 1/10 London Regt camped at ASHTON.

Locations ASHTON and SALFORD Date 12/12/16

Routine as usual. Specialist classes; work on defences. 1/10 London Regt marched out on mobile column at 0800.

 

 

 

 

 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: