Finsbury Rifles

Finsbury Rifles: Away from the Western Front. A Christmas card from Egypt 1916

Greetings for Christmas and the New Year 

 Impressions of Egypt

The Finsbury Rifles produced their own Christmas card in 1916 to send home to family and friends. They were not alone; the 54th (East Anglian) Division, of which they were a part, also produced Christmas cards while in the Middle East. The cards would have been sent home long before Christmas as the post home could take several weeks. Many of the greetings cards produced by British Army units themselves during the war were grimly humorous in tone  but this card illustrates some of the sights of Egypt that the Finsbury Rifles encountered.

The battalion had been stationed by the pyramids at Mena near Cairo in early 1916 after the withdrawal from Gallipoli. Visiting the Great Sphinx at Giza was a popular trip during leave for soldiers in Egypt and indeed, Lt-Col Byrne had taken a photo of himself there after leaving the battalion in March 1917.

The designer of this card, L/Cpl J Jeffrys, did survive the war but we do not yet know anything more about him. Note the battalion’s own cap badge on the lower right hand side of the card.

Finsbury Rifles (Darren's images) 08A
Used with permission from Darren O’Brien


Finsbury Rifles (Darren's images) 08B
Used with permission from Darren O’Brien


Lt. Col. S.C. Byrne. Standing near the Sphinx, March 1917. © IWM Q57786

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