Finsbury Rifles

Away from the Western Front : 20th – 30th April 1917

 On Sheikh Abbas Ridge

Trenches before Gaza James mc Bey
Trenches before Gaza,1917. A view across a series of trenches.James McBey ©IWM (Art.IWM.ART.1591)

After the disastrous Second Battle of Gaza as part of the 162 Brigade , the Finsbury Rifles retreated behind the Sheikh Abbas ridge. Over a third of the battalion had been killed, wounded or posted as missing   – all recorded as casualties in the battalion war diary. In spite of the heavy losses, it was business as usual. A new communication line and trenches had to be dug while shelling continued from the enemy artillery behind the Gaza defences.


Date: 20/4/17

Owing to heavy casualties Total reorganisation of battn necessary. Fairly quiet day with reciprocal artillery fire. 2nd Lt A.R. ALDERS to hospital.

Date 21/.4/17

Usual artillery fire and otherwise quiet day. 4 Officers, 300 Other Ranks digging new line and communication trenches during night 21/22 April.

Date: 22/4/17

Usual artillery fire, otherwise quiet day. 2 officers 300 other ranks digging new line and communications.

Date: 23/4/17

Usual artillery fire, otherwise quiet day. 2 officers, 300 other ranks digging new line and communications.

Date: 23/4/17

Usual artillery fire otherwise quiet day – 2 officers 300 OR digging our line and communications.

Date: 24/4/17

Usual artillery fire. Otherwise quiet day – 2 Officers 300 OR digging over line and communications: 2nd Lieut AR ALDERS  returned to duty.

Date: 25/4/17

Usual artillery fire: Battn on front line trenches. Patrol work on trench line in accordance with brigade working.

Date: 26/4/17

Usual artillery fire, Battn on Front Line Trenches. Patrols, work in trench line, long sniping by the evening.

Date: 27/4/17

Heavy artillery fire, Battn in front line trenches. Long Patrol at Waddi Mukademe work in a trench line,  general observations of enemy line. 2nd Lieut AR & Alders re-entered  hospital.

Date: 28/4/17

Usual artillery. First sniper brought in and battn on front line. Usual trench work in trench line and communications trench.

Date: 29/4/17

Usual artillery fire, 4 prisoners brought in from front line trenches work and trench line and communications. General observations of line.

Date: 30/4/17

Usual artillery fire, work in trench communications in accordance with Brigade working together

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