Finsbury Rifles

Away from the Western Front : 14th – 30th June 1917

Marina View

Sea at Gaza James Mc bey
Monitors bombarding Gaza, 1917. James McBey © IWM (Art.IWM ART 2950)

The 54th Division had moved to the sector of the front line near the Mediterranean Sea that was nicknamed ‘Marina View’. The Finsbury Rifles would have easier access to the sea for bathing and washing but this would come at a price. Marina View was frequently shelled by the nearby enemy artillery.

Work continued on reinforcing the defences in this part of the line. The working parties began early in the morning and finished just after midday due to the summer heat and the limited water rations. Sunstroke and heat exhaustion could be fatal.


Location MARINA VIEW. Date: 14/6/17

Day spent by Battn in clearing and squaring up new bivouac area.

Date: 15/6/17

Company and specialised training. Bathing parades by companies. Good foreshore. Bathing dangerous for indifferent swimmers. A Coy under command of Capt HEILGERS proceeded to HQ 1/10 London. Wart Hill for attachment during absence of a company of 1/10 London under training.

Date: 16/6/17

Company and specialised training. 9-12 noon. Lecture by Major Hammond to all signaller runners. Reciprocal shelling at intervals during the day.

Date: 17/6/17

Church parade abandoned owing to proximity to front line. Early morning communion services and voluntary evening services held instead by the chaplain (Capt.Rev. Dixon Spain). Battn furnished 1 officer and 100 men for work in connection with defences of WELSH REDOUBT. 2/LT Irwin reported from Zeitoun. 2 /LT Irwin and 2 LT Wynn Evans left battalion for 3 days DWS Gas course.

Date: 18/6/17

Specialists training – working party of 2 officers and 200 men furnished by battalion: for defences works of MERIONETH and Flintshire REDOUBTS. Hours employed 0700-1245 organised bathing parties by companies during the afternoon.

Date: 19/6/17

Battn employed on work on defences – 1 officer and 100 ranks for defences of Welsh Redoubt, 1 officer and 50 of Ranks to report to 270 Bde RFA and 1 officer and 50 of ranks to report to 163 Bde HQ ……by commanding officer, the Sand Bay ….of trenches, to the Coy of 1/5 DEVONS attached for instruction 3pm.

Date: 20/6/17

Battn finding 3 officers and 300 men for work on Merioneth, Flintshire and Welsh redoubts (0700-12.30). 2nd Lt  MACKAY AND 4 other ranks rejoined from the Red Camp at RAFA.

Date: 21/6/17

Battn finding working parties of 1 officer and 100 Other Ranks each for work on Merioneth and FLINTSHIRE REDOUBTS (0700-12.30). 2nd LT IRWIN 1/5 DEVONS AND 2LT WYN EVANS 1/11 LONDON rejoined from Divs Gas Course.

Date: 22/6/17

Battn finding working parties of 1 Officer and 100 Other Ranks each to work on MERIONETH, FLINTSHIRE and WELSH REDOUBTS (0700-12.30). Gas Helmet Drill for all ranks during afternoon.

Date: 23/6/17

Battn finding working parties of 1 officer and 100 Other Ranks each work on MERIONETH, FLINTSHIRE and WELSH REDOUBTS. Capt W.G COMBER and 2nd LT F.G. HEFFERON reported from Base details. 2nd LT MARGOLIOUTH (1/10 LONDON) 1/11 LONDON by 162 Bde for duty of 54 Divs BASE DETAILS. INSERAT

Date: 24/6/17

Holy Communion at Battn H.Q 0800. Voluntary Services for C of E and other denominations at 1800. Working Parties of 6 officers and 310 men found by Battn for night work on defences under orders of 161 Inf. Bde. Parties moved off 19.30, returned to Camp Area 0200 – 25th inst.2nd LT WINDSOR and 12 O/Ranks proceeded on 7 days leave to ALEXANDRIA.

Date: 25/6/17

Battn resting in morning. 3 officers and 300 men found for work in afternoon on dummy defences for practice purposes (Replica of UMBRELLA HILL) under orders of 162 INF Bde.

Date: 26/6/17

Battn finding working parties on communication trenches at MERIONETH, FLINTSHIRE and WELSH REDOUBTS of 2 officers and 150 O/Ranks, I officer and 50 O/Ranks respectively. Also party of 1 officer and 50 O/Ranks for 8th HANTS H.Q. SHEIKH AJLIN (0700-12.45). CAPT W. S. OWEN reported for duty from Staff Course MENA HOUSE, Cairo. 16 O/ Ranks returned from Hospital. 2nd LT RODGERS to Hospital. ENGLISH letter and parcel mail received.

Location MARINA VIEW Date: 27/6/17

Battn: finding 2 parties of 1 officer and 50 of other ranks each for work on WELCH and FLINTSHIRE REDOUBTS, also 2 officers and 150 men for work on communication trenches of MERIONETH REDOUBTS and a party of 1 officer and 50 other ranks  OC 1/8 HANTS REGT. SHEIKH AJLIN (0700-12.30). Gas Helmet Practice for all ranks 1700-1800. 60/Ranks rejoined from Hospital.

Date: 28/6/17

Battn finding working parties of an aggregate of 5 officers and 300 men for work on LEFT SECTOR DEFENCES under orders of O.C1/6 ESSEX REGT (night work 20.15-23.45). Gas Drill as usual for all ranks. Orders received for relief of 1/5 BEDFORDS in line of Redoubts (Merioneth, Flintshire and WELCH Redoubts).

Date: 29/6/17

Specialists and Gas Training. CAPT P.C.P. TATTERSHALL DSO rejoined from hospital. Bathing parades. Heavy reciprocal shelling during the morning of trench lines.

Date: 30/6/17

Battn finding working parties of an aggregate of 5 officers and 300 men for work on LEFT SECTOR defences under orders of 163 Brigade (0700-12.30). Usual Bathing Parades. Commanding officer visited LT Col E.W.BRIGTHEN CMG, 1/5 BEDFORDS as regards the relief of his LINE. Inspected MERIONETH, FLINTSHIREand WELCH LINE of redoubts with a view to taking over. LIEUT MURCH granted 4 weeks leave in ENGLAND.


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