Away from the Western Front 1st – 30th June 1918

Q57829 Column HQ at El Arish
Column Headquarters at El Arish. February 1917 Copyright: © IWM (Q 57829) 

The EEF’s strong training system had been a key part of its success under General Allenby. The Imperial School of Instruction at Zeitoun in Cairo  ran  two types of courses: technical courses for battalion specialists such as Lewis gunners  and leadership & battlefield skills for junior officers & NCOs.

After the front moved north into Palestine at the end of 1917, the training system expanded to include divisional schools of instruction such as the one at El Arish. The divisional schools were easier to reach than distant Cairo and could provide training tailored to local requirements.

As the Indian Army units were trained up and absorbed into the EEF, the instruction at Zeitoun was criticized for being too inflexible and not attuned to the needs of some inexperienced soldiers . Perhaps this  lay behind the week long inspection of the training schools by experienced battalion commanding officers such as Lt-Col Windsor and Lt-Col Brighten of the 1/5 Bedfordshire Regimen

 

 

Date: 1/6/18

Specialist and Gas training. Work on defences. Bn furnishing covering parties to 1/6th ESSEX to work on WADI RABAH. Capt and Adjutant AW GARRAWAY left to attend hospital.

Date: 2/6/18

Holy Communion Brigade HQ 0900. Voluntary service 1730. Quiet day.

Date: 3/6/18

Specialist training . Work on defences. Bn furnishing covering parties to 1/6th ESSEX to work on WADI RABAH.

Date: 4/6/18

Specialist training . Work on defences. Bn furnishing covering parties to 1/6th ESSEX to work on WADI RABAH.

Date: 5/6/18

Specialist training . Work on defences. Bn furnishing covering parties to 1/6th ESSEX to work on WADI RABAH. Orders received for relief of 1/6 ESSEX REGT

Date: 6/6/18

Engaged on defence work during morning . ——- bivouac area Bn relieved by 1/6 ESSEX by 2000. Bn moved to area usually occupied by ESSEX REGT in P14c central and bivouac formed.

Location P14c Central Date 7/6/18

Arranging bivouac area.

Date: 7/6/18

Arranging Bivouac area.

Date: 8/6/18

Training, specialist gas training, Bayonet training, training of draft. 2/LT E.T. Pickett appointed a/adjt during the absence of Capt adjt A.L Garraway in hospital.

Date: 9/6/18

Divine services. Holy Communion 0630. Voluntary Service 1700.

Date: 10/6/18

Specialists and draft training. D Coy using in range 0.23 and 0.5. Working parties on 2nd line.

Date: 11/6/18

Specialists. Draft training. C Coy firing on range 023 and 0.5. Working parties on 3rd line.  Lt Col AH Windsor CMG and 6 other officers attended a lecture by Col Hutchinson. Comdr of XVI at Corp Heavy Artillery.

Date: 12/6/18

Specialists draft training. B Coy opening on range 0.23 and 0.5. Working parties on 2nd line posts, Major F.S Hammond DSO takes over command of the Battln during the absence of Lt Col AH Windsor CMG on duty inspecting the schools of instruction at El Arish and Zeitoun.

Date: 13/6/18

Specialists draft training. A Coy firing on range 023 and 0.5. Working parties on 2nd line, posts, Capt H.O Perkins takes over command of the battln. Major F.S Hammond DSO to England on leave.

Date: 14/6/18

Specialists, gas and draft training. Working parties on 2nd line posts.

Date: 15/6/18

.D Coy firing on range 023 and 0.5.

Date: 16/6/18

Divine services. Holy Communion 06.30. Parade service 08.00. Lt A Rodgers to hospital.

Date: 17/6/18

Specialists and gas training under Coy. arrangements. Working parties on 2nd line posts Capt A. T. Lewthwaite returned from home to Jerusalem taking over command of the Battn from Capt H.O Perkins.

Date: 18/6/18

Capt Lewthwaite, a/adjt and OC Coys visited HQ and Coys of 1/5 Suffolks in the line.

Date: 19/6/18

Training under Coy. Arrangements. Specialists/gas training. Working parties on 2nd line posts.

Date: 20/6/18

A Coy relieved right Coy of 1/5 Suffolks in right section right subsection. Relief complete 0030. Training under Coy arrangements. Specialists. Capt A T Lewthwaite used to command the Battn on the return of Lt Col A H Windsor CMG. Battln relieved 1/5 Suffolks in right subsection. Right section. Relief section. Relief complete by 0010. 1 officer rejoined and 1 officer reinforcement 2nd Lieut  GW Reddick.

Date: 21/6/18

Quiet on Battn front. Patrol of 1 officer and 4  ORs proceeded from C at 21.00 to KH Ummel.

Date: 22/6/18

IKBA returned at 2300 to C1.. No enemy seen.

Quiet on battn front.

Date: 23/6/18

Holy Communion.06.30 and 0900. Battn relieved by 93 Burma Rifles, and moved by companies to 0.35c where the Battn bivouacked for the night.

Date: 24/6/18

Battn moved with the Bde leaving 035 c 1910 and marched to SURAFEND where the Battn bivouacked for the night.

Date: 25/6/18

Battn left bivouac area 1900 and marched to LUDD STATION, where it entrained 2 offers joined Battn from Base  2/Lt FARQUAHARSON & SUTHERLAND.

Date: 26/6/18

Arrived Kantara 1330, proceeded to Kilo 3. Band of 1/10 London Regt met Battn at 2/24 London Regt met the Battn and played the Battn to camp at Kilo 3.

Date: 27/6/18

Bathing Parades in Suez Canal Kantara Capt A.L Garraway resumed his duties as adjutant on returning from hospital.

Date: 28/6/18

Bathing parades on Suez Canal.

Date: 29 to 30/6/18

Sunday. Parade service 0730. Holy Communion 0800.

 

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