Finsbury Rifles

Away from the Western Front: 1st – 31st July 1918

  Return to the Suez Canal

IWM ART 1699 Kantara Camp James McBey
Army Camp at Kantara. James McBey© IWM (Art.IWM.ART 1699)  

EEF divisions followed the standard Army pattern of being rotated through periods of front-line duty, rest -which could include the much resented road building -and training.   When the 1/11 London Finsbury Rifles moved out of the front line at the end of June they were relieved by the 93 Burma Rifles, an Indian Army unit. This was how the newly trained battalions were able to gain experience of combat conditions and consolidate their skills.

The journey from Kantara back to Surafend took less than a day by train – a far cry from  18 months before when the journey had  taken over a week,  marching across the desert.


Location KANTARA

Date: 1 to 2/7/18

Company and specialist training. Bathing parades in Suez Canal.

Date: 3/7/18

Bn Route march along West Bank of Canal 0600-0930.

Return by C.O to all officers and 2 Cos at 1000. Bathing parades 1330-1600. The company shooting range 1600-1900.

Date: 4/7/18

Company and specialist training during morning. C Coy on range 1630-1000. And 1600-1900.

Date: 5 to 6/7/18

Ditto. Range practice B Coy.

Date: 7/7/18

Parade service in garrison church. KANTARA. 0800. Orders received return of Bn to rejoin 162 Brigade at  Surafand.

Date: 8/7/18

Bn engaged moving baggages to KANTARA EAST station for entrainment. Bn less 2 companies paraded 10.30 and marched to station and entrained on first train (G) Dept: 12.10

Location SURAFEND Date: 9/7/18

Arrd railhead LUDD 0610, remainder of Bn on 2nd train ref 1500 arrived railhead 1100 of first. Bn proceeded into Bivouac 1 mile north of Suprafend on side of JAFFA RAMLEH Road. Lt BA Hooper returned from Duty with 54  Divt. A/Capt HGS and DECOCK proceed to report to RAF HELIOPOLIS for duty.

Date: 10 to 11/7/18

Company and specialist training.

Date: 12/7/18

Company and specialist training. Orders received and brigade conference all move to rge house area 0.35A (1/6000 7EJJA MAP) draft of 50 of Ranks rejoining from hospital reported.

Date: 13/7/18

Bn moving to new area. Move commenced 0900 completed by 1300.

Location RED HOUSE AREA ) 35A Date: 14/7/18

Sunday. Parade service in conjunction with 1/5 Bedfords under orders of Lt Col A H Windsor CM G 0730. Official day. Turks shelling our back areas with RoryRange gun at intervals.

Date: 15/7/18

Bn commenced 14 days intensive training as per programme attached.

Date: 16/7/18

Bn training independently by companies in accordance with programme. Small English mail received.

Date: 17/7/18

Inspection of Bn by Divisional General. Maj-Gen SW Hare at 0700. The GO also inspected Bivouac area and companies under training.

Date: 18/20.7.18

Company specialist training. Range practices by companies. Draft of 50 of Ranks reported from Base Depot.

Location KANTARA.Red House Area Date: 21/7/18

Church parade service at 0730. Capt Rev’d DIXON Spain rejoined from English leave.

Date: 22 to 26/7/18

Companies training. Signalling and specialist classes being held.

Date: 27/7/18

Draft of 13 OR rejoining from Hospital. Capt HG Brown also reported for duty from BDE DEPOT.

Date: 28/7/18

Orders received re: move of Bn to MEZEIRAH on night 29/30 July. C.O at By the conference at 1000. Divine Service. Parade service for Bn at 0730. Orders for move on relief by 1/5, Suffolk attached and marked B.

Date: 29/7/18

Bn preparing to move. Specialist classes as usual. Advance parties proceeded to H Q 47th Sikhs to take over duties in respective company areas for when Bn moves into the line from MEZERIEH. Bn relieved 1/5 Suffolks at MEZERIAH. Move 2000 completed 2215.

Location MEZGEIRAH Date: 30.7.18

Bn finding working party of 350 men for road construction under direction of RE (0600-1100). Specialists training during morning. Remainder of day spent in squaring up Bivouac area.

Date: 31/7/18

Bn specialists training. Company training. Preparation for move into line on relief of 47th Sikhs in right inspection. Right section central sector. Move commenced at 1930 relief completed 0015, 1.8.17 orders in connection attached marked C

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