Finsbury Rifles, Away from the Western Front: 1st January to 7th January 1916

In this passage we learn about how the Battalion established their camp at Sidi Bishr, including building trenches in the sand.

Although taken at a later point in the year, when the Regiment was located at Ashton Post along the Suez Canal, the image below illustrates some of the challenges facing soldiers building trenches in desert conditions, including shifting sands. We also learn about the diverse weather conditions facing the men and how these impacted daily life at camp.

image of trench reparing.jpg
© IWM (Q 57749)  Image shows a Fatigue Party from the 1/11th London Regiment repairing a trench which had given way.


Date: 1/1/16

Routine parades and inspection in camp. Surroundings inspected by Brigade Commander and Commanding Officers and defence scheme settled.

Date: 2/1/16

Church parade at 11 am and Brigade arrangements. Battalion duty and provided all guards and duties. Nil report from patrol.

Date: 3/1/16

Violent rainstorm all day, all parades cancelled and start on defence works postponed. Nil to hospital.

Date: 4/1/16

Weather still bad parades under standing orders. In afternoon work commenced on trenches around camp. 5 officers from 3/11th London reported for duty.

Date: 5/1/16

Battalion route march routine as usual. Battalion on Brigade duty. 2 officers temporarily attached 1/10 London returned to duty. 2 men to hospital.

Date: 6 to 7/1/16

Normal camp routine.

Remember to explore our Glossary to find out what any unfamiliar terms mean!

October: we remember

Using data from census records, war graves and war memorials we can begin to discover the names of those from the historic boroughs of Finsbury and Islington who died at Gallipoli.

In October we remember the death of:

Finsbury Rifles


Lance Corporal William George Kearns
5 Brewery Rd., Caledonian Rd
Aged 20

Rifleman William Bernard Savage
Son of William and Mary Savage, of 58 Margery Park Rd., Forest Gate, London
Aged 18


Rifleman B. Eggleton


Lance Corporal F.F. Lester
Son of T.J. Lester, of 38 Devonshire Avenue, Southsea, Portsmouth
Aged 26


Rifleman H.J. Hunt

Other Regiments


Private Frederick James Smith
Royal Fusiliers – 2nd Battalion


Lance Serjeant Thomas Adams
Essex Regiment – 7th Battalion
12 Gaywood Road, Walthamstow, London


Private Joseph Frederick Warwick
Gloucestershire Regiment – 7th (Service) Battalion


Sapper Henry William Graham
Corps of Royal Engineers – 68th Field Company


Private John Rogers
Lancashire Fusiliers – 1st Battalion
83 Bingfield Street, Caledonian Road, London


Private Henry Thomas Lea
London Regiment – 2nd (City of London) Battalion (Royal Fusiliers)
34 Giplin Grove, Upper Edmonton, London

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