The Bedfordshire Regiment in the Great War
1916 War Diary
[Note that all remarks in squared brackets are my own additions and not part of the original text]
War Diary for January 1916
1 Jan 1916 Damanhur. Usual daily parades routine & inspection held. Specialist Classes, Physical, Musketry & NCO's classes. Route march through the town.
2 Jan 1916 Church Parade 1500.
3 Jan 1916 Parades & Routine as usual.
4 Jan 1916 Parades & Routine as usual.
5 Jan 1916 Parades & Routine as usual. Visit by Brigadier & Mudin of BEHERO PROVINCE
6 Jan 1916 PARADES as usual. G.O.C. Division inspected barracks.
7 Jan 1916 Parades etc. as usual
8 Jan 1916 Parades etc. as usual
9 Jan 1916 Church Parade 1500. C'Os inspection at 0900
10 Jan 1916 Usual Parades & Routine
11 Jan 1916 Usual Parades & Routine. Visit by G.O.C. Division.
12 Jan 1916 Usual parades etc.
13 Jan 1916 Usual parades etc.
14 Jan 1916 Usual parades etc.
15 Jan 1916 Usual parades etc.
16 Jan 1916 Church Parade at 1000 by Rev GARDNER.
17 Jan 1916 Usual parades etc. up to 11.15. Football match V. Rest of Bde. Boxing Contest in the evening.
18 Jan 1916 Orders received to return to ALEXANDRIA. Bde Sports held at HOSH ISA.
19 Jan 1916 Sidi Bishr, Alexandria Moved to ALEXANDRIA at 1430 and encamped again at SIDI BISHR
20 Jan 1916 No parades. Exchanged lines with 1/4 NORTHANTS REGT. [Comment; 2/Lt Harold Holloway THEOBALD arrived]
21 Jan 1916 Parades Routine & Classes as at DAMANHOOR
22 Jan 1916 Usual parades etc.
23 Jan 1916 Church Parade 1100
24 Jan 1916 Parades & Routine. Training of battalion under Bde arrangements.
25 Jan 1916 Brigade Route March. Usual classes etc.
26 Jan 1916 No parades, the batt finding Camp Duties.
27 Jan 1916 Parades & Routine as usual. 2 Coys disinfected.
28 Jan 1916 Parades & Routine as usual. Remaining 2 Coys disinfected
29 Jan 1916 Parades & Routine as usual.
30 Jan 1916 Church parade 1030.
31 Jan 1916 Brigade Route march cancelled. Orders received to move to MENA CAMP CAIRO. Heavy baggage despatched.
War Diary for February 1916
1 Feb 1916 Mena Camp, Cairo. Moved from SIDI BISHR 0930. Left SIDI GABER 1215 arrived CAIRO 1845. Tea at Station. Marched to MENA CAMP 11 1/2 miles.
2 Feb 1916 Reorganizing Camp.Usual parades & routine.
3 Feb 1916 Usual parades & routine
4 Feb 1916 Parades etc. as usual.
5 Feb 1916 Inspection of Camp by Brigadier. Also kit & equipment inspected.
6 Feb 1916 Church parade at 1030 by Rev HOOD, Bde Chaplain
7 Feb 1916 Brigade Route March. CAIRO ROAD. Batt on Bde, Division & Camp duties
8 Feb 1916 Inspection by Gen. Sir J.MAXWELL at 0815 with excellent results, the Division being congratulated on its excellent appearance after hardships undergone on PENINSULA
9 Feb 1916 Parades & Routine as usual
10 Feb 1916 Inspection by Brigadier at 0900. Bde Route March 0930 CAIRO ROAD.
11 Feb 1916 Parades etc as usual. Bde field day. The batt being on Division and Camp duties were very weak on parade. Some officers from LOVAT SCOUTS accompanied the Batt for training.
12 Feb 1916 Draft of 1 Officer Capt Miskin [Christopher Harold MISKIN, MC] & 420 O.Rs arrived from ENGLAND. Men not very fit, suffering from old wounds etc. Mostly 1st & 2nd Battn Bedford Regmnt. men. Draft of 1 Officer & 18 men returned from Depot. [Comment; Officer arrived was 2/Lt E.S. CATON]
13 Feb 1916 Church parade at 1030
14 Feb 1916 Bde. Route March CAIRO ROAD. G.O.C.'s lecture to young officers on training
15 Feb 1916 Training as usual. Miniature Range shooting commenced.
16 Feb 1916 Parades as usual. Specialists from last 2 drafts posted to Specialists in Batt.
17 Feb 1916 Bde operations.
18 Feb 1916 Usual batt parades.
19 Feb 1916 Tents struck & aired, repitched. Usual parades.
20 Feb 1916 Church parade at 0900
21 Feb 1916 Bde Route March
22 Feb 1916 Lecture to young officers by Major FARQUHAR, G.S.2 54 Div.
23 Feb 1916 Parades as usual.
24 Feb 1916 Bde operations
25 Feb 1916 Parades etc. as usual
26 Feb 1916 Parades etc as usual. G.O.C. inspected the batt, at work in the field & expressed himself very pleased at the work done.
27 Feb 1916 The Commanding Officer on leave. Batt commanded by Capt James [Christopher Russell JAMES, MC] in his absence.
28 Feb 1916 Parades as usual
War Diary for March 1916
1 Mar 1916 Parades & routine as usual. Training for new form of trench attack.
2 - 3 Mar 1916 Parades & routine as usual
4 Mar 1916 Tents struck & repitched. G.O.C. inspected the Batt at work
5 Mar 1916 Church Parade at 0900
6 - 8 Mar 1916 Parades etc. as usual
9 Mar 1916 Inspection at work by G.O.C. New trench attack carried out by the battalion
10 Mar 1916 Parades etc as usual [Comment; 2/Lt Evelyn Charles Bradley WODEHOUSE arrived]
11 Mar 1916 parades etc as usual. Instruction for officers with R.F.A. 54th Div.
12 Mar 1916 Church Parade 0900
13 Mar 1916 Usual parades & routine
14 Mar 1916 Usual parades & routine. Battalion on Bayonet Fighting course
15 Mar 1916 Usual parades etc. Officers again instructed under RFA
16 Mar 1916 2 Coys inoculated. usual parades for other 2 Coys.
17 Mar 1916 Parades as usual [Comment; Officers joined - Major Cecil Henry WOLFF, Lts. H.O.D. WILKINS, Charles Hubert BREWER and 2/Lt Harold Simon ARMSTRONG, MC]
18 Mar 1916 Tents struck & repitched. Parades as usual. A Coy on Range.
19 Mar 1916 Church Parades 0900
20 Mar 1916 Brigade Route March CAIRO Road
21 Mar 1916 Usual parades. Remaining 2 Coys inoculated
22 Mar 1916 Officers under Brigadier in Map Reading. Parades as usual
23 Mar 1916 Parades as usual. 2 Coys light duty [Comment; Lt. A.H. STRATFORD and 2/Lt William Arthur SHAW, MC joined]
24 Mar 1916 Parades as usual. Batt on Bayonet Fighting Course
25 Mar 1916 Parades as usual
26 Mar 1916 Church Parade at 0900 under Rev TAYLOR
27 Mar 1916 Parades as usual. 2 Coys inoculated
28 - 29 Mar 1916 Parades as usual
30 Mar 1916 Parades as usual. Orders received to move to SHALUFA.
31 Mar 1916 Parades as usual
War Diary for April 1916
1 Apr 1916 - MENA CAMP, CAIRO. Usual routine and parades. C.O's inspection
2 Apr 1916 Church Parade at 0900
3 Apr 1916 Parades as usual
4 Apr 1916 Tents struck & baggage placed on dump ready for move to SHALUFA, CANAL ZONE
5 Apr 1916 - CAIRO. Left Camp at 1400 & marched 11 1/2 miles to CAIRO ABU EL ELA Station at 17.30. Men given tea and entrained. Train left at 1950.
6 Apr 1916 - SHALUFA. Arrived SHALUFA at 0330. Men given tea. Baggage transported across SUEZ CANAL. Batt marched to BDE Camp 1/2 mile E. of CANAL. Tents pitched. Baggage manhandled to Camp from CANAL.
7 Apr 1916 Batt Route March. usual parades including bathing in CANAL. Line of outposts in half semicircle about 1000 yards from Bde Camp taken up 6 Posts Mounted at 1800 relieved at 0700.
8 Apr 1916 Parades as usual
9 Apr 1916 Church Parade at 0900
10 Apr 1916 Digging on Lunettes Nos 1 & 2. Column of 4 Officers & 100 O.R's (Capt James [Christopher Russell JAMES, MC] in command) proceeded out E as escort to 3 squadrons of Yeomanry on reconnaissance towards BIR EL GIDDI & BIR EL TAWAL (Ref MAP EGYPT sheet C.19 1/100,000) [Comment; attached under Appendices]
11 Apr 1916 Usual Parades. draft of 2 officers 80 O.R's under Major Clutton [John CLUTTON] arrived. [Comment; Officer arriving - Lt. Geoffrey Robert TAYLOR of the 4th Battalion]
12 Apr 1916 Digging on Lunettes 1 & 2 C Subsection CANAL ZONE.
13 Apr 1916 Route March & Ordinary Parades
14 Apr 1916 Orders received for move to KUBRI 6 miles S. of SHALUFA. Baggage sent forward by lighter
15 Apr 1916 Marched at 0630 arrived KUBRI 0900. Tents pitched & baggage brought up from wharf. Capt C.R.JAMES [Christopher Russell JAMES, MC] & party returned from Column work.
16 Apr 1916 Church Parade at 0900. 200 men warned to stand by for firing column work under Capt Miskin [Christopher Harold MISKIN, MC] (A Coy & balance from B)
17 Apr 1916 Orders for column received from Gen. TAYLOR for column. Lt Col Brighten [Edgar William BRIGHTEN, CMG, DSO, TD] to command mixed force, 300 1/5 Bedf, 25 Camel Corps, 75 Yeomanry, R.A.M.C & Engineers sections and Camel Transport Convoy. Remainder of Batt. ordinary parades
18 Apr 1916 Trench digging on fortifications on E side of CANAL.
19 Apr 1916 Ordinary marching parades. CAPT E.V.ANDREINI [Ernesto V. ANDRIENI] rejoined.
20 Apr 1916 Fortification work.
21 Apr 1916 Church Parades at 0900 (Good Friday)
22 Apr 1916 Lt Col Brighten [Edgar William BRIGHTEN, CMG, DSO, TD] started on column. Copy of itinerary & diary attached
23 Apr 1916 Easter Sunday. Church parade 0900
24 Apr 1916 Whole Holiday. PRINCE OF WALES cheered while passing through Camp on his way to inspect Desert Posts with Lt Gen.Sir FRANCIS DAVIES IX Army Corps Commander
25 Apr 1916 Route March as usual
26 Apr 1916 Fortification work
28 Apr 1916 Trench Digging
29 Apr 1916 Route March
30 Apr 1916 Church Parade 0700. Lt Col Brighten [Edgar William BRIGHTEN, CMG, DSO, TD] admitted to hospital from slight concussion after having been thrown by a horse. Major C.H.Wolff [Cecil Henry WOLFF] takes over Command in his absence
War Diary for May 1916
1 May 1916 - EL KUBRI. Work on defences of Bridgehead Balkim. Parades daily.
2 May 1916 Route march in desert
3 - 6 May 1916 Defence work [Comment; John Leonard DAWSON died 6th May]
7 May 1916 Church Parade 0700
8 - 13 May 1916 Defence work
14 May 1916 Church Parade
15 - 16 May 1916 Defence work
17 May 1916 Position of Camp moved. Men outside Bridgehead S. Sector. Stores etc. inside breastworks
18 May 1916 Posts at CREWE, RAILHEAD, BALUCHISTAN & GURKHA taken up. HQRS & Remainder of Batt at KUBRI.
19 May 1916 Remainder of Batt found all camp duties. Railhead inspected by Div Commandg BALUCHISTAN by Brig Gen MUDGE
21 May 1916 Work on defences. Brig Gen MUDGE inspected RAILHEAD Church parade 0700 at all Posts.
22 May 1916 Gen Sir Archibald Murray visited KUBRI, RAILHEAD & CREWE. Decided to delete Posts CREWE & another post DARB EL HAJ garrisoned by 1/10 LONDON REGT.
23 May 1916 CREWE Post received orders to be in readiness to evacuate post. Work to cease, stores etc to be sent to RAIL HEAD.
24 May 1916 Work as for day before at all posts
25 May 1916 Work as for day before at all posts. Lt Col E W Brighten [Edgar William BRIGHTEN, CMG, DSO, TD] returned from hospital & resumed command.
26 May 1916 Work as for day before at all posts
27 May 1916 Work as for day before at all posts
28 May 1916 Church Parade at KUBRI. Garrison of CREWR arrived. Garrison of RAILHEAD relieved by 1/10 LONDON R.
30 May 1916 Defence work on Bridgehead continued
31 May 1916 Defence work on Bridgehead continued
War Diary for Jun 1916
1 -8 Jun 1916 - EL KUBRI. Trench work on defences of KUBRI Bridgehead as usual
7 Jun 1916 Draft of 1 officer and 54 ORs arrived [Comment; Officer was 2/Lt R. Wood]
9 Jun 1916 Orders received for the Battalion to move out as a mobile column on the 11th
10 Jun 1916 Trench work. Arrangements for column made by Companies & men detailed, necessitating considerable alterations in the garrisons at GURKHA & BALUCHISTAN POSTS.
11 Jun 1916 - Geneffe Railhead Column paraded at 0430 and marched to SHALUFA arriving at about 0720. Breakfasts & quarters for the day arranged. Bathing parades held. Moved off again at 1700 and arrived at GENEFFE 1800. Proceeded straight on to GENEFFE RAILHEAD arriving at 1748. Camel Transport arrived at 2030. Bivouacs arranged. Orders received to move E at 0500
12 Jun 1916 Marched off at 0500 bearing 80 degrees true. Bivoacked at 0830 at Pt 555. Received orders to return to RAILHEAD (GENEFFE). For training purposes a rear guard action was practised. Arrived at GENEFFE RAILHEAD, last company in at 2130. Casualties on column nil. Received orders to be ready to move at 0615 in the morning.
13 Jun 1916 - Shalufa Paraded at 0615. Inspected by Brigadier Gen MUDGE Commdg Column 1 hours close order drill by order of O.C. Column. Returned to Bivouacs for the day. Orders received to return independently to station. Moved off at 1630 & arrived SHALUFA 1915. Night spent in huts [Comment; 2/Lt H.H. SPERLING arrived]
14 Jun 1916 - EL KUBRI. Moved off at 0430 & arrived at KUBRI 0715
15 Jun 1916 Day occupied in Cleaning & Mending
16 Jun 1916 Trench work as usual
17 Jun 1916 Left Section Bridgehead KUBRI manned by Battalion for practicing prior to an inspection by the C. in C. at an early date
18 Jun 1916 Church Parade
19 Jun 1916 Trench Work as usual. Orders received that the Batt being required for the defence of SHALLUFA BRIDGEHEAD was no longer required for manning KUBRI Bridgehead
20 Jun 1916 Trench Work as usual. GOC Division visited GURKHA POST.
21 Jun 1916 Trench Work as usual
22 Jun 1916 Inspection of KUBRI Camp & Defences by C. in C who expressed himself extremely pleased with the work done Battalion received orders to relieve 1/10 LONDON REGT at RAILHEAD & HALFWAY HOUSE POSTS. Advance parties despatched& garrisons of GURKHA & BALUCHISTAN withdrawn
23 Jun 1916 Commanding Officer and Adjutant accompanied C in C on his inspection of SHALLUFA Bridgehead. Colonel Brighten [Edgar William BRIGHTEN, CMG, DSO, TD] as OC Defences of SHALLUFA Bridgehead. Operation Orders attached
24 Jun 1916 Battalion relieved 1/10 LONDON REGT at RAILHEAD & HALFWAY HOUSE. HQRS at RAILHEAD with 2 Companies, 2nd in Command with two companies at HALFWAY HOUSE. Capt Miskin [Christopher Harold MISKIN, MC] with Details at KUBRI
25 Jun 1916 Church Parade 0700. Orders for defence issued. Copy attached [Comment; 2/Lt T.A.J. COATE arrived]
26 Jun 1916 Inspection of Post by G.O.C. C SUBSECTION
27 - 30 Jun 1916 Usual Routine. Digging of trenches etc.
War Diary for July 1916
1 - 26 Jul 1916 - el Kubri Railhead Usual routine. Digging, Parades & Patrols
13 Jul 1916 Major General HARE inspected troops training at Railhead.
20 Jul 1916 Major General HARE visited Railhead at 05.30. Two hostile aircraft seen 07.05. One man attached 54 Divn Hdqrs wounded by bomb.
27 Jul 1916 Training. received orders that 1/4 Northants were to relieve the battalion at Railhead, Halfway House & Roundhouse on 29/7/16
28 Jul 1916 Digging. Received orders to relieve garrisons of 1/4 Northants at Gurkha & Baluchistan posts.
29 Jul 1916 - EL KUBRI. East Relieved by 1/4 Northants at Railhead, Halfway House & Roundhouse. Battalion concentrated at El Kubri East @ 10.30
30 Jul 1916 Capt Miskin [Christopher Harold MISKIN, MC] and two platoons of "A" Coy 100 (approx) proceeded to relieve Gurkha Post at 04.45. Capt Maier [Emil Theodore MAIER, MC] and two platoons of "B" Coy (100 approx) proceeded to relieve Baluchistan Post at 04.45.
31 Jul 1916 New programme of work. 50% of Battn digging & 50% training. [Comment; 2/Lt A.H. MESS arrived on the 15th and 2/Lts R.G. FERGUSON and Eric BECKETT arrived on the 26th]
War Diary for August 1916
1 Aug 1916 - EL KUBRI. Digging & Training as usual
2 Aug 1916 Digging & Training as usual
3 Aug 1916 Digging & Training as usual. Preliminary orders received at 1400 to be prepared to move at short notice. Orders received at 2130 for battalion to move as follows. A, B Coy to SALFORD, C Coy to GENEFFE RAILHEAD & D Coy to KABRIT N. Details under Lt. Taylor [Geoffrey Robert TAYLOR ] at KUBRI also Water Battalion under 2nd Lt Douglas [Charles Victor DOUGLAS]
4 Aug 1916 - Salford [Post] Battalion (less 2 coys) moved at 0430 and relieved SALFORD at 1200.
5 Aug 1916 Work of taking over SALFORD POST Continued, much cleaning up etc, to be done. Received orders that Water Battalion was cancelled.
6 Aug 1916 Church Parade at 0700. Work of cleaning up continued. C & D SUBSECTIONS reported that GENEFFE and ASHTON had seen a Rocket in the immediate front of the POST, but none of our sentries could confirm.
7 Aug 1916 Digging and Training. Brig Gen A.MUDGE arrived at the Post at 0700 and left about 0730. The C.O. left for EL KUBRI at 0730 to command 3 days officers' reconnaissance to Wadi el Tawal
8 Aug 1916 Hostile Air-craft reported over EL SHATT then SUEZ but was not seen here. Yeomanry Patrol reported having sighted enemy patrol 2 men in WADI EL GIDDI
9 - 25 Aug 1916 Digging and Training
12 Aug 1916 Sports from 1630 to 1900.
13 Aug 1916 Church Parade. Sports from 1630 to 1900
14 Aug 1916 C.O. returned from EL KUBRI.
17 Aug 1916 Brig Gen A.MUDGE inspected Post.
18 Aug 1916 Change of Air Camp started at GENEFFE under 2nd LIEUT C.B.Draper [Charles Bryan DRAPER]. 2 officers & 60 O/Rs departed there
19 Aug 1916 Orders received for Lieuts Taylor [Geoffrey Robert TAYLOR ], Wilkins [H.O.D. WILKINS] and Stratford [A.H. STRATFORD] to proceed to ALEXANDRIA for embarkation to ENGLAND for the purpose of joining the R.F.C.
20 Aug 1916 Church Parade 0700
21 Aug 1916 Phone message received from Bde Major C & D. SUBSECTIONS No1 Section for Batt to move to EL KUBRI. Court Martial held on Pte Clarke.
24 Aug 1916 Court Martial on Pte Clarke re-assembled
25 Aug 1916 Received orders for Batt to concentrate at EL SHATT and report to G.O.C. B. Subsection No 1 Section.
26 Aug 1916 - el Shatt Battalion left SALFORD at 0630, leaving rear party under 2nd Lieut Rawlins [Eric L. RAWLINS] to hand over to 1/6th ESSEX RGT. C.O., Signal Officer and Medical Officer rode right through EL SHATT, Adjt. and Quartermaster came on by train to SHALLUFA and thence by train to PORT TEWFIK arriving EL SHATT at about 1530. Marked out Camp for Batt. "A" & "B" Coy in two lighters arrived 1700 and C & D Coys in two lighters at about 2100. 2130 concentration complete.
27 Aug 1916 Organising and settling down.
28 Aug 1916 C.O. and all mounted Officers rode to Pt 309 to look at the country
29 Aug 1916 MAJ.GEN S.W. HARE and Staff also BRIG.GEN H D WATSON CMG, CIE, MVO and Staff inspected the Batt at 0600 men were inspected at breakfast and all cooking arrangements looked into
30 Aug 1916 MAJ GEN S.W. HARE and Staff also BRIG.GEN A.MUDGE and Staff inspected the Batt at work at 0530. Band played in front of The Club at PORT TEWFIK from 1800 to 1900.
31 Aug 1916 C.O. and all mounted Officers proceeded to BIR MABEUIK at 0500 & returned at 1130. Training as usual
War Diary for September 1916
1 Sep 1916 - EL SHATT. Training. 1700 Details arrived from KUBRI under Lt.L.P.New [Leslie Perry NEW]. Pte. Ashpole [Private 3933 Joseph ASHPOLE] escaped from Hospital and Swam across the Canal. Evidently quite insane.
2 Sep 1916 0500 Pte Ashpole caught and sent to Hospital 0530 Battalion Drill. 0630 Battalion Route March of 10 miles 1700 Battalion gave concert in recreation Hut. Great success. 1830 Parties proceeded to ZEITOUN
3 Sep 1916 0900 Inspection of lines & buildings by Brig. General WATSON. 1030 Church Parade. Major G.M.de L.Dayrell [Gerald Marmaduke de Longport DAYRELL] arrived to take over duties as 2nd in command of Batt. Orders received that BIR MABEUIK moveable column would move out on 7th & return 8th September.
4 Sep 1916 Usual training. Notified that ALWAR Infantry would take over all Northern Battalion duties at retreat 6th inst.
5 Sep 1916 0800 G.O.C. 162 Bde inspected Batt. at training. Lectured to all officers and N.C.O's at 1000 on Fire Control. 1700 Further orders received re BIR MABEUIK. Lt. Col. E.W.Brighten [Edgar William BRIGHTEN, CMG, DSO, TD] to command the Column 2200 London's Patrol reported 6 horsemen in front. All posts warned. Nothing seen by our patrols.
6 Sep 1916 Usual Training. CO lectured to all N.C.O's. 1800 Band played outside club at PORT TEWFIK. Lieut. Col. E.W. Brighten [Edgar William BRIGHTEN, CMG, DSO, TD] proceeded on leave to ALEXANDRIA. Major G.M.de L. Dayrell [Gerald Marmaduke de Longport DAYRELL] took over command of battalion.
7 Sep 1916 - BIR MABEUIK. Usual Parades. 1700 Battalion fell in ready to move off for BIR MABEUIK. 1715 Advance guard moved. 1725 Main body moved. 1735 Rear Guard moved. Capt C.H. MISKIN [Christopher Harold MISKIN, MC] took over command of details. 2000 Concentrated at Pt.309 2330 Arrived bivouac. Going good & men marched well but were very tired. Settled down and waited for camels for blankets. Camels arrived 0300 8th. Stand to 0415
8 Sep 1916 - EL SHATT RAILHEAD. Major G.M.de L. Dayrell [Gerald Marmaduke de Longport DAYRELL] and 2nd Lt.N.R. Taitt [Noel Rothwell TAITT, MC] proceeded with Brig.General WATSON to entrance of RAWA PASS for reconnaissance. 1615 Column moved. 'A' Coy. 1/5th BEDFORDS - Advance Guard. Artillery. 'B', 'D' & 'C' Coys. 1/5th BEDFORDS. Rear Guard of one Platoon furnished from 'B' Coy 2000 Arrived at EL SHATT RAILHEAD 2130 Battalion concentrated there by that time. Only eight casualties although going very bad at times. These were brought in on an ambulance.
9 Sep 1916 Whole holiday.
10 Sep 1916 1030 Church Parade. Received Orders re KUBRI Column.
11 Sep 1916 Parades as usual. Further orders re KUBRI column received. B & D Coys to go. A & C Coys to remain at EL SHATT.
12 Sep 1916 Parades as usual.
13 Sep 1916 Parades as usual in morning. Orders received from 'C' Subsection that 5 1/11th LONDON officers would come here also that only 12 officers were to go on column and that 1/11th LONDON officers would take their place. 0930 1/4th Northants under Lt. FAY arrived. Battalion less 2 Coys, left under Major G.M.deL. Dayrell [Gerald Marmaduke de Longport DAYRELL] proceeded by train to RAILHEAD thence march to KUBRI RAILHEAD.
15 Sep 1916 0515 The C.O. proceeded to join Column Parades as usual
16 Sep 1916 Parades as usual
17 Sep 1916 0945 Church Parade. 1800 Party of 2 officers & 100 O.R.'s 1/5th BEDF.R. & one officer & 50 O.R.'s 1/5th NORTHANTS.R. attached to 1/5th BEDF.R. proceeded to SIDI BISHR REST CAMP.
18 Sep 1916 3 officers & 155 O.R's 1/4th NORTHANTS R. from KUBRI joined the Batt. arriving in two detachments, 2 officers & 120 OR's at 0850 one officer & 35 OR's at 1050. 6 ORs 1/5th BEDF.R. who fell out on the column reported with first party of NORTHANTS. 1730 3 O.R's reported from column. 1900 Received wire from A/Adj. Column that Pte. Fox of 'B' Coy. killed and Pte.Meeks 'D' Coy wounded. Parades as usual [Comment; Private 5814 William FOX of Hertford and Private 2983 Percy MEEKS were the Battalions first combat casualties since Gallipoli - Percy recovered and survived the war]
19 Sep 1916 Parades as usual 1600 3 O.R.'s arrived who fell out from column.
20 Sep 1916 Usual Routine. 0430 Pte. A.E.COLLINS 1/4 NORTHANTS R. found by 2/Lt.R.T.Boyd [Reginald Tracey BOYD] sleeping at his post. Remanded for summary of evidence to be reduced to writing by Capt.C.R.JAMES [Christopher Russell JAMES, MC].
21 Sep 1916 Summary of Evidence re Pte. COLLINS forwarded to 162 Bgde. together with application for F.G.C.M. 6 officers, 2 W.O's & 22 OR's paraded at 0700 for instruction in loading camels vide 'B' Subsection Order No.405 dated 17/9/16. 1100 C.O. A/Adj. & M.O. arrived from KUBRI column. Parades as usual.
22 Sep 1916 1000 Lt. & Adj. F.W.H.NICHOLAS returned from 162 Bgde. for duty. 0830 Major G.M.de L.Dayrell [Gerald Marmaduke de Longport DAYRELL] and KUBRI Column arrived. 0630 3 officers & 261 O.R.'s 1/4th NORTHANTS.R. under Lt. FAY marched out for KUBRI to join their own unit.
23 Sep 1916 0945 Church Parade
24 Sep 1916 Those who were on the Column Half Holiday. Remainder parades as usual.
25 Sep 1916 Usual Routine.
26 Sep 1916 0530 10 officers & 300 O.R's under Capt. E.T.MAIER [Emil Theodore MAIER, MC] proceeded to the FRESH AIR CAMP SIDI BISHR. 0850 2 officers & 100 OR's under 2/Lt. N.R.TAITT [Noel Rothwell TAITT, MC] arrived from SIDI BISHR 0545 G.O.C. 'B' Subsection inspected the Battalion at its alarm Posts. After this usual Routine. 1700 Orders received to take over all duties of first.
27 Sep 1916 Usual Routine. 2/Lt.H.F.Jolowicz [Herbert Felix JOLOWICZ] & 27 O.R's took 6 prisoners to Prisoners of War Camp.
28 Sep 1916 Usual Routine. £50 dispatched to the LORD KITCHENER MEMORIAL FUND collected from officers & O.R's and made up to the above out of the Battalion Private account. 1015 2/Lt.R.T.Boyd [Reginald Tracey BOYD] proceeded to MOASCAR as R.T.O.
29 Sep 1916 1500 5 officers & 210 O.R's under Lt.F.B.Hobbs [Francis B. HOBBS, MC] proceeded to TEWFIK on special duty. Their movements beyond there secret. Staff Officer to meet them at SUEZ DOCKS and direct them to bivouac. Remain there the night. 1700 Transport for Coy under 2/Lt B.W.Smythe [Barlow Woollocombe SMYTHE, MC] proceeded by road to KUBRI with orders to stop there for the night and cross the bridge at 0430 next morning to arrive at bivouac by 0800. Usual Routine.
30 Sep 1916 0650 2 O.R.'s left battalion to join coy at SUEZ. 1200 2/Lt.E.R.Campbell [Ernest Roy CAMPBELL] proceeded to SERAPEUM as temporary R.T.O. 1800 Party under 2/Lt.H.S.Armstrong [Harold Simon ARMSTRONG, MC] proceeded to TEWFIK in order to catch 0645 train from SUEZ DOCKS Oct 1st 1916.
War Diary for October 1916
1 Oct 1916 - EL SHATT. 0730 Church parade. 1215 2/Lt.H.F.Jolowicz [Herbert Felix JOLOWICZ] and 23 O.R's returned from Prisoners of War Camp, 4 O.Rs proceeded with Prisoners to CAIRO.
2 Oct 1916 Usual Routine
3 Oct 1916 Party of 9 officers & 295 OR's returned from SIDI BISHR FRESH AIR CAMP.
4 Oct 1916 Party of 3 officers 289 O.R's 4 RAMC proceeded to FRESH AIR CAMP.
5 Oct 1916 Parades & fatigues & duties as usual. Orders received to provide guard of 200 for PRISONERS OF WAR CAMP EL SHATT. Detailed N Coy (Det 1/4 Northants) complete with officers 34 OR's A Coy 34 O.R's B Coy 33 O.R's C Coy. Officers Lt New [Leslie Perry NEW], 2nd Lieut [A.H.] MESS.
6 Oct 1916 Parades & digging parties as usual.
7 Oct 1916 0645 PRISONERS OF WAR CAMP guard left at 0645 1000 G.O.C. 54th Division inspected LEWIS GUNS on Pack Saddles. 1630 1 officer & 50 OR's left for PRISONERS OF WAR CAMP. 17 OR's returned from 162 Bde Bombing Course.
8 Oct 1916 0730 Church Parade. 18 OR's proceeded to KUBRI for 162 Bde Bombing Course. 5 O.R's rejoined from Hospital.
9 Oct 1916 1000 Conference on Training at Bde H.Q. attended by C.O. & Adjutant. 1500 Conference at B. SUBSECTION HQ attended by C.O. Amendment to orders for BIR MABEUIK relief column received. Notification of arrival of PRISONERS for PRISONERS Camp.
10 Oct 1916 1000 100 O.R's & 2 officers detailed to march PRISONERS to Camp. Capt.E.T.MAIER [Emil Theodore MAIER, MC] sent to PRISONERS CAMP to command Escort.
11 Oct 1916 1730 300 OR's & 2 officers returned from FRESH AIR CAMP. 1600 Temp alteration to BIR MABEUIK RELIEF COLUMN issued.
12 Oct 1916 Orders for practice attack on RAILHEAD (EL SHATT) received. 1300 Orders for concentration issued 0630 Party of 2 officers and 140 OR's left for FRESH AIR CAMP SIDI BISHR.
13 Oct 1916 1530 Battalion formed as two Companies proceeded to hill 309 to take part in a tactical attack at dawn on RAILHEAD POST. LT COL Brighten [Edgar William BRIGHTEN, CMG, DSO, TD] in command of Column attacking. 1800 Arrived at hill 309. 1900 Orders for attack issued
14 Oct 1916 0601 Assault on RAILHEAD POST. 0715 Men breakfasted at RAILHEAD & marched back to Camp at 0800. 1000 Men arrived in Camp. 1600 Special Service Company having embarked on S.S. GEORGIAN in the morning sailed for unknown destination. [Comment; Private 4008 Herbert HOPE of Wootton died from wounds received 3rd November; the Battalions 2nd combat death since Gallipoli].
15 Oct 1916 0730 Church parade.
16 Oct 1916 Usual parades & routine. Musketry practice on the Range. 1 officer 50 OR's proceeded to SIDI BISHR escort to Prisoners of War. 2000 BIR MABEUIK Relief Column Order No 2 issued
17 Oct 1916 0715 Battalion Route March
18 Oct 1916 Usual parades etc.
20 Oct 1916 Usual parades etc. 1030 [unreadable as overwritten] Party of 2 officers & 136 O.R's returned from SIDI BISHR.
21 Oct 1916 From 1200-0615 Battalion took part in practice attack of EL SHATT. 1300 Special Service Coy returned. 2000 Fatigue Party 1 Officer and 50 O.Rs constructed platform for C in C's visit. 1 officer & 30 O.R's paraded, training for guard of honour to C in C.
22 Oct 1916 2 officers 8 O.R's returned from ZEITOUN. 2 officers 100 OR's escorted Prisoners of War to CAIRO
23 Oct 1916 0630 RELIEF COLUMN for BIR MABEUIK ordered out at 0630 for practice 0805 1/5 BEDF Detachment marched out of Camp. 0845 Detachment dismissed 0800 Camp struck & remarked. Repitched at 1300. 1615 2 officers 100 OR's returned from escort duty
24 Oct 1916 0715 Batt. Route March Orders received for C in C's inspection 0800 Inspection of Camp by G.O.C. 'B' Subsection.
25 Oct 1916 Batt on Defence Work. Line generally straightened up.
26 Oct 1916 0900 G.O.C. 'B' Subsection inspected Batt in alarm posts prior to C in C's inspection 1330 Batt in position of Alarm Posts for C in C's inspection 1400 Batt dismissed temporarily 1530 Batt in position again. C in C inspected No4 Redoubt. 1610 Batt dismissed
27 Oct 1916 Parades & Routine as usual
28 Oct 1916 Whole holiday granted by C in C.
29 Oct 1916 0730 Church Parade
30 Oct 1916 0800 54 Div Band left for D Subsection. Whole holiday granted by C in C.
31 Oct 1916 0715 Route March. Hostile aeroplane flew over TEWFIK and dropped 4 bombs
War Diary for November 1916
1 Nov 1916 - El Shatt Digging
2 Nov 1916 Usual parades & routine
3 Nov 1916 Usual parades & routine
4 Nov 1916 Battalion drill
5 Nov 1916 Church parade 0730
6 Nov 1916 Usual parades & routine. 2 officers & 5 OR's ordered to escort prisoners of war.
7 Nov 1916 Batt Route March. Inspection on march by G.O.C. 54 Div.
8 Nov 1916 Batt employed on Defence works
9 Nov 1916 G.O.C. Eastern Forces inspection Batt huts. usual parades & routine.
10 Nov 1916 Usual parades & Routine
11 Nov 1916 Farewell address to Batt by General WATSON. Battalion Drill.
12 Nov 1916 Church Parade 0730
13 Nov 1916 Orders received to move to posts in D Subsection as follows. (a) Batt less 2 1/2 Coys GENEFFE RAILHEAD. (b) 2 coys to OLDHAM. (c) 1/2 coy to KABRIT. Coys detailed as follows - (a) Batt HQ 1/2 C Coy & D Coy. (b) A & B Coys . (c) C Coy less 2 Platoons. Strength at posts approx as follows (a) 300 all ranks (b) 400 all ranks (c) 100 all ranks.
14 Nov 1916 - GENNEFFE RAILHEAD, Oldham Post and Kabrit Battalion moved by lighter to GENEFFE & KABRIT. Marched from GENEFFE to RAILHEAD & OLDHAM. Posts taken over.
15 Nov 1916 General cleaning up, patching of tents.
16 Nov 1916 Defence orders for RAILHEAD issued. General cleaning up: defence orders practised by day & night.
17 Nov 1916 Post Routine. General cleaning of Camp
18 Nov 1916 0530 Y & Z parties Green Column left for KUBRI RAILHEAD via SHALLUFA. 0800 C.O. rode to Oldham 0930 G.O.C. 162nd Brigade visited OLDHAM 1100 GOC 162nd Brigade visited GENEFFE R.
19 Nov 1916 Church Parade 0900. C.O. Rode to KUBRI for GOC 162nd Bde's Conference 1900 Column party returned from KUBRI RAILHEAD via KUBRI & SHALLUFA. Post routine, digging.
20 Nov 1916 Post routine. C.O.'s lecture to GENEFFE RAILHEAD officers 1200: C.O. rode to OLDHAM & gave his lecture to officers there
21 Nov 1916 Batt route march 12 miles, carried out by detachments at each post. C.O. rode to KABRIT. Routine work.
22 Nov 1916 C.O. returned. Medical examination of all ranks for fitness for active service.
23 Nov 1916 Post routine. Medical inspection
24 Nov 1916 Batt route march 12 miles for those not going on 21st Post Routine
25 Nov 1916 Post routine. Live bomb throwing to E. of GENEFFE RAILHEAD
26 Nov 1916 Church parades. C of E 0715: Holy Communion 0800. Nonconformist 0715: R.C. 0615
27 Nov 1916 Post routine: LEWIS GUN firing A & B Coy sections from OLDHAM. Range firing & F.S targets C Coy.
28 Nov 1918 LEWIS GUN firing C & D sections long route march for half batt at posts. D coy on Range, live bomb throwing
29 Nov 1916 LEWIS GUN Firing: coys firing field firing scheme on desert, live grenade throwing at OLDHAM. C.O. & Adj went on long patrol - 30 miles with Yeo - across front of posts held by Batt.
30 Nov 1916 LEWIS GUN Firing: coys firing as on 29th: bathing party went down to GENEFFE & returned same day.
War Diary for December 1916
1 Dec 1916 - Geneffe Railhead, Oldham Post and Kabrit Musketry and field firing with LEWIS GUNS [Comment; Officers arrived - 2/Lts Ronald Herbert SMITH, Milton Arthur STRUGNELL, Charles Frederick BUCK, John Edward Mary Claude Pius Augustine WATERTON, Arthur John MANDER, H.W.E. SMITH, Alexander George HUCKLESBY]
2 Dec 1916 Musketry and field firing with LEWIS GUNS, parties digging latrines for 162 Brigade bivouac
3 Dec 1916 Church parade C of E 0900. Bathing train for 113 GENEFFE RAILHEAD at 1215
4 Dec 1916 Bathing train as on 3rd. Musketry as on 2nd. Bombing, Signalling & LEWIS GUN classes.
5 Dec 1916 Batt route march 13 miles over sand & road - by posts. ADS&T inspected 1st line transport. Musketry in afternoon. LEWIS GUNS firing. Post routine
6 Dec 1916 Post routine. Musketry & Lewis Gun firing. Bombing at OLDHAM live bombs.
7 Dec 1916 Post routine, field firing with rifles & Lewis Guns
8 Dec 1916 Batt route march by posts as on 4th for those who did not go on 4th. Musketry.
9 Dec 1916 Post routine
10 Dec 1916 Church parade C of E 0900. Holy Communion 0935. Non conformist parade 0815. Bathing train
11 Dec 1916 Fatigues, Musketry & Routine connected with arrival of camels for a column being got together. Bathing train.
12 Dec 1916 Long route march by posts. Post routine & rifle & Lewis gun fire, loaded & despatched 2 camel convoys to the mobile column working towards MOIYA HARAB
13 Dec 1916 Loaded & despatched camel convoy. Rifle & Lewis Gun practice. Post Routine
14 Dec 1916 4 Batt Lewis gun sections inspected with new pack saddlery by Brigadier General A.MUDGE.
15 Dec 1916 Long Route march by posts (12 1/2 miles over sand). Post Routine
16 Dec 1916 Column returned. Post routine & fatigues in connection with Column
17 Dec 1916 Church parades C of E. HOLY COMMUNION at OLDHAM. Bathing train from RAILHEAD
18 Dec 1916 Post Routine. Range practice. Bathing train from RAILHEAD. [Comment; 2/Lt T.N. KEITH arrived]
19 Dec 1916 Route march 14 miles over sand by posts. Post Routine
20 Dec 1916 Post routine. Range practice.
21 Dec 1916 Post routine. At 1500 verbal instructions, which were confirmed at 1645 by wire, were received from 162 Bde to send one coy from OLDHAM to GENEFFE & one Coy from GENEFFE RAILHEAD to SHALLUFA, to relieve 2 coys of the 1/10th LONDON Regt. B & D coys were moved to the respective posts. Hdqrs at RAILHEAD still
22 Dec 1916 Route march for half troops at RAILHEAD, OLDHAM & KABRIT as on 19th. POST ROUTINE
23 Dec 1916 Post Routine
24 Dec 1916 Church parade C of E 25 mins march E of RAILHEAD at which RAILHEAD & OLDHAM troops were present [Comment; Major Frederick George OWENS arrived]
25 Dec 1916 Whole holiday. HOLY COMMUNION at 0930. Sports mounted & dismounted. Men's special Xmas dinner.
26 Dec 1916 Whole holiday. Sports finals. After looking very black all the afternoon at RAILHEAD a few spots of rain fell about 1730 & by 1750 heavy rain was falling. Rain fell heavily at intervals during night. B & D coys were moved to OLDHAM in the evening at 2030
27 Dec 1916 Heavy rain in early morning. By 0800 rain had stopped & did not come on again. Starting to-day A & C Coys exchanged posts. A going to KABRIT & C to RAILHEAD
28 Dec 1916 Route march 10 miles over sand. Post routine
29 Dec 1916 Route march 10 miles over sand. Post routine. Emendations to RAILHEAD defence orders
30 Dec 1916 Post routine. D coy Lewis Gun Class inspected
31 Dec 1916 Church Parade at OLDHAM SALFORD & Roads. Coy Comdrs conference
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