The Bedfordshire Regiment in the Great War
1919 War Diary
[Note that all remarks in squared brackets are my own additions and not part of the original text]
War Diary for January 1919
1 Jan 1919 - Helmieh 0630-0730 Inspection parades and Interior Economy. Time being devoted to cleaning up the camp laying out Kit and generally preparing for main parade of the day 0930 Battalion Trial Cross Country Run organized for the purpose of selecting the best runners to represent the Battn in the Brigade Sports. The course selected for this run was about 5 miles and across undulating ground of gravelly sand. Their run lasted for about 1/2 hour when the run was finished & the men rubbed down & changed. Classes in Reading, Writing, Arithmetic, French and Shorthand were carried on. At this time the Classes were well attended but progress was slow owing to lack of accomodation [sic] and equipment. Owing to the possible departure of detachments it was not considered advisable to make any addition to the classes. A Physical training Class was started under a qualified instructor for the benefit of those entering for sports & intending post bellum soldiers. In the afternoon a platoon Football competition was held No 1 Platoon playing No 13. No 13 won this match 1-0. A Battalion Sports Committee met to decide the various sports to be taken up by the Battn. No 15 Platoon played No 10 winning 2-1. [Comment; 2/Lt E.F. TIFFIN of the London Regiment arrived]
2 Jan 1919 0630 inspection pde as usual & boundaries of the camp laid out by pioneers mud walls being erected. Classes were carried on as usual & an hour was devoted to Battalion Drill. The C.O. gave a lecture to the Battn on the Scheme of Demobilization explaining to them the scheme of dispersal & resettlement. [Comment; 2/Lt G.F. HALL of the Indian Army arrived]
3 Jan 1919 This morning we devoted to Battn Route March. The march lasted for three hours & was along the road in the direction of CAIRO. The dress worn being Drill Order. In the afternoon the Battn Football Team played the 1/8th Hants Regt. On the whole it was a good game & the teams seemed equally matched. The result of the match was 2-1 in favour of the Hampshires. Preparations were made in the Battn area for the erection of a hut for Mens Messing
4 Jan 1919 Brigade duties were carried out by the Battn on this day and at 0900 the BGC made a tour of inspection of the Bde Camp. usual classes were carried on & one hour devoted to Coy Drill. Names were taken & forms filled up fpr the men who wished to have Technical Classes.
5 Jan 1919 Battn attended Bde Church parade on the sports area. the leave for Jerusalem have [sic] started one officer and 7 other ranks leaving at 0800. A warning Order was received for a detachment of 400 to hold themselves in readiness to proceed to MEADI at short notice to take over duties at Prisoner of War Camp
6 Jan 1919 Usual classes were carried on & a lecture given in the Bde Cinema on the Campaigns in East & West Africa. An hour was devoted to Battn Drill. The C.O. proceeded to Alexandria on a tour of inspection of the School of Cookery
7 Jan 1919 The morning until 1100 was devoted to clearing & marking out Football and Hockey grounds. At 1100 the final of the Platoon Football Competition was held men being excused parade to attend this. The 2 Platoons engaged in this match were No 10 & 15. Both teams played a really 1st class game 7 No 15 won by scoring a goal 10 minutes before time was called. The Battn Hockey Team which had been formed & had been training played its first match today against the 1/10 London Regt and considering this was the first match they had ever played they did exceptionally well by winning by one goal to nil.
8 Jan 1919 At 0800 a Battn Cross Country run was held for all under the age of 35 years to enable the Sports Committee to select a team to represent the Battn in the Bde Sports. After the run the usual classes were carried on & the men engaged on these classes seem quite grateful for the opportunity of being able to brush up their education. A lecture was given in the Bde Cinema on The Making of England & about 300 ORs attended. In the afternoon the Battn Hockey Team played their 2nd match this time against the Imperial School of Instruction Section. Although the latter team had the best of the game & won by 6 goals to nil the battn team played quite well & had quite hard luck in not scoring
9 Jan 1919 Educational classes were carried on as usual & one hour devoted to Company Drill. His Eminence the R.C. Cardinal Bourne Archbishop of Westminster addresses all R.Cs of the 54th Divn in the Divnl Cinema Tent at 1100. [Comment; 2/Lt L.D. GRIFFIN of the Middlesex Regiment arrived]
10 Jan 1919 This morning the weekly Battn Route March was carried out. the direction of the march was round HELIOPOLIS & lasted three hours the dress for this march being Drill Order. The Preliminary Round of the Inter Coy Football Competition took place at 1430. A Company played D Coy 1/11th London Regt. The game proved very interesting & even & at the conclusion of time no score had been made. An extra 1/2 hour was played resulting in a win for A Coy by one goal. The Drums also played a match against the Drums of the 1/6th Essex & won by 2 goals to nil
11 Jan 1919 Classes carried on as usual & one hour was devoted to Coy Drill. In the afternoon the Bn Hockey Team played the 1/11th London Regt & after a hard game the London Regt won by 2 goals to nil
12 Jan 1919 The Battn was on Bde Duty to day [sic] & also found Divisional Duties. Bde Church Parade at 0900. An Inter Coy Competition Football Match took place in the afternoon D Coy playing against D Coy of the 1/4th Northants Regt. the Battn Team won by on goal to nil. The C.O. accompanied by 3 other Officers proceeded to Alexandria in a tour of inspection of the Physical Training & Bayonet Fighting School
13 Jan 1919 Classes were held as usual & a lecture on Canada being given by Lieut BOND, RA. in the Divnl. Cinema at 1030 & proved a very interesting & educational lecture. in the afternoon an Inter Coy Competition Football match was played. C Coy playing B Coy of the 1/11 London Regt in the 1st Round. The Londons won this match after a hard fight by two goals to one.
14 Jan 1919 Classes were carried on as usual & one hour devoted to Physical Training. Owing to the enthusiasm shown by the Bde in the Sports a considerable number of entries were made necessitating preliminary heats which were held at 1330. Orders were received for the detachment already warned to proceed by march route to Meadi & a detachment for Helouan to proceed by train on the following day. B & C Coys found the Detachments & arrangements were made to leave at 0800. [Comment; 2/Lt J.H.C. HILL of the Cheshire regiment arrived]
15 Jan 1919 Owing to Bde Sports being carried out no parades were ordered. the weather was quite warm & the sports were well attended by members of other Brigades. The Battn scored 2nd in the aggregate no of points gained in the events. The flat races were not this unit's strong point but the tug of war team won their event easily. The mule events were interesting - the Tug of war on mules was won also. The Detachments for MEADI & HELOUAN moved off at 0800 the Meadi Det going by road & the Helouan Det by rail. A Hot meal was provided en route for the Meadi Det & they arrived there at 1400 taking over from the Royal Irish Rifle Garr Bn. Numerous Gds had to be found over the Turkish & German Prisoners. The Helouan Det finding Guards for the Internment Camp which consists of civilians
16 Jan 1919 The Battn was on Bde Duty & classes were held as usual but owing to the detachments leaving some classes had to cease & others reduced. One hours company drill was carried out. An Inter Coy Football Competition match was played between B Coy & B Coy of the 1/10th London Regt, the London Team winning by three goals to nil.
17 Jan 1919 The G.O.C. Division visited the Battn Educational Classes at work & saw French Shorthand & Arithmetic classes at work. Very heavy rain started about 1100 & continued until 1700 - resulted in flooding the camp. the whole of the rain service was interrupted the line being washed away in places. This days rain was the heaviest rain that had fallen for over 7 years. In the evening it cleared up & a cold wind blew drying up the camp a little
18 Jan 1919 The flooding of the camp necessitated a lot of clearing up & drying clothes by the men. In the morning the C.O. talked to the men about Re enlisting & explained the benefits & terms of present re enlistment. A need having been felt for a library in the Batt the PRI having organised for supplying books & opened one today & it was greatly appreciated by the Battn. In the afternoon the Battn football team played the 162 Bde HQ team & resulted in a win for the battn by 5 goals to one.
19 Jan 1919 Battn paraded for Bde Church Parade the service was conducted by the Right Rev The Bishop of Jerusalem who also held a Confirmation Service in the afternoon. The weekly Leave Party for Jerusalem left today at 0800. The first three men were attested for the Post Bellum Army & although it was a small number to start with a great many men had signified their intention of re enlisting after they had thought it over & had a talk with the C.O. on the matter
20 Jan 1919 The Battn was on Bde Duty to-day. Classes were carried on as usual & one hour was devoted to Physical Training. Those of the sportsmen who were selected to run in the Bde Cross Country Race carried out a run of six miles.
21 Jan 1919 The Battn hockey team played against the 1/4th Northampton Regt & lost by one goal to nil. Classes were held as usual & one hour devoted to Coy Drill. Boxing training carried on enthusiastically & preparing for the Bde Meeting on the 23 & 24th [Comment; 2/Lt F.W. WARRINGTON and 2/Lt G. BEVERIDGE of the Suffolk's arrived]
22 Jan 1919 Classes carried on as usual. One hour being devoted to Physical Training for the Sportsmen etc.
23 Jan 1919 The Battn carried out the weekly route march under Coy arrangements. The Bde Boxing Tournament was begun. We had a number of entries in each event but one of two of the best men had been ill recently & our best man was still in hospital. A certain amount of feeling was shown by a number of the Bde against the Referee & the B.G.C who was present arose & informed the people concerned that the Referee was the middleweight Champion of the British Army & as such was quite capable of judging without the assistance of the spectators. After this their [sic] was very little comment & our Battn who were present in large number showed themselves to be good sportsmen as they had never made any remark about the judging. The Battn finished the day by having the majority of entries for the finals.
24 Jan 1919 The Battn was on Bde Duty & performed Divisional Duties also. The finals of the Boxing Tournament were held at 1300. These went off excellently & great enthusiasm was shown. Unfortunately one or two of our men did not show up very well & we were just beaten on the total points. Bde theatre was opened & proved excellent attraction
25 Jan 1919 Classes were held as usual & one hour devoted tp physical Training. the Battn Hockey team played their 1st match in the Divisional Hockey Tournament against the 270 Bde R.F.A. The match was a very fast one & ended in a win for the Battn by 2 goals to nil. Battn Football Team played a friendly game against the 3rd/1st Fld. Amb. E.A. & won by 6 goals to nil [Comment; Private 47286 Henry Charles DOWE of Ipswich died of Pneumonia at 21 General Hospital, Cairo and Private 200854 J. HARRIS died of Bronchial Pneumonia at 27 general Hospital in Cairo]
26 Jan 1919 Bde Church Pde was held in the Bde Theatre & was enjoyed more by the Battn being out of the Sun
27 Jan 1919 Usual Classes were held. One hour being devoted to Coy Drill. Battn Hockey Team played the 1/4th Norfolk Regt in a friendly game & after a hard exciting game lost by one goal to nil. A detachment of 100 proceeded to TURA to take up duties at the Prisoners of War Camp. the det left by rail arrivinh there at 1130.
28 Jan 1919 Classes were held as usual & Physical training carried out. The C.O. talked to all ranks on the matter of Sports & Sportsmanship impressing on everybody the necessity for fair play & good sportsmanship in all games & sports whether now or when they were demobilised.
29 Jan 1919 Classes were held as usual. A Coy drill carried out. Bde CRoss Country Run took place at 1400. The Battn was well represented in the event & ran exceedingly well. Every entry completed the course & achieved a notable win for the Battn having 22 home in the first 40. Total points gained being 475 the next unit obtaining only 183. The course was about 6 1/8 miles - over desert & a part cultivated land. The first man completed the course in 34 1/2 min which was excellent time as soft sand was encountered in places.
30 Jan 1919 Classes were carried out as usual & one hour devoted to Physical Training. Battn Football Team played a match in the Bde Football League against the 1/10 London Regt after an excellent game the result was a draw 2 goals being scored by each team although the Battn had bad luck in not scoring in the latter half of the game. Orders were received for the Battn less 3 coys to proceed by march route to MEADI on the morning of the 31st. The C.O. held a Coy Comdr's Conference & arranged details for the move
31 Jan 1919 - Meadi The camp was struck & baggage loaded & battn paraded ready to move at 0830. A two hours halt was made en route to enable a hot dinner to be served out to the men which had been cooked on the road by the Travelling Kitchens. The Battn arrived at Meadi after a dusty march of 16 1/2 miles at 1500 & the move reported complete by 1530. Very little sickness has been occurring in the Battn during the past month & the Sports have undoubtedly done a great deal in keeping the men fit & free from sickness. About 50 men have been demobilized under various groups & categorys [sic] for demobilization
War Diary for February 1919
1 Feb 1919 - Meadi Reorganization of Detachments at MEADI & Tura was carried out. Commanders of Detachments still made responsible for their various duties & to carry on without reference to Hd, Qrs. Owing to the reorganization of detachments it was not possible to continue Educational Classes on the same lines as before & were therefore stopped to allow new scheme to be drafted out.
2 Feb 1919 Church Parade was held for the MEADI & TURA detachments & Hd Qtrs. The service was conducted by the Garrison Chaplain in a hut in the camp area at 0900. The Battn Football Team went to HELMIEH to play the 1/5th Suffolk Regt & after an exciting game in which the Battn had undoubtedly the best side the result of the game being 5-2 in this units favour
3 Feb 1919 The Battn Hockey Team played against the 1/11 London Regt at Helmieh today & were easily winners by 5 goals to one. The Tug of War Team took part in the Preliminary Pulls at the Divisional Sports Ground HELMIEH pulling against the R.A. & beating them.
4 Feb 1919 The Divisional Sports meeting was held at HELMIEH today & all men who wished to attend were granted all day leave. The Sports were well attended & this unit won the Divnl 3 mile race easily. the Tug of War team pulled against the 4th Essex Regt & lost to them after a stiff pull. The 880 race was represented by the Battn but the competitor was not placed. The Divisional Band played during the afternoon & the day being fine made a very enjoyable day [Comment; 2/Lt E.W.E. POOLE of the Norfolk Regiment arrived]
5 Feb 1919 All R.A.S.C. men who were formerly attached were sent back to their Corps to-day this unit sending 27 O.R's. The Battn football team played the 1/11th London Regt at Helmieh & a after a hard game the London Regiment won by 2-0.
6 Feb 1919 New instructions were received today which considerably altered the Demobilization Scheme first brought out & the C.O. decided to give a lecture to all ranks and explain to them the New Scheme and to tell them about the Army of Occupation
7 Feb 1919 The C.O. went to Helouan in the afternoon to talk to the Detachment there about the above. C.O. talked to all ranks not on Duty at MEADI at 0900 & at Tura at 0945. The men were very interested in the C.O's talk & appeared quite satisfied with the new scheme. Educational Classes having been re-organised started again to-day and all men not on duty might attend if they wished. Classes were held for Reading, Writing, Arithmetic, French & Shorthand at 0900 & 1400. The afternoon classes being the same as the morning classes to enable those on guard & escort to attend. The B.G.C. inspected the camp at 1030 & appeared quite satisfied with the Battn arrangements. It was explained to him by the C.O. that the Camp equipment was a matter for the P.O.W. staff & that he had applied to them for forms & tables for men's messing. The B.G.C. after lunch went to inspect the Helouan Detachment & commented on the system of guard then in force.
8 Feb 1919 The Battn team played against the 1st/4th Essex Regt in the 54th Div. Football Competition & after a hard game in a high wind the Essex Regt won by one goal.
9 Feb 1919 The Battn Hockey team played against the 1/4th Northants Regt at 1015 & the game was well contested & looked like being a draw but just a few minutes before time the Battn managed to score one goal. The Football match between the Battn & the 1/4 Northants Regt was postponed & the Sergeants played a match against the Battn Team & after quite a good game the Team won by 2-1
10 Feb 1919 The Corps Commander paid a visit to the camp no formal parade being held. He commented on the excellent way the Bn Cookhouse was run & kept & also the mens huts & appeared satisfied with all the Battn had done. The Division Cross Country Run was held at Helmieh & the Battn were easy winners having twelve of the team of 15 home in the first 24 & the whole team was home in the first 48. Over 200 took part in the run & the second unit was the R.F.A. being 500 points behind the Battn. The Bde Concert Party visited the camp & gave an excellent concert in the hut provided by the MEADI Ladies. The hut was full & several of the English population of Meadi were present
11 Feb 1919 The Battn Hockey Team played against the 1/11th London Regt at Helmieh & after a game which was not so good as some previous matches resulted in a draw of 1-1.
12 Feb 1919 The Battn having received a good supply of hockey sticks new talent was able to be brought out & Coy Comdrs were told to encourage the men personally to take up the game
13 Feb 1919 The Series of Classes arranged on the 7th were cancelled as sufficient students had not come forward to make it worthwhile to detach the necessary instructors for the classes. It was however brought to the notice of all ranks by Coy Comdrs that if at any men would desire instruction in any subject a class would be arranged to take them.
14 Feb 1919 The Bn Hockey team played the 1/4 Northampton Regt at Helmieh & although the game was very even all the way through the Northants won by 3 goals to 1. The Bn Football Team played against the 1/4 Northampton Regt on TURA ground & the Battn won after a hard game by two goals to nil.
15 Feb 1919 The Divisional Boxing Competition took place at Heliopolis Lunar Park & some good boxing was witnessed. The Battn had 4 entries & won the Light Heavyweight Competition.
16 Feb 1919 The Battn attended Church Service at the Meadi Residents Recreation Hut the band playing the service
17 Feb 1919 Bedding & Beds were inspected by the C.O.Off today & a quantity condemned owing to being full of ants &c. Running was still carried out & the Battn Cross Country team keeping well in training made a good run in the morning. The Officers played the Sergeants at Hockey in the afternoon & after a fast game the Sergts won by 3 goals to nil. A Rugby Football Practice was organised & a fifteen was tried & with plenty of practice should turn out well
18 Feb 1918 The Hockey, Running & Rugby teams practised in the morning & the Football team played a match against the Cairo Sporting Club on the Boulac Ground. The Bn undoubtedly had the best of the game but owing to a misapprehension on the part of the Referee a penalty was given & the battn lost by 2 goals to one. The Finals & Semi Finals of the Divisional Boxing Competition were held at Lunar Park Heliopolis in the evening. The Battn had one entry in the Light Heavyweight Contest but did not succeed in winning it. The competition was well attended & some quite good boxing witnessed.
19 Feb 1919 The 54th Divisional Race meeting was held at Heliopolis Race Course & a big field attended. The Battn entered two mules but owing to the fact that they started the race in two ranks the Battn entries failed to get clear
20 Feb 1919 The Bn Hockey team played against 162 Bde Hd. Qtrs at Helmieh today & owing to the fact that the H.Q. team had not had much practice the game was a lively one & not much skill shown. There was no scoring by either side although the play was mostly on our side.
21 Feb 1919 The Running, Hockey & Rugby teams practised as usual & the Rugby team is to play its first match on the 24th against the M.G.C. The warning order that the Battn will be relieved shortly by the 54th Sikhs was received.
22 Feb 1919 The Orders for the return of the Bn to Helmieh were received. The Meadi & Tura Detachments to go by train to Abassieh Siding. The Helouan Detachment not to be relieved until further Orders.
23 Feb 1919 The Bn Football team played the 1/ [?] Suffolks & a good game was witnessed. the Bn won by 3 goals to nil
24 Feb 1919 - Helmieh The Bn attended Church Service at the Meadi Residents Recreation Hut & the band although it had lost many of its members during the past week through demobilization played quite well. the advance party of the 54 Sikhs arrived in the afternoon & preparations were made to move in the morning. During the week a considerable number of men have been sent to Kantara for Demobilization & several of the reinlisted [sic] men were sent during the latter part of the week Battn started the day by carting baggage Lewis Guns &c to the Station in preparation for the Move. The 1/54th Sikhs relieved the detachments at Meadi & Tura at 1630 & the Battn entrained at 1700. the Helouan detachment was not relieved by the 1/54th Sikhs but is to remain until relieved by white troops. 1900 The Battn arrived at Abassieh Military Siding at 1900, disentrained & marched to Helmieh Camp, arriving there at 2000 the baggage bring brought by lorry from the Siding. the Battn Rugby team played against the M.G.C. Bn. 54th Div at Gezira in the afternoon and after a very hard game drew 3 points each. the opposing side was stronger & knew more about the game it being the Battn's first match.
25 Feb 1919 The morning was devoted to squaring the camp, pitching tents &c & in the afternoon the Battn played a football match against the Spotters [?] on the E.S.R. ground & a good game was witnessed & ended in a draw 2 goals to nil [sic]
26 Feb 1919 The Running Team practised over a six mile course & has a good run. The Education Scheme was reorganised & will start on Friday.
27 Feb 1919 The Battn was on Divnl & Bde duties today. The Battn Rugby team played their second match against the M.G.C. Bn 54th Div at Gezira & lost by 6 points to nil. Owing to 2 of the Bn Team being badly kicked early in the game the M.G.C. had considerable advantage although the Battn played a hard game.
28 Feb 1919 The Educational Classes were started again with good attendance. Although they were depleted by several men going for Demobilization on the 1st. The E.E.F. sports took place at Gezira & a large attendance witnessed a good show of British & Indian sports. The Battn won the Cross Country run easily & had all their men inin [sic] 26 2/5 res [?]. The course was 5 mile & over cultivation. Lady Allenby distributed the prizes & congratulated the Bn team on their win. The C in C & H.H. the Sultan attended the meeting the large draft for demobilization were warned to parade to leave for Kantara on the morning f the 1st. During the month the principal interest has been sports & the men have taken it up well & trained hard. The Demobilization has been progressing the Battn has to date sent over 250 away
War Diary for March 1919
1 Mar 1919 - Helmieh 49 men were sent off to KANTARA for demobilisation. Capt Hare [James Francis HARE] returned from hospital and resumed duty as Adjutant [Comment; 2/Lt Hugh Egerton WOODHOUSE, who was wounded on Gallipoli Sept. 1915, died of Pneumonia at home]
2 Mar 1919 Church Parade in Brigade Theatre at 0900. Weather for the last two days very hot, with temperature considerably above the average for the time of year
3 Mar 1919 Battn cross country team ran in the morning in the trial for the selection of a team to represent the EEF in the Imperial Sports. Capt R.G. FERGUSON and Pte MEDCALF secured places in the team, which otherwise consisted largely of Indians. Battn heavy & light weight teams pulled the 4th Northants. The heavyweights won but the lightweights were beaten. There was an orchestral & vocal concert in the Bde Theatre at 2000 by the Divisional Orchestra & some civilian singers
4 Mar 1919 The lightweight tug of war team pulled the 6th Essex who were disqualified for being over weight. Out two teams thus won the Bde Competition and commenced training for the EEF championship at Alexandria
5 Mar 1919 Routine and Educational Classes as usual CO presented medals to winners of Divisional Cross Country Race at Orderly Room.
6 Mar 1919 Battn had use baths 0600 to1000. Meeting of Bedfordshire officers 1000 in Regimental Associations etc. A lecture on Germany's War Aims was given at 1100. Battn football team beat the 8th Hants 3-1 in the Welfare Cup
7 Mar 1919 Routine & Educational Classes as usual. CO inspected men proceeding to UK early in the morning of the 8th. Men who had been 28 days in hospital 28 Demobilisers & pivotal men 5
8 Mar 1919 BGC 162 Bde inspected the Regimental accounts. Party for demobilisation paraded with drums 0445 and marched to station
9 Mar 1919 Church parade in Bde Theatre at 1000 for ourselves & 11th London. The battn was on Bde and Divl duty
10 Mar 1919 Piquet of 4 officers and 100 OR did not return from CAIRO in the morning owing to native disturbances. 3 officers and 75 OR returned this evening, the remainder being detained at NASRIEH hospital. Orders received in the evening for 200 men with a proportion of officers to stand by. All leave and passes to CAIRO cancelled
11 Mar 1919 Remaining officer & 25 OR of piquet returned about 1900. Orders received for 300 men to be in readiness to proceed with 400 men of 11th London Regt under Lt Col A.H.WINDSOR, CMG to relieve 1/10th London Regt who were on duty at BAB-EL-HADID barracks. Two provisional Coys formed under Capt R.G.FERGUSON & Capt J.C.DOWNIE, MC and orders issued
12 Mar 1919 All proceeded to Cairo on duty in consequence of the disturbances. The party to be retained as cadre was selected
13 Mar 1919 Information re. the probable reorganisation of the Battalion published in orders. The CO decided to form two companies one consisting of men for early demobilization & the other of Army of Occupation men and the C.O. visited detachment at Bab-el-Hadid
14 Mar 1919 Routine as usual & Bathing. Town piquet's returned from Cairo
15 Mar 1919 Reorganization of the Battalion into two companies. E.E.F. boxing finals
16 Mar 1919 200 O. Ranks ordered to proceed to KHANKA at 0600 on account of the disturbances
17 Mar 1919 A Flying Column was formed & held in readiness to move
18 Mar 1919 The Flying Column was standing by all day
19 Mar 1919 Q Coy (100 OR) flying column ordered to proceed to Bab-el-Hadid by 1300
20 Mar 1919 One coy flying column standing by
21 Mar 1919 One coy flying column standing by
22 Mar 1919 The C.O. & Adjutant left for WASTA & Col DANIELL took command of the Flying Column
23 Mar 1919 Orders received for P Coy Flying Column to proceed to Kasr-el-Nil Barracks by 0800 tomorrow
26 Mar 1919 Orders received to the effect that certain posts at KHANNA will be relieved by 1/5th Norfolk Regt [Comment; Battalion Chaplain Rev. J. Walsh arrived]
31 Mar 1919 Orders received for Battalion Headquarters to prepare to move to HELOUAN
War Diary for April 1919
1 Apr 1919 - Helouan Battalion HQ moved to Helouan & established there by 1300. A patrol of 1 officer and 16 OR's marched round town to impress the inhabitants
3 Apr 1919 Helmets issued
5 Apr 1919 Disturbances expected from information received. However everywhere normal. Drill clothing issued
6 Apr 1919 Under orders received from 31st Inf Bde two barrels of gunpowder were seized & taken into safe custody
7 Apr 1919 Demonstrations in Helouan. No damage was done & the mob dispersed quietly after the procession
8 Apr 1919 All ranks confined to camp. Demonstrations continued
9 Apr 1919 A big demonstration took place at Helouan commencing at 1300. As there was some doubt as to the intentions of the agitators, all available men stood to from 1400 until about 1730 when the demonstration dispersed. The procession was only permitted on condition that no damage was done & that the [unreadable] was allowed to lead it. Many participants came by train from all parts & returned by the 1700 train
10 Apr 1919 All ranks confined to camp
11 Apr 1919 Parts of Cairo were placed in bounds, the order confining troops to camp was cancelled
13 Apr 1919 The guard of the 1/6 Essex Regiment at TURA station was relieved by a guard from this unit. All was normal at Helouan & no demonstration took place
14-15 Apr 1919 Everything normal. No further demonstrations took place
17 Apr 1919 Major General WATSON visited Helouan & afterwards proceeded to the Aerodrome. Situation normal
18 Apr 1919 Situation normal
19 Apr 1919 Garrison at EL HAYAT reduced & guard put on at the Observatory
20 Apr 1919 Orders received that all troops were to be confined to camp in consequence of an expected rising. Situation normal
21-24 Apr 1919 Situation normal. No further disturbances
25-26 Apr 1919 Situation Normal
27 Apr 1919 Battn attended Church Parade at the English Church at 0900
28 Apr 1919 Nothing to report. Situation normal
29 Apr 1919 Warning Order received to the effect that the Battn would shortly move to Abbrassia
30 Apr 1919 All trains running at their usual time table owing to strikers resuming duties
War Diary for May 1919
1 May 1919 - Helouan A whist drive followed by a dance was arranged by a Committee of Officers, N.C.O.s & Men & held at the YMCA Casino. It was quite a success & much appreciated by the men. English Residents were invited & an enjoyable evening was spent
2 May 1919 A Tennis Tournament was arranged for all ranks & the 1st round commenced today & some quite good games were witnessed
3 May 1919 Semi Finals of the Tennis Tournament took place in the morning & a cricket match between
4 May 1919 The Battn paraded at 0840 for Church Parade & marched with Drums to St Pauls Church for Divine Service
5 May 1919 Finals of the Tennis Tournament played off
6 May 1919 Notification that R.A. would relieve the Battn until the North. Fus. were relieved at Abassieh
7 May 1919 Detachments & Guards arrived by R.A. Baggage loaded in afternoon
8 May 1919 Battn paraded 0640 marched to Station with drums & entrained for Abassieh arriving there 0845. Marched to No 2 P.O.W. Hospital & relieved the 7th Garr Bn Northumberland Fusiliers of their duties there
9 May 1919 Arranging camp erecting tents etc.
10 May 1919 Party of Army of Occupation left for leave to UK
11-12 May 1919 Nothing to report
13 May 1919 Demobilization Draft proceeded to Kantara at 1100 today. Commandant of P.O.W. Camps inspected the Camp & agreed to the C.O. suggestions of reducing guards that were unnecessary
14-17 May 1919 Nothing to Report
18 May 1919 Detachment that had been at Kasr el Nil Cairo during the recent disturbances returned to the Battn today
19 May 1919 A Demobilization Draft proceeded to Kantara today & were played out of the camp by the Drums
20 May 1919 The Battn was notified that Khanka Det would be withdrawn
21 May 1919 Khanka Detachment joined the battn today. Motor Lorries conveyed baggage & troops to Abbassieh
22 May 1919 Nothing to Report
23 May 1919 Army of Occupation and 1914 men were relieved at Sharabia by 1415 as the detachment would not be relieved at present
24 May 1919 Orders received for the transfer of A. of O. personnel to 1/5 Suffolk Regt.
25 May 1919 Demobilization Draft proceeded to Kantara today strength 16 ORs. & men played out by the Drums from the Camp.
26 May 1919 Army of Occupation personnel left the Battn to join the 1/5 Suffolks who were in barracks at Abbassieh. They were played to their new camp by the Drums & on arriving there found good quarters awaiting them
27 May 1919 Orders received for a Demobilization Draft to proceed when ready of 2 offcs & 52 ORs
28-29 May 1919 Nothing to report
30 May 1919 Notification recd that Bde H.Q 162nd would leave Helmut for Tauta on 31st
31 May 1919 Demobilization Draft paraded for inspection by the C.O. at 0830 & proceeded afterwards to Kantara
War Diary for June 1919
1-2 Jun 1919 - Abbassieh Nothing to report
3 Jun 1919 The Battn paraded at 1155 for the Salute & March Past in honour of the Anniversary of the King's Birthday. The March Past & Salute were well carried out &three hearty cheers were given for His Majesty the remainder of the day was given as a holiday
4 Jun 1919 Information was received today that the Battn would come under the 54th Divisional Detail for Administration & Demobilization & under 163 Inf Bde for Tactical purposes
5 Jun 1919 Endeavour was made to get the Detachment at Sharabia to be relieved & returned to the Batt owing to the shortage of men for the Garrison of the P of W Hospital Gd Det
6 Jun 1919 Orders were received for a Demobilization Draft of 5 Offrs & 64 ORs to proceed to Homeward Kantara when train arrangements had been made
7 Jun 1919 An extra allotment of one OR was granted to the Bn for Demob.
8 Jun 1919 Another allotment was received for 3 ORs to proceed with draft already ordered
9 Jun 1919 Orders were received for Demob. Draft already ordered to proceed to Kantara on Wednesday 11th June
10 Jun 1919 Demob. Draft was inspected by the C.O at 1545 & were complete with everything
11 Jun 1919 Draft for Demobilization paraded at 0630 & proceeded to Helouan Siding for entraining
12 Jun 1919 The Guard on the P of W Hospital were still further reduced owing to the closing down of another compound
13 Jun 1919 Orders received that Officers should carry revolvers when in native quarter or proceeding by rail anywhere.
14 Jun 1919 Nothing to report
15 Jun 1919 Orders were received for a Demobilization Draft of 6 officers & 59 ORs to be prepared to go to Kantara when train arrangements were made
16 Jun 1919 Orders received to the effect that the Battn would be relieved by Army of Occupation personnel [sic] & proceed to Polygon Camp to await demobilization [Comment; Private 201371 Alan Frank Fowler STRINGER of Godmanchester died from Pneumonia at 21 general hospital in Alexandria, aged 29]
17 Jun 1919 Orders received that 54 Divnl Details would move to Polygon Camp on the 19th [Comment; Private 35913 S FURZZE died aged 21 of Paratyphoid A and B and Myelitis at 26 Stationary Hospital in Ismalia, Egypt]
18 Jun 1919 All the Battn Lewis Guns were handed in to A.D.D. Rhoda Island today
19 Jun 1919 Demobilization draft paraded at 0645 for inspection by C.O. & moved off immediately afterwards to entrain at Helmieh Siding for Kantara
20 Jun 1919 Orders recd from 54 Div Det that the Battn would not move to Polygon Camp but that the cadre would proceed to Alexandria & the remainder of the Battn would be attached to the 1/5 Suffolk Regt for Demobilization
21 Jun 1919 Orders recd for G.R.Os C.R.Os &c. to be sent to 54th Divnl Details & Unit Correspondence to de dealt with & this was done by a Board of Officers
22 Jun 1919 Transfer to the 1/5 Suffolks was arranged to take place on the 23rd. The Cadre to remain at their present camp to await orders
23 Jun 1919 The Battn less cadre moved to 1/5 Suffolks & were attached to them from this date
1919 War Diary Appendices
1/5 BEDFORDSHIRE REGIMENT ORDER No.3. 11 March 1919
(1) A party of 700 men of 162nd. Infantry Brigade under the command of Major Hooper M.C. 1/11th London Regiment will relieve the 1/10th. London Regiment in CAIRO tomorrow.
(2) 1/5th. Bedfordshire Regiment will provide two provisional Companies of 4 officers and 150 men each, to be known as "C" and "D" Coys respectively under the command of Capt. R.G. Ferguson & Capt. J.C. Downie M.C.
(3) Dress will be "Marching Order" with 50 rounds S.A.A. and 1 blanket, 24 hours rations per man will be carried.
(4) The party will be ready to move C Coy at 0700 and D Coy at 0900, and will load into Motor Lorries at Divisional H.Q. at that hour.
(5) 15 Latrine Buckets will be taken.
(6) Capt. Ferguson will report to Major Hooper outside Divisional H.Q. at 0700.
(7) On arrival in Cairo all officers will report to A.P.M. at Bab-el-Hadid.
(8) Q.M. & T.O. will arrange for 2 Cookers with Cooks to proceed to Bab-el-Hadid Barracks during the morning for use of the party as long as it is on this duty. Cooks and Drivers will be armed as in para (3)
AMENDMENT TO 1/5th BEDFORDSHIRE REGIMENT ORDER No.3 11 March 19.
1. "C" and "D" Provisional Coys will be concentrated on the ground lately occupied by 1/4th Northamptonshire Regt. by 0650. The Lorries will be dispatched as quickly as possible in batches of 5.
2. Lieut. Col. A.M. Windsor. C.M.G. 1/11th London Rgt will be in command of the Brigade Party.
3. Breakfasts for "C" and "D" Coys will be at 0600
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