Robert William Friend 6458484 1/7 Royal Fusilers

1 Battalion 7th Foot (City of London Regiment) Royal Fusiliers
Army Record of Service for 25 Yrs 289 days before colours

War Diaries Sep - Dec 1939 (War Starts)



Location - Event




Beni Yusuf (now Beni Sweif/Suef) Camp


As above 1st hot bath since India. Lots of sickness from flies puts Bob in hospital from 24/11 to 11/12


As above
Drunkenness wide spread over xmas! Not enough active training going on. Troops are restless!


"Always a Fusilier"
  • 4th Indian Infantry Div

    • 5th Indian Infantry Brigade

      • 1st Battalion Royal Fusiliers

      • 3rd Bn 1st Punjab Regiment

      • 4th Bn(Outram's) 6th Rajputana Rifles

The Division mobilises and moves by train to Bombay boarding SS Karania##1 (British India line ship) for Suez departing 20th Sep 1939. In Egypt they travel to Beni Yusuf Camp - a dry, hot fly ridden area 15 miles from Cairo, arriving 4th Oct 1939 and pitch camp. At war strength Bn has 17 Officers & 700 Other Ranks, 12x 15 cwt Canadian CMP Trucks, 6x Norton motorcycles and armed with 20 VBs, 6 UB mountings & 6 A/TK rifles. Bob could be one of the 'Boys with 3 months man service'!

Beni Yusuf ( now called Beni Sweif in Beni Suef Governorate) has large airfield which 1 RF was responsible for defending. Settling in and adjusting to war footing. Lots of red tape to overcome and adapting to Egyptian conditions.

SEP - Poland invaded and these countries immediately declare being neutral Norway, Finland, Sweden and Switzerland! All these countries made lots of money during WW2. A U boat sinks SS Atenia killing 117 passengers but a German admission of responsibility did not come until 1946.BEF starts moving to Europe.
OCT Manhattan Project starts after Einstein-Szilard letter.
For Allies this is time of the phoney war Sep '39 - May '40.




  Pas: 66 1st, 180 2nd, 2329 deck. 1942 bombed and sunk off Algeria by German aircraft

# See
Middle East Command established June 1939.
The whole area was quite until Italy's declaration of war June 1940 when, in spite of his inferiority in troop numbers, Gen. Wavell was able to not only defend against the Italian attacks but by May 1941, he was able to defeat the Italians and occupy their east African colonies of Eritrea, Ethiopia and Italian Somaliland.