Boxing Day 1915, found the 9th battalion being sent back into the front line in the village of St. Jean. They had spent a quiet Christmas Day resting, following their ordeal in the phosgene attack the week before. That day also, a draft of 110 other ranks arrived from base, bringing the Battalion back up to strength.
Back in England however, the penultimate Service Battalion to be formed, were making ready for war. The 11th Battalion (The Cambs Suffolks) were spending their Christmas Day at Sutton Verny near Warminster. The CO; Colonel Somerset, who had taken command a month after they were formed at Cambridge and had seen them through their training up in Yorkshire in the spring, and later on Salisbury Plain, in the summer of 1915. The men were in fine spirits.
Late in the autumn, they were informed they were to join the 34th Division under the Command of Major-General Ingouville-Williams, or "Inky Bill" as the men knew him. Ingouville-Williams started his career in the Buffs (3rd of Foot), serving in the Nile Expeditions and later at Khartoum. he served with distinction in the Boer War, being present at the relief of Ladysmith. He was a Brigadier-General at the outbreak of war.
On the 13th December, the Division was mobilised for war, receiving instructions to proceed overseas for service in Egypt. It looked as if they would soon be joining their counterparts in the 5th (T.F.) Battalion to take the fight to the Turk in the desert, but soon there was to be a slight change of plan...
Welcome to our online 'blog' charting the history of the many Battalions of the Suffolk Regiment and the part they played in the Great War.
Starting back in March 2014, we have recorded the events of 100 years ago on the centenary of their happening.
Keep checking back to see how the Great War is progressing for the men of the Suffolk Regiment.