Following mobilisation on 5th August 1914, the strength of the 2nd Battalion was recorded as being 998 all ranks. it composition was as follows: Officers: 27, Other Ranks: 563.
Reservists joining with nine years with the Colours, three on the reserve: 154, Reservists joining with eight years with the Colours, four on the reserve: 49, Reservists joining with seven years with the Colours, five on the reserve: 27, and finally Reservists joining with 3 years with the Colours and nine years on the reserve: 178. It was noted that of those being called back to the Colours, 172 were found to be unfit and were therefore discharged. Had they have been well enough, Battalion strength would have been 1170 men.
In the early days of war, the primary concern of the the Commanding Officer, Lieutenant-Colonel C.A.H. Brett, DSO, was to get these reservists with a variety of former service, into a functioning battalion. The following days were spent in intensive training. The War Diary noted that the “reservists settled down well, despite many having left the Colours a long time” Some men had left the army in 1905 and needed 'knocking back into shape' but by the 13th August, just 8 days after mobilisation the Battalion was equipped and ready to go to war.
Issued with iron rations; designed only to last a few days, 120 rounds of ammunition, and carrying greatcoats and not blankets, on the afternoon of the 13th, part of Battalion Headquarters and half the Battalion left the railway siding at the Curragh Camp for North Wall Dublin and embarkation on the S.S. Lanfranc for Le Havre.
The first stage of deployment to France had begun.
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.