Early in the New Year, news came to Mr. Zachariah Tordoff Senior, at his home in Hanley, Stoke on Trent, that his son Zachariah Junior, had died on active service in Salonika whilst serving with the 1st Battalion. He had fallen however not in battle against the enemy, but of disease in a Field Hospital from the dreaded disease that was Malaria.
Born in Wood Street, Dudley in 1896 to immigrant parents of northern European origin, he was like many of his generation, dissatisfied with his job at the outbreak of war. Leaving the Shelton Iron Works where he was then employed, he first enlisted into the local yeomanry regiment, before finding himself in June 1915, joining 7th Suffolk, before they were drafted overseas to service on the Western Front.
By the end of the Loos campaign, Zachariah was part of a draft of men joining the 1st Battalion, who after their less than satisfactory performance at the Hohenzollern Redoubt, were being posted to Egypt, and then to Salonika.
Zachariah died of malignant malaria in No. 144 Field Hospital. Though he seemed in the best of health just a few days before - when he had boxed on behalf of his Section, the malaria that killed him, was most probably caused by a mosquito bite inflicted some months before whilst campaigning in the Struma Valley, the disease had lay dormant until it flared up to quickly end his life on 22nd December 1916.
Tordoff was one of hundreds who were being lost on a monthly basis to the diseases of a dreaded Grecian climate. Though the Army in Macedonia had been quick to implement strict measures to try to combat the spread of malaria; measures that included dedicated clothing and protection for the skin during both the day and night, not even the twice daily issue of quinine, could halt the spread of the accursed disease. Many more would suffer as the 1st Battalion soldiered on for a second year of battle under the Mediterranean sun.
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.