24th January 1915 was a momentous day for the 1st Battalion in the front line at Vierstraat, southwest of Ypres.
The War Diary noted that “Very Pistol with long barrel issued to the firing line. First instalment of pumps for the trenches received.”
Until that point, movement in the front line trenches in Flanders was both difficult and dangerous.
The bad weather that the newly created Service Battalions had experienced at home, was also being felt on the continent.
The first primitive trenches which were dug without revetments in Flanders, were prone to flooding due to the Flanders water table. The men could not dig more than a few feet without encountering water, so all positions had to be build up above ground rather than below it.
Hours spent up their knees in water had a detrimental effect on the men’s morale, not to mention their kit. Pumps, although hand operated, were at least the first step in getting the problem under control. Within weeks, specially constructed trenches of timber and steel would begin to reinforce the hasty built ad-hoc ones already in existence.
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.