The New Year brought no startlingly new changes for the men of 2nd Suffolk.
The Battalion having had a quiet Christmas, were back in the front line in the Serre Sector in the New Year and the business of fighting continued as before.
The business of administration also had to continue. Every Battalion required an Adjutant, some were good, some were not. For 2nd Suffolk their Adjutant was the redoubtable Captain H.C.N. Trollope; a copious chronicler and adept book-keeper, but for wounds he received at Longueval on 20th July 1916, he was invaided home to recouperate. It was his second wound.
In the loss of Trollope, Captain V.C. Russell 'assumed' the position of Adjutant. Russell had joined the Battalion in 1915 and had until the 20th July, been a Platoon Commander in 'X' Company. Of no great administrative or military training, he suddenly found himself ordered by the CO; Lieutenant-Colonel G.C. Stubbs, to assume the role of Adjutant to the Battalion. Bemused, but nervous about his promotion, he later recalled; "When Anthony Trollope was wounded on the Somme in July 1916, I was pushed into the Adjutants job with very little military training. Jotham (the Orderly Sergeant) was running the Orderly Room and he took complete charge. He was really first class and taught me all I knew at the time about admin. matters. Though I say it myself, I became quite a good Adjutant and it was entirely due to Jotham"
For Captain Russell, his tenure as Adjutant was in the New Year, drawing to a close. News was received that Captain Trollope was returning to the Battalion in the next few days and would once more assume the position of Adjutant. For Russell, he was to revert once more to a Platoon Commander, but he was ever thankful of the "redoubtable Jotham" who had assisted him in Trollope's absence.
Ex-O.R.Q.M.S. (Orderly Room Quarter Master Sergeant) George Jotham enlisted in the Suffok Regiment in 1898 (No. 4926) and served with 1st Suffolk in the Boer War. He survived the Great War to retire in 1922. In 1971, Jotham became an in-pensioner at the Royal Hospital Chelsea. He died in October 1973 having kept in contact with Captain, Later Brigadier V.C. Russell all of his life. Following his death, Russell, himself over 80 years old, wrote of him; "I was very sorry to hear of the death of Jotham. We were always great friends and enjoyed a good talk when we met. His death was a sad one for me."
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.