Welcome to the website of The Friends of The Suffolk Regiment.
It is now over sixty years since the last soldier was recruited into the ranks of The Suffolk Regiment. Following it's amalgamation in 1959, with the Royal Norfolk Regiment, the county regiment of Suffolk has disappeared from public view.
It's descendants; 1/1st East Anglian Regiment (Royal Norfolk and Suffolk) were themselves amalgamated shortly afterwards in 1964, into the first of the larger infantry regiments; The Royal Anglian Regiment, which survives to this day. It is here that the history and traditions of the 'Old Dozen' are still being upheld.
The history of The Suffolk Regiment is a proud one. Since 1685, men from the county of Suffolk have stood to serve their country. From Gibraltar to Jerusalem, from Seringapatam to Singapore, the Suffolk soldier has always shown that he is a loyal and steadfast defender. Slow to anger but quick to react. Impervious to pain and discomfort but with tremendous loyalty, these unique qualities have stood with him through marsh and jungle, through trench and track over the 274 years that his Regiment was in existence.
However, as the final generation of Suffolk soldiers gradually fades away, the need for an organisation to keep alive their memory and the memory of the Regiment they served in, is now very important. To ensure this end, and to see that the men who served with the 'Old XIIth' are not forgotten, the Friends of The Suffolk Regiment was founded.
For those of us who did not serve under The Colours of the old XIIth Foot and did not see action at Dunkirk or Normandy, or in Malaya or Cyprus, our role is the history of the Regiment is just as important as those who served in it. The memory of these men, and the deeds they performed can, and will, be remembered by a new generation of 'footsloggers'. As those who served at Minden were proud of the forefathers reputation at Dettingen, and those who fought at D-Day were proud of their fathers deeds on the Somme, we, the next generation of 'Minden Boys' are rightfully proud of all those who have gone before us. Family historians, militaria collectors and model makers all share a passion for knowledge of the past. A passion that we share too. By forming the Friends, we hope to channel that passion into a bright and vibrant organisation that will keep alive the memory of all those men of The Suffolk Regiment who have served before us in peace and war, for many years to come.
Membership to the Friends is open to all who wish to join us. Families and descendants of Suffolk Regiment soldiers, researchers, historians, collectors and schoolchildren are all welcome and former Suffolk Regiment soldiers can also join at a reduced membership rate. We hope that amongst the Friends we shall find enthusiastic volunteers who will help out with the running of the Regimental Museum and who could assist in the planning and preparation of annual Regimental events such as 'Minden Day'. The Friends also organise dedicated Suffolk Regiment battlefield tours and we actively encourage our members to carry research projects on many aspects of regimental history.
Membership to the Friends entitles you to receive our highly praised publications; The Castle & Key and the Gazette, along with other special regimental benefits. If this appeals to you then please explore our website further to find out how you can join us.
The Friends are unique. We are the only regimental organisation in Great Britain not run by either a regimental museum, an old comrades association or a descendant regiment.Please join the Friends and help keep the memory of Suffolk Soldiers and the spirit of The Suffolk Regiment alive, long into the future.
Main Picture: Officers on campaigning Afghanistan 1878-80. Above, Young National Serviceman Keith Flood captured in his battledress in rare colour at the back of the Swan Inn, Garboldisham, c. 1958.