On 4th July 1915, the 7th Battalion, newly arrived on the continent, went into trenches in the Plugstreet section of the line south of Ypres - considered at that particular time, a 'quiet sector.'
Unlike their counterparts in the 4th Battalion who arrived the previous November, this was the start of an acclimatisation process to get them used to service in front line trenches and to work in close co-operation with their counterparts on the flanks of their positions. It also served to get the men used to the routines of trench life and the ever-unpredicable enemy opposite them.
The Army had quickly learnt in the early days of 1915, that throwing troops into battle without acclimatisation, was sheer folly. Regardless of previous service, reputation or past honours, every newly arrived unit now went through a period of staggered service in a quiet sector of the front line, designed to gradually ease them into readiness for action.
Upon arrival here, the CO and the Adjutant made a thorough appraisal of the positions they had taken over command of. They noted that the trenches liked loop holes and machine-gun emplacements. The scouting officer made a tour of the positions with a view to the placement of snipers. No real cover presented itself apart from a few shell-pocked trees, with the scantest amount of foliage.
For the remainder of the month, the Battalion would be almost exclusively stationed in this section of the line whilst furnishing daily, drafts of men for working parties in the surrounding trenches.
Only when the powers that be considered them ready would they be used in action against the emery. It was the testing time for the first Service Battalion of the Regiment.
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.