In early February a young fresh-faced 2/Lieutenant arrived at the Reserve Battalion of 4th Suffolk at Halton in Buckinghamshire. His name was Charles Cobden Stormont-Gibbs.
Gibbs had only recently left the Sixth Form of Radley College to join the Battalion. He had previously attained the rank of Cadet Sergeant in the Schools Cadet Corps. Gibbs, along with fellow school leaver, Kingsley Christopher Shuttleworth (who had previously left Forest School in London) were commissioned at the same time.
Gibbs was a typical commissioned subaltern of the new armies era. A keen and enthusiastic young man who had received a good education. He would show himself to be a most able and efficient platoon commander, winning the Military Cross later in the war and becoming the Battalion Adjutant. Gibbs however, left one of the few surviving accounts of the Battalion's actions from its battle at High Wood on the Somme in August 1916, to the Armistice in November 1918.
A quiet and unassuming man who later became a preparatory school teacher, one of his former pupils published his diaries after his death, revealing an amazing insight into the Battalion in the second half of the war. The Rt. Hon Enoch Powell, who wrote the forward to the diary when it was published in 1986 proclaimed that Gibbs account was an "unvarnished narrative of irrestistible sincerity." We shall hear excepts of it in the months to follow.
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.