On 1st April, the War Diary for the 9th Battalion noted that it had been officially announced that no. 3/10133, Sergeant Arthur Saunders had been awarded the Victoria Cross for his gallantry at Loos.
When this news was received, the Battalion were in rest camp at Calais, but Saunders, wounded in the action that had earned him his Victoria Cross, was in England in a nursing home at Harrogate in Yorkshire.
Still recuperating, one of his nurses included Marie, Grand Duchess of Russia, who had come to Harrogate in 1914 to take the waters. When war prevented her from returning home, she threw herself whole heartidly into caring for wounded soldiers in a nearby hospital that she had created. When one wounded soldier asked who she was, she replied "I am the Grand Duchess of Russia" "Blimey" exclaimed the soldier "I must be amongst the nutts!"
In the photograph above, Arthur, dressed in the hospital blue convalesants uniform, with khaki greatcoat, is pictured with the Duchess. His leg, still not properly healed from six months before, is stretched out before him.
That day too, the diary noted that Lieutenant Harvey Frost, who had recently left the Battalion to transfer to the Royal Flying Corps had been shot down. Frost like Saunders, would however, live to see out the war.
Frost's adversary in the aerial combat that ended his flying career, was the legendary German ace, Max Immelmann. When Immelmann learnt he had landed safely and without too serious an injury, he sent Frost a pipe, as a token of goodwill from a fellow 'knight' of the air. Chivalry in defeat still existed.
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.