As Sidney Day and his colleagues in 11th Suffolk were valiantly holding the line around Malakoff Farm, the weather turned.
Drizzle and then heavy rain, made the conditions in the newly taken front line abysmal. 'Malakoff Support Trench' was all but a series of shell holes and was described as being “held by post and the trench is almost obliterated”. The War Diary too stated that “Weather very wet, making work difficult. Conditions wretched.”
Over the next 66 hours much was achieved as consolidation began. Malakoff Support Trench had been deepened to a depth of six feet and had been fire stepped. A field of fire was established for 150 yards and ‘Triangle Trench’ to the south was defended for over 100 yards, back towards ‘Cologne Farm’. At the junction of ‘Malakoff’ and ‘Rifle Pit’ Trenches in the north, they had started immediately to wire around the parapets.
The wire in ‘Malakoff Support Trench’ was described as “thin” and in an attempt to bolster the defences in this sector, 11th Suffolk had already thrown out knife-rest obstacles.
What enemy remained in the southern end of ‘Triangle Trench’ continued to harass ‘D’ Company with two machineguns that they had close and despite repeated attempts by a battery of Trench Mortars attached to the Battalion, the guns continued to fire.
Sergeant Negus along with a Battalion Sniper went out to attack the machine gun, but owing to a group of the enemy being du in further down the trench, they were unable to get out of the trench. With skilful use of bombs, Negus accounted for four of the enemy, whilst the sniper, managed to put the machinegun out of action. Fresh supplies of bombs were sent up for him to continue is sterling work, even though by this stage of his fight, he was waist-high in the muddy water of the broken trench line.
Sergeant J.P Negas, had only been with the Battalion a matter of weeks but he had already been recommended for the Military Medal for his skilful use of bombs earlier that month. Though his actions on the 26/27th were worthy of a Bar to the award, he was not to be awarded this until later that year. A total of eight Military Medals were awarded to men of the Battalion for their actions at Malakoff Farm.
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.