After their relief from the front line trenches and crater in front of the Bluff, Lieutenant-Colonel Harry D'Arch Smith, commanding officer of 2nd Suffolk, wrote home of his time over the last few days.
His letters, uncensored, gave a truthful account of the action and the time afterwards as they tried to consolidate their positions in the face of dreadful weather.
"Zero hour was 4.30 and no preliminary bombardment warned the enemy; the advance moved silently forward and took them unaware. At 4.35 the Boche rockets went up, a triple barrage fell across our line of attack; but he was too late; his first line trenches were in our hands before his gunners received the SOS. Our men advanced as the sticky ground would allow, and the objective was reached without much resistance except for a stubborn defence on the left which held up our men and caused many casualties before they reached their aim. On the right the line of attack had to go round the lip of an enormous crater at the eastern end of the Bluff. As the day broke large streams of fleeing Huns could be seem inside our lines anxious to give themselves up, and striving to get under cover from the terrible rifle fire and bombardment from their guns, which had now reached such a point of frenzy that you could not hear a word shouted close to your ear. The brilliant success of the attack was followed by the fearful work of consolidating, which in this case, meant that you crouched behind a half blown away parapet and endeavoured to make it higher by filling sandbags with mud from under your own feet, and piling these on top, and incidentally making a pond for your own feet to stand in. When finally the Battalion was relived, it took a whole long night, owing to the havoc of the ground."
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.