Christmas came and went for the men of 5th Suffolk in the front lines around Jerusalem. The city had fallen but the Battalion were still manning the line.
On 31st December, Captain Hubert Wolton, one of three brothers who served in the Battalion, was writing a letter home form a former Germany Colony in the Middle East called 'Wilhelma':
"Well, Xmas has come and gone. As I foreshadowed in my last letter we spent it in the front line, but recently we have given Johnny Turk such a thrashing that he was only too pleased to leave us alone. So the only thing we have had to contend with was the weather which poured with rain most of the day making things very uncomfortable, especially as it had been wet for days previously so that transport of rations was difficult. However, we do not do so badly as one night suppose as we got a date duff made for the men. In this we were fortunate as we found some wheat nearby which we ground up by mill stones exactly similar to those uncle William collected. The day after Boxing day we were relived and are now billeted in real houses (just think of it!) forming a German Colony. We are appreciating the change. What a contrast in the way we treat inhabitants as compared with the German methods in villages in France. We are most careful of private property and in each house we have collected all the furniture for safety and we live in the remainder of the house. Eric and I brought a fat pig which we gave to our respective Companies. We brought them off the inhabitants very cheaply as they seemed to think that otherwise we should steal them! I suppose they judges us by themselves but they told us that the German General Von Kress had told them to remain in the village as the English would treat them well".
The Battalion looked forward to the New Year with much anticipation. Like their counterparts in Europe fighting on the Western Front, they hoped for a breakthrough, or perhaps for relief to another theatre of war, perhaps one that had less dust. For the Battalion, there would still be much to do, but though they did not know it, the end was in sight.
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.