On 15th February 1917, 8th Suffolk once again set forth to take their fight to the enemy. Capitalising on the great reputation they had acquired at Thiepval in September, they moved along the front line to the right, past Moquet Farm, and occupied new positions along 'Regina' and 'Hessian' trenches.
As the men settled down into their new positions, the Adjutant and the Brigade Major went forward to tape out the corridor of advance for the forthcoming attack. All that following day, the 16th, the icy ground continued to thaw, but it was slippery everywhere and the men, huddled in greatcoats, moved as little as possible, less one wrong move sent them into an icy, muddy lagoon from which they knew, there was no chance of rescue. Snow was still on the grounding places and it was very much winter.
That evening, the Adjutant and Lieutenant's Keen and Creagh, went out again to tape the passage for the second and third waves of the forthcoming attack. It was almost pitch black and with the new moon shining no light, work was able to continue virtually unmolested.
Whilst this was happening, the Battalion signallers arrived to wire in a "power buzzer" in 'Zollern' trench. It was an electrical device that could be operated by press button which sent a short screech signal to Brigade HQ signifying that assistance was required immediately. Depending on whether the line was cut, it saved the long, protracted and unpredictable use of runners relaying messages who could at any time, fall to enemy fire.
Shortly before 3.00 am, the rations and tea were brought up. It's distribution was somewhat delayed but the Company Commanders wished their men to have a hot drink before they went over. Thus A Company, who were to go over in the first wave, were delayed from proceeding for twenty five minutes.
After tea however, everybody was now fortified and ready to go...
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.