The month of August ended dramatically for the 8th (Service) Battalion with the death of No. 14799, Drummer Patterson in the front line trenches opposite the village of Mametz.
On Monday 30th August, elements of the 'B' Company were involved in deepening a front line trench. The village was at that time, relatively undamaged, and the slates still remained on the roofs of the houses. A few shell holes stood testament that the war had not left this little village entirely alone.
The weather was particularly hot that day and many of the men working removed their jackets in the heat. Drummer Patterson took his off, folded it and placed it on the parados (back face of the trench), along with his water bottle. An enemy sniper, observing this from the German trenches in the village, noticed this and watched the spot for further movement. Late in the afternoon as Patterson reached up to get his water bottle, the sniper shot him through the head. He was the first casualty to be lost to enemy action the the 8th Battalion.
Ernest Arthur Patterson, was born in 1894 at Edith Cottage, 56 Commodore Road, Oulton Broad. The only son of George and Eliza Patterson, his loss must have been difficult to bear. He'd enlisted the previous year, aged 18 and went with the Battalion to France. He'd started an apprenticeship to the Blacksmith next door, but when War was declared, he like many others saw adventure in war. His service with the Regiment was sadly not a long one.
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.