Christmas Day 1916 brought a good meal and presents for the signallers of 8th Suffolk as Sydney Fuller remembered in his diary:
"We had a good dinner - geese, beef, ham, plum-pudding etc. Also some beer. Each man received a pipe, (a "Dunhill's" "Campaign") as a present from Major Bull. We enjoyed ourselves very well. In the evening, one of the Sig' (Crickmore) came back to the billet mad drunk - a touch of the "D.T.s" I think. He tore every stitch of his clothing off, and wanted to fight everyone in the billet at the same time. We waited for some time, thinking he would simmer down, but he got so bad that, for the sake of peace, half a dozen of us sat on him till he went to sleep"
For others in the various Battalions of the Regiment, their Christmas days were of mixed emotions. 2nd Suffolk also enjoyed a "complete holiday" as their War diary put it, whilst the 4th Battalion had spent the day in the front line trenches near Maurepas. They had tragically lost one man killed and 3 wounded in the muddy trenches that day. Such were the dreadful conditions, that their relief that evening by a Battalion of the King's Regiment, took some time to complete.
However, as they were withdrawing from the lines, a Russian prisoner who had escaped from German captivity some miles behind the lines, scrampled across the mud of no-mans-land, to get to the safety of the Allied lines. It brought a humerous and morale boosting end to a muddy and waterlogged Christmas Day; the third the men of the Battalion has spent in France since they arrived in November 1914.
What would the New Year bring?
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.