Sydney Fuller, 8th Battalion in his diary, Saturday 11th December 1915:
"My 21st birthday. Packed up early in the morning, and got to Buire about 8.00am. Handed in my bike into the stores and joined C Company"
For the 8th Battalion, the days of early December had been ones of instruction. The Battalion having been in the front line for some months, now took over the training of others in the basics of trench warfare. At Albert on the Somme in late November, the Battalion trained elements of the 16th and 19th Lancashire Fusiliers for periods of 24 hours in trench warfare.
For Sydney, the proceeding days had been ones of deep discomfort in the front line trenches. The onslaught of the winter weather had set-in making the trenches, in Sydney's words "sticky."
He had to draw a pair of gum boots from trench stores to enable him to move along the muddy trenches. His nights were spent in a rainy, leaky dugout, so it was a blessing when on 2nd December, the Battalion was withdrawn and Sydney was detailed as "Cyclist Orderly" running messages between the Battalion and Divisional Headquarters.
His first errand was not altogether that successful for after drawing a cycle from stores. he discovered it had two flat tyres and no pump. He had to walked to Div HQ pushing his bicycle, where after delivering his message, he met a fellow cyclist who lent him a pump to get back to the Battalion.
By the time of his 21st birthday, Sydney had happily returned his cycle to stores and was once more back to his normal role of a signaller.
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.