Minden Day 1916, met many Battalions of the Suffolk Regiment serving across the Globe.
On the Western Front, the 2nd Battalion assembled at Mericourt for formal parade and march-past in front of Major-General Haldane, C.B., D.S.O., who then commanded the 3rd Infantry Division, and who took the salute. The War Diary noted that "Officers and Other Ranks who could obtain them, wore roses in their hats." The Regimental History some years later also noted that "Everyone bedecking himself as best he could with the roses of Picardy in honour of the regimental day."
In the afternoon, a sports day was held, harking back to the old pre-war days of foreign service. Though there were then, less than 30 men still serving who had seen pre-war service; the majority of the old Battalion having being captured at Le Cateau or lost in the battles of 1915, despite this, the old spirit was still there.
Later that afternoon, a detachment of men of the 4th Battalion ventured across from nearby Dernancourt to join in the festivities. The 4th Battalion had been granted a half day holiday and many men decided to march the 9 miles to Mericout to engage in the days festivities. A water polo match was played in the afternoon, which resulted in the 4th Battalion beating the 2nd Battalion.
In far away Salonika, the 1st Battalion were leaving the Struma Valley to move up into the hills. In the sweltering heat, the Battalion trudged along the Salonika-Serres road. There may have been roses worn in their service dress caps that day, plucked from the wayside hedges of a dusty Macedonian road, but whether or not there were, the spirit of the "Minden Boys" lived on.
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.