In early November, a postcard was received by No. 8699, Private Basil Dawes of B Company, 2nd Suffolk, who was a prisoner of war in Germany at Doeberitz Camp. It Ran;
"My Dear Boy, We thought of you on the 1st. Have you got your parcel? Have you heard from D yet? You did not say how you were. we are looking forward to a letter. Do you want any clothes? say when you write. With love from Dad."
"D" was Basil's brother Donald, also a prisoner of war in Germany, but in a camp at Dyrotz. Like Basil, Donald had been captured at Le Cateau whilst serving with 2nd Suffolk. He had already spent 14 months in captivity and was already consoling himself that it was turning out to be a long war. Don and Basil's father did his best to cheer them up, sending the boys photographs of their home village of Ufford and photos of themselves in pre-war days - with place names removed by the censor.
The image above was a common one which was reproduced for all of the subjects pictured here. Apart from the Russian soldier in the foreground, all these men were from the Suffolk Regiment and had been in captivity since Le Cateau.
Standing right, is Lance Corporal A. Mallard, a pre-war regular soldier who had served with the 1st Battalion in South Africa. Standing left is 6219, Private John Clarke; a contemporary of Mallard's who left the Suffolk Regiment around 1910. He had gained a successful job with the London and North Eastern Railway Company, but was called back to the Colours when war was declared in August 1914. Amazingly, both men heralded from the small village of Blisworth in Northamptonshire. Basil is standing 2nd left.
It was a tough life as a prisoner of war in the Kaisers Germany. Restricted rations, difficulty in obtaining food and primitive living conditions, are all seen here in the expressions of the men photographed. Some men like Clarke would sadly never survive the ordeal.
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.