At the end of January and the beginning of February 1916, the 8th Battalion were engaged in front line duties to the west of the village of La Boiselle on the Somme.
Nightly in the dark winter days, small raiding parties pushed out from the Suffolk lines to gather intelligence and to assess the ground in front of them. Here ironically for the first time, the Suffolk trenches were on a slight incline with a 'pimple' on the crest being held by the Germans. If command of this could be gained, then a commanding view of the battlefield down the valley towards the villages of Ovilliers and Poziers could be attained.
Gradually the Suffolks had been pushing out towards this feature and late in January, a small patrol under the command of Lieutenant F.T. Keats pushed forward and finally took the position. The shell hole that formed the main position was fortified by a new layer of sandbags, and from the rear, fatigue parties dug with pick and shovel to link this sap to the British front line.
The position that was later strengthened by the efforts of the other Battalion's in the Brigade came to be known affectionately as "Keat's Redan" in honour of the young lieutenant that had originally taken it, and in late March when the latest issue of revised trench maps were issued, it became an officially named position. Until the end of the Somme campaign, the officers of the 8th Battalion still referred to the position as 'his' redan!
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.