Seven months after the 2nd Battalion's gallant action at Le Cateau in August 1914, news was still not particularly forthcoming about those who had fell in battle or who had been taken prisoner.
For the family of one Suffolk Soldier, No. 8083, L/Sgt. Donald Dawes, no news was received of him until March 1915.
Donald's family who lived at Ufford, near Woodbridge, had written in late 1914 to the International Red Cross in Geneva to enquire as to his whereabouts, but they were at first, unable to locate him. This appears to have been due to a simple clerical error in his name being mis-spelt as 'Daws' and not 'Dawes' but by confirming his service number, he was located alive and well as a Prisoner of War at Doeberitz Camp near Berlin.
Donald Dawes joined 2nd Suffolk on the 15th August 1910. By 1912, he was Lance Corporal and guarding rioting miners at Brynkinault Colliery at Chirk. By 1913, he was Corporal with the Battalion at Aldershot and in early 1914 at the Curragh in Ireland, he was promoted Sergeant. At the time of Le Cateau, he was Lance Sergeant.
Don would spend just over four years as a prisoner, interspersed with periods of official leave in Holland. He would leave the Army in 1919 after his repatriation, would sign on again immediately, serving with the 2nd Battalion in Ireland in the early 1920s.
Instrumental in establishing the Ipswich Branch of the 'Old Contemptibles' Association, he left a prolific archive of his captivity which we shall see more of in the future.
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.