After one whole year of war, The Suffolk Regiment had changed almost beyond recognition.
From the two Regular, three Territorial, and one Battalion of Special Reserve that had existed when war was declared, they had been supplemented by four new Service Battalions, a Reserve Battalion and a further four Battalions of second and third line Territorials.
The two Regular Battalions that had existed in 1914, had ceased to exist. They had been reduced to a mere handful of survivors each following great battles in August 1914 at Le Cateau, and May 1915 at Frezenberg. Like a phoenix from the flames, within a month of their destructions, they were once more effective fighting units, even if their ranks were not all true 'Suffolks.'
1914 was a year of myths trashed and of a professional pre-war army learning to take on the mass ranks of a conscription-led German Army - and be severely beaten by it. 1915 saw the Territorials exposed as an enthusiastic but undertrained organisation and its battles made the General Staff start to comprehend that raw recruits pressed into front line service without a period of acclimatisation, was futile. The 'learning curve' of the B.E.F. had well and truly begun.
1915 had seen new weapons such as gas come to the fore. It saw greater reliance of fortified, entrenched positions to hold the line and brought the importance of and reliance upon, the machine gun, to the eyes of the General Staff. The year too saw civilians made into soldiers and put to the test in battle with varying results.
1915 was rapidly slipping away, with no sign of an Allied victory in sight. Would it come this year?
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.