As Christmas approached, the men of the 9th (Service) Battalion still resided at Shoreham-on-Sea.
The last days of October saw a deluge of heavy rain causing the tented encampment to flood dramatically. The rain continued for several days causing the mens morale to plummet. The planned wooden huts that were slowly cropping up across the camp were kicked up a gear to get the men undercover fro the winter.
Writing home to his family, Ned Goodchild from Grundisburgh wrote; "I expect we are going into the huts on Sunday, they have nearly done them now. We have had some rough weather here lately, and it is very hard getting about here now. We shall be alright in the huts."
As the men moved into partially completed huts, they tried to dry out, but the continual rain and the never-disappearing mud, meant that drastic action had to be taken. In mid-December the decision was taken to move the Battalion from Shoreham to Brighton, some ten miles away.
The government realised that it was essential to keep the morale of this new citizen army high, and putting them into civilian accommodation for a week or two whist their camp was completed, was a sound idea and the hotels, guest houses and homes of Brighton opened their arms to these broad-speaking Suffolk men. Ned Goodchild wrote home of his new accommodation; "three of us, we have a nice bedroom to ourselves, a chest of drawers for our clothes … not so much mud here as at Shoreham! we can walk about clean and dry."
The officers faired well too, being billeted in the seafront "Hollywood Hotel" where they could early in the mornings, parade the men on the sea front promenade and march them to the nearby "Preston Park" for their daily lectures and training.
Leave was now in the offering and the men awaited their turn to spend a few days at home with their families.
The New Year would bring travel, adventure and tragedy.
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.