And so in the language of the day, the guns fell silent. The Armistice came into effect at 11.00 am on the 11th November 1918. The day was dull and the air was thick with fog but for the 2nd, 4th, 11th, 12th and 15th Battalion’s of the Suffolk Regiment who were serving in France, this was the end of their fighting.
When the artillery stopped, men heard for the first time in years, the sound of birds singing along the front line and soon, cautiously, those Battalions that still occupied defensive positions, cautiously peered out into the fog to see if the armistice was real.
Though they did not know it, the Suffolk Regiment had played its part in defeating the most deadly superpower of its day. They had brought the military might of Imperial Germany to its knees and had forced its Kaiser to the conference table. Though the ‘Tommy’ at the front groused, his German counterpart was very close to starvation and his country no longer had the industry to support his efforts. An effective allied blockade saw sandbags made of curtains, equipment made from cardboard, and clothes of woven paper. They knew they could not go on much longer and peace was now called for by both soldier and civilian in Germany. They had supported his war in 1914, but now, close to starvation, they turned upon their leader in revolution. The Kaiser in defeat, fled into exile in Holland.
From a Regiment that had evolved to increase its strength ten-fold and expand from 6 Battalions to 24, they had had achieved greatness and had written another epic chapter in the history of the ‘Old Dozen’. Soon, the Regiment would add ‘Le Cateau’ ‘Neuve Chapelle’ ‘Ypres 1915 ’17 ‘18’ ‘Somme 1916 ‘18’ ‘Cambrai 1917 ‘18’ ‘Hindenburg Line’ ‘Macedonia 1915-18’ ‘Landing at Suvla’ ‘Gaza’ and ‘Arras 1917 ’18’ to the ancient Battle Honours of ‘Dettingen’ ‘Minden’ ‘Seringapatam’ ‘India’ ‘South Africa 1851-2-3’ ‘New Zealand’ ‘Afghanistan’ and ‘South Africa 1899-1902’.
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.