At the beginning of January 1917, the last of the war-raised "Service" Battalions of the Suffolk Regiment came into being.
The 15th (Suffolk Yeomanry) Battalion brought the Duke of York’s Own, Loyal Suffolk Hussars, under the wing of the Suffolk Regiment for the last 24 months of the war.
This unit had however, been fighting under its own title since the outbreak of war. It had landed on the Gallipoli peninsular on the 11th October 1915, and held the line through one of the worst periods of weather during the entire Dardanelles campaign. They like many of their counterparts in this ill-conceived operation, were pleased to leave the disease ridden scrubland in December, just two months after landing there.
This regiment of volunteer yeomanry could trace its origins back to the days of the Spanish Armada, and its first major battle was on British soil in 1667, when elements of the then "Suffolk Horse" repelled the Dutch at Landguard; the last invasion of the British mainland by an enemy force. It's creation date in the modern context, was however considered to be 1793 when the various units of volunteer fencibles that existed then in the county of Suffolk, were brought together, and administered from one central point by Arthur Young of Bradfield Combust near Bury St. Edmunds.
Via the island of Mudros, they moved to Egypt in 1916, where their were officially designated as a “Dismounted “ unit of yeomanry. No longer would they fight on horseback. In Egypt in early 1917, they became part of the 230th Brigade in the 74th (Yeomanry) Division, whose sign was the broken spur, symbolising their former mounted past. Outwardly, their appearance differed not form their counterparts in the 1/5th Battalion. They had spent their entire War so far, dressed in khaki drill with Wolseley sun helmets under a tropical sun. These men, like their counterparts in the other Service Battalions serving on the Western Front, heralded from predominately from Suffolk and had that same Suffolk temperament that made the fighting Suffolk a unique fighter.
Though now their administration was under the watchful eye of the Suffolk Regiment, their was a general reluctance to wear its badge. Though gradually as new men joined it, they would be issued the badge of the Suffolk Regiment, the old sweats of the "donkey wallopers" clung fiercely to their Hussars badges, proudly bearing the date of '1793' under a castle surmounted by a scroll bearing the words "Loyal Suffolk Hussars"
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.