For ten days, Captain William Campbell of 2nd Suffolk, and Lieutenant Philip Godsal of the Ox. and Bucks L.I. had been trudging across Germany, edging ever closer to neutral Holland. Prisoners for two and a half years, they had vaulted from a moving train on 20th March in a gallant bid for freedom.
Campbell wrote; "That night we did 28 miles, first 3 miles in the wrong direction as we had to cross a river. We managed to strike a good road, rounded the town of Arolsen and travelled chiefly across country for ten nights. Five days we slept in barns and five days in the woods. Once we found ourselves on the edge of a training ground and people drilling all round us, but it was raining, and we managed to get away. Another time we were in a price copse and a sportsman came along with a dog, but he passed us by.
We lived Chiefly on bacon, and by making fires between 12 and 4 o'clock in the morning in a dip we knew were pretty safe. We had fried bacon and hot cocoa during the night and raw bacon the day. We lost ourselves once or twice, but after 10 nights we found ourselves about 16 km, from the frontier. We could not find a suitable place to lie in, and we had not been in our hiding place five minutes before dogs started barking. Within happened, however, to strike a barn where we hid.
During the day a couple of people came snd took some hay within about 4 feet of us. We heard bells near by, and luckily, finding a cart with a name on it, we found we were at Velen, the village we were making for. It is exceedingly difficult to find your way about now, as near the frontier, unlike the rest of Germany, the germans have removed al sign-posts and all the milestones are without names. I think they have done this purposely."
As Campbell and Godsal lie low, they planned to cross the frontier that night. Would they make it?
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.