In January 1915, news came to The Cambridgeshire Regiment stationed at Bury St. Edmunds, that they would shortly be sent for active service on the continent.
In a flurry of excitement, leave was stepped up to all ranks and the Adjutant and Quartermaster set about converting the rag-tag appearance of the Battalion into an efficient fighting unit. The plethora of carts, bicycles and handcarts, that had served them well in the early months of the war, were replaced by officially issued limbers and GS wagons. Old antiquated leather equipment; of a pattern unique to the Regiment, was ditched and the 1908 pattern webbing, became universal for all, though men like Sergeant Pall (above), kept the waist belt for wear when 'walking out.'
Like their counterparts in 4th Suffolk, many younger members of the Battalion who were not 19 years old, signed the Imperial Service Obligation, gave their age as 19 and went with the Battalion to war. Blind eyes were turned in the name of patriotism.
Thus early on the morning of 14th February, the Battalion left Bury St. Edmunds in three trains bound for Southampton. Their Colours, which had already been placed in St. Mary's Church in Cambridge for safekeeping, carried just one Battle Honour; "South Africa 1900-01" - a testament to a past campaign before they were even formed. By the time they would be retrieved, the Battalion would be eligible to carry many more.
The Cambridgeshire Regiment was off to war.
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.