On the 4th November 1917, 1/5th Suffolk took over all off the El Arish Redoubt which they had played an instrumental role in capturing two days before.
Two days later, the Turks, seeing that major consolidation was taking place, reigned down a heavy barrage of shells into the position they gad been forced to vacate.
"It was quite impossible to move about the trenches during the afternoon" wrote Captain Wolton, "But by this time owing to the hard work put in by the Battalion we had good cover, and there was not a single casualty of the result of the firing".
A further advance was planned for the following day, and despite very lights been seen in the distance, at daybreak, the Turk seemed to melt away. At last it seemed that he had "been decisively and effectively defeated".
As the line moved on, more and more of the Turks lines in front of Gaza were taken by the Allies. These new positions displayed an unusual and amazing amount of improvisation which showed just how logistically challenged the Turkish forces were. Their trenches were lined with every conceivable piece of timber which could be scavenged from the town. Wooden lintels of ornate carving, looted from public buildings, propped up sandbagged revetments in their front line. Their sandbags were made from all types of materials available to them. "Gay coloured cloths of all kinds having been sewn according to the rumour by fair hands in the harems of Stamboul" wrote one commentator.
As the line went forward, the Battalion started the important task of salvage. Anything and everything that could be taken for salvage was removed. An entire enemy Minenwerfer, a gift of Germany for her Turkish lies, was abandoned in the redoubt and by hook and crook, it was removed an pulled the 800 yards yards back across the desert to the nearest narrow-gauge and loaded onto a train for Cairo, where complete with proud sign "Captured by 1/5 Suffolk Regt. at Gaza, 2.11.17", it was repositioned outside Abbas Hilmi Barracks.
As they left the line on 7th November, the Battalion "having collected a certain amount of salvage, marched to Marine View, covering their helmets with the many-coloured sandbags from the Turkish trenches". Next objective was the holy city of Jerusalem, to be taken if possible, before Christmas.
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.