In far away Macedonia, the 1st Battalion were in a malaise.
The inactivity of the previous few weeks had led to a curious mood arising "The whole Battalion became sullen and "non-talkative" recorded Lieutenant Victor Farmer in his diary, "It is a well known fact that British soldiers have a passion for children and dogs. Naturally on active service it is not possible to develop a group of children who attach themselves in some way to a regiment, but, in Salonica, we had a large number of dogs of all descriptions which had joined up with our men and which followed the men with utmost devotion. Our own CO, Colonel Joicey had two pedigree pointer dogs of whom he was very proud."
The pace slackened in late September following the Bulgarian Armistice on September 30th and the Battalion were engaged for a fortnight on salvage work, clearing the battlefields before them of abandoned materiel and weapons, before they started a skilled and leisurely withdrawal from the edge of Lake Doiran, back some fifty miles to the town of Salonika.
Here, it soon became apparent just how overlooked this front of the war had become in the last eighteen months. Whilst it had always been known that the major battle that would eventually defeat the Germans, would be on the Western Front, the fronts elsewhere in Macedonia, Gallipoli, Egypt and East Africa tied up valuable Allies to Germany diverting them from joining the battles in the west.
At Guvesne, some twenty miles from Salonika, on 13th October, a roll call noted strength of the Battalion as being fourteen officers and 250 other ranks. It was a quarter of the strength that had departed for France in January 1915.
For 1 Suffolk in Macedonia, their war was drawing to a close.
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.