The day following the battle at Frezenberg saw a young Captain arrive from England to take over what remained of the 1st Battalion in Belgium.
Captain B.D. Rushbrooke had not long been commissioned into the 3rd Battalion at Felixstowe, and was expecting to take command of a Platoon rather an entire Battalion.
When he arrived he was billeted near Poperinge and when the men he was due to command arrived, he was shocked to learn that the two officers, one NCO and 27 men that stood in front of him, were all that was left of the 1st Battalion. The officers; Lieutenants Venning and Hoggan, were themselves not long in France from England. Luckily for these three young men, Lieutenant and Quartermaster Godbolt was an old hand and did much to take the burden of command from these junior subalterns.
Benjamin Godbolt was a man who had built himself up from the ranks. He had joined the Regiment in the early 1890s and had already seen service in South Africa during the Boer War where he had been for some time the R.S.M. of the 1st Battalion. He had also for a while, been the R.S.M. of the 15th Battalion, Mounted Infantry. Promoted Lieutenant in 1914, he would remain in the Regiment for some years to come.
Exhaused, this cadre of the Battalion was sent into huts north of Ypres, where on the 11th a new CO arrived to take over from the enthusiastic, but inexperienced Rushbrooke. Captain F.M. Roxby's reign of command would be all of 24 hours before another more experienced officer would arrive to take over.
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.