Title: The History of the Suffolk Regiment 1914 – 1927
Author: Lieutenant-Colonel C. C. R. Murphy
Edition: 2nd Edition
Publication Date: 2002
Cover: Soft Cover without Dust Jacket – 431 pages
Comments: The stories of the twenty-three battalions (Regular, Territorial, Service and Reserve) of which the Regiment consisted during the Great War.
On 1 January 1914, when this volume begins, the Suffolk Regiment consisted of the 1st and 2nd Battalions, the 3rd (Special Reserve) Battalion, and the 4th, 5th and 6th (Cyclist) Battalions of the Territorial Force. After the outbreak of war sixteen more battalions were raised and added, and in 1917 the Suffolk Yeomanry converted into the 15th Battalion, making a grand total of twenty-three. Battalions of the Regiment served in France and Flanders, Gallipoli, Macedonia, Egypt and Palestine, and at home.
This book tells their stories, based on war diaries, private diaries, letters and interviews. In all 6,650 died, two VCs were won and 73 Battle Honours awarded.The doings of the ten battalions which proceeded overseas are all woven together into the general story contained in these pages, those of the remaining thirteen battalions form the subject matter of separate chapters. Given the scope of this volume and space considerations there is no Roll of Honour and the list of Honours and Awards is a very limited one showing only some of the more important honours gained.
Inevitably some battalions get fuller treatment than others but, as Cyril Falls comments, the main events are clearly described. More maps would have been welcome. As has already been implied the narrative appears in chronological order beginning in 1914 with the 1st Battalion moving from Egypt to Khartoum and the 2nd Battalion in the Curragh with 14th Brigade, 5th Division, one of the original BEF divisions. This battalion landed in France on 14th August and was in action at Mons and Le Cateau where it suffered heavy casualties amounting to 720 killed, wounded and missing with the CO among the dead. There is a chapter devoted to this battle with a special introduction by General Smith Dorrien commanding the British troops.
The 1st Battalion arrived home in October 1914 and was allotted to the newly formed regular 28th Division which landed in France in January 1915, nine months later it left France for Macedonia where it stayed to the end of the war. As the story unfolds so the various battalions on active service are brought into the picture and the part they played in the battles is described. One chapter is given to the 3rd (Special Reserve) Battalion at home and another to all the other battalions that did not go on active service. There is a comprehensive, 26-page index.