The History of The Suffolk Regiment
Written by Eric Lummis
The Suffolk Regiment was formed in 1685 when King James II ordered the Duke of Norfolk to raise a regiment against the threatened Monmouth Rebellion. This Regiment included men from Norfolk and Suffolk and incorporated a company at Windsor Castle. The company at Windsor Castle had origins dating back to 1660 and had seen active service in Virginia in 1676.
The connection with Norfolk remained strong and nearly 100 years later a Colonel of the Regiment wrote that "we considered Norfolk to be our county". In 1782 the title of 'East Suffolk' was added to the numerical title of the Xllth Foot for recruiting purposes; Norfolk had already been allotted to other regiments.
In 1784, in an article in the Ipswich Journal, the Colonel of the Regiment asked the people of Suffolk for "their countenance and protection in favour of a corps... with some degree of reputation."
Initially, the Regiment had often depended on the Suffolk Militia for recruits and had maintained recruiting parties in the County. These links were formally recognised with the Cardwell reforms of 1873. Cambridgeshire was added to the recruiting area and, most importantly, the Depot of the Regiment was established at Bury St Edmunds where the barracks to house the Depot was built in 1878.
In 1881, the title of the Regiment became The Suffolk Regiment with The West Suffolk Militia and The Cambridgeshire Militia becoming the 3rd and 4th Battalions respectively. By the end of the century, 90% of the men came from Suffolk.
The Territorial Force, the forerunner of the Territorial Army was formed in 1908. It strengthened the county links and established the 4th Battalion throughout East Suffolk and the 5th Battalion in West Suffolk.
The newly formed Regiment was stationed with companies at Great Yarmouth and Landguard Fort. It was later moved to various towns in the south of England and took part in the King's annual review of the Army on Hounslow Heath. In 1688 the Regiment was specially picked to support the catholic King James II. It had a high proportion of Roman Catholic officers but the King was surprised and disappointed when the men from East Anglia showed their independence by grounding their arms rather than support him. A few months later the whole of the Army failed to rally to James when he fled to France and the next year the Regiment was in Ireland fighting against the uprising by him. They helped to storm Carrickfergus Castle and took part in other actions including the Battle of the Boyne when James' forces were decisively beaten. The Regiment then spent much time until 1696 in Flanders fighting in the campaign against Louis XIV of France. Over the next forty years it served in the West Indies, Flanders, Catalonia, Minorca, Ireland and at home.
Fierce Battles in the War of the Austrian Succession and the Seven Years War
"You will find an ancient colour in the Twelfth Foot of the line
That bears the motto "Stabilis" in memory of the time
when "Steady" was their watchword though all was touch and go...
In 1730, and again in 1741, the Regiment found itself spread between a number of places around the border between Suffolk and Essex with headquarters at lpswich. From there the Regiment embarked for the campaign in Flanders and gained the oldest battle honour borne on its colours.
In 1743 it moved with the British Army to the Rhine and on June 27th shared in the victory over the French at the Battle of Dettingen. This battle was the last in which an English King led his troops into battle. King George II dismounted and placed himself at the head of his Infantry, displaying great personal courage. The Xllth Foot held the centre of the leading line. In commemoration of this event The Suffolk Regiment decorated its Colours, its Drums and the headgear of all ranks with roses on the Sovereign's birthday and when the Sovereign is present in person on parade. (This custom was observed in 1994 when Her Majesty the Queen reviewed D-Day veterans in Normandy and those present from The Suffolk Regiment wore a red and yellow rose).
The Colonel of the Regiment at Dettingen was Colonel Scipio Duroure, of Huguenot origin and with a distinguished battle record with the British Army, who led his Regiment in person. The motto "Stabilis" on the Regimental Colours borne by the Regiment were part of the personal arms of Colonel Duroure and have remained as an inspiration to all ranks of the steadfastness which has characterised the Regiment throughout its history.
Also serving with the Regiment at Dettingen was Ensign James Wolfe aged 16, the future victor of Quebec 1759; because of his conduct in the battle he was shortly afterwards made Adjutant.
Two years later, on 11th May 1745, the Regiment took part in yet another famous infantry battle when, at Fontenoy south of Brussels, in spite of a narrow defeat in the face of superior numbers, the British soldier once again made his name as a fighting man. It was here that Colonel Scipio Duroure was mortally wounded.
Fourteen years later the fame of the British Infantry reached a pinnacle at the Battle of Minden, the most glorious of the battle honours held by the Regiment. There, six British Regiments, including the XlIth Foot on the right of the leading line, marched through gruelling cannon fire, broke six charges of the elite of the French cavalry, and threw the whole of the French Army into a confusion which decided the day. On that famous morning of 1st August 1759, everything conspired to defeat the British Infantry. The order to them to advance alone and unsupported was due to an error; their flank was torn and riddled by concealed artillery, with the Xllth on the exposed flank receiving most casualties; the British cavalry commander did not follow orders to go to their assistance. Nevertheless, with grim determination and supreme courage, the British soldiers won through to a complete and annihilating victory. As they passed through some gardens that morning the men plucked roses and wore them in their hats. No wonder their successors (including The Royal Anglian Regiment) through the years have been proud to commemorate the anniversary of Minden by continuing this custom.
More campaigns on the Continent and the Siege of Gibraltar
In the years between Fontenoy and Minden, the Regiment returned to its home in Suffolk and spent some time in Scotland - in the aftermath of the '45 Rebellion inspired by Bonnie Prince Charlie. It also returned to Minorca. One company was sent on anti-smuggling duties at Southwold. The Regiment returned to the continent in 1758 and fought again in Germany, at the battles of Warburg, Fellingshausen and Wilhelmstahl. One soldier of the Xllth enlisted in the Regiment in 1736 and was present at Dettingen and Fontenoy; after service in India he rejoined the Xllth and served with it through much of the Seven Years War until he was wounded at Minden. On discharge, he returned to his native Ireland, where he died at the age of 110 in 1819! It is not known how many of those who fought at Minden with the Xllth came from Suffolk, but there is a record of at least one from Sudbury and another from Hoo.
In 1769 a 14 year period in Gibraltar began. The Regiment took an active part in the Great Siege when Gibraltar was besieged by the Spanish and French between 1779 and 1783. Under Colonel William Picton, the Regiment formed the main body of the Grand Sortie which broke the siege on 17 November 1781. In recognition of its services in the siege the Regiment added the illustrious name Gibraltar to its Colours and the arms of Gibraltar was taken as its crest. This comprised a Castle and Key with Montis Insignia Calpe (The arms of the Rock of Gibraltar) beneath, to be worn thereafter in its cap badge and Colours.
(One of the officers present throughout the siege was a Captain Montgomery. In Henley Church, Suffolk there is a memorial tablet to him recording his death in 1790 as a Lieutenant Colonel.)
On return to England in 1783 - by this time firmly linked to Suffolk by the title East Suffolk Regiment - it was stationed at Windsor where King George III showed his satisfaction at having such a distinguished Regiment there by reviewing the Regiment twice. While there, it provided a party of a Sergeant, a Corporal and ten men to clear the ground for the first base line for the Ordnance Survey which ran across what is now Heathrow Airport.
Service in many Places and First Period of Operations in India
In the next thirteen years, the Regiment served in England, Ireland, the Channel Islands, operations in the Barbados, Martinique and in Flanders, Holland and Germany and a large scale raid on islands off the coast of Brittany all figured in its adventures. Then in 1796 it set sail for India, the first of many visits to that country.
Almost immediately it was involved in the war against Tippoo Sultan, the ruler of Mysore. He was pursuing a campaign of aggression and intrigue against the British which led to the storming of his stronghold of Seringapatam on 4th May 1799. The Regiment played a major part and won yet another proud distinction for the Colours. It is believed that Tippoo himself was killed by Private Johnson of the XIlth Foot. For the next ten years it was engaged in a series of operations in South India. These included some severe fighting against the troops of the Rajahs of Travancore and Cochin in the course of which one party of 34 men was cruelly massacred. The Regiment's services in India from 1797 to 1809 were recognised by the award of the Battle Honour India.
In 1810, the Regiment took part in the capture of Mauritius and the lle de Bourbon (now Reunion) and remained in those islands until 1818. That same year (1810) a second Battalion was formed. It took part in the march on Paris in 1815 but was later moved to Ireland where in 1818 it was disbanded when the lst Battalion joined it there.
Though The Second Battalion saw no active service, one of its men showed considerable enterprise when in Paris. In Montmartre he found the Emperor Napoleon's wine cellar when digging for pipeclay. With his wife's help, Private Ryan from Tipperary kept a large part of the garrison in a state of intoxication with fine wines for six weeks before being found out.
Ireland, England, Gibraltar, Mauritius: Formation of Reserve Battalion
In the long period of comparative peace after Waterloo, the Regiment was to find itself on garrison duties in various parts of the world. From 1823 to 1834 it was in Gibraltar during which it suffered from a fever epidemic. After service in Ireland, it was sent to Mauritius once again in 1837. In 1842 the Reserve Battalion was formed; it was sent to join the First Battalion in Mauritius. Five years later, the First Battalion was stationed at Weedon where new Colours were presented in 1849 to replace those received at Gibraltar in 1827. These new Colours were to remain with the First Battalion until 1955; they were then the oldest in use in the British Army. The Colours retired at Weedon were escorted to Ipswich to be laid up in St Mary-Ie-Tower Church but sadly a churchwarden objected and the old Colours were looked after by the Colonel of the Regiment, General Meade of Earsham Hall near Bungay.
One hundred years later, a descendant of the General returned them to the Regiment.
South Africa and the Wreck of the Birkenhead
In 1851 the Reserve Battalion was sent to South Africa to play its part in the Kaffir Wars. The men earned much praise for their conduct in operating in difficult terrain against the rebellious natives. The Battle Honour South Africa 1851-2-3 was awarded.
Men from the First Battalion formed the largest draft on board HMS Birkenhead when she was shipwrecked off the Cape coast on 26th February 1852. The draft, on its way to join The Reserve Battalion, consisted of one Sergeant and 70 privates, 55 of whom were drowned. Nine of the men came from Suffolk. The discipline of the soldiers on board was such that they paraded on deck
while the women and children were put into the lifeboats, calling forth the admiration of the world. One survivor had an extraordinarily adventurous life. After surviving 24 hours in the sea, he took part in various actions against the Kaffirs and went on serving with other units in South Africa on active service until 1880!
Other survivors included the wife and two sons of the Quartermaster of the Reserve Battalion. A memorial to the drowned men can be seen in St Mary's Church, Bury St Edmunds.
The Reserve Battalion was reconstituted as the Second Battalion in 1858 on return to England.
England, Australia, New Zealand, Scotland, Ireland, India
The First Battalion went to Melbourne, Australia in 1854 and helped to suppress a miners' revolt at the Eureka Stockade. It moved to Tasmania, but during the next few years it was spread over Australia, with companies at Adelaide, Perth and Brisbane.
In 1860, two companies were sent to New Zealand to help contain the rebelling native Maoris. Further companies followed and over the next six years the Battalion took part in many actions against the Maoris in the dense and entangled bush of New Zealand. It was to earn the Battle Honour New Zealand for its services there.
In 1867 it returned to England and then Ireland. The period of service in Australia and New Zealand laid the foundation for the official alliance with The Launceston Regiment of Australia and The Auckland Regiment (Countess of Ranfurly's Own) of New Zealand perpetuated by The Royal Anglian Regiment with the successors to these two Regiments.
General Sir lan Hamilton joined the First Battalion in Ireland and recalled how, as a result of their long campaigning in New Zealand, from the Colonel downwards there was a cult of wearing long hair and sweeping mustachios with only a small space on the chin subject to shaving.
In 1864, after serving in Scotland, England and Ireland, the Second Battalion was sent to India where its Commanding Officer Lieutenant Colonel Ponsonby died of cholera.
In Ireland, Lieutenant Colonel Ponsonby had inspired the setting up of a Soldier's Exhibition in Dublin which had created much interest. He also started the Regimental Gazette, one of the earliest regimental journals. The Battalion returned to this country after thirteen years service in India in 1878.
In the Regimental Church, St Mary's, Bury St Edmunds, there is a brass plaque in memory of 266 officers and men of the Battalion who died in India during this period.
In 1873 the British Army was reorganised by Edward Cardwell, Secretary of War. The Regiment became part of the 32nd Military District with Headquarters and Depot at Bury St Edmunds. The Cambridgeshire and West Suffolk Militia were formally incorporated but it was not until 1878 that the Depot in its familiar form became operational.
In 1881 the title of the Regiment became The Suffolk Regiment.
India and Afghanistan
From 1864 to 1907 there was no period when the Regiment did not have a Battalion serving in India. The First Battalion was soon on active service in the Second Afghan War and took part in much campaigning and fighting in that inhospitable country. To the Colours was added the Battle Honour Afghanistan 1879-81.
Seven years later the Battalion was again on active service on the North West Frontier taking part in the Hazara (Black Mountain) Field Force. In 1892 the Battalion returned to England after sixteen years service in India.
The Second Battalion in this period had been stationed variously in Jersey, Ireland and England, but in 1889 it had been posted to Alexandria in Egypt and in 1891 from there to India and subsequently Burma.
When in Burma one company had been on detachment in the Andaman Islands. Before leaving India, the Second Battalion had a year in Aden and returned to Great Britain in 1907.
The First Battalion, apart from a short period in Malta, had been stationed in England. It was in Dover when the South African War broke out and mobilisation was ordered. (512 out of 514 reservists rejoined; one was in prison for debt but joined in the field, the other was in India and rejoined at his own expense.) One month after mobilisation the Battalion was at the Cape. In January 1900 the first major battle was to assault a hill near Colesberg. The Regiment suffered many casualties, including the Commanding Officer. The hill was subsequently renamed Suffolk Hill by the Boers in recognition of the courage during the assault. There followed three years of arduous campaigning.
The Battalion was augmented by two companies of volunteers from the Militia and Volunteer Battalions of the Regiment including those from Cambridgeshire. The Battle Honour South Africa 1899-1902 was awarded.
The 3rd (Cambridgeshire) Volunteer Battalion was awarded the Battle Honour South Africa 1900-1901.
The Great War
The new century saw the advent of the Territorial Army in which The 4th Battalion based at Ipswich , The 5th Battalion at Bury St Edmunds and The Ist Battalion of The Cambridgeshire Regiment at Cambridge brought with them the traditions of the old Volunteers. The Militia became the 3rd Battalion (Special Reserve).
In August 1914 The First Battalion was in Khartoum having previously been in Malta and Egypt. The Second Battalion was at the Curragh in Ireland. It had felt very involved in the repercussions of the Government's proposal to grant Home Rule to Ireland. The 'Curragh Incident' arose from misguided instructions emanating from the War Office giving officers the option of resigning their commissions or to taking action against Ulster. A letter from the Commanding Officer, Lieutenant Colonel Brett DSO, found its way to King George V and alerted His Majesty to the crisis amongst his Officers. The outbreak of the War stopped any further action.
When Britain entered the war on August 4th 1914, The Second Battalion was immediately mobilised and was in France with the British Expeditionary Force by the 17th. It was soon in action against the advancing Germans near Mons and on 25 August at Le Cateau. There the decision was taken to stand and fight. Along with other Battalions of 14 Brigade acting as rearguard of 5 Division they fought against overwhelming forces for nine hours before being overrun. Losses were over 700. Among the German forces was a regiment wearing on its sleeve the honour Gibraltar, the successor to Hardenburg's Hanoverians who had fought alongside the XII Regiment at Minden and Gibraltar; in support was 11 Battery RFA, also at Minden. The Battalion spent the rest of the War in France taking part in all the major battles.
The First Battalion moved from Khartoum and arrived in France in 1915. It was involved in heavy fighting around Ypres and in May was nearly wiped out with over 400 casualties. After further service in France it was moved to Macedonia where it saw service until the end of the War.
The 4th (Territorial) Battalion was in France before the end of 1914. Its first major battle was that of Neuve Chapelle in 1915. It was to see further battles for the rest of the War. The 5th Battalion (TF) was sent to Gallipoli in 1915 and thereafter served in Palestine taking part in two Gaza battles and subsequent actions in 1918. Also in Gallipoli and Palestine was the Suffolk Yeomanry which became the 15th Battalion of the Regiment in 1915 and went on to serve with distinction on the Western Front.
The lst Battalion The Cambridgeshire Regiment served continuously in France and Flanders from 1915 to 1918 earning 27 Battle Honours and over 300 awards for gallantry. It earned a high reputation as an outstanding Battalion.
Mention might be made of the ordeal suffered by The 2nd Battalion on March 28th 1918 at Wancourt (first battle of Arras 1918) during the great March offensive by the German Army. Two companies, commanded by Captain W L Simpson MC from Bury St Edmunds and Captain L J Baker MC from Lavenham, fought desperately, holding the German attack up in an action described by The Times: "There is a story , such as painters ought to make immortal and historians to celebrate, of how certain Suffolks, cut off and surrounded fought back to back on the Wancourt-Tilloy road."
Two VCs were awarded to men of the Regiment: Sergeant Saunders of the 9th Battalion at Loos in September 1915 and Corporal Day of the 11th near Peronne in 1917. Thanks to Sergeant Saunders' bravery - despite wounds which cost him his leg - Lieutenant Christison of the Cameron Highlanders, though badly wounded, survived to become General Christison and celebrate his 100th Birthday in 1993.
Five other Battalions of the Regiment all raised in wartime served in France. Eight Battalions (including the Cambridgeshires) were involved in the Somme campaign of 1916. More detailed accounts of the many battles fought cannot be covered, but the eighty one Great War Battle Honours, from Mons to Palestine 1917-18, listed on the back cover of this history show their range.
In total, 23 Battalions of The Suffolk Regiment were raised during the Great War.
Between the Wars
The First Battalion, after a short period near Thetford - the first time since 1782 that a regular battalion had actually served in Suffolk - was posted to India. There it took part in the campaign against the Moplahs in Malabar in 1922.
From India it went to Gibraltar where for a short time it found itself together with the Second Battalion - a unique occasion though the two Battalions had met once in passing in Flanders in 1915. Back in England at Colchester in 1927 it took part in an historic recruiting march through the County with parades in Ipswich, Stowmarket, Bury St Edmunds and Sudbury. After a short tour in Malta, the outbreak of War in 1939 found it stationed at Devonport.
The Second Battalion from Gibraltar was sent hurriedly to Shanghai in 1927 from where it moved to India in 1929. On the outbreak of war it was on the North West Frontier at Razmak.
The 4th Battalion was reformed as part of the Territorial Army, but the 5th Battalion was not revived until 1939. A 2nd Battalion of The Cambridgeshire Regiment was also raised in that year.
World War II
The First Battalion formed part of the British Expeditionary Force in the 3rd Division. It fought in France and Belgium in 1940 and was evacuated from Dunkirk. After arduous training, still with the 3rd Division in the United Kingdom, it landed as part of the Assault Brigade on 6 June 1944 on Sword Beach, Normandy. It fought with distinction throughout the Normandy campaign and thereafter in Belgium, Netherlands and Germany right through to the end of the war ending up near Bremen.
On 28 June the Battalion fought a bitter and costly battle to capture the Chateau de la Londe, near Caen, after two previous attacks by other battalions of the Brigade had failed. Despite counter attacks by infantry and armour, the Chateau was taken at a cost of 161 casualties. Other notable actions were at Sannerville and Banneville (part of the better known Operation Goodwood involving three armoured divisions), the highly successful pursuit of German parachutists down the Vire-Tinchebray road, the clearing of Overloon and Venraij in the Netherlands and the final battles at Brinkum near Bremen. There are memorials to The Battalion at Colleville-Montgomery and the Chateau de La Londe.
The Second Battalion was initially occupied in the rigorous life of guarding the North West Frontier but later took a notable part in the Arakan and Imphal campaigns in Burma against the Japanese. In the Arakan, the Battalion's determined attack on a Japanese bunker known as 'Bamboo' brought high praise from the Army Commander downwards. In the Imphal sector to which the Battalion had been flown, there was more bitter fighting to clear Japanese fortified positions. One named 'Isaac' was extremely strong but fell to the Battalion after three days fighting.
The 4th and 5th Battalions as part of the 18th Division were diverted to Singapore on the entry of Japan into the War. They fought gallantly in the battle for Singapore but were mostly made prisoners of war and found themselves constructing the infamous Burma railway where many lost their lives due to the inhuman treatment they received. The 1st and 2nd Battalions of The Cambridgeshire Regiment were also part of the same Division. The 2nd Battalion arrived in time to become involved in the confused fighting on the mainland in the withdrawal to Singapore; it acquitted itself well, but at a high cost. The 1st Battalion, like the two Suffolk Battalions, joined in the desperate final battles for the island and found themselves prisoners of war and subject to the same intolerable conditions.
Eleven Suffolk Home Guard Battalions were raised during the war. These units provided the Regiment with plenty of trained young soldiers when they came of age.
The wartime 7th Battalion was converted to armour (142 Regiment Royal Armoured Corps equipped with Churchill Tanks) and fought with distinction in North Africa and Italy still wearing The Suffolk Regiment badge in their black berets. The Regiment saw heavy fighting in both the early stages of the battle for Tunis and its final capture. Its tanks played an important role in the clearing of Tunisia. Later in Italy, it helped break through the Adolf Hitler Line based on Cassino and subsequently the Gothic Line. In the first named, it worked closely with Canadian troops and was asked to wear the Canadian Maple Leaf badge in recognition of their support.
The 8th Battalion formed in April 1940 became a training Battalion. It saw no active service, but sent a great many drafts overseas. In 1946 it sailed for the West Indies to garrison Jamaica and Bermuda but was disbanded a year later.
The 31st Battalion originating from the 6th (Home-Defence) Battalion after service in this country was sent abroad first to Tunisia, then to Italy performing various administrative duties in support of the Allied Armies and then to Gibraltar.
The 70th (Young Soldiers) Battalion in its short existence helped guard airfields in Suffolk in 1940-43. Many of its soldiers found their way to other Suffolk battalions.
The Second Battalion remained in India after the war. As Independence approached and the political situation grew worse the Battalion helped with the peace keeping operations. In May 1947 the Battalion was reduced to a cadre and returned to Bury St Edmunds where it was placed in 'suspended animation' - a state which was to prove indefinite.
The First Battalion spent uncomfortable service in Palestine (1946-48) attempting to keep the Jews and Arabs apart. The Battalion were the last British unit to leave Jerusalem, 30 years after General Allenby entered the city in 1918. In 1948 it left for Greece as a 'backstop' to the country's civil war against attempted communist takeover.
In 1949 it was sent to Malaya to help deal with communist terrorists.
In three and a half years service it gained a highly enviable reputation in its achievements against the terrorists operating in the jungle. Its success was founded on the most able leadership of Lt Colonel Ian L Wight who, from the start, set the very highest standards of training and operational efficiency combined with enthusiasm to close with the enemy. Its record, which saw 196 terrorists eliminated, was unequalled by any other British Battalion. Typical of the dash and spirit displayed by the subalterns and soldiers of the Battalion was the action which gained for 2nd Lieutenant 'Joe' Starling, from Cambridge, the MC. His patrol was ambushed by a party of terrorists at superior strength. A combination of quick reaction and the offensive spirit routed the terrorists - leaving two dead.
Another well known example, is that of a patrol led by a National Service Officer, 2nd Lieutenant L R Hands, who surprised a group of three terrorists in the South Swamp of Selangor. One terrorist was killed; the other two were chased by Hands who killed, the second and then after a hundred and fifty yards of splashing through the swamp and jungle, caught up with the third and killed him too. The third terrorist turned out to be Lieu Kon Kim, the notorious bearded bandit leader who the Battalion had been chasing for many months.
Most of the soldiers in the Battalion were doing their National Service, a task they performed admirably and professionally. One who distinguished himself was Lance Corporal Price. His section had been fired on from high ground by a large party of bandits, wounding his Platoon Sergeant. Price then led the remaining men up the hill and assaulted the enemy positions, killing three and recovering a quantity of weapons and ammunition. Price was deservedly awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal.
An unusual element of the First Battalion in its last year of service in Malaya was the addition of a platoon of Iban trackers from Sarawak with a Suffolk Regiment Officer and NCOs. The platoon proved very successful in operations against the terrorists.
The award of two DSOs, nine MCs, one DCM and three MMs gives a yardstick for the Battalion's performance.
In 1953 it went to Trieste where it had to deal with some rioting between the Italians and Yugoslavs who both claimed sovereignty over the city and its surrounding territory.
In 1954, the Battalion moved to Germany, then still an occupied country. On 23 May 1955 new Colours to replace the old ones, presented in 1849, were presented by the Regiment's first and only Royal Colonel-in-Chief, Her Royal Highness the Princess Margaret (Countess of Snowdon).
In 1956 the Battalion went to Cyprus to combat EOKA terrorists and deal with riots under very different conditions to Malaya. Once again, the Battalion was very successful. It was in Cyprus in 1958 that the Regiment became part of the East Anglian Brigade, and was aware for the first time that the Suffolk Regiment was soon to be no more.
The Territorial Army was reformed in 1947, and the 4th Battalion came into being again with companies all over Suffolk and one in the Isle of Ely thus maintaining the Cambridgeshire link.
The Cambridgeshire Regiment was to have a very varied role on reforming before it returned to the Suffolk fold. In 1947 it was established as a light anti-aircraft regiment retaining Colours, Drums and buttons and in 1954 it was converted into the heavy mortar regiment of 16 Airborne Division learning to become parachutists. In 1956, once again, it became lst Battalion The Cambridgeshire Regiment.
On 29 August 1959, The First Battalion Suffolk Regiment amalgamated with The First Battalion Royal Norfolk Regiment to form The First Battalion, The First East Anglian Regiment (Royal Norfolk and Suffolk).
So ends the story of The Suffolk Regiment, but as men from Suffolk had served in Henry, Duke of Norfolk's Regiment, The 12th Foot, The 12th (East Suffolk) Regiment, The Suffolk Regiment, and in The East Anglian Regiment, so they continue to serve today in The Royal Anglian Regiment.
The Royal Anglian Regiment, along with the many members of The Suffolk Regiment Old Comrades Association will ensure that the traditions and memory of The Suffolk Regiment and the Suffolk Soldier will continue to survive for many years to come.
- STABILIS -