THE SUFFOLK REGIMENT ARCHIVE

 

The regimental archive is administered for the Museum by the Suffolk Record Office in Bury St Edmunds. bury.ro@suffolk.gov.uk.

 

When ordering documents from the collection all references (e.g. A14/8) should be prefixed with GB 554/

 

The archive is arranged to reflect the structure and activities of the Regiment over the years:

 

Section A:      general regimental records

Sections B to S:  individual battalions

Section T:      Suffolk Home Guard (affiliated to the regiment)

Sections U to X:  regimental institutions – the Regimental Association, the Old Comrades Association, the Gazette and the Museum

Section Y:      records of individual soldiers – items written by, relating to or collected by officers and men

Section Z:      miscellaneous material

 

TRACING INDIVIDUAL SERVICE CAREERS

 

The regimental archives do not contain individual soldiers’ papers; there are no muster rolls of the whole regiment and few of a whole battalion. The printed histories do contain many names but these tend to be of officers or senior NCOs, and are selective rather than comprehensive. However there are a number of sources in the collection which can be used to research the career of an officer or soldier in the regiment.

 

The Regimental Gazette

 

The Gazette was published between February 1890 and July 1959, except for October 1914 – December 1915 and January 1917- June 1920.  Publication varied from monthly to three issues a year. Regular features include photographs (from November 1897); births, marriages and deaths (mainly officers from 1939); detailed lists of appointments, promotions, awards of certificates, sporting and social events; articles about the regiment’s history and traditions. The issues of the Gazette contain thousands of names and should certainly be consulted for the period when an individual was serving in the regiment. They are less useful for the two World Wars owing either to non-publication or conditions imposed by censorship.

 

The Army List

 

Officers’ careers can be traced through successive issues of the Army List (A11). There are complete issues for the whole Army for 1733-1743 (Y1/93a), 1830 (Z1/2), 1914 (Z1/5) and 1939 (Z1/8) and the Suffolk Regiment sections only for 1685-1707, 1751, 1790, 1848, 1861 and most years from 1868 to 1950. The Volunteer Force List, January 1918 (Y1/72c) is the equivalent to the Army List for officers in the home defence Volunteer movement.

(The Museum holds an almost complete run of the Army List from 1826 to 1959)

 

Printed lists of officers and men killed in action

 

List of graves in the Transvaal, 1902 (A14/8)
List of graves in the Orange River Colony, 1902 (A14/9)
Regimental Roll of Honour, 1914-1919 (A9/1)
Soldiers Died in the Great War 1914-1919: Part 17, The Suffolk Regiment, 1921 (A9/3)
Officers Died in the Great War 1914-1919, 1919 (A9/2)
Regimental Roll of Honour, 1939-1945 (A9/4)

 

Lists of honours and awards

 

Officers and men awarded the New Zealand War Medal (1st Battalion), 1860-1866 (B5/1)
Medal roll, Afghan campaign (1st Battalion), 1880 (B5/2)
Officers and men entitled to the India General Service Medal with Hazara clasp (1st Battalion), 1890 (B5/2)
Citations for the DCM (1914-1918) (A8/1)
Some recipients of the MM (1914-1918) (A8/2)
Members of the 2nd Battalion eligible for the 1914 Star (Y1/168q)
Awards, 2nd Battalion, 1914-1918 (C1/5)
Recommendations for gallantry, ‘X’ Company, 2nd Battalion, 1918-1919 (Y1/168b)
Honours and awards, 4th and 5th Battalions, 1914-1918 (G1/1)
Honours and awards, 8th Battalion, 1915-1918 (K1/1)
Honours and awards, 7th Battalion, 1939-1945 (J3/1)
Photocopies of recommendations and citations for gallantry awards, 1940-1958 (A8/7)
Recipients of the French Croix de Guerre (1st Battalion), 1945 (A8/4)
Recipients of the Belgian Croix de Guerre 1946 (A8/3)

 

Other lists of names (see also PRISONERS OF WAR)

 

Pre-1914 (in chronological order)

 

Monthly returns of officers, and changes in rank and file, 1798-1810 (A16/5)
Men of the Reserve Battalion who sailed on the ‘Birkenhead’, 1852 (Y1/303(j))
‘E’ Company, Reserve Battalion, 1852 (A16/3)
Soldiers of the 12th Foot involved at the Eureka Stockade, Ballarat, 1854 (B13/1)
All ranks, 2nd Battalion, July 1864 (W/2)
All ranks, 2nd Battalion, 17 December 1889 (W/2)
Officers, WOs and NCOs, 1st Battalion, September 1890 (W/2)
Census entry for Depot (3rd Battalion), 1891 (E9/1)
3 and 4 Sections, ‘D’ Company, 1st Battalion, 1893 (Y1/35h)
All ranks, 1st Battalion, 1897 (B4/2)
Casualties at Rensburg, South Africa, 1st Battalion, January 1900 (W/13)
All ranks, 2nd Battalion, 31 May 1900 (W/13)
Men of 1st Volunteer Company who served in South Africa, 1900 (F4/4)
All ranks, 2nd Battalion, 25 January 1906 (W/18)
All ranks, 1st Battalion, 21 November 1907 (W/19)

 

1914-1919 (Whole regiment, followed by individual battalions)

 

Men who had served in the Great War and re-enlisted are included in the first three volumes of ‘Army Book 358’ (A16/52/1-3)
Members of ‘A’ Company, 2nd Battalion after the Battle of Le Cateau, 26 August 1914 (C3/1)
All ranks of the BEF reported killed, wounded or missing, 31 October 1914 (C10/11A)
No.10 Platoon, ‘Y’ Company, 2nd Battalion, 1916 (Y1/320)
Officers’ servants, 2nd Battalion, c1918 (C3/2)
Nominal rolls and other lists, ‘X’ Company, 2nd Battalion, 1918-1919 (Y1/168b, c, u, v, w,)
4th Battalion, 8 November 1914 (G4/1) and 1 January 1915 (G2/1)
4th Battalion officers’ casualty list, 1914-1917 (G4/2)
NCOs and men killed, died or missing, 4th Battalion, 1915-1917 (G4/3)
Service histories of c 4,800 NCOs and men, 4th Battalion, 1916-1919 (G4/4-6)
Casualties and other lists, all ranks, 5th Battalion, 1915-1918 (H2/1)
‘B’ Company, 5th Battalion, 1915-1919 (Y1/165(p))
‘B’ Company, 7th Battalion, NCOs and men, 9 March 1918 (J2/1)
‘D’ Company 7th Battalion, partial roll of casualties, 26/27 March 1918 (J2/2-3)
‘D’ Company, 7th Battalion: transfers to other units, April 1918 (J2/3)
8th Battalion: partial roll (surnames A-F) (1914-1918) (K3/2)
‘C’ Company, 8th Battalion, 1917 CK3/1)
‘C’ Company, No.9 Platoon, 9th Battalion, c1915 (Y1/292)
‘A’ Company, 1st Battalion Suffolk Volunteers: members and ex-members, 13 June 1918 (Y1/78b)

 

1920-1959 (Whole regiment, followed by individual battalions)

 

Registers of men joining the regiment (‘Army Book 358’), 1920-1949
Discharge books (annual volumes), 1921-1959 (A16/51/1-37)
Pioneer Platoon, ‘S’ Company, 1st Battalion, [post October 1942] (B4/1)
2nd Battalion on embarkation at Shanghai for India, 1929 (C3/3a)
4th Battalion, 1942-1945 (G4/7-8,10)
5th Battalion, 1942-1945 (H2/2-4)
7th Battalion, January 1945 (J2/4)
7th Battalion wounded to 1944, Y1/433(i)
8th Battalion, 1940-1946 (K3/3)
7th Suffolk Battalion, Home Guard, ‘A’, ‘F’ and ‘G’ Companies, 1943-1944 (T2/1-4)
WOs and Sergeants, 1st Battalion, 1955-1959 (W/51)

 

Miscellaneous

 

OCA membership registers, 1908-1955 (V1/1-2)
OCA registers of loans to members, 1926-1960 (V3/2-3)

 

There are databases available in the Record Office search-room of all names in the 1914-1918 War Diaries of the 1st Battalion (856 entries) and 2nd  Battalion (c600 entries)

 

PRISONERS OF WAR

 

Scattered throughout the collection are lists of POWs and papers which throw light on the experience of being a POW. (See also DIARIES and BIOGRAPHIES, AUTOBIOGRAPHIES AND REMINISCENCES).

 

Boer War

 

Letter, 1900 (Y1/17)
Letters, 1900 (Y1/35(u), (v), (bb)
POW magazines, c1900, c1901 (Y1/35(i),(j))

 

1914-1918 War

 

Lists of NCOs and men, 1916 (W/24)
Papers re escape from Freiburg, 1918 (Y1/29)
The Queue (magazine of Mainz officers’ camp), 1918 (Y1/20)
Papers, Graudenz, including list of British officers, 1916-1919 (Y1/28b, Z2/2, 10)
Photograph album, Magdeburg, Switzerland and the Netherlands, 1915-1918 (Y1/192)
Postcards from Doberitz, 1916 (Y1/231g)
Letter from Weilburg, 1916 (Y1/53)
Postcards home, 1915-1918 (Y1/254)
Papers re Springhirsch Camp, 1918 (Y2/1d)
Vistula Daily Bulletin (Graudenz), 1918 (Z2/2)
Papers, 1914-1919 (Y1/270b)
List of officers taken prisoner in the Great War, 1919 (A16/40)
Pte C Hitchcock: photographs (Karlsruhe) and talk on POW experience (Y1/443)

 

1939-1945 War: Germany

 

Lists of Other Ranks POWs, 1941 (W/43)
Prisoner of War, May, June 1944; letters and photographs; map of POW camps in Germany (Y1/235)
Photograph of POWs in Stalag 344, 1944 (Y1/167)

 

1939-1945 War: Japan

 

History of 4th Battalion HQ during captivity, c1945 (G2/2)
Lists of officers and men (Suffolk and Cambridgeshire Regiments), 1943-1945 (W/44)
Notebook with testimonials made to various officers, Camp Hakodate, August/September 1945 (Y1/4)
POW’s sketch-book, 1942-1945 (Y1/266)
List of NCOs and men of 5th Battalion in Japanese hands, 1945 (Y1/348d)
Letters, papers and photographs, 1942-1945 (Y1/460, Y1/261, Y1/410, Y1/460, Y1/551, Y1/564, Y1/582)
Chunkai POW Camp theatre magazine, no. 5, September/October 1943 (Y1/582c)

 

DIARIES

 

These are sometimes the original manuscript, sometimes written or typed-up copies. They are listed in chronological order, with an indication of where the diarist was serving.

 

18th-19th century

 

A Journal of the Siege of Gibraltar 1779-1783 by Captain Spilsbury, 12th Regiment, ed BHT Frere (1908) (A4/2)
Col R Bayly: India 1796-1830 (Y1/21) (Published as Diary of Colonel Bayly, 12th Regiment (1896))
Lieut-Col JM Perceval: Ireland, Belgium, France 1833-1837 (Y1/200a)
Maj JW Espinasse, Reserve/2nd Battalion: voyages on active service 1842-1858 (Y1/103)
Pte T Scott, Reserve Battalion: South Africa, Scotland 1851-1859 (Y1/232) (Partly published in PB Boyden, ‘The British Army in Cape Colony’, Society for Army Historical Research, 2001)
Lieut-Col JM Perceval: South Africa 1853-1855 (Y1/200b)
Lieut CAH Brett, 1st Battalion: Yorkshire (assisting civil power with industrial disturbance) 1893 (Y1/35h)

 

Boer War

 

Lieut CAH Brett, 1st Battalion:1899-1900 (Y1/35gg, hh, ii, jj)
Maj FTD Wilson, 1st Battalion:1900 (Y1/270a)
Pte CW Baskett, Volunteer Company:1900-1902 (Y1/19)
2nd Lieut AG Taylor, 1st Battalion:1900-1901 (Y1/251a)
Sgt E O’Neill, 1st Battalion: 1899-1902 (Y1/190d,e)

 

Early 20th century

 

Sgt BOG Haylock, 1st Battalion: Egypt 1911-1913 (Y1/395a)

 

1914-1918 War

 

Unidentified soldier, 2nd Battalion: France 1914 (Y3/7)
Sgt AB Bridges, 4th Battalion: France 1914-1915 (Y1/398a)
L/Cpl GL Raphael, 1/4th Battalion, France 1914-1915 (Y1/217)
Pte C Allman, 4th Battalion: France 1914-1915 (Y1/2b)
Lieut-Col FW Turner, 4th Battalion: France 1914-1916 (Y1/263)
Lieut HM Brown, 4th Battalion: France 1914-1917 (Y1/42b)
Lieut-Col AG Taylor, 4th Battalion: France 1915-1919 (Y1/251b, c)
Maj ER Cooper, 3rd Volunteer Battalion: home 1915-1920 (Y1/72a, b)
Capt J Burton, 7th Battalion, North Staffordshire Regt: Gallipoli, Suez 1916 (Y1/48b)
L/Cpl S Bamford, 1st Battalion: Salonika 1916-1917 (Y1/15)
CQMS GE Lee, 5th Battalion: Egypt 1916-1918 (Y1/165j)
Pte AW Fenn, 2nd Battalion: France 1917 (Y1/109)
Pte WJ Strange, 25th Battalion, London Regt: Waziristan 1917 (Y1/381)
2nd Lieut JA Blanch, 2nd Battalion: Germany (POW) 1918 (Y1/28)
Lt CG Gardner, Queen’s Westminster Rifles and 9th Battalion: France 1914-1916 (Y1/466)
Sgt H Wroughton, Suffolk Yeomanry: Egypt 1916-1917 (Y1/509)
CQMS AW Low, 7th Battalion: France 1915 (Y1/513)
Lieut AA de Jongh, 7th Battalion: France 1914-1919 (Y1/577)
Pte FC Lambert, 4th Battalion: France 1918 (Y1/583)
L/Cpl W Bantick, 5th Battalion: Gallipoli, Egypt 1914-1918 (Y1/588)
Pte FH Hornsey, 11th Battalion: France 1918 (Y1/578c)
Lieut RF Barton, 2nd Battalion, France 1916 (Y1/18d)
Lieut CJ Hupfield, 2nd Batt (attached Machine Gun Corps) France 1916-1917 (Y1/147)
Pte FJ Prew, 2nd Battalion: France 1914-1918  (Y1/641)
Maj GP Barker, Suffolk Yeomanry: Gallipoli 1915  (Y1/607)
Unidentified soldier, 5th Battalion: Gallipoli 1915  (Y1/636b)
2nd Lieut HB Neely, 1st Battalion: France 1915  (Y1/771)
L/Cpl ER Miller, 2nd Battalion: France 1915-1916  (Y1/484)
Capt EA Greene, Suffolk Yeomanry: Gallipoli, France 1915-1916  (Y1/737)
Pte AJ Nixon, 1st Battalion: France 1917  (Y1/776)
Pte AG Stiles, 5th Battalion: Egypt 1917-1918  (Y1/384)

 

Between the Wars

 

Unidentified soldier, 2nd Battalion: India 1930 (Y3/11)

 

1939-1945 War and later

 

Pte FE Hammond, 5th Battalion: Japanese POW 1941-1943 (Y1/134)
Capt PDA Clarke, 5th Battalion: Japanese POW 1941-1945 (Y1/65)
2nd Lieut MCM. Arrindell, 4th Battalion: Singapore 1942 (Y1/5)
Col PSW Dean, 4th Battalion: Japanese POW 1941-1945 (Y1/512)
Pte GJ Steele, 5th Battalion: Japanese POW 1941-1943  (Y1/729)
Sgt CC Goldsmith, 4th Battalion: Japanese POW 1941-1945  (Y1/777)
Pte J Farrant, 5th Battalion: Japanese POW 1941-1946  (Y1/779)
Cpl CH Coneybeare, 1st Battalion: Belgium, the Netherlands 1944  (Y1/735)
Cpl R Boyd, 1st Battalion: Malaya 1952 (Y1/585)

 

BIOGRAPHIES, AUTOBIOGRAPHIES AND REMINISCENCES

 

There are a number of manuscript and recorded biographies, autobiographies and reminiscences which provide personal insights into life in the regiment. (The period covered is given in brackets). There are printed examples listed in the Printed Sources page.

 

18th-19th century

 

Account of the service of Grenadier Stutter, by his niece (1751-1763) (Y1/149)
Pte E McComish, 1st Battalion: biographical account of service (1853-1865) (Y1/493)
Sgt WH Crane, 2nd Battalion: biographical account of service (1881-1909) (Y1/492)
Pte WW Bell, 2nd Battalion: biography (1893-1905) (Y1/515)

 

1914-1918 War

 

CSM C Smith, Suffolk Yeomanry: reminiscences (Y1/380)
Cpl RE Lovegrove, 6th and 12th Battalions: typescript autobiography (Y1/383)
Capt HCN Trollope: memoirs (Y1/429b)
L/Cpl JF Bunn, 2nd and 12th Battalions: autobiography (Y1/435)
Capt ED Wolton, 5th Battalion: taped reminiscences of service in Gallipoli, Egypt and Palestine (1915-1918) (Y1/275d)
‘Ungathered Moss’ by Brig. JG Frere (Y1/119)
Jack Hind and Frederick Castle: video recordings of reminiscences (A16/39)
Interviews with veterans of World War 1 and 2 (1985) (A16/44)
Pte GW Durrell: CD of reminiscences of service in the Great War (Y1/754)
Pte HA Southgate: typescript biography (Great War) (Y1/728)

 

Between the Wars

 

Pte C Colwell: autobiography ’12 years with the Colours’ (1920s/30s) (Y1/740a)

 

1939-1945 War

 

Pte SMJ Dulling: typescript autobiography (Y1/430)
Maj CA Boycott, 1st Battalion: account of pre-D Day training and Normandy landing (Y1/389)
D Harvey: taped reminiscences of time as Japanese POW (Y1/456)
Pte CE Manning, 5th Battalion: reminiscences of time as Japanese POW (Y1/478)
Interviews with veterans of World War 1 and 2 (1985) (A16/44)
Sgt R Walker: typescript account of service, including time as German POW (1931-1958) (Y1/678)
Maj KH Leese: reminiscences of Razmak (1939-1940) (Y1/529)
Pte R Herbert: typescript account of war service (1939-1945) (Y1/677)
Pte J Briggs: typescript account of experience as a Japanese POW (Y1/608)
Sgt R Dunningham: account of experience as a Japanese POW (Y1/614)
Pte F Chivers: typescript account of ‘My D-Day’ (Y1/607)

 

Since 1945

 

Brig WC Deller: taped reminiscences of service in Palestine (1947-1948) (Y1/407)
Pte RA Bostick: reminiscences (Malaya) (Y1/463)
Pte KV Perryman: reminiscences of National Service, (1954) (Y1/452)
2nd Lieut RC Farmer: ‘Memoirs of a National Service subaltern’ (Malaya 1951-1953) (Y1/107c)
Pte AJ Coote: reminiscences of service in Malaya 1951-1953 (Y1/436)
Pte D Chilvers: reminiscences of service in Cyprus (1958-1959) (Y1/781)

 

PHOTOGRAPHS

 

The collection includes over 22,000 photographs, loose, in albums, on CDs or DVDs, illustrating the life of the regiment from 1862 to 1959: active service (from Afghanistan in 1880 onwards), peacetime activities at home and abroad, sporting and social events, individual soldiers and groups. There are also many photographs of the areas overseas in which the regiment served, particularly Egypt, India, Malta, Shanghai, South Africa, Palestine, France and Flanders.

 

When individuals on a photograph are named, this fact is noted in the catalogue.

 

There is also a database available in the Bury St Edmunds Record Office searchroom which lists the officers and men on every photograph in which individuals are named; it currently (November 2015) contains over 15,000 entries.

 

MAPS AND PLANS

 

There are many maps (manuscript and printed and at a variety of scales), mostly of the areas in which the regiment served from the mid-19th century. Of particular note are:

 

Trench maps, Western Front (A13/5-7; C2/2; C7/3; Y1/36b, 116, 164a, r,168a, 212g, 244c,323p, q)
Printed maps of the Western Front (A13/1-4; Y1/212e);  Germany (B11/4, 8-10)
Gaza (H3/2) Gallipoli (H3/1; Y1/165l, m; Y1/187b, c)   Malaya (B11/5-7)
India (A12/12, 15; B13/5; Y1/35c-f, 179cc-ff, mm, nn) Burma (A13/15; C7/5)
South Africa (A14/14-16) Egypt and the Sudan (B11/1-2)

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