Colours of the 2nd Battalion
The Battle Honours, fringes and the crest of England taken from the Queen’s and Regimental Colours of the 2nd Battalion, carried between 1858 and 1879.
The Suffolk Regiment was doubled in size with the creation of a Reserve Battalion in 1842. In 1858 this formally became the Regiment’s 2nd Battalion and in 1859 during a three-month stay in Glasgow during the summer it was awarded its first set of Colours. They were issued from the Ordnance Store – previous Colours had been presented to a regiment by its Colonel. Conforming to the 1858 regulations, they would have been 5’ wide by 4’6” deep, edged with a gold fringe mixed with crimson fro the Queen’s and yellow for the Regimental Colour. The Colours carried the Battle Honours Minden, Gibraltar, India and Seringapatam; (Dettingen and South Africa 1851-2-3 would not be awarded until 1882).
On 2 August 1879 the Battalion was presented with new Colours and as was traditional the old ones were laid up. This ceremony took place on 22 August at St Mary’s Church in Bury St Edmunds. The Colours were escorted by Lieutenants J S Tillyer-Blunt and Claude Kennedy and four Sergeants. On the arrival of the party at the railway station a guard of honour, under Major Edward Marcon, of all available men from the 32nd Brigade Depot was drawn up to escort them to the church. There another guard of the Suffolk Yeomanry awaited their arrival, when a procession was formed, headed by several clergy and the Mayor. The service was conducted by the Rev Snape, the Vicar of St Mary’s and terminated with a hymn.
Unfortunately when the Regimental Chapel was being created in 1935 it was discovered that all the silk work on both the Colours had disappeared; nothing remained except for the fringes, cords and tassels, the remains of the ‘XII’ and ‘II Battalion’, the castle and the two crests of England from the Queen’s and Regimental Colours and the central portion of the Regimental Colour. It was decided to frame and hang the central portion of the Regimental Colour in the Chapel and to hand the remaining pieces to the Suffolk Regiment Museum.