This post will look at army service numbers and the dates on which these were issued to men joining the regular battalions (1st and 2nd Battalions) of the Suffolk Regiment.
There are close to 37,000 Suffolk Regiment serviceand pension records (for this regiment - and its antecedents) in various War Office series held at the National Archives. Clicking on the link will take you to the results on Findmypast but you will need a subscription or Pay-Per-View credits to actually view the records. Some of these records can also be viewed on-line on Ancestry although Findmypast has by far the most comprehensive service record collection.
The Suffolk Regiment was born on 1st July 1881; formed out of the old 12th (East Suffolk) Regiment of Foot. This post will look at army service numbers issued between 1881 and August 1914. Service records for all of the numbers listed below, survive in WO 363 (Burnt Documents) and WO 364 (Pensions) in the National Archives. They can also be viewed on-line via the Ancestry.co.uk website.
5 joined on 12th July 1881
241 joined on 4th February 1882
444 joined on 27th January 1883
1055 joined on 18th November 1884
1196 joined on 27th January 1885
1815 joined on 8th September 1886
1968 joined on 27th January 1887
2111 joined on 16th January 1888
2648 joined on 27th May 1889
2877 joined on 15th September 1890
2999 joined on 15th January 1891
3361 joined on 24th October 1892
3457 joined on 9th February 1893
3808 joined on 31st March 1894
4162 joined on 4th February 1895
4389 joined on 5th February 1896
4710 joined on 21st September 1897
4966 joined on 19th January 1898
5315 joined on 2nd June 1899
5490 joined on 24th January 1900
5809 joined on 8th July 1901
6018 joined on 18th February 1902
6319 joined on 6th January 1903
6716 joined on 4th January 1904
7155 joined on 8th December 1905
7463 joined on 4th December 1906
7524 joined on 2nd February 1907
7882 joined on 15th December 1909
7936 joined on 27th January 1910
8182 joined on 12th January 1911
8634 joined on 3rd January 1913
8918 joined on 10th March 1914
9014 joined on 7th August 1914 (regular terms of enlistment)
Pictured on this page, Lt Charles Frederick Lennock c1883, courtesy of the excellent Soldiers of the Queen website.
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Suffolk Regiment titles from The Naval & Military Press:
History of the 12th (The Suffolk Regiment) 1685-1913
A very detailed history by an experienced author who observes that he was much assisted by the wealth of personal diaries, journals and varied reminiscences of the old 12th. There are informative appendices such as the succession of Colonels with biographies, succession of COs and Adjutants, and a chapter on uniform, equipment and the Colours.
During the almost 230 years covered by this history, the Suffolks served in India (Seringapatam is a principal battle honour), in Africa during the Kaffir and Boer Wars, in New Zealand in the Maori War, on the NW Frontier in the 2nd Afghan War, in the West Indies and Mauritius. Colour plates depict uniforms, battle scenes and the Colours in 1686 and 1849. CLICK HERE TO ORDER.
History of the Suffolk Regiment 1914-1927
This volume begins on 1st January 1914 when 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, based on war diaries, private diaries, letters and interviews, tells the stroies of the men who served. 6,650 officers and men died for King and Country and two VCs were won and 73 Battle Honours awarded.
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 the main events are clearly described.
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. 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. CLICK HERE TO ORDER.
Diary of Colonel Bayly, 12th Regiment, 1796-1803 (Seringapatnam 1799)
Entertaining, if bloody, account of the 12th Regiment of Foot in India and their struggles against Tippoo Sultan. CLICK HERE FOR FURTHER DETAILS.
Centurions of a Century
Nostalgic look back at Britain’s military campaigns, battles and leaders as well as (Suffolk) regimental actions and regimental life, all spread over more than a hundred years. Published in 1914, the book deals with Britain's colonial wars up until the death of Queen Victoria. CLICK HERE TO READ MORE.