Jump to content
The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

2nd Battalion, The Suffolk Regiment at Arras...


Chief_Chum
 Share

Recommended Posts

The Battle of Arras saw the heaviest daily British and Commonwealth casualties of the whole war.

So how did the British television media mark the 90th anniversary in April this year? The simple answer is, they didn't. HM The Queen's visit to Vimy was mentioned briefly on the news and the Canadian Army were given the Freedom of Arras but not a squeak about the Battle as a whole or the part the British Army played in it.

On Wednesday evening, 10th October BBC East (just the eastern region I'm afraid) will, at least, be showing a short ten minute film, on their 'Inside Out' programme, about the part played in the Battle by 2nd Battalion, The Suffolk Regiment and the commemoration of the historic Easter Sunday Communion service held by the battalion Chaplain, Revd G C Danvers, MC in Wellington Caves beneath Arras.

Ten years ago I discovered the exact spot where the service had been held and it was still untouched; Battalion HQ signs, overhead telephone cables and even the marks on the chalk left by the Communion candles were still there after 80 years.

This year was the first time since 1917 that Easter Sunday fell on 8th April and the Khaki Chums were able to recreate the service exactly 90 years to the hour that the original was held in exactly the same spot.

The film tells the story of the Battalion and a relative of mine, Alf Watson, who was killed with 2/Suffolk a few days later and who is buried in Arras.

It's a shame that the programme won't be networked across the country but hopefully this will go a little way towards making sure the sacrifices of the British Army during the Battle of Arras will not be forgotten.

Taff

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Taff,

Thanks for this. I'll make sure I'm watching, as it's in my area.

It's thanks to Pals like you that these aspects of the Great War continue to be remembered with the reverence they deserve. Long may it continue.

Kind Regards

Paul J

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Dear All,

I have had an email today from BBC East telling me that they have re-scheduled the Arras film for later in the series; probably Wednesday 24th October.

No explanation so it looks like we all have to wait a little longer!

Sorry about that.

Cheers,

Taff

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Dear All,

I have had an email today from BBC East telling me that they have re-scheduled the Arras film for later in the series; probably Wednesday 24th October.

No explanation so it looks like we all have to wait a little longer!

Sorry about that.

Cheers,

Taff

Chief_Chum (Taff)

I, too, have had this (from the BBC) today:

"it isnt going to be on til October 24th 7.30 BBC ONE" so it sounds hopeful .

Looking forward to it.

Mabel

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Mabel

"Inside Out" seems to be a national time slot for 1930 but with a regional bias,BBC South always have a local reporter airing local matters of interest for our half an hour. I am not expecting this subject to be aired down here,needless to say I would like it to be.

Sotonmate

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi Mabel,

That sounds positive! Shame I will be at Poelkapelle and will miss it but, according to Alan on another thread:

"I think these programs are available for a week after broadcast on the BBC website (at least in the UK) so that could be another way for Pals to see them.....this is the link for Inside Out East

http://www.bbc.co.uk/insideout/east/

Alan"

So, hopefully you will be able to see the programme no matter where you live.

Sotonmate, the programmes are regional but, every year, they do run a series of Inside Out nationwide where they take the best storis from each region and network them so it may reach the south coast eventually!

Cheers,

Taff

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Sotonmate and Chief Chum:

I shall probably record it as well as watch and would be happy to send you a copy DVD (DVD-RW format) if you would like it - providing, of course, I can work out how to....!

Mabel

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Although I can get BBC East on Satellite at home, unfortunately work's got me in the States until the end of the month!

Thanks for posting the URL Taff!

cheers

Steve

PS. Taff - you may recall the copy of the group photo I sent you of my g granddad and his chums; I can now tell you it was definitely taken in S Africa at least prior to July 1901 (I now have his service papers) - so I think we can safely say at least some of the 1st Battalion wore collar dogs at that time!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...