The Suffolk Regiment

In Battle of Minden, Gibralter Barracks, Jarman Collection, Minden Rose, Past and Present Society, Suffolk Regiment on August 31, 2005 at 5:25 pm

On many of my runs I pass the building in the photo which is the Gibralter barracks built in 1878. The Suffolk Regiment was based for long periods in Gibralter during the 18th century particularly during the siege by the French and Spanish. So when a new barracks was built in Bury St Edmunds, it would have seemed appropriate to name it after one of the Suffolk Regiments main campaigns.

The regiment was formed in 1685 originally to fight off a rebellion by the Duke of Monmouth.

The Suffolk regiment saw action at the Battle of the Boyne in Ireland in 1690 and Dettingen in France in 1743.

One of its major campaigns was at the Battle of Minden in 1759 when the Suffolk Regiment won a major battle attacking French positions without aid of supporting artillery against cannon fire. Apparently soldiers plucked red and yellow roses from hedgerows to wear in their hats and every since this battle is annually remembered by a parade. Just along the road the local pub has been called the Minden Rose.

The Suffolk Regiment were involved in many campaigns in many parts of the world including India, New Zealand ,South Africa and of course during the 1st and 2nd world wars.

However all that remains now of the Gibralter Barracks Site is the Keep. The rest of the site has largely been built over with the Bury Sports Centre and College facilities. I can remember as a child often playing on this site when there was the remains of a shooting range. At one end there was a large sandpit against a brick wall with lots of bullet holes. At the other there were shooting positions often built into the ground so that only your head was above ground level. Playing with friends you could often find bullets mostly spent but some seemingly still intact.

The black and white pictures are from a superb collection of photographs known as the Spanton Jarman Collection. The Bury St Edmunds Past and Present society are working on the restoration and storage of the negatives.

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