3/1st Battalion Commanding Officers

Later named 1st Reserve Battalion, then Cambs and Suffolk Reserve Battalion.


Capt E Peck                15-2-1915 to 1-5-1915

Lt Col A Howell         1-5-1915 to 15-11-1917

Lt Col J Robertson    15-11-1917 to 17-3-1918

Lt Col C Greenwood 19-3-1918 to 4-9-1918

Lt Col S D Roper        5-9-1918 to 11-11-1918

3/1st Battalion band.

Cambs & Beds officers attached to the 3/1st.

3/1st Battalion


Permission was granted for the formation of a 2nd Reserve Battalion for The Cambridgeshire Regiment in early 1915. It was formed on the 17th February at Cambridge and named the 3/1st Battalion, The Cambridgeshire Regiment. Its specific role was to provide men for replacement drafts for the 1/1st which was now overseas.

The first new recruits joined on the 25th February 1915 and the 3/1st was moved into the newly built TF HQ on East Road, Cambridge, where it was nominally under the command of Capt E.S. Peck, the Depot Commander. The size for the Battalion was set at 2 Coys and an MG Section. Throughout the spring and summer of 1915 intensive recruiting for the newly formed battalion took place. The 3/1st band and recruiting party toured the villages and towns all across the county. By the 7th June 1915 the 3/1st was at a strength of 537 men and permission was given for the formation of a third Coy.

In late August, after taking on a draft of injured men from the 1/1st, the Battalion left Cambridge with a strength of just over 800 men and headed to Windsor as part of the East Anglian Reserve Brigade. The first draft of replacements for the 1/1st was sent on the 28th September 1915 with numerous other drafts following over the next few months (for further information about these drafts please click here).

On the 10th October 1915 the 3/1st was posted to Halton Park, Tring as part of the newly named and reorganised East Anglian Reserve Group. Replacement drafts continued to leave the Battalion heading for the 1/1st overseas and despite men recovering from wounds joining in return the 3/1st strength was decreasing. A further large recruiting drive was organised across the county in December 1915 to help bring the numbers back up.

After another reorganising of the TF reserves the method of naming was changed and the 3/1st became the 1st Reserve Battalion, The Cambridgeshire Regiment, and part of the East Anglian Reserve Brigade TF. The Battalion remained at Tring for all of 1916 and through to August 1917. Drafts continued to leave for the 1/1st, the size and frequency of these drafts depending on how many casualties they were suffering at the front.

On the 23rd July 1917 a further reorganising of the TF's reserve system led to the merger of the 1st Reserve Battalion, The Cambridgeshire Regiment with the 4th Reserve Battalion, The Suffolk Regiment. They now formed the Cambs and Suffolk Reserve Battalion, The Suffolk Regiment and were to supply drafts to both Regiment's TF battalions. In August 1917 they finally left Tring and headed to Crowborough.

To cope with supplying replacements to both the Cambs and the Suffolk TF Battalions the average strength of the Cambs and Suffolk Reserve Battalion was around 100 officers and 1200 men. Most of the other ranks were men who had already served overseas and been wounded or were youths aged 18 and were being held in the UK till they turned 19. The Battalion continued to supply replacement drafts for the 1/1st up until the last days of the war.

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This site went live on the 14th February 2015 to mark  100 years since the 1/1st Cambs went off to war.


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