Lt Col Clayton at Somain in 1919.

The Battalion HQ flag arrives in Cambridge.

The Colours return to Cambridge 21-5-19.



The Cambs remained based at their billets in Somain for most of January. They were kept busy with further salvage work, route marches, parades, guard duty, and inter battalion sports events such as cross country running. On the 17th January permission was granted for men who had been serving in France in 1915 to wear the newly announced medal ribbon, around 220 men in the Battalion on that day qualified. A more detailed look at the Cambs time at Somain can be found by clicking here.

As the weeks went on more men were sent home for demobilization and by the end of the month the Battalion strength had reduced to around 600.


On the 4th February a large parade and inspection by the King was held at Somain. The Cambs were present with their Colours that had been collected from St Marys Church in Cambridge after the Armistice. The Battalion was selected to provide a guard for the King during his time with the 12th Division.

The training and guard duties continued throughout the rest of the month as did the demobilization orders. A draft of men also left the Cambs and were posted over to the 11th Battalion, The Suffolk Regiment. By the end of the month the Cambs strength was around 200 men and they were reorganised into one Coy.


The Battalion, now well at home in the billets at Somain, continued to keep busy although the number of parades and training exercises were reduced. By the end of the month it was down to a cadre strength of 19 officers and 77 other ranks.


Life continued for the Cambs at Somain much the same as it had since January. Easter Day was marked with a Church Parade held in the local Cinema Hall and later in the day a football match was held against the locals, the Cambs won. Like the previous months more men were sent home or drafted to the 11th Suffolks, by the 30th April the Cambs were down to 11 officers and 48 other ranks.


Orders finally came through on the 4th May to the Cadre that they would be leaving Somain and heading back to England. They left Somain by train on the 6th May and headed to Dunkerque. On the 10th May they boarded the Russian steam ship Michael Sidirou and set sail for the Southampton.

The Cadre returned home to Cambridge on the 21st May, a massive crowd greeted them at the train station including many relatives and former Cambs men. As the Cadre marched into town more and more people lined up to see them. The route took them into town, through the Market Square and Kings College, then onto the 1st Eastern Hospital. A lunch was laid on for the men and invited guests at the hospital and numerous speeches were made. Late in the afternoon the Cadre left the hospital and marched to the Drill Hall where the men were fallen out for the last time. Further details about the Cambs return to Cambridge can be found by clicking here.


As the men of the Cambs, both TF volunteers and conscripts, tried to rebuild their lives and heal their physical and mental wounds, the County TF Association was deciding what to do. The battalions of the TF had all been disbanded on returning home from the war, in early 1920 it was announced the TF was to be rebuilt but as the Territorial Army.

The decision was made in February 1920 that the Cambs Battalion would be rebuilt and the Regiment kept alive. Lt Col Clayton was asked to take command again and accepted. Over the next few months many of the old veterans returned to the Colours and the "Cambs Terriers" were formed again.

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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.


Copyright 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019 by Felix Jackson. The information and images on this site should not be reproduced without prior permission.