On 26th August 1914 the exhausted men of the 2nd Battalion, The Suffolk regiment were heroically attempting to hold to hold the front line to the west of the Belgian village of Le Cateau. From dawn the battalion had been under heavy shelling from almost 200 German guns, and at midday with the battalion's Commanding Officer already among the dead, the Suffolks came under attack from three sides by the German 7th Infantry Division. By 1445 hrs the battalion was completely surrounded but continued to fight on despite having suffered severe casualties. Finally after nine desperate hours the brave Suffolks were finally overwhelmed, and the few survivors marched off to captivity. Among the prisoners was a young Officer, Second Lieutenant Backhouse. On his release in 1918, Second Lieutenant Backhouse opted to remain in the post war Regular Army. In 1942, now a Brigadier, he was again captured in Singapore by the Japanese and spent another 3 1/2 years in captivity, bringing his combined years in captivity to eight. Thereafter, Brigadier Backhouse would always refer to himself as "The Professional POW."