Center Col: Unset
Col Margin: Unset
Col Status: Unset
Mouse over button or menu: Unset
Home Btn Pos X (Left), Y (bottom): Unset
Mouse X, Y: Unset

Recommend this page to a friend:




On a mobile device? Try our mobile site

Unit History: Buffs (East Kent Regiment)

Buffs (East Kent Regiment)
The Regiments’ roots lie in 1572, when Queen Elizabeth I supplied military aid to Protestant rebels in the Netherlands against King Phillip II of Spain.  300 men of the Trained Bands of the City of London were supplied to serve in Thomas Morgan’s Company and in 1665 it was one of three units still fighting in the Netherlands.  However, tensions between England and Holland increased during The Second Dutch War (1665–1667), when England attempted to gain possessions of Dutch territories in Africa and North America.  As a result the English Regiments in Holland were required to declare their allegiance to the Dutch Republic or disband.  All but a few soldiers chose to disband even though they faced destitution in a foreign country without an income.  Sir George Downing, the British Ambassador in Holland arranged for the men to be returned to England at his own expense, where King Charles II instructed them to be formed into a new Regiment known as ‘The Holland Regiment’ and granted the fourth order of precedence in the Infantry line.
 
In 1688 Prince William of Orange was invited to take the throne, from the unpopular King James II, by the English Lords and became King William III following James II’s abdication.  The Regiment was renamed as ‘Prince George of Denmark’s Regiment’ after the King’s brother-in-law, the Duke of Cumberland.
 
The Regiment officially gained the name ‘The Buffs’ in 1744.  While on campaign in the Low Countries as part of The Austrian War of Succession (1740–48), it came under the command of Lieutenant-General Thomas Howard, who also had command of a second Regiment (later the 19th Regiment of Foot).  Following the naming convention of the time both Regiments would be called ‘Howard’s Regiment of Foot’.  In order to distinguish between them they were named after the colour of their uniform facings; the Green Howards and Howard’s Buffs which was then shortened to The Buffs.
 
In 1782 all British Regiments without Royal titles were given county titles in order to aid recruitment, the Regiment was also awarded the 3rd order of precedence to become the 3rd (East Kent) Regiment of Foot (‘The Buffs’).  The Regiment went on to serve during the American War of Independence (1775-83) and also stationed in the West Indies and fought during The Napoleonic Wars (1803–1815) at the Battles of Vittoria, Pyrenees and Toulouse but moved back to North America in 1812, missing the Battle of Waterloo.  In 1821 The Buffs were deployed to Australia to guard convicts in New South Wales until 1827.  The Buffs went on to serve in India for 17 years and then during the Crimean War (1854-56) and the Second China War (1856-60).
 
In 1881 the Childers Reforms aimed to restructure the British army infantry Regiments into a network of multi-battalion Regiments each consisting of; two regular and two militia battalions.  The Buffs managed to avoid amalgamation with any other Regiment but the order of precedence title was dropped and the East Kent association was formalised to become The Buffs (East Kent Regiment).
 
The phrase ‘Steady the Buffs!’ was popularised by Rudyard Kipling in his 1888 novel ‘Soldiers Three’.  The origins of this phrase come from Adjutant John Cotter during garrison duties in Malta, who encouraged the men of the 2nd Battalion with ‘Steady the Buffs! The Fusiliers are watching you’ as he did not want to be shown up in front of his former Regiment The 21st Royal Fusiliers.  The Buffs went on to serve during the Zulu War (1879), The Perak War (1875-1876) in Malaya, the Anglo-Egyptian War (1882), the Second Boer War (1899-1902) and Two World Wars.
 
The Regiment was awarded the Royal title in 1935 to become The Buffs (Royal East Kent Regiment) and from 1961 went through a series of amalgamations firstly, with the Queen's Own Royal West Kent Regiment to form the Queen’s Own Buffs (Royal Kent Regiment).  In 1966 it was further merged with the Royal Surrey Regiment, the Middlesex Regiment and the Sussex Regiment to form the Queen’s Regiment.  In 1991 it was amalgamated with the Royal Hampshire Regiment to form the Princess of Wales’s Royal Regiment and is the most senior English line infantry Regiment.

Buffs (East Kent Regiment) during WW1

The Regiment raised 14 Battalions and was awarded 48 battle honours and 1 Victoria cross, losing 6,000 men during the course of the First World War.

1st Battalion
04.08.1914 Stationed at Fermoy as part of the 16th Brigade of the 6th Division.
19.08.1914 Moved to Cambridge.
10.09.1914 Mobilised for war and landed at St Nazaire and engaged in various actions on the Western Front including;
1914
The actions on the Aisne heights.
1915
The action at Hooge.
1916
The Battle of Flers-Courcelette, The Battle of Morval, The Battle of Le Transloy.
1917
The Battle of Hill 70, The Cambrai operations.
1918
The Battle of St Quentin, The Battle of Bailleul, The First Battle of Kemmel Ridge, The Second Battle of Kemmel Ridge, The Advance in Flanders, The Battle of Epehy, The Battle of the St Quentin Canal, The Battle of Beaurevoir, The Battle of Cambrai 1918, The pursuit to the Selle, The Battle of the Selle.
11.11.1918 Ended the war at Bohain, France.

2nd Battalion
04.08.1914 Stationed at Wellington, Madras
16.11.1914 Embarked for England from Bombay landing at Plymouth then moved to Winchester and joined the 85th Brigade of the 28th Division.
17.01.1915 Mobilised for war and landed at Havre and engaged in various actions on the Western Front including;
1915
The Second Battle of Ypres, The Battle of Loos.
30.10.1915 Embarked for Salonika from Marseilles via Alexandria arriving Nov 1915 and engaged in various actions against the Bulgarian Army;
1916
The occupation of Mazirko, The capture of Barakli Jum'a.
1917
The capture of Ferdie and Essex Trenches (near Barakli Jum'a), The capture of Barakli and Kumli.
1918
The Battle of Doiran, The pursuit to the Strumica valley.
30.09.1918 Ended the war north of Lake Doiran, Macedonia.

3rd (Reserve) Battalion
04.08.1914 Stationed at Canterbury at the outbreak of war then moved to Dover where it remained.

1/4th Battalion Territorial Force
04.08.1914 Stationed at Canterbury as part of the Kent Brigade of the Home Counties Division then moved to Dover and back to Canterbury.
30.10.1914 Embarked for India from Southampton where the Home Counties Division was broken up.
26.07.1915 Sailed to Aden (now in modern Yemen).
Feb 1916 Returned to India where it remained.

1/5th (The Weald of Kent) Battalion Territorial Force
04.08.1914 Formed at Ashford as part of the Kent Brigade of the Home Counties Division, then moved to Dover, Canterbury and then Sandwich.
30.10.1914 Embarked for India from Southampton where the Home Counties Division was broken up.
Dec 1915 Landed at Basra and joined the 35th Indian Brigade of the 7th Indian Division.
Feb 1916 Became corps troops and formed composite unit with 2 companies of the 1/4th Hampshire Battalion.
12.05.1916 Transferred to the 35th Indian Brigade of the 14th Indian Division.
31.10.1918 Ended the war in Shahraban N.E. of Baghdad, Mesopotamia.

2/4th Battalion Territorial Force
Sept 1914 Formed at Canterbury and then moved to Ascot to join the 202nd Brigade of the 67th Division.
May 1915 Moved to Ashford.
Nov 1917 Disbanded.

2/5th (The Weald of Kent) Battalion Territorial Force
Sept 1914 Formed at Ashford and then moved to Ascot to join the 202nd Brigade of the 67th Division.
May 1915 Moved to Ashford.
Nov 1917 Disbanded.

3/4th & 3/5th Battalion Territorial Force
July & Mar 1915 Formed at Canterbury and Ashford.
Dec 1915 Moved to Cambridge.
08.04.1916 Became Reserve battalions.
01.09.1916 Moved to Tunbridge Wells and absorbed the 5th Battalion.
Nov 1917 Moved to Crowborough and then back to Tunbridge Wells in the Home Counties Reserve Brigade Territorial Force.

6th (Service) Battalion
Aug 1914 Formed at Canterbury as part of the First New Army (K1) and then moved to Colchester and Purfleet to join the 37th Brigade of the 12th Division and then moved to Shorncliffe.
Feb 1915 Moved to Aldershot.
June 1915 Mobilised for war and landed at Boulogne and engaged in various actions on the Western Front including;
1915
The Battle of Loos.
1916
The Battle of Albert, The Battle of Pozieres, The Battle of Le Transloy,
1917
The First Battle of the Scarpe, The Battle of Arleux, The Third Battle of the Scarpe, The Cambrai operations.
1918
The Battle of Bapaume, The First Battle of Arras 1918, The Battle of Amiens, The Battle of Albert, The Battle of Epehy, The Final Advance in Artois,
11.11.1918 Ended the war at Rumegies east of Orchies, France.

7th (Service) Battalion
Sept 1914 Formed at Canterbury as part of the Second New Army (K2) then moved to Purfleet and joined the 55th Brigade of the 18th Division.
April 1915 Moved to Colchester and then Salisbury Plain.
July 1915 Mobilised for war and landed at Boulogne and engaged in various actions on the Western Front including;
1916
The Battle of Albert, The Battle of Bazentin Ridge, The Battle of Delville Wood, The Battle of Thiepval Ridge, The Battle of the Ancre Heights, The Battle of the Ancre.
1917
Operations on the Ancre, The German retreat to the Hindenburg Line, The Third Battle of the Scarpe, The Battle of Pilkem Ridge, The Battle of Langemarck, First Battle of Passchendaele, The Second Battle of Passchendaele.
1918
The Battle of St Quentin, The Battle of the Avre, The actions of Villers-Brettoneux, The Battle of Amiens, The Battle of Albert, The Second Battle of Bapaume, The Battle of Epehy, The Battle of the St Quentin Canal, The Battle of the Selle, The Battle of the Sambre.
11.11.1918 Ended the war at Pommereuil east of Le Cateau, France.

8th (Service) Battalion
12.09.1914 Formed at Canterbury as part of the Third New Army then moved to Shoreham and joined the 72nd Brigade of the 24th Division and then moved to Worthing.
April 1915 Returned to Shoreham and then moved to Blackdown, Aldershot.
01.09.1915 Mobilised for war and landed at Boulogne.
18.10.1915 Transferred to the 17th Brigade of the 24th Division which engaged in various actions on the Western Front including;
1915
The Battle of Loos
1916
The German gas attack at Wulverghem, The Battle of Delville Wood, The Battle of Guillemont.
1917
The Battle of Vimy Ridge, The Battle of Messines, The Battle of Pilkem Ridge, The Battle of Langemarck, The Cambrai Operations.
1918
The Battle of St Quentin, The Actions at the Somme Crossings, The Battle of Rosieres, The First Battle of the Avre, The Battle of Cambrai 1918, The pursuit to the Selle, The Battle of the Sambre, The passage of the Grand Honelle.
13.02.1918 Disbanded at Hancourt and remaining personnel transferred to the 1st and 6th Battalions.

9th (Service) Battalion
Oct 1914 Formed at Dover as a service battalion of the Fourth New Army (K4) as part of the 95th Brigade of the 32nd Division.
10.04.1915 Became a 2nd Reserve Battalion of the 7th Reserve Brigade.
May 1915 Moved to Purfleet and then Shoreham and then Dover.
01.09.1916 Became 29th Training Reserve Battalion of the 7th Reserve Brigade.

10th (Royal East Kent & West Kent Yeomanry) Battalion Territorial Force
01.02.1917 Formed in Sollum, Egypt from the dismounted East Kent Yeomanry and the West Kent Yeomanry Regiments, as part of the 230th Brigade of the 74th Division.
May 1918 Mobilised for war and landed in France at Marseilles 07.05.1918 and engaged in various actions on the Western front including;
The Second Battles of the Somme, The Battles of the Hindenburg Line, The Final Advance in Artois and Flanders.
11.11.1918 Ended the war at Tournai, Belgium.

1st (Home Service) Garrison Battalion
29.04.1916 Formed at Dover and then became 2nd Battalion Royal Defence Corps.
Down arrow Up arrow 1 people in our Early 19th Century records
Filter by Surname:
Down arrow Up arrow 1 people in our Crimean War records
Filter by Surname:
Down arrow Up arrow 52 people in our Victorian Conflicts records
Filter by Surname:
Down arrow Up arrow 2571 people in our Boer War records
Filter by Surname:
Down arrow Up arrow 16722 people in our WW1 records
Filter by Surname:
Down arrow Up arrow 13147 people in our WW2 records
Filter by Surname:
Down arrow Up arrow 894 people in our Post WW2 records
Filter by Surname:
Down arrow Up arrow 81 people in our Forces Reunited records
Filter by Surname:
1

Active From: 1665 - 1961

One moment...