12 January 2020

Royal West Kent Regiment - 4th Battalion

This post will look at regimental numbering in the 4th Battalion, Royal West Kent Regiment (TF) between 1908 and 1914.

The 4th Battalion was formed on the 1st April 1908 and prior to this had been the 1st Volunteer Battalion, the Queen's Own (Royal West Kent Regiment). In 1907, prior to the advent of the Territorial Force, the 1st Volunteer Battalion had a strength of 869 out of an establishment of 1,280. The following year, in 1908, as The Territorial Year Book for 1909 records, the battalion strength comprised 18 officers and 508 men. 179 men attended camp at Walmer in 1908 for 8 days and 250 attended for 15 days.

The following year, The Territorial Year Book for 1910 recorded that the strength of the battalion in 1909 stood at 22 officers and 766 men. At the annual camp at Dover that year, 305 officers and men attended for eight days whilst 388 officers and men attended for 15 days. Camp in 1910 was scheduled to take place from the 23rd July at Dover.

By August 1914 the battalion was headquartered at Tonbridge, and recruiting in the following parts of the county:  


A Company: Maidstone
B Company: Maidstone, with a drill station at West Malling
C Company: Tonbridge, with a drill station at Hadlow
D Company: Tunbridge Wells
E Company: Tunbridge Wells
F Company: Orpington
G Company: Sevenoaks
H Company: Westerham, with drill stations at Edenbridge

The above information about company distribution is particularly useful if your ancestor enlisted with the 4th Royal West Kent Regiment prior to August 1914. For argument's sake, if he lived in Orpington he would have been most likely to have joined F Company; if he was in the immediate vicinity of Sevenoaks, G Company would have been the most likely company he served with.

Here are some sample regimental numbers and joining dates for the the 4th Royal West Kent Regiment.

61 joined from the 1st Volunteer Force Battalion on the 6th April 1908
549 joined on the 4th February 1909
974 joined on the 21st March 1910
1174 joined on the 2nd May 1911
1293 joined on the 1st April 1912
1461 joined on the 26th February 1913
1720 joined on the 21st May 1914
1981 joined on the 14th August 1914

Use the regimental numbers above to estimate when a man would have joined this battalion between 1908 and August 1914. For example if your man's number was 1000 and he lived in Westerham, he would have joined the battalion some time after 21st March 1910 but before May 1911. Furthermore, he probably served with H Company.


Remember. I research soldiers!


To search for photos of your Royal West Kent Regiment ancestors, check my British Army Ancestors website.

11 January 2020

The Buffs (East Kent Regiment) - 5th Battalion


This post will look at regimental numbering in the 5th (Weald of Kent) Battalion (TF), The Buffs (East Kent Regiment) between 1908 and 1914.

The 5th Battalion was formed on the 1st April 1908 and prior to this had been the 2nd Volunteer Battalion, the Buffs (East Kent Regiment). In 1908, as The Territorial Year Book for that year records, the battalion strength comprised 13 officers and 434 men. 102 men attended camp in 1908 for 8 days and 307 attended for 15 days.

The following year, The Territorial Year Book for 1910 recorded that the strength of the battalion in 1909 stood at 21 officers and 710 men. At the annual camp at Dover that year, 140 officers and men attended for eight days whilst 551 officers and men attended for 15 days. Camp in 1910 was scheduled to take place with the 4th Battalion from the 23rd July at Dover.

By August 1914 the battalion was headquartered at Ashford, and recruiting in the following parts of the county:  


A Company: Cranbrook, with a drill station at Benenden
B Company: Hawkhurst, with a drill station at Sandhurst
C Company: Headcorn, with drill stations at Staplehurst, Marden and Sutton Valence
D Company: Horsmonden, with drill stations at Goudhurst, Lamberhurst, Brenchley, Yalding and Paddock Wood
E Company: Ashford, with drill stations at Pluckley, Bethersden, Aldington and Ham Street
F Company: Ashford
G Company:Tenterden, with drill stations at Lydd, Woodchurch, New Romney, Appledore, Wittersham and Rolvenden
H Company: Ashford

The above information about company distribution is particularly useful if your ancestor enlisted with the 5th Buffs prior to August 1914. For argument's sake, if he lived in Ashford he would have been most likely to have joined E, F or H Company; if he was in the immediate vicinity of Sandhurst, B Company would have been the most likely company he served with.

Here are some sample regimental numbers and joining dates for the the 5th (Weald of Kent) Battalion (TF), The Buffs (East Kent Regiment).

121 joined from the 2nd Volunteer Force Battalion on the 10th April 1908
500 joined on the 3rd February 1909
874 joined on the 7th April 1910
932 joined on the 8th February 1911
1050 joined on the 1st November 1912
1141 joined on the 9th June 1913
1199 joined on the 26th February 1914
1358 joined on the 6th August 1914

Use the regimental numbers above to estimate when a man would have joined this battalion between 1908 and August 1914. For example if your man's number was 600 and he lived in Headcorn, he would have joined the battalion some time after 3rd February 1909 and before April 1910. Furthermore, he probably served with C Company.


The undated photo at the top of this page shows band members of an unidentified battalion of the Buffs. There is an array of cloth insignia on display here.

Remember. I research soldiers!


To search for photos of your Buffs ancestors, check my British Army Ancestors website.

10 January 2020

The Buffs (East Kent Regiment) - 4th Battalion



This post will look at regimental numbering in the 4th Battalion (TF), The Buffs (East Kent Regiment) between 1908 and 1914.

The 4th Battalion was formed on the 1st April 1908 and prior to this had been the 1st Volunteer Battalion, the Buffs (East Kent Regiment). In 1907, the 1st VB was under-strength; 950 men out of an establishment of 1396. By 1908, as The Territorial Year Book for that year records, the battalion strength had shrunk further and now comprised 16 officers and 508 men. 158 men attended camp in 1908 for 8 days and 259 attended for 15 days.

The following year, after an obviously successful recruiting campaign, The Territorial Year Book for 1910 recorded that the strength of the battalion in 1909 stood at 18 officers and 787 men. At the annual camp that year, 316 officers and men attended for eight days whilst 385 officers and men attended for 15 days. Camp in 1910 was scheduled to take place from the 23rd July at Dover.

By August 1914 the battalion was headquartered at Canterbury, and recruiting in the following parts of the county:  


A Company: Ramsgate, with drill stations at Birchington and Broadstairs
B Company: Canterbury, with drill stations at Chatham and Ash
C Company: Canterbury, with drill stations at Littlebourne, Wingham and Nonington
D Company: Folkestone, with a drill station at Hythe
E Company: Sittingbourne, with a drill station at Sheerness
F Company: Herne Bay, with a drill station at Whitstable
G Company: Margate, with drill stations at St Nicholas at Wade, and Westgate
H Company: Dover

The above information about company distribution is particularly useful if your ancest
or enlisted with the 4th Buffs prior to August 1914. For argument's sake, if he lived in Whitstable he would have been most likely to have joined F Company; if he was in the immediate vicinity of Dover, H Company would have been the most likely company he served with.

Here are some sample regimental numbers and joining dates for the the 4th Battalion (TF), The Buffs (East Kent Regiment).

126 joined from the 1st Volunteer Force Battalion on the 24th April 1908
690 joined on the 12th January 1909
1017 joined on the 19th February 1910
1221 joined on the 17th February 1911
1367 joined on the 31st January 1912
1496 joined on the 29th January 1913
1774 joined on the 29th January 1914
1879 joined on the 5th August 1914

Use the regimental numbers above to estimate when a man would have joined this battalion between 1908 and August 1914. For example if your man's number was 1250 and he lived in Wingham, he would have joined the battalion some time after 17th February 1911 and before January 1912. Furthermore, he probably served with C Company.


The undated photo at the top of this page shows an unidentified battalion of the Buffs on the march.

Remember. I research soldiers!


To search for photos of your Buffs ancestors, check my British Army Ancestors website.