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.

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