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.

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