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British Army - The Buffs (Royal East Kent Regiment)

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Above - Buffs at the Battle of Albuhera by William Barnes Wollen;Public Domain, Wiki Commons; Badges above from left; 3rd (The East Kent) Regiment of Foot (The Buffs) ; Royal East Kent (The Buffs) WW1 (Courtesy of British Military Medals)

The Buffs (Royal East Kent Regiment)
British Army - Infantry

Princess of Wales's Royal Regiment

(Reflecting historic name changes)

3rd (The East Kent) Regiment of Foot (The Buffs)

3rd Regiment of Foot

3rd Regiment of Foot (The Buffs)

The Buffs

The Buffs (East Kent Regiment)

The Holland Regiment

Morgan's Company

Prince George of Denmark's Regiment of Foot

Please link profiles of those who served in the The Buffs (Royal East Kent Regiment) (including those in the "included" list above), to this project regardless of rank, conflict or nationality. People of note can be individually listed in Alphabetical Order below.

Regiments and Corps of the British Army

The Princess of Wales's Royal Regiment


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The Buffs (Royal East Kent Regiment) Foot Soldier 1742

Image Public Domain, Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0

The Buffs (Royal East Kent Regiment) was a line infantry regiment of the British Army traditionally raised in the English county of Kent and garrisoned at Canterbury. It had a history dating back to 1572 and was one of the oldest regiments in the British Army, being third in order of precedence (ranked as the 3rd Regiment of the line). In 1881 under the Childers Reforms it was known as the Buffs (East Kent Regiment) and later, on 3 June 1935, was renamed the Buffs (Royal East Kent Regiment).

Active - 1572-1961

Motto - Veteri Frondescit Honore; Latin: "Its Ancient Honour Flourishes"; "Its Ancient Honour is Ever-Green"

Uniform - Buff Facings

Corps March -

  • Quick: The Buffs
  • Slow: The Men of Kent

Nick-names - Howard's Buffs and The Old Buffs.




1572 - Morgan's Company raised in Holland. It expanded to 4 Regiments and merged in 1648. Disbanded 1665 in Holland.

1665 - Re-formed in England as the Holland Regiment

Known by colonels' names until 1751

1665 - Hon. Robert Sydney
1668 - Major. General Sir Walter Vane
1673 - Lt-Gen. John Sheffield, Duke of Buckingham and 3rd Earl of Mulgrave
1682 - Col. Philip Stanhope, 2nd Earl of Chesterfield
1684 - Lt-Gen. John Sheffield, Duke of Buckingham and 3rd Earl of Mulgrave
1685 - Brig-Gen. Sir Theophilus Oglethorpe
1688 - General Charles Churchill
1707 - Field Marshal John Campbell, 2nd Duke of Argyll, KG, KT (Earl of Islay, Lord Lorne)
1711 - Col. John Selwyn
1713 - Brig-Gen. Archibald Douglas, 2nd Earl of Forfar
1716 - Gen. Sir Charles Wills
1726 - Col. Thomas Pitt, 1st Earl of Londonderry
1729 - Lt-Gen. William Tatton
1737 - Lt-Gen. Thomas Howard
1749 - Field Marshal Sir George Howard

1689 - Re-designated Prince George of Denmark's Regiment of Foot

1702 - known as The Buffs

1747 - ranked 3rd Regiment of Foot

1751 - Formally named 3rd Regiment of Foot (The Buffs)

1756 - 2nd Battalion, 3rd Foot raised

1758 - The 2nd Battalion, 3rd Foot were re-designated 61st Foot... (reference Gloucesters)

1782 - Re-designated 3rd (The East Kent) Regiment of Foot (The Buffs)

1803 - 2nd Battalion, 3rd Foot re-raised - disbanded in 1816

1857 - 2nd Battalion 3rd Foot re-raised at Limerick and joined the 3rd (The East Kent) Regiment of Foot (The Buffs) 1st and 2nd Battalions

1881 - The Buffs (East Kent Regiment) 1st and 2nd Battalions

// pagri badge1900 - Early 1900's pagri badge of The Buffs (East Kent Regiment}}

Image right Courtesy of British Military Badges - Daniel Baker

1935 - 'Royal' added to the title - The Buffs (Royal East Kent Regiment)

1961 - amalgamated with the Queen's Own Royal West Kent Regiment to form the Queen's Own Buffs, The Royal Kent Regiment which was later merged, on 31 December 1966, with the Queen's Royal Surrey Regiment, the Royal Sussex Regiment and the Middlesex Regiment (Duke of Cambridge's Own) to form the Queen's Regiment which was again amalgamated with the Royal Hampshire Regiment, in September 1992, to create the Princess of Wales's Royal Regiment (Queen's and Royal Hampshires).

Battle honours

  • Earlier Wars: Blenheim, Ramillies, Oudenarde, Malplaquet, Dettingen, Guadeloupe 1759, Douro, Talavera, Albuhera, Vittoria, Pyrenees, Nivelle, Nive, Orthes, Toulouse, Peninsula, Punniar, Sevastopol, Taku Forts, South Africa 1879, Chitral, Relief of Kimberley, Paardeberg, South Africa 1900-02
  • First World War: Aisne 1914, Armentières 1914, Ypres 1915 '17, Gravenstafel, St. Julien, Frezenberg, Bellewaarde, Hooge 1915, Loos, Somme 1916 '18, Albert 1916 '18, Bazentin, Delville Wood, Pozières, Flers-Courcelette, Morval, Thiepval, Le Transloy, Ancre Heights, Ancre 1916 '18, Arras 1917, Scarpe 1917, Messines 1917, Pilckem, Passchendaele, Cambrai 1917 '18, St. Quentin, Avre, Amiens, Bapaume 1918, Hindenburg Line, Épéhy, St. Quentin Canal, Selle, Sambre, France and Flanders 1914-18, Struma, Doiran 1918, Macedonia 1915-18, Gaza, Jerusalem, Tell 'Asur, Palestine 1917-18, Aden, Tigris 1916, Kut al Amara 1917, Baghdad, Mesopotamia 1915-18
  • Second World War: Defence of Escaut, St. Omer-La Bassée, Withdrawal to Seine, North-West Europe 1940, Sidi Suleiman, Alem Hamza, Alam el Halfa, El Alamein, El Agheila, Advance on Tripoli, Tebaga Gap, El Hamma, Akarit, Djebel Azzag 1943, Robaa Valley, Djebel Bech Chekaoui, Heidous, Medjez Plain, Longstop Hill 1943, North Africa 1941-43, Centuripe, Monte Rivoglia, Sicily 1943, Termoli, Trigno, Sangro, Anzio, Cassino I, Liri Valley, Aquino, Rome, Trasimene Line, Coriano, Monte Spaduro, Senio, Argenta Gap, Italy 1943-45, Leros, Middle East 1943, Malta 1940-42, Shweli, Myitson, Burma 1945


Notable Personnel

Names with Bold links are to Geni profiles. Other links take you to external biographical web pages.

Victoria Cross


Prince George of Denmark's Regiment - (1689)

3rd Regiment of Foot, or The Buffs - (1751)

3rd (the East Kent) Regiment of Foot - (1782)

The Buffs (East Kent Regiment) - (1881)

  • 1882–1909 Gen. Sir Julius Augustus Robert Raines, GCB
  • 1909 Maj-Gen. Frederick Taylor Hobson
  • 1909–1914 Maj-Gen. Robert George Kekewich[20]
  • 1914–1928 Gen. Sir Arthur Henry Fitzroy Paget, GCB, KCVO
  • 1928–1937 Maj-Gen. Sir Arthur Lynden Lynden-Bell, KCB, KCMG

The Buffs (Royal East Kent Regiment) - (1935)

  • 1937–1943 Maj-Gen. Sir John Kennedy, GBE, CB, CMG, DSO
  • 1943–1953 Maj-Gen. The Hon. Percy Gerald Scarlett, CB, MC
  • 1953–1961 Maj-Gen. Valentine Boucher, CB, CBE [later Dep. Col. Queen's Own Buffs]




  • Ernest Stafford Carlos - the war artist, was commissioned into the 8th Battalion in 1916, arriving in the Artois sector of the Western Front early in 1917. His sketches, cartoons and paintings record life in and behind the lines at that time. He was killed in action during the Battle of Messines on 14 or 15 June 1917 while his unit was assaulting a German held spoil heap near Zillebeke in Flanders, a feature that became known as "Buff's Bank". He is buried close to the battlefield at Chester Farm Commonwealth War Graves Commission Cemetery. WIKI


  • Captain William Douglas-Home, who served in the 7th battalion in the Second World War, refused to obey orders, because he feared that thousands of French civilians would be killed, and was duly imprisoned for this: after the war he became a successful playwright.



  • Private Percy James Fellows - was among the soldiers in the 10th Battalion, one soldier showed bravery in the Battle of Épehy on 18 September 1918. He was mortally wounded while facing the enemy. He was serving with the 230th Brigade of the 74th (Yeomanry) Division. He died of wounds suffered during the Final Advance in Artois on 13 October 1918.







  • Lieutenant Latham - during the Battle of Albuhera, Lieutenant Latham seized the Colour and defended it with heroic gallantry, refusing to yield it to the enemy, instead concealing it in his jacket, where it was later found: the action is commemorated by the "Latham Centerpiece", now in the Regimental museum.


  • Sgt Frederick Milne (2260) 2nd Battalion, The Buffs - Among the small garrison of 1879 Rorke's Drift (Zulu Land) said to have found and retrieved the water cart during the night. He survived the battle and soon left the service.
  • Private John Moyse - During the Battle of Taku Forts, Private John Moyse was captured: he was later executed by Chinese soldiers for refusing to kow-tow to a local mandarin. His act of defiance was later immortalised in The Private of the Buffs, a poem by Sir Francis Hastings Doyle. WIKI








  • Ensign Thomas - During the Battle of Albuhera, Ensign Thomas, who was surrounded and was called upon to surrender, shouted "only with my life": he only gave up the Colour after being cut down and mortally wounded.




Sources, References and Further Reading

  • Brereton, J M A Guide to the regiments and Corps of the British Army on the Regular Establishment (Bodley Head) 1985
  • Griffin, P D Encyclopedia of Modern British Army Regiments (Sutton Publishers) 2006
  • Lumley, Goff Amalgamations in the British Army 1660-2008 (Partizan Press 2009)

// this project is in History Link