What divisions were the Buffs (East Kent Regiment) in? WW2

Discussion in 'British Army Units - Others' started by Josh Glover, Aug 20, 2018.

  1. Josh Glover

    Josh Glover Member

    Hello, I am trying to collect all the formation patches for Buffs as I live in Kent and it is local history. With my research I have gathered some information about what divisions they were in:

    2nd Infantry Battalion - 1st Infantry Division

    4th Infantry Battalion - 1st Infantry Division, 2nd Infantry Division

    5th Infantry Battalion - 2nd Infantry Division

    6th Infantry Battalion - 2nd Infantry Division

    7th Infantry Battalion - 3rd Infantry Division

    8th Infantry Battalion - 3rd Infantry Division

    9th Infantry Battalion - 3rd Infantry Division

    10th Infantry Battalion - 4th Infantry Division

    11th Infantry Battalion - 4th Infantry Division

    70th Infantry Battalion - 23rd (Northumbrian) Infantry Division

    However not many battalions went into multiple divisions, so is this likely just to be the list or is more research needed?

    If anyone has a list of all the divisions I would greatly appreciate it, thanks for reading.
     
  2. bexley84

    bexley84 Well-Known Member

    Josh,

    Couple of immediates for service in North Africa/Italy during the period from 1942 to 45.

    1st Bn -
    part of 18th Infantry Brigade, first with 1st Armoured Division, then with 1st Infantry Division and then back to 1st Armoured Division in Italy, 1944
    part of 24th Infantry (Guards) Brigade with 56th (London) Infantry Division in Italy, 1945.

    5th Bn -
    part of 36th Infantry Brigade with 78th Infantry Division, Algeria/Tunisia/Italy/Austria: 1942-45.

    No doubt experts will add/subtract to your listing..
     
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  3. Charley Fortnum

    Charley Fortnum Dreaming of Red Eagles

    1st Buffs were with 4th Indian Division from Sept 1941 to Dec 1941.
     
  4. Josh Glover

    Josh Glover Member

    Thank you, on the Buffs uniform would they have an Indian division patch one side and an 14th army patch on the other or would it have two indian div patches
     
  5. Charley Fortnum

    Charley Fortnum Dreaming of Red Eagles

    Ordinarily a 4th Indian Division patch on both sides, but my hunch is that they might never have worn them owing to the brevity of their time in the division.

    (And 4th Ind Div were not with 14th Army, they were with 8th Army and Western Desert Force prior to that)

    If they wore one, it looked like this (the earliest design):

    s-l1600-39.jpg

    It would likely have been this and beneath it a single, double or triple red stripe to denote the senior, middle or junior brigade. Later on unit IDs were added with stripes of a differing colour or name strips beneath the brigade ID strip. 1 Buffs were with 5th Indian Infantry Brigade (the senior brigade), so it would be a single red stripe for the brigade. I also think the patches and stripes would be on 'sliders' that could be easily be slipped on and off, not stitched onto the uniform.

    Here are two that appear right for the period. One professionally made, one in-theatre (I think you can work out which was which!)

    shoulder-slip_360_d110b164453749411c6386d6b729978a.jpg India Slip-on (1).jpg
     
    Last edited: Aug 20, 2018
  6. dryan67

    dryan67 Senior Member

    Your task may be a little more involved than you expected. Here is a list of formations for the various battalions of the Buffs during the Second World War without dates:

    1st Battalion
    The Cairo Brigade (29th Brigade) - British Troops in Egypt
    22nd Infantry Brigade - British Troops in Egypt
    18th Infantry Brigade & Cairo Sub-Area - British Troops in Egypt
    16th Infantry Brigade - 8th Infantry Division
    HQ British Forces Palestine and Transjordan
    HQ British Troops in Egypt
    23rd Infantry Brigade - British Troops in Egypt and 4th Indian Infantry Division
    22nd Guards Infantry Brigade - 4th Indian Infantry Division and Western Desert Force
    5th Indian Infantry Brigade - 4th Indian Infantry Division
    4th Indian Infantry Division
    38th Indian Infantry Brigade
    British Troops in Egypt
    8th Armoured Brigade - 10th Armoured Division, 1st Armoured Division, and independent
    18th Infantry Brigade - 1st Armoured Division
    24th Guards Infantry Brigade - 56th (London) Infantry Division

    2nd Battalion
    I Corps
    131st Infantry Brigade - 44th Infantry Division
    132nd Infantry Brigade - 44th Infantry Division
    26th Indian Infantry Brigade - Middle East Force, 6th Indian Infantry Division, 36th Infantry Division

    4th Battalion
    133rd Infantry Brigade - 44th Infantry Division
    25th Infantry Brigade - Lines of Communications BEF
    Beauforce and Beauman Division
    25th Infantry Brigade - 2nd (London) Division
    Malta Command
    Northern Infantry Brigade - Malta Command
    Western Infantry Brigade (aka 4th (Malta) Inf Bde, 234th Inf Bde) - Malta Command
    233rd Infantry Brigade - Malta Command
    British Troops in Egypt
    234th Infantry Brigade - HQ Aegean, GHQ Middle East Force

    5th Battalion
    37th Infantry Brigade - 12th Infantry Division
    36th Infantry Brigade - 12th Infantry Division, 2nd (London) Division, and 78th Infantry Division

    6th (Home Defence) Battalion (later 30th Battalion)
    Home Forces

    50th (Holding) Battalion (later 11th Battalion)
    Home Forces
    219th Independent Infantry Brigade (Home) - 45th, 44th, 43rd Infantry Divisions
    Converted to Royal Artillery
    2nd Infantry Division
    49th (West Riding) Infantry Division

    7th Battalion
    209th Independent Infantry Brigade (Home) - Devon and Cornwall County Division
    Converted to armour
    31st Tank Brigade(later 31st Armoured Brigade) - 53rd Mixed Division, Independent, and 79th Armoured Division

    8th Battalion
    209th Independent Infantry Brigade (Home) - Devon and Cornwall County Division, 77th Infantry Division
    219th Independent Infantry Brigade (Home) - 43rd Infantry Division
    Converted to Royal Artillery
    9th Army Group Royal Artillery

    9th Battalion
    209th Independent Infantry Brigade (Home) } At various times
    226th Independent Infantry Brigade (Home) } Devon and Cornwall County Division
    209th Independent Infantry Brigade (Home) } 77th Infantry Division
    203rd Independent Infantry Brigade (Home) } Southern Area
    209th Independent Infantry Brigade (Home) } 46th Infantry Division
    206th Independent Infantry Brigade (Home) } 43rd Infantry Division
    209th Independent Infantry Brigade (Home) } H & D District
    164th Infantry Brigade - 55th Infantry Division

    10th Battalion
    209th Independent Infantry Brigade (Home)

    70th (Young Soldiers) Battalion
    Home Forces
     
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  7. Josh Glover

    Josh Glover Member

    Thank you this is very useful, appreciate it
     
  8. bexley84

    bexley84 Well-Known Member

    My only minor comment on this listing (looks pretty definitive) is to suggest that the 1st Bn (with 18th Infantry Brigade) moved to Anzio in March 1944 to join with 1st Infantry Div for a period before returning later to 1st Armoured Div in August 1944...

    ...before that Div was disbanded in late 1944 - then the 1st Bn joined up with 24th Infantry Brigade (Guards) in March 1945 which had by then joined up with 56th (London) Div in northern Italy...
     
  9. dryan67

    dryan67 Senior Member

    Bexley84, here is a more detailed account of the period you are interested in:

    18th Infantry Brigade – 6 July 1943 to 4 October 1944
    It located was in Libya until July 24th, 1943 and in North Africa until February 17th, 1944. It was then sent by sea to Italy, where it arrived on February 20th, 1944. It fought under the brigade in Italy until October 4th, 1944. The battalion was then reduced to cadre, sending 300 men to the Hampshire Regiment. The cadre moved to rest at the village of Santa Maria Nuova on September 28th, 1944.

    168th Infantry Brigade – 5 October 1944 to 16 October 1944
    The battalion remained as cadre under the brigade.

    HQ X Corps – 16 October 1944 to 23 October 1944
    The battalion remained as cadre

    168th Infantry Brigade – 23 October 1944 to 8 December 1944
    The battalion remained as cadre.

    HQ X Corps – 8 December 1944 10 March 1945
    It was reformed before Christmas of 1944 and left the village for Ravenna on February 3rd, 1945.

    24th Guards Infantry Brigade – 10 March 1945 to 31 August 1945
    It relieved the 1st Welch Regiment and finished the war under the 24th Guards Infantry Brigade in Italy.
     
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  10. idler

    idler GeneralList Patron

    A missing detail is 7 Buffs becoming 141 Regiment, Royal Armoured Corps.
     
  11. bexley84

    bexley84 Well-Known Member

    Brill...soon after the move to Italy on "February 20th 1944" the brigade was attached to 1st Infantry Div in the beach head..
     
  12. dryan67

    dryan67 Senior Member

    Idler, I have it listed as converted to armour. I did not provide all details as the quest was for divisions served under. I also indicated conversion to artillery as well without providing details.

    Bexley84, I have a copy of the Buffs regimental history if you require more details on the move to Italy and the transfer to the beachhead at Anzio.
     
  13. Josh Glover

    Josh Glover Member

    If its not any hassle, can you send me the history aswell as I intend on doing more research into a soldier whose things my father has who was in the Buffs, and that would seem useful
     
  14. dryan67

    dryan67 Senior Member

    What exactly do you mean by "send me the history"?
     
  15. Josh Glover

    Josh Glover Member

    PM as i am not sure exactly what I am looking for so you may be able to guide me
     
  16. bexley84

    bexley84 Well-Known Member


    No need, thanks - just the narrow point that I believe the brigade were attached to 1st Infantry Div at Anzio.
     
  17. dryan67

    dryan67 Senior Member

    You are correct
     
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  18. Ron Goldstein

    Ron Goldstein WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran Patron

  19. idler

    idler GeneralList Patron

    I understand that, but assumed Josh will be looking into the units' careers at some point.
     
  20. Josh Glover

    Josh Glover Member

    I will be but at the moment I am looking to get the basics down, as I have only just started the research. Thank you though
     

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