East Kent Militia

The East Kent Militia, based in Kent, England, was one of a number of county-based irregular military units designed to provide, during periods of international tension, homeland security, relief of regular troops from routine garrison duties, and a source of trained officers and men for the regular Army. Formed in 1760 it was amalgamated in 1881 into The Buffs (East Kent Regiment).[1]

East Kent Militia
Country Kingdom of Great Britain (1759–1800)
 United Kingdom (1801–1919)
Branch British Army
EngagementsSecond Boer War


The East Kent Militia Regiment was formed in Canterbury, Kent in 1760 and was successively designated the 1st or East Kent Militia (1793), the 57th or East Kent Militia (1803) and the 49th or East Kent Militia (1833). In 1876 it was split into two battalions.

In 1881, reorganisation of the Army as part of the Childers Reforms meant that militia regiments generally became the third battalions in local line regiments. Accordingly, the two East Kent battalions became the 3rd and 4th Battalions of The Buffs (East Kent Regiment), although the 4th Battalion was subsequently (1888) merged into the 3rd.

During the Boer War the battalion embodied (reported for duty) on 18 January 1900 and 16 Officers and 551 Other Ranks under the command of Colonel T.F. Brinckman sailed from Southampton to Cape Town on 10 March in the S.S. Moor. From Cape Town they were sent to Betany, Orange River Colony, where they were attached to the 3rd Infantry Division before moving on, firstly to Reddersburg to join the Guards Brigade and then a week later, on 16 April, to Dewetsdorp, fifteen miles south of Bloemfontein, to join Rundle's 8th Division.[2]

After the Haldane Reforms of 1907 the Militia units were disembodied (stood down) and their strengths transferred to the new 'Special Reserve'. During World War I the Special Reserve was active on home security such as coastal defence, as well as providing a source of recruits for the regiments fighting in France. After the war they were disembodied, not re-activated in World War II and formally dissolved, including the 3rd Battalion of the Buffs, in 1953.


  1. "East Kent Militia". Regiments.org. Archived from the original on December 23, 2007. Retrieved 23 June 2016.CS1 maint: unfit url (link)
  2. "Militiamen in the Second Anglo-Boer War". Victorian Military Society. Retrieved 23 June 2016.


  • Beckett, Ian F W (2011). Britain's Part Time Soldiers. The Amateur Military Tradition 1558—1945 (2 ed.). Barnsley: Pen & Sword. ISBN 9781848843950.
  • Hay, George Jackson (Colonel) (1987) [1908]. An Epitomized History of the Militia (The "Constitutional Force"). Ray Westlake Military Books. ISBN 0-9508530-7-0.
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