Steady the Buffs!: A Regiment, a Region, and the Great War
About this deal
So in the mouth of a British soldier, “Stiffen the Prussian Guard (or Guards)!” would have been a rousing call to arms. Norman E.H. Litchfield, The Territorial Artillery 1908–1988 (Their Lineage, Uniforms and Badges), Nottingham: Sherwood Press, 1992, ISBN 0-9508205-2-0, p. 110. In 1961, it was 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. This regiment was, in turn, amalgamated with the Royal Hampshire Regiment, in September 1992, to create the Princess of Wales's Royal Regiment (Queen's and Royal Hampshires). The 5th Battalion was reformed in 1939 as a 2nd Line duplicate of the 4th Battalion when the Territorial Army was doubled in size. Initially, the 5th Buffs was assigned to the 37th Infantry Brigade, part of the 12th (Eastern) Infantry Division, which was a 2nd Line duplicate of the 44th (Home Counties) Division. However, on 26 October 1939, it was transferred to the Division's 36th Infantry Brigade in exchange for the 2/6th East Surreys.   The 5th Buffs, along with the 6th and 7th Royal West Kents, remained in the 36th Brigade for the rest of the war. Like the 2nd and 4th Battalions, it served with the BEF in France in 1940 and fought in the Battle of France and was evacuated at Dunkirk. The 12th Division suffered heavy casualties due mainly to most of the men having little training and the division having no artillery or support units. After returning to England, the division was disbanded in July 1940, due to the casualties it had sustained. In 1942, the 36th Brigade was assigned to the newly raised 78th Division and took part in Operation Torch, the Allied landings in North Africa, followed by the campaign in Tunisia, where the 78th Division, as part of the British First Army, distinguished itself during the crucial capture of Longstop Hill.  The division then fought in the Sicilian Campaign, as part of the British Eighth Army. The 5th Buffs and the rest of 78th Division then took part in the fighting in Italy and served there until the 1945 Offensive.  The regiment was sent to the West Indies in December 1795 for service in the French Revolutionary Wars.  It took part in the capture of Grenada in March 1796  and of Saint Vincent in June 1796  and the capture of Trinidad in February 1797  and of various other islands in March 1801  before returning home in autumn 1802.  Napoleonic Wars [ edit ]
In 1858, the 2nd Battalion was stationed in Malta. Lieutenant John Cotter, Adjutant of the 2nd Buffs,  would shout "Steady, The Buffs!", a phrase which has entered common parlance.  The 1st Battalion saw action in the Taku Forts action during the Second Opium War as well as in the Perak War  while the 2nd Battalion saw action in the Anglo-Zulu War.  Bernard George Ellis was awarded the Albert Medal in 1918. This was transferred to a George Cross in 1971.  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 Some societies use Oxford Academic personal accounts to provide access to their members. See below.The 1st Battalion returned to Fermoy in Sep 1919 to be faced with the prospect of fighting against Sinn Fein militants. It was not simply a matter of peace keeping, and the violence escalated. By the time they left the country in Jan 1922 two soldiers had been killed. In 1961, the regiment was 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. This, in turn, was amalgamated with the Royal Hampshire Regiment, in September 1992, to create the Princess of Wales's Royal Regiment (Queen's and Royal Hampshires).  Regimental museum [ edit ] The battle of Blenheim village was still in progress and the Buffs were involved at this stage. The garrison of 24 battalions was cut off from the rest of the French army and were putting up a stout resistance. The Buffs were covering any breakout attempt in the direction of the Danube. At around 7.30pm the French were offered a chance to surrender and would not do so until one of their officers was taken to a vantage point where he could see that the battle was lost. They capitulated at 8pm. The losses were heavy on both sides. The figure for the Franco-Bavarians was put at 40,000, but other sources say around 18,000 is more likely, in the battle and subsequent pursuit. Marlborough's wing lost 2,818 killed and 5,442 wounded, while Eugene's had 1,724 killed and 2,500 wounded. The British contingent of 14 battalions and 18 squadrons of cavalry sustained a loss of 60 officers and 610 rank and file killed. The wounded figures were 144 officers and 1,564 other ranks. The Buffs lost 3 officers killed and 7 wounded. No figures are given for the rank and file. Knight, Captain H. R. (1935). Historical records of The Buffs, East Kent Regiment, 3rd Foot, formerly designated the Holland Regiment and Prince George of Denmark's Regiment 1572-1704. Vol.1. Gale & Pollen.
A waste of time? Oh, I beg to differ. Searching through reference books may not produce the answer to your particular question, but one almost always learns something in the process, even if it’s only the specific gravity of tuna salad or how to hypnotize a wildebeest. And you never know when you may need to know how to tie a half-over whiptailed hitch knot. Granted, that’s not very likely since I just made that up and can barely tie my own shoes. But I do know how to start a stalled car using only a credit card and a cell phone. In turn-of-the-century slang, to “stiffen” was to kill or murder—that is, to make a corpse of—according to the OED and Green’s Dictionary of Slang. Apart from the 1719 Vigo expedition, the next 25 years were spent on garrison duty in England and Scotland. It returned to Flanders in 1742 during the War of the Austrian Succession, as Thomas Howard's regiment; to distinguish it from that led by Sir Charles Howard, one became the " Buffs", and the other the Green Howards.  It fought at the Battle of Dettingen in June 1743  and at the Battle of Fontenoy in May 1745.  With the outbreak of the 1745 Rising, it was sent to Scotland, taking part in the Battle of Falkirk Muir in January 1746  and Battle of Culloden in April 1746.  It returned to the Netherlands in April 1747 and saw action at the Battle of Lauffeld in July. Spain entered the war on the side of France, and Portugal called upon Britain for aid. The Buffs were still at Belle Ile and well placed to be sent to Portugal with three other battalions, arriving in July 1762, although their numbers were depleted and had to be made up with recruitment. The regiment was commanded by John Biddulph. Colonel John Crauford who became Colonel of the Buffs in May 1763 was given the local rank of Major-General to command Portuguese troops. The regiment went up to the Coimbra area with the other British troops at the end of August and was engaged in the Alvito but otherwise spent most of the time under the Commander, Count Lippe, in the Alentejo and Estremadura. The new recruits suffered terribly from the constant marching and counter-marching. The grenadiers were the only ones to see action under Burgoyne's detachment. The 4th Buffs had spent most of the war in Bareilly, northern India, and in March 1927 the 1st Battalion were stationed there for more than 3 years. There are a number of houses in Kent with the name 'Bareilly' as a result of this pleasant posting. In Oct 1930 they went to Burma, stationed at Maymyo, to help deal with a rebellion but there was little action involved. However, they remained in Burma until 1935 when they returned to India. The initiation into life in India proved fatal for many of the Buffs. After the arrival in February 1828 of the main body of the regiment, Cholera spread through the ranks, killing men and officers alike. Lt-Col Charles Cameron was the most senior officer to be killed by the disease. He had survived all the battles and rigours of the Peninsula campaign, and set up himself and his Portuguese wife with their 7 children for a life in Australia, but was obliged to leave them and go to India. The men spent periods of 18 months in one station before moving on to another so that by 1835 they were at Meerut having built up their numbers with drafts from other battalions that had returned to Britain. We found an example in White City (2007), a memoir by the British writer Donald James Wheal of his childhood in World War II-era London.
Cannon, Richard (1839). Historical Records of the Third Regiment of Foot or the Buffs formerly designated the Holland Regiment containing an account of its original in the reign of Queen Elizabeth and of its subsequent services to 1838. CIHM/ICMH Collection de Microfiches; no. 48340. Longman, Orme & Company and William Clowes & Sons. ISBN 9780665483400. Robert Sidney died in 1668 and was replaced by another ex-Dutch service officer, Sir Walter Vane, who had recently held a commission in a guards regiment. The regiment was not stationed in one place but distributed by company in various locations:
I have never read Mr. Priestley’s play, but from summaries I gather it is set in 1912 (although it was written in 1945) at an upper-class family dinner interrupted by the visit of a inspector (perhaps from the police; perhaps, he said ominously, not) inquiring about the death of a local working-class girl. The use of the phrase “steady the Buffs” in the play is apparently one of many not-very-subtle signals that these are indeed prosperous folk. Naval and Military Intelligence". The Times. 13 September 1890. p.7. The regimental colours will in future be buff instead of white; and the Commander-in-Chief has directed that the facings of the regiment be described in the Queen's Regulations and the Army List as buff. The American buffalo or bison is a symbol of abundance and manifestation, and the lesson learned by the Lakota that day is that one does not have to struggle to survive if the right action is joined by the right prayer. The birth of a sacred white buffalo is a sign of hope and an indication of good times to come. What does the British saying Steady The Buffs mean? The Army in South Africa – Troops returning Home". The Times. No.36893. London. 8 October 1902. p.8.