Shoulder flash Royal West Kent (canvas)

printed on canvas white on red

€ 20,00

The Queen's Own Royal West Kent Regiment was an infantry regiment of the British Army from 1881 to 1961. It was formed as the Queen's Own (Royal West Kent Regiment)as part of the Childers Reforms by the amalgamation of the 50th (Queen's Own) Regiment of Foot and the 97th (Earl of Ulster's) Regiment of Foot. In January 1921, it was renamed the Royal West Kent Regiment (Queen's Own) and in April of the same year the Queen's Own Royal West Kent Regiment. In 1961 it was amalgamated with the Buffs (Royal East Kent Regiment) to form the Queen's Own Buffs, The Royal Kent Regiment. It was popularly, and operationally, known as the "Royal West Kents."

The 1st Battalion was part of the 4th Infantry Division of the British Expeditionary Force in France in 1940, returning to Britain via Dunkirk. It remained in Britain until 1943, leaving to take part in the Tunisia Campaign, the Italian Campaign and the Greek Civil War that broke out after the German withdrawal in 1944.

The 2nd Battalion was part of the garrison of Malta during its protracted siege. It then formed part of the 234th Infantry Brigade in the abortive assault on the Italian-heldDodecanese islands in 1943, being captured by the Germans on the island of Leros. (Kenneth Probert - one of the many soldiers captured - states that a British submarine took officers away before capture, leaving those left behind to serve in prisoner of war camps in Germany. These prisoners were transported in cattle trucks from Greece to Wernigerode in the Harz Mountains where they were forced to work in support of the German war effort). It was reconstituted in 1944 by redesignation of the 7th Battalion.

The 6th battalion was part of the 78th Battleaxe Division and fought in the Tunisia Campaign notably helping to capture Longstop Hill in April 1943. The 6th was with the division throughout the Italian campaign.

The 9th Battalion raised in 1940 converted to armour in 1942 as 162nd Regiment of the Royal Armoured Corps but retained its RWK cap badge on the black beret of the RAC.

Other hostilities-only battalions of the regiment fought in North Africa, notably at El Alamein and Alam el Halfa, and in Burma.

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