4th Battalion Colour 1909

In 1908 the Haldane reforms altered the status of the two Volunteer Battalions of the Buffs so that the 1st Volunteer Battalion became the 4th Battalion The Buffs, and the 2nd VB became the 5th Battalion. The 1st VB companies in 1860 came under the 4th Administrative Battalion of Kent Rifle Volunteers. They amalgamated with the Cinque Ports Admin Battalion and were called the 5th Kent Rifle Volunteer Corps. In 1880 they were re-numbered 2nd and in 1883 became the 1st VB The Buffs. They wore green uniforms with red facings like the KRRC but when they became the 4th Btn The Buffs in 1908 they had to change to the same uniform as the regiment, scarlet with buff facings. As an incentive to recruitment the battalions were offered their own Colours if they could fill three quarters of their establishment. The 4th Battalion managed this but not so the 5th Battalion. In June 1909 King Edward made a mass presentation of Colours at Windsor, which included the 4th Buffs.

The cigarette card shows the Colour with a private in his new red uniform, operating a heliograph signalling device. The Colour is buff with the central dragon badge and circular title with King's crown and union wreath of roses, thistles and shamrocks. The rose and crown motif filled each corner. The battalion was not permitted to emblazon the battle honours awarded to the regular battalions but they did serve in the Boer War so the battle honour S AFRICA 1900-02 appears on a scroll below the wreath.

Regimental Details | Colours


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by Stephen Luscombe