Pre WWII Kenya Regiment Insignia Set

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Original Pre World War Two Kenya Regiment Insignia Set.

This set includes two shoulder titles, two earlier variant (without the TF) collar insignia’s, one slouch hat badge, and one gold bullion wire blazer badge.

The Kenya Regiment was originally established in 1937, recruiting primarily white settlers in Kenya and to a lesser extent Uganda. It was disbanded at the outbreak of World War II in 1939, but was later reformed in 1950. The unit played a crucial role in suppressing the Mau Mau uprising from 1952 to 1956 and was ultimately disbanded upon Kenyan independence in 1963.

The Kenya Regiment was initially created in response to the Abyssinia Crisis, with concerns over an Italian threat to the British colonies in East Africa. As part of the Colonial Office's efforts, the military units in Kenya Colony were restructured, including the establishment of a section in the Territorial Army specifically for white settlers. This unit, known as the Kenya Regiment (Territorial Force), worked alongside the long-standing King's African Rifles (KAR) consisting of black soldiers under white officers. Over time, the Kenya Regiment grew to include white settlers from Uganda Protectorate. In 1939, as World War II broke out, personnel from the Kenya Regiment were reassigned to the KAR and Northern Rhodesia Regiment. Additionally, the Kenya Regiment played a central role in the formation of the Kenya Armoured Car Regiment.

In 1950, the regiment was called to duty and helped suppress the Mau Mau Uprising (1952–56). About 1,800 men served in the Kenya Regiment, with 300 serving in the KAR. Per historian Huw Bennett, the regiment was not fully under army control and was relied upon for their knowledge of the local area. Tragically, 31 members lost their lives during the conflict. After Kenya gained independence in 1963, the regiment was disbanded.

According to Colonel John Garvey in the "Buffalo Barua No. 3" (November 2000), the regimental insignia for the Kenya Regiment was selected by fellow early members, ultimately choosing a charging cape buffalo over Lieutenant Colonel Alfred Dunstan Adams' suggestion of an African bee.

Garvey wrote “Cyril Redhead, Cecil Valentine and others didn’t think much of Adams’ suggestion. So, Cyril (who did all the designs) told me, Brigadier Jackie Campbell, commanding Northern Brigade, suggested the buffalo. Cyril drew the designs from the buffalo statuette in the Nairobi club which had been made in memory of the hunter Frederick Courtney Selous.”

 

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Collections: Archive Tags: Badges & Insignia, Bush Wars, Commonwealth, Homelands, UK, WWII