East Kent Regiment 7th Battalion - The Buffs
The Buffs, so-called because of the colour of the trim
of their redcoats (when they were known as the Third Regiment
of Foot), otherwise the Royal East Kent Regiment, was one
of many infantry regiments which had one or more battalions
converted to tanks in 1941 and in this case it was their
7th Battalion. In this new guise they would be known as
141 Regiment Royal Armoured Corps although everyone
still referred to them as The Buffs.
Like many of the converted regiments 141 RAC was trained
on infantry tanks, perhaps on the grounds that, as infantry
they would have more sympathy with the foot soldiers. As
a Churchill tank regiment in 31st Army Tank Brigade they
were selected as the first to convert to operate Crocodile
flamethrowers in February 1944.
Tank Museum photo No. 5485/E/6
Two tank troops from the regiment landed on D-Day and saw
some action as gun tanks but they were not called upon to
act as flamethrowers until the following day. Later in the
year the Crocodile regiments were absorbed into 79th Armoured
Division and 141 RAC distinguished itself supporting American
troops in the attack on Brest.
The regiment was disbanded in November 1945. The Royal
East Kent Regimental Museum is in Canterbury but the Tank
Museum contains material relating to 141 RAC.