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Gentleman's Military Interest Club
leigh kitchen

The "Buff Palestinian" Companies of WWII.

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On 6th August 1940, Sir Anthoney Eden, the British Secretary of State for War, announced the formation of Arab & Jewish Palestinian units of the East Kent Regiment ("The Buffs"). At that time there were about 10,00 Jewish & 4,000 Arab personnel in the British Armed Forces.

Three seperate companies of Arab & Jewish personnel were formed, attached to 1st Bn "The Buffs".

Intended mainly for guard duties, some personnel served in the Syria Campaign of June - July 1941.

In August 1942 the by now fifteen companies of Jewish personnel of "The Buffs" were incorporated into the three battalions of a new Palestine Regiment which consisted of about 1,600 Jewish & 1,200 Arab personnel & served in Cyrenaica and Egypt, again mainly engaged on guard duties.

In September 1944 The Jewish Brigade Group was formed around the Jewish infantry companies of The Palestine Regiment (with Churchills support, although the British had delayed forming such a unit as they were wary of creating a force that may later fight them).

The Brigade ultimately consisted of about 5,500 men & fought in Italy & was engaged on occupation duties along the Italian / Austrian & Italian / Yugoslavian borders, & in Belgium & in the Netherlands prior to disbandment in 1946.

About 30,000 Jewish & 12,000 Arab personnel from Palestine served in the British armed forces during WWII.

Shoulder title "Buffs/Palestinian" of the "Palestine Companies" of "The Buffs", conform ing to the usual British shoulder title design in brass & with wire loop fittings for use with a cotter pin.

This title has a bronzed finish as per Officers Service Dress insignia:

Edited by leigh kitchen

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does anyone know the best way to research members of the palestine regiment 1941-1945. my grandfather herbert holzer was a lance corporal and POW at stalag 344 lamsdorf

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