West Kent Scout Section

Supporting regiment
The Queen's Own Royal West Kent Regiment
About

This was apparently formed by Captain G R McNicholl in 1942. It is believed to have been formed from the Royal West Kent Regiment. However, a couple of sources mention men of the Queens (West Surrey) Regiment serving in Kent from 1940, though they also had a Scout Section in East Sussex. It is not clear if these men transferred to the West Kent’s or if the Scout Section was made up on men from multiple regiments. It is also possible that the Kent and Sussex units cooperated on exercises.

The Scout Section was made of Regular Army soldiers with a Lieutenant in command. Their role was train the Home Guard patrols, but also to go to ground themselves in the event of an invasion.

Paul Davies is the source of the photos on this page. He donated these to the Imperial War Museum. They recorded that he was with the Queens (West Surrey) Regiment and joined XII Corps Observation Unit after Dunkirk.

Arthur Spurrett recognised in the photos Charlie Miller, who was from Ipswich, but after the war stayed in Kent, marrying a local girl. Their cook was “Dapper” Martin and Tapping was from Cobham in Surrey. There was a Welshman and also a man from the Buffs (Royal East Kent Regiment) who was from Harrow. It is unclear if this was his previous regiment or he was part of the Scout Section while still with them, or the East Kent Scout Section.

Operational Base

The West Kent Scout Section constructed an OB built into a large bank in Angley Wood. It is not known if anything survives of this.

Scout section personnel
Name Occupation Posted from Until
Lieutenant John T Bush 04 Nov 1940 29 Dec 1940
Lieutenant Dunwiddie Unknown 03 Dec 1944
Lieutenant Lawrence Strangman Unknown 1942
Driver IC Arthur Leonard Spurrett 1943 1944
Private Frederick Paul Davis Unknown 03 Dec 1944
Private Martin Unknown 03 Dec 1944
Private Charlie Miller Unknown 03 Dec 1944
Private Tapping Unknown 03 Dec 1944
Other personnel

The section would have consisted of a Lieutenant, a Sergeant, a Corporal and 9 private soldiers with a driver-batman for the officer and driver for the section’s lorry,

Transport

The exact transport for the section is not known. Most Scout Sections had a 15 cwt truck and an Austin 2-seater car for the officer. They were normally issued with bicycles as well.

References

Imperial War Museum Photographic Collection

Adrian Westwood (www kentauxiliaryunits org uk website - no longer available)

Ancestry.co.uk

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