The Battalion was formed on 12th September 1914 at Maidstone and allocated to 72nd Brigade, 24th Division, one of Kitchener’s Third New Army divisions, with which it served throughout the war on the Western Front, having landed in France on 30th August 1915. Both authors served in the battalion, Wenyon commanded it from December 1917 and was awarded the DSO and Bar, Brown became 2IC in April 1918 and was awarded an MC. One officer, Lieut D.J Dean, was awarded the VC in September 1918 for gallantry near Lens. There is no overall casualty figure though in many cases figures are given for definite actions or over certain periods; Soldiers Died shows total dead close to 800.
The book is divided into ten phases, arranged chronologically, each phase covering a specific period described in the list of contents, though for some reason the dates for Phase IV are omitted in the contents list but given in the text – September 1916 to April 1917. So this is a continuous narrative, based on the War Diary supplemented by written and spoken contributions of particiants. It begins with the formation of the battalion, training, the move to France and the Battle of Loos (September 1914-September 1915), which was the battalion’s first major action in which the casualties were appalling. Of the twenty-five officers who went over the top twenty-four were hit (thirteen killed) and of other ranks over 550 out of some 900 became casualties. The maps are good and include copies of two trench maps, the Ypres Salient and Lens. The account ends with the list of Honours and Awards
HISTORY OF THE EIGHTH BATTALION THE QUEEN’S OWN ROYAL WEST KENT REGIMENT 1914-1919
A record of the Battlion’s three years plus on the Western front with 72nd Brigade of the 24th Division.