The 2nd Battalion sailed on the Bavarian on 16th March 1900, and arrived at the Cape on 6th April. Along with the 1st Worcestershire Regiment, 1st South Staffordshire Regiment, and 2nd Manchester Regiment, they formed the 17th Brigade under Major General Boyes, and part of the VIIIth Division under General Sir Leslie Rundle. The work of the division has been briefly sketched under the 2nd Grenadier Guards.
At Biddulphsberg, 29th May (see 2nd Grenadiers), the Royal West Kent had about 12 men wounded.
In his evidence before the War Commission General Rundle said: "The men responded to every appeal made to them. One battalion, the Royal West Kent, marched forty-five miles in forty-eight hours and fought a successful action at the end. That was at Prinsloo's surrender when we joined hands with General Hunter".
The opportunities which the VIIIth Division had of distinguishing themselves were very few. After Biddulphsberg they had no big engagement, but no troops had a harder time or did more conscientious work.
In the sphere of the VIIIth Division small fights were constantly occurring, although these were not always so successful as the one Lord Roberts describes thus in his telegram of 13th October 1900: "A satisfactory little affair took place near Frankfort on the 11th, when Colonel Grove, Royal West Kent Regiment, surprised a Boer laager at dawn. Seven of the enemy were killed, 9 wounded, and 18 taken prisoner. Our casualties, Sergeant Canty, Royal West Kent, severely wounded".
Thirteen officers and 18 non-commissioned officers and men were mentioned in Lord Roberts' final despatch.
The battalion remained about Frankfort till the close of the campaign.
In Lord Kitchener's final despatch 5 officers and 5 non-commissioned officers were mentioned.
See the forum posts on thr RWKR.