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2nd Battalion



The 2nd Battalion was engaged in guard duties in the London area following the Outbreak of war, before leaving for training grounds in East Anglia. In December, 1940, it was called upon to furnish a machine-gun company for an Independent Guards Brigade. Moves to Oxfordshire and Sussex preceded an interesting assignment in October, 1941, when the Battalion was sent to Iceland to act as a Defence Force at that lonely Allied outpost. Training there was continued under the most arduous, semi-arctic conditions until the Battalion came back to England in September-, 1942. The delayed opening of the "Second Front" kept it in various areas in England, Scotland and Wales for nearly two years before crossing to Normandy on 11th June, 1944, where it was first engaged in the Caen sector. Battles honours were awarded for the actions at Tilly-sur-Seulles, and on the Odon river line to the South West of Caen


Operations during the great sweep forward in the late summer found it fighting on the Somme and near Le Havre before moving forward into Belgium. At Vorselaar, and on the Antwerp-Turnhout Canal in September, action occurred almost daily, finally resulting in a further sweep into Holland. The Battalion played a great part in the capture of Roosendaal, and again in the fighting on the River Maas, but it was in and around Nijmegen that it faced its greatest test. For five months it struggled in the watery wastes created by the inundations, and held "the island" that lay between Nijmegm and Arnhem against all probability. The final attack on Arnhem which began on 2nd April, 1945, proved a complete victory, and was quickly followed by the surrender of the German Army on 4th May.


The feelings of the oppressed citizens of Nijmegen towards the Kensingtons were extremely warm, and a street there was named after the Regiment. The Battalion had the great honour of being inspected by Princess Juliana in Nijmegen shortly after her return to Holland , when it presented her with a purse of £1,100, collected for the Dutch Red Cross. After some months of duty in the Ruhr the 2nd Bn The Kensingtons was disbanded on 12th February, 1946.