Buffs memorial in High Street

High Street beside Nasons Departments Store

The open space next to Nasons store in the High Street was once the church of St Mary Breadman – first mentioned in the late 12th century and named after the nearby bread market to distinguish it from three other St Mary dedications in the city.  The church was rebuilt in 1828 but demolished in 1900.  Several memorial stones have been set into the paving of the small remaining square.

Apart from a small plaque reminding us of the church, this site now includes the memorial cross to the Royal East Kent Yeomanry (known as the Buffs) and an accompanying horse trough.  Both were removed from the old city cattle market where they had been unveiled by Lord Harris in October 1922 to mark the disbanding of REKY after over 120 years of service.  The relocation was needed to make way for the new city by-pass in the 1960s.  The urn and flame on top of the column denotes undying fame, whilst the broken spurs on the regimental badge recall transition from a cavalry to an infantry regiment.  Memorial horse troughs are rare – the text reads ‘To our patient comrades in the horse lines’ with a quotation from Job 39 v21 ‘He paweth in the valley He rejoiceth in his strength’.

What to see:

  • St Mary Breadman church plaque (Image 1)
  • memorial stones from St Mary Bredman (Image 2)
  • Doric column with urn and flames (Image 3)
  • text recalling the disbandment of the REKY (Image 4)
  • regimental badge with laurel and broken spurs (Image 5)
  • horse trough with biblical text (Image 6)

Sources:  Basford (2008);  Urry (1950);  Dover Express 20 October 1922