Extracts from 'Only The Enemy In Front'. This page covers the formation of the regiment.

44 Recce > Only The Enemy In Front > Formation and training 1941-1942.

The 44th Reconnaissance Battalion is recorded as having been formed on 8th January 1941 which was six days before the Royal Warrant that created the Reconnaissance Corps and a further eight days before a Special Army Order was published. The first commanding officer was Acting Lt. Colonel I. R. Lovell who was posted from 1st battalion of the Queen's Own Royal West Kent Regiment.

It was created from the anti-tank companies of the three infantry brigades of the 44th (Home Counties) Infantry Division, each anti-tank company forming one of the companies of the new battalion with the battalion HQ and the HQ company drawing on men from all companies. A Company was formed from men of the 131st Infantry Brigade which at the time was formed of the 1/5th and 1/6th battalions of the Queen's Royal Regiment (West Surrey) and the 2nd battalion of The Buffs (Royal East Kent Regiment). B Company was formed from the 132nd Infantry Brigade which then comprised the 1/7th battalion of the Queen's and the 4th and 5th battalions of The Queen's Own Royal West Kent Regiment. C Company was formed from the 133rd Infantry Brigade which fielded the 2nd, 4th and 5th (Cinque Ports) battalions of The Royal Sussex Regiment.

The above description expands on that in Doherty's book (below) and is supported by pieces in The Reconnaissance Journal (here and here) and if that isn't conclusive enough, it is supported by the War Diaries. However it should be acknowledged that the book 'This Band Of Brothers' suggests that the regiment was formed from the 7th Battalion of the Royal West Kents and that name appears up in a small number of places on the internet, including in memorials. That battalion was in 36th Infantry Brigade at the time and remained in existence until May 1944.

Reconnaissance was traditionally carried out by cavalry and on 6th June 1942 the Reconnaissance Corps officially started using cavalry terminology. Companies became squadrons, platoons became troops and privates became troopers. The official name was now the 44th Reconnaissance Regiment.

Only The Enemy In Front (2008) p22.

The new units were 44th and 51st Reconnaissance Regiments. The new nomenclature, with its echoes of the old divisional light cavalry and cavalry designations had come into effect on 6 June, the day on which 50 Recce had virtually ceased to exist. As had been 50 Recce's lot, neither of the newcomers was destined to serve in a true 'recce' rôle.

Formed in January 1941, 44 Recce was created from 44th Division's anti-tank companies, each of which had in turn been built up from the respective brigades. These had all been Home Counties' brigades: 131 Brigade consisted of Queens and Buffs battalions; 132 of Royal West Kents and Queens and 133 of Royal Sussex. Initially A Squadron was made up of Queensmen and Buffs, B Squadron of Queensmen and Royal West Kents and C Squadron of Royal Sussex soldiers; RHQ and HQ Squadron had a cross-section of the battalions represented in the regiment.