Post-War Amalgamation 1946-1966

The Queen's Royal Surrey Regiment

queen's royal surreys

post-war, amalgamation
Sergeant of The Queen's Surreys in Number Two Dress carrying a 7.62mm Self Loading Rifle, which replaced the .303 inch Lee Enfield, during this period.

Both The Queen’s Royal Regiment and The East Surrey Regiment were reduced in numbers following the Second World War and then became fully committed to counter-insurgency operations, as Great Britain began its withdraw from The Empire. They were also affected by the beginning of the Cold War, as the Russians began expanding

The Queen’s Royal Regiment (West Surrey)
1948 was a particularly significant year for the Queen’s. The 2nd Battalion was stationed in Berlin during the blockade by the Russians and on Salerno Day (9th September), it was renamed the 1st Battalion, due to the cutbacks within the Army; the original 1st Battalion had been reduced to a cadre, whilst the 2nd Battalion was placed in suspended animation. Service continued in Germany and, in 1950, a draft of one officer and 135 other ranks was sent to reinforce the Middlesex Regiment in the Korean War, where they served with distinction. In 1954, the Battalion was posted to Malaya; there it was to take part in operations against the Communist Terrorists. Many of the soldiers were very capable national servicemen; the Battalion succeeded in killing forty-six terrorists, but at a cost of seven men killed in action. The Battalion returned to Germany in 1957.

east surrey regiment, amalgamation
Officer of The East Surrey Regiment in Number One Dress ('Blues').

The East Surrey Regiment
The two regular battalions of The East Surreys also became a single battalion in 1948 following a merging parade in Athens, Greece and operations against Communist guerillas. Between 1951 and 1958, the Battalion served in North Africa and in 1953 was involved in the tail-end of the Suez Canal crisis and suffered some casualties at Tel-el-Kebir. It then served in West Germany, but there was a short tour to Cyprus to perform security duties in Nicosia. The Surreys returned home to Bury-St-Edmunds in 1958.

The Queen’s Royal Surrey Regiment
A major review of British Defence Policy occurred in 1957 and the number of infantry battalions of the Line was reduced from sixty-five to fifty-two. As a result, on the 14th October 1959 (the anniversary of the raising of the 2nd Foot on Putney Heath in 1661), The Queen’s Royal Regiment (West Surrey) was amalgamated with The East Surrey Regiment to form a new regiment of Surrey; The Queen’s Royal Surrey Regiment. The new Regiment was to join The Queen’s Own Buffs, The Royal Kent Regiment, The Royal Sussex Regiment and The Middlesex Regiment as part of a new “Home Counties Brigade”. These four battalions were to wear their own separate new badges on the collar, but be united by one cap badge; the Saxon crown with a sword penetrating the crown. (The six points of the crown symbolised the union of the six former regiments and the sword was their martial tradition). Canterbury replaced Guildford and Kingston as the new Brigade Depot.

General Purpose Machine Gun, gpmg
The 7.62mm General Purpose Machine Gun (GMPG) in the light role (the weapon is still in service and is also used in the sustained fire role on a tripod).

The 1st Battalion moved to Aden, on operations, in 1961 for one year and The Queen’s Surreys Territorial Army Emergency Reserve, known as “Ever Readies” helped reinforce The Royal Sussex Regiment there in 1965. The Battalion was then posted to Hong Kong for two years to maintain garrison duties, before returning to join the British Army of the Rhine in Münster, West Germany in 1964.

The Territorial Army was re-organised in 1961 and the 3rd and 4th Battalions of the Queen’s Royal Surrey Regiment were formed.

 

 

 

 

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