Welcome to the Website of
The Queen's Royal Surrey Regiment
1661 - 1966
Introduction by Colonel A.C. Ward OBE DL.
Last President of the Queen's Royal Surrey Regiment Association.
Then its Tommy this an Tommy that an “Tommy, ‘ow’s yer soul?”
But it’s “Thin red line of ‘eros’ when the drums begin to roll
The drums begin to roll my boys; the drums begin to roll,
O it’s “Thin red line of ‘eros’ when the drums begin to roll.
This website tells the history, traditions and customs of the two Infantry Regiments of Surrey. The Queen’s Royal Regiment (West Surrey), the 2nd of Foot, was England’s oldest infantry Regiment formed in 1661. The East Surrey Regiment was formed in 1881 by the amalgamation of the 31st who first paraded in 1702 as a Marine Regiment and the 70th who were raised in 1758. These two Regiments were amalgamated in 1959 to form The Queen's Royal Surrey Regiment.
The website provides details of the history, the museum at Clandon Park, near Guildford and the Regimental Association which arranges reunions and looks after the welfare of our old comrades and when necessary organises benevolence grants to those in need.
The British Army thrives on traditions, regimental pride, service to the Nation and loyalty to the Crown. This heady mixture produces a tight feeling of esprit d’corps and that team fighting spirit that has resulted in the superb battle effectiveness of the British Infantry – the envy of many other nations.
But how often have we heard that there is never enough Infantry for the Country’s needs? Successive Governments throughout history have sought cuts through reductions of battalions or amalgamations of Regiments.
Each change dilutes that tight-knit band of brothers who have close connections with the towns and villages of their county. The history on this website illustrates this most effectively. Both Regiments have been awarded many Battle Honours and Distinctions, bourne on their colours which can be seen on this website, or on a visit to the museum.
During the Great War the Queen’s raised 31 battalions and 29 Young Soldiers and Labour units. 23 battalions saw active service. The East Surreys raised 24 battalions, 21 saw active service. The casualties were horrendous; the Queen’s lost 7399 officers, NCOs and men killed. The Surreys had 6223 officers and rank and file killed.
During the Second World War the combined casualty figures for both Regiments was 3788 Officers, NCOs and men who made the supreme sacrifice. Their names can be seen in the Books of Remembrance in the Regimental Chapels and on War Memorials throughout Surrey, South London and elsewhere.
In 1966, The Queen’s Royal Surrey Regiment became part of The Queen’s Regiment and as a result of further reductions of Infantry in 1992 The Princess of Wales’s Royal Regiment was formed by the amalgamation of The Queen’s Regiment and The Royal Hampshire Regiment. (Their website is www.123pwrr.co.uk)
The British Army strives to achieve excellence, young soldiers are taught that if they do half as well as their predecessors they will have done a good job. The enduring theme of so many campaigns is the humour, patience, initiative and courage of the British Infantryman.
Rudyard Kipling immortalised the British Soldier as “Tommy Atkins” Whilst social conditions and soldiering have changed the British Soldier remains “Tommy Atkins”, in that respect nothing has changed.
This website is dedicated to all our “Tommys” who have worn our cap badge and served in the Infantry Regiments of Surrey.
For it’s Tommy this, an’ Tommy that an’ “Chuck him out, the brute!”
But it’s “Saviour of ‘is country’ when the guns begin to shoot;
An it’s Tommy this, an’ Tommy that, an’ anything you please;
An’ Tommy ain’t a blooming’ fool – you bet that Tommy sees!
Pristinae Virtutis Memor
Please note that the regimental collection of historic documents, books and photograph albums has now been transferred to the Surrey History Centre.
The Surrey History Centre will now be dealing with research enquiries relating to The Queen's Royal, East Surrey and Queen's Royal Surrey Regiments (2nd, 31st and 70th Foot). The Collection is also available for public consultation.
For further infomation please contact:-
Surrey History Centre
130 Goldsworth Road
Tel: 01483 770761