Summary of the arrangement of the records of the Queen’s Royal Surrey Regiment
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The records of the Queen’s Royal Surrey Regiment are contained in five catalogues.
The two main archive catalogues are:
- Records of The Queen’s Royal Regiment (West Surrey), formerly the 2nd Foot, (1662)-2007, under the reference QRWS. (Click here to find out more about the collection)
- Records of The East Surrey Regiment, formerly the 31st (Huntingdonshire) Regiment and the 70th (Surrey) Regiment, 1702-2003, under the reference ESR. (Click here to find out more about the collection)
The records of the Queen’s Royal Regiment (West Surrey) include the following major series: records relating to the regiment as a whole or to the depot at Guildford (QRWS/1/-); records of the two regular battalions, 1st Battalion (QRWS/2/-) and 2nd Battalion (QRWS/3/-); the militia or 3rd Battalion (QRWS/4/-); the volunteer later territorial battalions, 4th Battalion, 5th Battalion, 6th Battalion (formerly 22nd London Regiment) and 7th Battalion (formerly 24th London Regiment), which multiplied during the world wars to form 1/4th, 2/4th Battalions etc (QRWS/5/- to QRWS/13/-, QRWS/15/- to QRWS/16/-); the additional service battalions and reserve battalions created during World War I, 6th (Service) Battalion (QRWS/14/-), 7th (Service) Battalion, 8th (Service) Battalion, 10th (Service) Battalion, 11th (Service) Battalion, 12th (Reserve) Battalion (QRWS/17- to QRWS/21/-) and 19th Battalion (QRWS/26/-); additional battalions raised in World War II, 12th (Home Defence) Battalion, 13th (Home Defence) Battalion, 14th Battalion, 15th Battalion (QRWS/22/- to QRWS/25/-), 30th Battalion (QRWS/27/-) and 70th (Young Soldiers) Battalion (QRWS/28/-); and the Cadet Force (QRWS/29/-).
During World War II, the Territorial Battalions generally served together, 1/5th, 1/6th and 1/7th Battalions in 131st (Queen’s) Infantry Brigade (44th (Home Counties) Division) and 2/5th, 2/6th and 2/7th Battalions in 35 Infantry Brigade (12th Division), later 169th Queen’s Brigade of 56th London Division. As a result many records relating to these battalions cannot be assigned to an individual unit: these records have been grouped into a Territorial series (QRWS/8/-) which should be consulted alongside the series relating to each battalion.
The records of The East Surrey Regiment include the following major series: records relating to the regiment as a whole or to the depot at Kingston (ESR/1/-); records of the two regular battalions, 1st Battalion (ESR/2/-) and 2nd Battalion (ESR/3/-); the militia and extra reserve battalions, 3rd Battalion and 4th Battalion (ESR/4/- and (ESR/5/-); the volunteer, later territorial battalions, 5th Battalion, 6th Battalion and 7th Battalion (formerly 23rd London Regiment) all of which multiplied during the world wars to form 1/5th, 2/5th Battalions etc (ESR/6/- to ESR/16/-); the additional service battalions and reserve battalions created during World War I, 7th (Service) Battalion, 8th (Service) Battalion, 9th (Service) Battalion, 11th (Reserve) Battalion, 12th (Bermondsey) Battalion and 13th (Wandsworth) Battalion (ESR/17/- to ESR/19/-, ESR/22/- to ESR/24A/-); and additional battalions raised in World War II, 9th Battalion, 10th Battalion and 70th (Young Soldiers) Battalion (ESR/20/- to ESR/21/-, ESR/24A/-).
Records of each regiment and its constituent battalions might include: standing orders, daily orders, nominal rolls, casualty returns and prisoner of war registers, headquarters files, digests of service, war diaries and other operational records, mess records, sports records, magazines and newsletters, programmes, menus and other ephemera, photographs, writings and research on the history of the unit and records of the regimental or battalion association.
Personal papers of members of both regiments are listed in two further catalogues:
- QRWS/30 for the Queen’s Royal Regiment (West Surrey) and predecessors (Click here to see pdf copies of the record listings) and
- ESR/25 for the East Surrey Regiment and predecessors. (Click here to see pdf copies of the record listings)
The personal records, including service papers, private diaries, letters, photographs, and other collected papers relating to an individual’s service and life, are organised alphabetically by surname.
The records of the Queen’s Royal Surrey Regiment, created in 1959 and amalgamated into the newly formed Queen’s Regiment in 1966, are held under the reference QRS. They chiefly include records of 1st Battalion and 3rd and 4th Battalions, merged in 1967 to form 6th (Territorial) Battalion, The Queen’s Regiment. Also included are a small quantity of papers accumulated by individuals serving with the Regiment. (Click here to find out more about the collection)
Detailed lists of the contents of all photograph albums held within the above five catalogues are available at Surrey History Centre. These list all those individuals identified by name in the photographs.
The official regimental journals held in Surrey History Centre include:
J/442: Journal of the Queen’s Royal Regiment (West Surrey), 1925-1959.
J/553: Journal of the East Surrey Regiment, 1920-1959.
J/551: Journal of the Queen’s Royal Surrey Regiment, 1960-1966.
J/122: Journal of the Queen’s Regiment, 1967-1987.
J/552: Queen’s Royal Surrey Regimental Association Newsletter, 1967-2003.
Surrey History Centre also holds enlistment and discharge registers and World War II honours index cards, 1892-1958, for the Queen’s Royal Regiment (West Surrey) and the East Surrey Regiment under the reference 7791.
Also held are recruitment registers relating to 31st (East Surrey Regiment) Recruiting District, 1908-1933, and a single register relating to 2nd (Queen’s Royal West Surrey Regiment) Recruiting District, 1917-1918, under the reference 2496. These registers have been transcribed and indexed and a CD published by Surrey History Trust.
In addition the Surrey History Centre library holds the standard regimental histories and many other books and articles on the regiments and individual battalions and campaigns, together with published and unpublished memoirs of some of those who served. Click here to see reading lists for regimental histories.
Click here to read more about the Queen’s Royal Surrey Regiment.
Click here to read about the East Surrey Regiment’s “football” charge on July 1st 1916, one of the most famous incidents to occur during the carnage of the first day of the battle of the Somme.
Click here to see the research guide (pdf) “Tracing military records at Surrey History Centre“.