The Queen’s Royal Surrey Regiment

On 29 April 2015 Clandon Park, including the Surrey Infantry Museum, was destroyed by fire. The National Trust which owns the property closed the site to the public whilst restoration work is carried out. The regimental archives and papers and photographs of individual soldiers, already transferred to Surrey History Centre, remain safe and accessible. For details of Surrey Infantry Museum collections in store and artefacts that were formerly at Clandon Park please contact the Museum via their website

The Queen’s Royal Surrey Regiment was formed in 1959 when The Queen’s Royal Regiment (West Surrey) and The East Surrey Regiment were amalgamated. In 1966 it was absorbed into The Queen’s Regiment, with a headquarters in Canterbury, thus ending the association of the county of Surrey with a regular regiment of the British Army.

The Queen’s Royal Regiment (West Surrey), the second oldest infantry regiment in the British Army, traced its origins back to 1661, and was originally formed to defend Tangier in North Africa, which Queen Catherine of Braganza had brought to Charles II as part of her dowry. Later also known as the 2nd Foot, its association with Surrey began in 1881 when the regiment was reorganised as The Queen’s (Royal West Surrey) Regiment with its depot at Guildford. In 1921 it was restyled The Queen’s Royal Regiment (West Surrey).

The East Surrey Regiment, with a depot at Kingston upon Thames, was created in 1881 when the 31st (Huntingdonshire) Regiment of Foot and the 70th (Surrey) Regiment of Foot were amalgamated. The 31st was originally formed in 1702 as Colonel George Villiers’ Regiment of Marines and its 2nd Battalion was formed into the 70th Regiment in 1758.

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.

Read Lance-Corporal Robert J. Beesley’s account of his military service and time as a Prisoner of War (2nd/6th Battalion The East Surrey Regiment, 51st Highland Division).

The records at Surrey History Centre, which span four centuries, are a wonderfully rich source for the lives and campaigns of those who served in the regiments, both with the regular battalions and in the militia, volunteer, territorial and conscript battalions. There are diaries and photographs of men serving in India and on the North West Frontier, against the Boers in South Africa, in the Far East, in the Crimea, and in northern Russia. There are the harrowing casualty returns and war diaries of battalions on the western front in the First World War, and first hand accounts of Dunkirk and the Burma Campaign. The routines of daily life in peace time are reflected in the series of battalion orders, in letters home and in photographs of sporting competitions and hunting expeditions in India.

Among the personal papers in the collection are those relating to Private Edward Cutt of the 9th (Service) Battalion, the East Surrey Regiment who was reported missing at the Battle of Loos on 26th Sep 1915, days after arriving in France. The papers belonged to Cutt’s fiance Ellen Dabbs, and include her poignant diary charting the course of their brief relationship through letters sent and received and her desperate attempts to trace him after he was reported missing in action, and an edition of The Pocket Gospel of St John, inscribed ‘In memory of Teddy, August 1915’, and containing a lock of Cutt’s hair.

Click here for more information

Papers of Pte Edward Cutt, 9th (Service) Battalion, East Surrey Regiment, casualty of the Battle of Loos, 26 Sep 1915

Papers of Pte Edward Cutt, 9th (Service) Battalion, East Surrey Regiment,
casualty of the Battle of Loos, 26 Sep 1915

1/6th Battalion Queen’s Royal Surrey Regiment, Pte Johnson nr. Anzio, Italy, 1944

1/6th Battalion Queen’s Royal Surrey Regiment,
Pte Johnson nr. Anzio, Italy, 1944

Click here to read a summary of the arrangement of the records of the Queen’s Royal Surrey Regiment held at the Surrey History Centre.

Click here to visit the on-line exhibition of Woking borough WWI memorials.

Click here to see the research guide  (pdf) “Tracing military records at Surrey History Centre“.

Click here to go to the ‘My Malaya Gallery’ website and learn more about the Queen’s Royal Regiment in Malaya.

8 thoughts on “The Queen’s Royal Surrey Regiment”

  1. David says:

    I am trying find information on my uncle death, Private Samuel William King(No.6088545)
    who died on the 7th November 1943 whilst a prisoner of war in Italian hands.
    Can please help me with information regarding my uncle’s death

  2. john drury says:

    I am trying to find information about my fathers army record,and what Japanese prisoner of war camp he was in.
    George Walter Drury
    East Surrey. Private. 6147063?
    Thank You

  3. Dennis John Bray says:

    I am trying to find military history of my Uncle George Jarvis Bray Born Lingfield 1911
    enlisted 1928 in the Queens Royal Surrey Rgt later transferred to Corps of Signals

  4. Joanne says:

    I’m trying to find some records on Robert clevett at queens west Surrey Regiment army number 60512581 please could u help me I’m doing my family tree & I need information

  5. Mrs. Stephanie Lodge says:

    Dear Sir or Madam,

    I would like to trace WW1 & 2 records of my father’s involvement, as far as the WW1 is concerned, the only detail I was ever given was that he lied about his age to join up, and that he worked with the mules in the ammunition dump and I believe this was in France, I’m not 100% sure, which regiment he was in, but there was a Lamb & Flag cap badge in a drawer at home, which unfortunately has now been lost. His name was William Lodge, and his BOD was 24th February 1899, I’m not sure where he was living at the time, but as he started working at Tythe Barns Farm, which is situated on the lane going towards what is now Send Women’s Prison in 1919. However I do know that during WW2 I think he was in the West Clandon Home Guard because he used to mention being on duty at Newlands Corner.
    I hope you can help me, or tell me how I can trace these records.
    Yours faithfully,
    Mrs. Stephanie Margaret Lodge writing on behalf of
    Mr. William James Lodge (formerly of Worplesdon).

  6. A. McKeich (Mrs) says:

    Hello I would like some advice as to what I should do with a pastel portrait I have in my possession of Lieutenant Hubert Pelham Sworder. It shows him wearing the WW1uniform of the West Surrey Regiment. It is in its original frame and very well portrayed. I have tried without success to trace any of his living relatives. His family were from the village of Barkway near Royston in Hertfordshire. As I am elderly I would like to be sure that the portrait is looked after and appreciated after I pass away. I wondered therefore if you might advise me in this matter in view of the fact that the museum at Clarendon House suffered the dreadful fire in 2015 and I don’t think it’s open at present. Lieutenant Sworder became attached to the Royal Flying Corps and was killed in action on 2nd April 1917.

  7. Tony Alec Game says:

    Hi my father James Arthur Game enrolled into the Queens Royal West Surrey’s on the 02/03/1939 I have found this on the 1939 enlistment register, Number 6090404. He went off to Europe with the British Expeditionary Force and ended up at Dunkirk, he was wounded at some point. He died aged 39 in 1960 when I was 10. I would if possible like to find out about his sevice record. Many thanks

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