The Colours of The East Surrey Regiment
(and its forebears the 31st and 70th of Foot)
1st Battalion The East Surrey Regiment (31st Foot) 1903-1959
In 1881 the Thirty-First joined with the Seventieth, and it became the 1st Battalion of The East Surrey Regiment.
Advantage was taken of the return of the Battalion from India in 1903 to present new Colours which would bear for the first time the insignia of The East Surrey Regiment and, following changes in the regulations, the Regimental Colour was not buff, but, in common with all non-Royal regiments (unless specifically exempted), white with the red cross of St George and with the union wreath surrounding a central roundel bearing the Regimental badge. A fuller description of this pattern of Colours is given in the section dealing with the Territorial battalions. These were the only such Colours carried by the battalion, and were presented on Queen’s Parade, Aldershot, on 26th May 1903 by Lord Roberts, the Commander-in-Chief.
This stand saw service in many countries, and the Regimental Colour was last trooped by the 1st Battalion on Sobraon Day, 1958. Following the amalgamation of The East Surreys with The Queen’s Royal Regiment (West Surrey) on 14th October, these Colours were laid up on 29th September 1960 in the Regimental chapel of the new county Regiment of Surrey in Guildford Cathedral. They are in beautiful condition, and hang appropriately alongside the last Colours of the 1st Battalion The Queen’s Royal Regiment, laid up at the same time.