Colours of The Queen’s Royal Surrey Regiments
1st Battalion The Queen’s Royal Surrey Regiment
Raised in 1852, this Regiment became the 4th Battalion the East Surreys, in 1881. As an Extra Reserve battalion it was responsible for training and dispatching 4,732 reinforcements mainly to East Surrey battalions on the Western Front in the years 1914-1918. It was disembodied in 1919 and disbanded in 1953.
Two stands of Colours are in existence. The first is of the large size, presented in 1854 and laid up in 1877; these hang very high up in the tower of All Saints’ Church, Kingston-upon-Thames, near the Regimental Chapel of The East Surrey Regiment.
The three foot nine inches by three foot stand which succeeded these Colours was presented on 6th July 1877 by HRH Princess Mary Adelaide, Duchess of Teck. The Queen’s Colour bears ten Great War battle honours. They are kept (but not displayed) in the Queen’s Surreys museum at Clandon Park; the Queen’s Colour shows some signs of wear, and pikes are not attached.
After the amalgamation of 1st Queen’s and 1st Surreys, new Colours were presented to the amalgamated 1st Battalion by HRH the Duke of Edinburgh at Bury St Edmunds on 22nd April 1960. These Colours, although similar in size and form to the last stand of The Queen’s differed in detail so that both Regiments might be equally represented.
|Presentation of Colours to 6th/7th Battalion The Queen's Regiment at Ardingley, 16th July 1981. Her Grace Lavinia, Duchess of Norfolk, hands the Regimental Colour to the Ensign, 2nd/Lt A Guthrie.|
|1st Bn The Queen's Regiment Colour Belts.
(Click to enlarge)
The Queen’s Colour was once again the Great Union. In the centre was the red roundel bearing the title surmounted by a Queen’s Crown but now the Roman I for the 1st Battalion was moved to the centre. On the horizontal arms of St George’s Cross were placed thirty-eight Battle Honours won during the two World Wars, a full list of which may be found in the History of the Regiment by JP Riley.
The Regimental Colour is again a blue sheet with the battalion numeral in the first canton; the four corner badges now became the cipher of Queen Catherine within the Garter, the badge of The East Surrey Regiment, the Naval Crown superscribed “1 June 1794”, the Sphinx superscribed “Egypt”. In the centre was placed the new Regimental badge, the lamb and star, within a red roundel, bearing the Regimental title, surmounted by a Queen’s crown. Once again around this was the Union wreath with the motto Pristinae Virtutis Memor across its base. Around this was placed the golden laurel wreath bearing the Battle Honours won outside the two World Wars which again are listed in the Regimental History. These Colours are shown below.
After the reorganisation of the Home Counties Brigade on a regimental basis, these Colours remained with 1st Battalion The Queen’s Regiment. They were trooped for the last time at the presentation of new Colours to The Queen’s Regiment on 4th May 1974 at Armoury House, London, and were laid up on 15th June 1995 in Guildford Cathedral.