7th Bn The Queen’s Royal Regiment
The 24th London Regiment (The Queen’s), later 7th (Southwark) Battalion The Queen’s Royal Regiment, had its origins in the Lambeth Volunteers, later re-formed as the 19th Corps Surrey Rifle Volunteers in 1860. In 1882 the Corps was re-titled 8th Corps The Queen’s Royal (West Surrey) Regiment and many of its members served in the South African War.
(Click to enlarge)
In 1908 the Battalion became the 24th (County of London) Battalion, The London Regiment (The Queen’s).It saw active service on the Western Front throughout the First World War, L/Cpl L J Keyworth winning the Victoria Cross at Givenchy in 1915. In 1937 the unit changed its title to 7th (Southwark) Battalion The Queen’s Royal Regiment (West Surrey). Both the 1/7th and 2/7th served in France and Belgium during the early part of the Second World War, being subsequently evacuated via Dunkirk and Cherbourg respectively. Later the 1/7th served in the Middle East, partaking in the famous battle of Medenine, and eventually served in Italy before returning to England to take part in the invasion of Europe. The 2/7th after their early mauling in France in 1940, re-formed in England and later served in India and Iraq before joining the 8th Army at Enfidaville after a vehicle journey of 3313 miles which lasted for 31 days. Later they served in Italy and were at the Island of Lido when the German Army in Italy surrendered on 2nd May 1945.
After the war, and a period of various amalgamations and reconstructions, including service in artillery roles, the Southwark Battalion gradually lost connections with the Queen’s although memories are kept alive by old soldiers by way of the Old Comrades Association. A later 6/7th Volunteer Battalion The Queen’s Regiment was also formed.
The patriotic enthusiasm of the volunteer part-time soldiery in West Surrey could be equally matched in East Surrey where many units could trace their origins well back into history.