The Militia and Territorial Silver
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The Militia, Volunteer and Territorial battalions of the Queen’s and Surreys possessed some outstanding pieces of silver. As a result of the many amalgamations and disbandments which have occurred over the years, much of the silver has been disposed of.
However, The Queen’s Royal Surrey Regiment Territorial Trustees administer a fund and are responsible for the remaining silver which belonged to various territorial units. Many lovely pieces remain with the Regiment. It was decided that a selection of this silver would be illustrated in this Supplement with notes on donors and units which have competed for these trophies.
It is interesting to note the number of donors who are ladies connected with the regiments, business firms and local traders of towns who presented silver for various reasons. All the silver illustrated has been in constant use with the Territorial battalions of The Queen’s and latterly The Princess of Wales’s Royal Regiment and The London Regiment.
Centrepiece - The Halt in the Desert
This is an unusual and romantic piece of silver. It was purchased out of the Officers Mess Fund by the Officers of the 70th Regiment in 1866 on the return of the Regiment from New Zealand in that year, from an agent of the Marquis of Hastings. The group was made by Garrard & Co and run for at Goodwood Races in 1866, being won by a 4 year old horse called “The Duke” owned by the Marquis of Hastings. Entitled by Garrard’s “A Halt in the Desert”. the trophy was in fact for The Goodwood Cup Race, value 300 sovereigns added to a Sweepstake of 20 sovereigns for the winner, the second to receive 100 sovereigns out of the stakes. The race was over a course of two and a half miles.
“The Duke” carried 9 stone and was ridden by a jockey called Fordham. The second horse, owned by Baron Rothschild was called “Tourindlen”, was 3 years old, carried 7stone 3lbs and was ridden by Peake. Betting was “evens” on “The Duke” which won by a length. * Where and from whom the centrepiece was purchased is not clear. As a matter of interest the horse depicted is acknowledged by blood stock experts to be one of the finest representations in silver of an arab horse.
On the 25th September, 1959, on the occasion of a dinner attended by past and present members of the 6th Battalion The East Surrey Regiment to celebrate the Battalion’s hundredth birthday, the “Halt in the Desert” was handed over by Brigadier G R P Roupell, VC, CB, DL, Colonel The East Surrey Regiment to Colonel T MacD Baker, CBE, TD, DL, Honorary Colonel 6th Battalion The East Surrey Regiment (TA) to be kept on permanent loan by the Officers 6th Battalion The East Surrey Regiment (TA) as a token of respect by the 1st and 2nd Battalions for the part played by the 1/6th and 2/6th Battalions in the 1939-1945 War.
* (Facts extracted from The Racing Calendar of Thursday 2nd August 1866).