The East Surrey Regiment
The Dettingen Cup
On Guest nights this cup was placed in front of the Second Senior
Officer of the Regiment dining in, i.e. opposite the Huntingdonshire
Around the cup are depicted scenes from the Battle of Dettingen
while on the side is inscribed: -
“Dettingen June 27th 1743”
Inside the lid is the inscription:- “Presented by Lieut Colonel H L Smith, DSO, to his Brother
Officers on leaving the Regiment June 21st 1911. The 20th and
31st Regiments were sent into action by His Majesty King George
II in person, who mistaking the Regiment for the 3rd Buffs, as
their facings were similar, called out “BRAVO BUFFS”
and when reminded it was the 31st, His Majesty rejoined, “BRAVO
YOUNG BUFFS.” This name, valuable for the time and manner
it was conferred, has since been retained as a traditional title.”
It was the custom on the 27th June, the Anniversary of Dettingen,
for all Officers at Dinner to drink from the cup, the toast being, “Success to the 1st Battalion The East Surrey Regiment.” The toast was drunk by every officer in turn. The procedure was laid down in the old Minute Book of the 1st Battalion. The Cup
is now with the 3rd Bn The Princess of Wales’s Royal Regiment.
The Halt in the Desert Centrepiece
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 entitled by Garrards “A
Halt in the Desert”, and run for at Goodwood Races
in 1866, being won by a four year old horse called “The
Duke” owned by the Marquis of Hastings. The trophy was in
fact for The Goodwood Cup Race, value three hundred sovereigns added
to a sweepstake of twenty sovereigns for the winner, the second
to receive one hundred sovereigns out of the stakes. The race
was over a course of two and a half miles.
“The Duke” carried nine stone and was ridden
by a jockey called Fordham. The second horse, owned by Baron Rothschild
was called “Tourindlen”, was three years
old, carried seven stone three pounds 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 and stock experts to be one of the finest
representations in silver of an Arab horse.
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 GRP 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. The centrepiece is
now with the 3rd Bn the Princess of Wales’s Royal Regiment.
The New Centrepiece or Farewell to the Horse
An unusual table centrepiece. On the central plinth is an officer
on his charger, the back and front sides of this plinth bearing
the badge of The East Surrey Regiment. The two other sides carry
the crests of the 31st and 70th Regiments. The figures mounted
on each arm of the base are: a soldier in service dress firing
a Lewis gun, a pair of horses and their driver drawing a limbered
general service wagon, a soldier in service dress firing a Vickers
machine gun, and a group of three soldiers in khaki drill. Engraved
on silver plates around the base are the names of the forty officers
at that time serving with the battalion and who contributed to
the cost (the commanding officer being Lieutenant Colonel G R
P Roupell VC).
It is inscribed: -
“Presented to the Officers 1st Battalion the East Surrey
Regiment to Commemorate the Animal Transport which was replaced
by Mechanical Transport in 1938”
In 1938 the 1st Bn The East Surrey Regiment was selected for conversion
to a machine gun battalion. To commemorate this change of operational
role a handsome silver centrepiece was commissioned for the Officers'
In the centre is a plinth surmounted by a major mounted on a charger.
The badge of The East Surrey Regiment is on the north and south
sides. The badge of the 31st Regiment is on the east side and
that of the 70th Regiment on the west side.
The figures on the base are:- North: Soldier in service dress firing a Lewis gun. East: Pair of horses, one with soldier mounted. The pair drawing a limbered
general service wagon. South: Soldier
in service dress firing a Vickers machine gun. West: Three soldiers in Khaki drill and Wolesley helmets, one leading
a draught mule.
1938 the 1st Battalion trained as a machine gun battalion, only
to be informed at the end of the year that the conversion had
The theme of the centrepiece is, therefore, the role of the 1st Bn The East Surrey Regiment as a Rifle and Machine Gun Battalion.
This centrepiece is on display in The Queen's Royal Surrey Regiment
Museum at Clandon Park, Guildford.
the records consulted are clear that the Farewell to the Horse
piece was not completed until the outbreak of war, Major Toby
Taylor is sure that it was delivered to Colchester before the
war because, as he recalls "all of us who had helped pay
for it looked at it to ensure our names appeared on it! Perhaps
it had been delivered to Colchester before the outbreak of war
and had never been officially taken into use.
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