East Surrey Regiment BadgeThe East Surrey RegimentEast Surrey Regiment Badge


The XXXI Centrepiece

The XXXI Centrepiece

Presented by the Officers when the 31st Huntingdonshire Regiment became the 1st Battalion The East Surrey Regiment on the Cardwell system coming into force in 1881. The removal of the old Regimental distinctions was most unpopular, and both Regiments felt great resentment. The officers of the 31st decided, therefore, that the spirit of their old Regiment should be commemorated in some visible form in their new Mess. On the last guest night before amalgamation, the officers collected a portion of the mess furniture, made a fire and collected a heap of ashes, which they carefully preserved. A silver urn was later made to their design into which the ashes were eventually placed. These ashes have long since turned to dust but nevertheless, the spirit of the 31st remains symbolized by this centrepiece.

The figure of a soldier of the 31st is not the original, which somehow disappeared around 1899. A new model was added in 1902, but after various adventures, the original soldier was recovered and mounted on a stand as a separate piece of silver.

The inscription on the centrepiece states: -
“ Presented to the Officers of the 1st Battalion East Surrey Regiment by the Officers of the 31st Huntingdonshire Regiment in remembrance of the old Corps which ceased to exist 30th June 1881”


Figure of a Soldier of the 31st Regiment

Figure of a Soldier of the 31st RegimentThis figure is an exact replica of one forming part of the XXXI Centrepiece. In fact, this is the original figure and it was part of that Centrepiece for some twenty years.

In 1899, the centrepiece becoming damaged was sent home from Jhansi, where the battalion was then stationed, to Elkingtons for overhaul. During the journey, or soon after arrival, the figure was found to be missing. Some time between 1899 and 1902, a new model was made and then mounted in the Centrepiece.

The missing figure had several strange adventures before finally being mounted on a stand and added to the regimental silver as a separate item. Its story is outlined in the following letter written in 1935 by Lieutenant Colonel R V C Brettell who was serving on the Mess Committees when the centrepiece was sent home in 1899.

“Some time in 1902 whilst I was at home serving at the Depot, as a result of a conversation I overheard in the canteen, I went to a pawnbroker in Limehouse and recovered the missing figure from him. Meantime between 1899 and 1902, a new model had been made. On the arrival home of the Battalion in 1903, I handed the figure over, but I regret to say the decision was reached at a Mess Meeting to have it melted down and made into mustard pots or ash trays.” Apparently, the figure was never actually melted down, as in 1910, whilst the Battalion was stationed at Plymouth, it appears to have been recovered once more from a shop in that town.

Apparently, the figure was never actually melted down, as in 1910, whilst the Battalion was stationed at Plymouth, it appears to have been recovered once more from a shop in that town.


The Longley Cup

The Longley Cup

This was presented by Lt Col J R Longley on relinquishing command to be competed for annually by officers of the 1st Bn The East Surrey Regiment.

The inscription reads:-
“Officers’ Cross Country Cup Presented by Lieut-Colonel J R Longley in 1912 after many happy years in the Battalion from 2nd Lieutenant to Lieut- Colonel”.
The cup has recently been renovated and is now in use with the 3rd Bn The Princess of Wales’s Royal Regiment.

The Bicentenary Bowls

Two extremely attractive 12 & half inch diameter, round plain mounted strap decoration, shaped leaf and scroll top, knocker handles, mounted body wire, engraved Regimental badge and inscription Bicentenary Bowl 1902 & 1903. 79.5 oz each.

The Bicentenary Bowls

“Presented to the Officers 1st Battalion The East Surrey Regiment by Past and Present Officers of the Corps, to commemorate the Bicentenary of the Raising of the Battalion on 14th March, 1702.”

The Bicentenary Celebrations were held at Lucknow on 14th March 1902.

Captain James Major General Scrase Dickens Lieutenant Colquhoun
Captain Ellis Colonel Bazley Lieutenant Robinson
Captain Lawrence Colonel Roupell Lieutenant Murray
Captain Beeton Lieutenant Colonel Angel Scott Lieutenant Brettell
Captain Ormsby Lieutenant Colonel Burnaby Lieutenant Eardley Wilmot
Captain Elderton Lieutenant Colonel Crozier Lieutenant Hart Synnot
Captain Patterson Lieutenant Colonel Thomas Lieutenant Wilson
Captain Butler Lieutenant Colonel Leatham Lieutenant Davies
Captain Fagan Lieutenant Colonel Ward Lieutenant Towers
Captain Smalley Lieutenant Colonel Frodsham Lieutenant Baldwin
Captain Birkbeck Major Ringwood Lieutenant Currie
Captain Bayliss Major Taylor 2/Lieutenant Davis
Captain Longley Major Treeby 2/Lieutenant D'Aguilar
Captain Ashton Major White 2/Lieutenant Shaw
Captain Moline Major Dwyer 2/Lieutenant Creaghe
Captain Gorman Major Benson 2/Lieutenant Wynter
Captain Sproule Major Dodgson 2/Lieutenant Burn
Captain Rawlins Major Bowles 2/Lieutenant Mortimer
Major Sloman


The Freedom of Kingston Casket

The Freedom of Kingston Casket

The Honorary Freedom of the Royal Borough of Kingston–upon-Thames was conferred on the regiment in 1944. The actual ceremony did not take place until after the war when, on the 29th July 1947, detachments of the Regiment (including the 6th Battalion (TA), marched through the town with “Drums beating, and Colours flying and bayonets fixed.”

At a ceremony afterwards, the Mayor of Kingston, Councillor F C Judge, presented to the Colonel of the Regiment, Lt Gen Sir Arthur Dowler, a silver casket containing an illuminated scroll. The scroll and casket, now housed in the Regimental Museum, Clandon reads as follows: -
Royal Borough of Kingston-upon-Thames Honorary Freedom of the Borough

At a Meeting of the Council of the Royal Borough of Kingston-upon-Thames, held on the 30th day of May 1944 it was unanimously resolved that, pursuant to the powers conferred on this Council by the local Government Act 1933, the Officers, Warrant Officers, Non-Commissioned Officers and Men serving in The East Surrey Regiment be admitted as Honorary Freemen of the Borough, and that in accordance with the provisions of the above-mentioned act, the name of theColonel of the Regiment be inscribed on the Freeman’s Roll kept by the Town Clerk dated this Thirteenth Day of July 1947 The Corporate Seal of the Mayor, Aldermen And Burgesses of the Royal Borough of Kingston-upon-Thames was hereto affixed in the presence of F C Judge Mayor A W Forsdike Town Clerk.


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