East Surrey Regiment BadgeThe East Surrey RegimentEast Surrey Regiment Badge

 

The President’s Gong

The President’s Gong

"Presented to the Officers of 1st Bn The East Surrey Regiment. From the Officers of 17th Battalion The North Sydney Regiment.

Australian Miltary Forces 1936

 

The Chinese Ornaments

The Chinese Ornaments

The Dogs: “From the Emperor’s Summer Palace Pekin. Presented to the Mess of the 31st Regiment by Lieutenant F W H D Butler 31st Regt”.

The Vases: “Presented to the Mess of the 31st Regiment by Lieutenant A Gow. 31st Regt”.

These Ornaments were taken from the Emperor of China’s Summer Palace during the loot of Pekin in the Chinese War of 1860.

Whilst Major Toby Taylor was PMC he had these ornaments valued. They were valued by a 'Ming' expert from Spinks, Antique and Oriental department, London. The expert was overwhelmed at the collection. The little figure in the centre, like a dragon on top of a barrow was, he recalls quite unique. The Emperor would not have had any inferior items or rubbish in his palace.

He remembered the name Gow very well, because he had valued similar pieces for the Gow family. Lieutenant Gow, quite sensibly kept some pieces for himself. Gow told the story how he had 'rescued' it all from a French soldier who was taking it away in a wheelbarrow! He had 'saved’ it by his actions. That was his story anyway. At least some of the 'loot' was given to his regiment. At one of the disposal of silver sales held in the late 1950s early 1960s these pieces were disposed of.

Silver Cigarette Box

Silver Cigarette Box

When the 1st Bn The East Surrey Regiment was stationed at Khartoum in the Sudan they were called upon to assist in the making of the film The Four Feathers. Under the command of Major C D Armstrong five officers and two hundred and fifty men, camped with the film company to assist in the making of the film.

Some of the men grew moustaches as was the custom in the 1880s, and they paraded for the camera, marched to battle and formed square to repel the charge of the natives. Some played small individual parts and all entered into the spirit of making the film.

One Company Sergeant Major was heard to comment “it took three weeks to turn them into actors, now it’ll take me three years to make soldiers of them again”!

This cigarette box was one of a number presented to officers who took part in the film. Within the box is contained four white feathers and a photo taken whilst filming.

 

Sergeants Mess, 6th Bn The East Surry Regiment, Sobraon Ball.

Sergeants Mess, 6th Bn The East Surry Regiment, Sobraon Ball.

 

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