The Chapel of The Queen's Royal Surrey Regiment
In the Cathedral of the Holy Spirit Guildford
The Queen’s Royal Regiment
The Queen’s Royal Regiment’s first title was The Tangiers Regiment and it first paraded on Putney Heath on the 14th October 1661 under Henry, Earl of Peterborough, who became its first Colonel. He was also appointed Chief Governor of Tangier where the Regiment served from 1661-1684. Its first Battle Honour ‘Tangier 1661-1680’ is the oldest in the British Army. During its history it had several titles, becoming The Queen’s (Second) Royal Regiment of Foot, on 1st July 1751. On the 1st July 1881 it became The Queen’s (Royal West Surrey) Regiment, its first real link with the County of Surrey. Its Depot was at Stoughton Barracks, Guildford, from 1876-1959.
In 1959 The East Surrey Regiment amalgamated with The Queen’s Royal Regiment to form The Queen’s Royal Surrey Regiment. At the same time the former Old Comrades' Associations amalgamated to form The Queen’s Royal Surrey Regimental Association, which continues its main work of looking after the old comrades of the Regiment.
Whilst the Queen’s Surreys no longer exists, having become 1st Battalion The Queen’s Regiment on December 31st 1966, and subsequently joining with The Royal Hampshire Regiment to form The Princess of Wales’s Royal Regiment, nevertheless The Queen’s Royal Surrey Regimental Association still actively maintains links with the Chapel. This Old Comrades' Association has made grants over the years for improvement in the lighting of the chapel, refurbishment of the memorial gates, upkeep of the Colours and other minor items.
This continuing interest in and concern for our forebear regiment is recognised down the years by the Association’s attendance at the annual Remembrance Day service, when the former Regiment’s Freedom of the Borough, now extended to The Princess of Wales’s Royal Regiment is recognised. Members of the Association also attend civic occasions in the Borough, as representatives of the Regiments.
The East Surrey Regiment
In 1702, Queen Anne authorised the raising of six Regiments of Marines, including one commanded by a Colonel Villiers. In 1704, the Regiment, now commanded by a Colonel Luttrell, won its first Battle Honour at the siege and capture of Gibraltar. It became a Regiment of the Line in 1715 and was designated the 31st Regiment of Foot in 1751. In 1756, the 70th Regiment of Foot was raised, originally as the 2/31st (until 1758). In 1782 the 31st became known as The Huntingdonshire Regiment and the 70th as The Surrey Regiment. A Depot Company of the 70th was formed at Kingston- upon-Thames. In 1881, the 31st and 70th became the 1st and 2nd Battalions The East Surrey Regiment respectively.
The Queen’s Royal Surrey Regiment
The Regiment was formed on 14th October 1959 from the amalgamation of The Queen’s Royal Regiment and The East Surrey Regiment.
The Queen’s Regiment
As a result of further reductions in the Army, The Queen’s Regiment was formed on the 31st December 1966 from the amalgamation of The Queen’s Royal Surrey Regiment, The Queen’s Own Buffs, (Royal Kent Regiment) The Royal Sussex and The Middlesex Regiment (DCO). The Regiment suffered further amalgamation in 1992. It formed with The Royal Hampshire Regiment, a new Infantry Regiment, The Princess of Wales’s Royal Regiment (Queen’s and Royal Hampshires).
On the North wall of the Chapel nearest the altar are the last Colours to be in service with 1st Battalion The Queen’s Royal Regiment, and next to those of the 1st Battalion The East Surrey Regiment. The Colours are in pairs, the Queen’s on the right, the Surreys on the left; in each pair the right hand one is the Queen’s Colour (or King’s Colour according to which monarch is on the throne); These are embroidered with ten selected Battle Honours of The First World War and ten selected Battle Honours of The Second World War. The left hand one is the Regimental Colour and contains the Battle Honours awarded up to 1914.
Facing these Colours on the opposite South wall are the only Colours ever to be in service with the 1st Battalion The Queen’s Royal Surrey Regiment which were presented in 1960 by HRH The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh and laid up in this Cathedral on 15th June 1975.
The 1st Battalion The Queen’s Regiment Colours, were presented by Her Majesty Queen Margrethe II of Denmark in 1974 and laid up in this Chapel on 13th September 1997.