The Colours of The East Surrey Regiment
(and its forebears the 31st and 70th of Foot)
Seventieth Regiment, 1831 to 1845
(Click to enlarge)
The Seventieth was raised in 1756, originally as a second battalion of the 31st, which was then serving in Glasgow. It became known, from the facings then worn, as the ‘Glasgow Greys’, and was numbered in the Line as a separate entity in 1758. When regiments were given County affiliations in 1782, the title became 70th (Surrey) Regiment, and a depot was established at Kingston-upon-Thames in the same year. After the Cardwell Reforms of 1881, 31st and 70th were re-united as the 1st and 2nd East.
The earliest Colours of the 70th known to be in existence were presented in Dublin in 1831, by the daughter of the commanding officer, Colonel Thomas Evans CB, who commanded the Regiment from 1829-1838. The Regimental Colour has a red cross on a black ground, black facings having been adopted by the 70th in 1768. They are of the size laid down by the Royal Warrant of 1768: six foot six inches flying, by six foot, the staff being nine feet ten inches overall. The stand is unusual in that the numerals on the King’s Colour are Roman (set upon a yellow silk central circle in accordance with the existing regulations), whilst those on the Regimental Colour are Arabic.
These Colours accompanied the 70th to the Mediterranean, the West Indies and Canada, and returned to Dublin in 1845 when they were laid up in the Royal Hospital, Kilmainham. Here they hung for seventy-seven years, when they were handed over to the 2nd East Surreys by General Macready in 1922; being finally laid up in Kingston parish church in November 1924.