Regimental Timeline

The East Surrey Regiment

1881: Cardwell’s Second Reforms

The Effect Of The Cardwell Reforms 1881
Major changes took place throughout the Army in the 1870s and 80s, driven by the Secretary of War, Edward Cardwell. He abolished the purchasing of commissions and altered terms of service for both officers and soldiers. There were major changes for the Infantry and the future relationship with the County of Surrey developed. Cardwell divided the United Kingdom into sixty-six brigade sub-districts, each of which had a depot and two battalions, one of which would be abroad. In addition, various committees worked on strengthening territorial relationships. The Queen’s (Second) Royal Regiment of Foot had already formed a 2nd Battalion in 1857 and in 1881 they became the 1st and 2nd Battalions of The Queen’s (Royal West Surrey) Regiment. Also, in 1881 The 31st (Huntingdonshire) Regiment and The 70th (Surrey) Regiment became the 1st and 2nd Battalions of The East Surrey Regiment.


The East Surrey Regiment
East Surrey Helmet plate
East Surrey Helmet plate
1881 - 1902

Officers' Forage Cap
Officers' Forage Cap

1st July

31st (Huntingdonshire) and 70th (Surrey) Regiments joined to form The East Surrey Regiment (31st and 70th).


1st Battalion


Dover, England.


Buttevant, Ireland.

August 1882


May 1883



2nd Battalion

October 1880

Dinapore, India.



1st July

1st and 3rd Surrey Militia affiliated to the Regiment as 3rd and 4th (Militia) Battalions.




1st, 3rd and 6th and 7th Surrey RVs join Regiment as Volunteer battalions.




47th Sub-District becomes 31st Regimental District.


Button hole lace and button 70th Regiment of Foot.

This piece of silver was commissioned by the officers of the 31st (Huntingdonshire) Regiment to mark the end of the numbering system of Regiments.
Presented to The East Surrey Regiment it is still in use today by the Princess of Wales's Royal Regiment.


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