Regimental Timeline

The Second or The Queen's Royal Regiment

The Great War: 1916




Formation Signs

The following examples were wore by The Queen's Royal (West Surrey) Regiment and The East Surrey Regiment:-

2nd Division

5th Division

7th Division

12th Eastern Division
(New Army)

18th Eastern Division
(New Army)

33rd Division

40th Division
(New Army)

41st Division
(New Army)

47th (2nd London)


Formation signs were first worn during the 1914 - 1918 war. Their introduction was brought about by the necessity for some form of distinguishing mark or sign to aid recongnition of Corps and Divisional vehicles and personel.

Prior to their appearance, the troops tended to think only of their own particular regiment or Corps and were not always aware of the part it was playing against the vast background of the operations on the Western and other Fronts. When signs were adopted, around the middle of 1916, the men began to take a certain pride in belonging to the formation to which their regiment were a part. Signs were thought to be a new kind of heraldry. The "Battle Patch", as they became known, taken into use for pratical military reasons had, by the later stages of the war, engendered a strong Esprit de Corps. The signs took the form of "Heraldic", "Symbolic", "Animal", or "Geometric". The design was left to each formation and many reflected the choice of the Corps or Divisional Commander. During the Great War, the signs were worn, either on the sleeve, just below the shoulder, or on the back of the tunic, immediately below the collar. Home based units did not wear fomation signs. The signs were also used on vehicles.

  The Queen’s (Royal West Surrey) Regiment

1st Battalion (2nd Foot)

1st January - 12th July

La Bassée.


Battle of the Somme.


Moves to the Somme Battlefield.


Assembly area between Fricourt and Mametz, strength 25 officers, 697 men.


Offensive operations near High Wood. Attacks fail.


In reserve.


Delville Wood; battalion achieves all its objectives.


In trenches at Cuinchy. Offensive operations. Total casualties 8 officers and 226 men killed, missing and wounded.


Moves to Rancourt – Bouchavesnes. Drafts totalling 297 men join, but 209 casualties from trench foot, due to foul weather and conditions in trenches.


2nd Battalion (2nd Foot)

28th January

Moves to Fricourt.n re-forms to strength of 29 officers, 824 men. Moves to Laventie.


Battle of the Somme.


Moves to assembly area near Bois de Tailles.


Bn attacks towards Danzig Alley, north of Mametz. Actions of Albert and Bazentin. Objectives secured. Casualties 13 officers and 307 men killed, wounded and missing.


In reserve.


High Wood.


In reserve.


Delville Wood.


Action at Guilemont.




In reserve at Bertrancourt and Louvencourt.

Special Reserve


3rd Battalion (2nd Royal Surrey Militia)

28th February

Moves to Sittingbourne. Reorganised into A Coy (BEF unfit for service), B,C, D Coys (Drafting), 1, 2, 3, 4 Training Companies.

Territorial Force


1st/4th Battalion

January - February

Mohmand Campaign, NW Frontier India.

February - December

Peshawar and Lahore.


2nd/4th Battalion

January - February

Re-forms at Warden, Egypt.


Ismailia and the Suez Canal.

August - December

Kantara and Rumani.


3rd/4th Battalion


Home service.


4th/4th Battalion

8th April

Absorbed into 4th (Reserve) Battalion.


4th (Reserve) Battalion

8th April

Formed from 4th/4th Battalion. Home Service.

1st September

Absorbs 5th (Reserve) Battalion.


1st/5th Battalion

11th January

Mesopotamia. Joins 12 Infantry Brigade (12th Indian Division) at Nasariyeh.

12th July

Operations against the Turks in Mesopotamia. Strength 27 officers, 1,020 men.


2nd/5th Battalion


Home Service.


3rd/5th Battalion

8th April

Redesignated as 5th (Reserve) Battalion.


5th (Reserve) Battalion

1st September

Absorbed into 4th (Reserve) Battalion.


1st/22nd (County of London) Battalion the London Regiment
(The Queen's)


Battle of High Wood.


Battle of Warlencourt.


2nd/22nd (County of London) Battalion the London Regiment
(The Queen's)


Moves to France. Vimy Ridge.


22nd TF Reserve Battalion

1st September

King’s Lynn. Absorbs 24th TFRB.


24th (County of London) Battalion The London Regiment
(The Queen’s)


Hohenzollern Redoubt; Loos.

March - May

Souchez; Vimy Ridge.



1st July

Moves to the Somme battlefield.

15th September

Battle of High Wood.

14th October

Battle of Butte de Warlencourt.

17th October

Moves to Ypres.


Hill 60 Sector.


2nd/24th (County of London) Battalion The London Regiment
(The Queen’s)


Moves to Warminster.


6 (Reserve) Infantry Brigade of 2nd London (Reserve) Division becomes 181 Infantry Brigade (60th (London) Division).


Inspected by HM King George V.


Embarks at Southampton for Le Havre.


In trenches, Vimy Ridge.


Embarks at Marseilles.


Arrives in Salonika.


3rd/24th (County of London) Battalion The London Regiment
(The Queen’s)


Becomes 24th Territorial Force Reserve Battalion.


24th Territorial Force Reserve Battalion


Moves to Wells-next-the-Sea.


Absorbed into 22nd TF Reserve Battalion.


First Seven Divisions

The First Seven Divisions The Banner was displayed at a Choral Commemoration
of the First Seven Divisions at the Royal Albert Hall, 15th December 1917.

Service Battalions


6th Battalion

February - April

Returns to Hohenzollern Redoubt for mining and operations in trenches.

April - June

In reserve.

16th - 18th June

Moves to the Somme battlefield.

2nd July

Attack near Albert fails. Casualties 10 officers, 294 men killed, wounded and missing.


Offensive operations and duty in trenches near Arras.


In reserve.

27th September

Returns to the Somme battlefield.

7th October

Attack on Gueuedecourt.

November - December

In trenches in Beaumetz and Ambrimes sectors.


7th Battalion

1st July

Battle of the Somme.

11th - 13th July

Capture of Trônes Wood. Casualties 13 officers, 216 men killed, wounded and missing.

28th September

Joins 53 Infantry Brigade; attack on Schwaben redoubt. Casualties 11 officers, 384 men killed, wounded and missing.

October - November

Battle of Épéhy; breaking of the Hindenburg Line.


Re-forms at Abbeville.


8th Battalion


Hooge salient.

March - July



Battle of the Somme.


In trenches, Morlancourt sector.

1st - 5th September

Delville Wood.

September -

Vimy Ridge sector.


9th Battalion

1st August

Transfers all manpower to 11th East Surreys. Disbanded.


10th (Battersea) Battalion

5th May

Embarks at Southampton for Le Havre. Moves to Ploegsteert sector (Flanders).


Moves to Pommier redoubt.


Battle of the Somme.

15th September

Attack on Flers. Casualties 18 officers, 303 men killed, wounded and missing.

October - December

In reserve.


11th (Lambeth) Battalion

3rd May

Embarks at Southampton for Le Havre. Strength 33 officers, 924 men. Moves to Strazeele.

June - August

Le Bizet.


Battle of the Somme.

15th September

Attack on Flers.

October - December



12th (Reserve) Battalion

1st September

Transferred out of the Regiment as 97th Battalion Territorial Force Reserve.


16th (Home Service) Battalion

11th November

Raised at Farnham.


19th Battalion


Home Service on coast defences. Absorbs 70th Provisional Battalion and supplies drafts for overseas service.

Labour Battalions


13th Battalion

6th July

Raised at Balmer.


14th Battalion

16th August

Raised at Crawley.


15th Battalion

12th September

Raised at Crawley.


17th Battalion

8th November

Raised at Crawley.


18th Battalion


Raised at Purfleet.

The Lewis Light Machine Gun and Spare Magazine Carriers.


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