Major Toby Taylor of 1st Battalion, the East Surrey Regiment, recalls the qualities a prospective officer was expected to have between the wars.
Toby Taylor
Major Toby Taylor

You asked why I became East Surrey. While I was at Sandhurst I had a friend whose father had commanded the 2nd Battalion in the First World War and I got very friendly with him and eventually he said he was going back into the East Surreys and said would I like to join, had I thought of joining, and I said, no, The Somerset Light Infantry was mine being a Somerset man. Anyway went off and had lunch with the Colonel of the Regiment and used the right knife and fork, the right glass and behaved correctly and I was in the East Surreys and that’s how many of us got into the regiment, it was the old boy knowing the right people really, was he suitable, would he be any good among the soldiering, was he the right kind of chap you wanted in the mess, did he talk properly, does he have the right attitude to games, does he play polo, wasn’t quite playing polo, but you had to all be rather the same public school old boy type which I suppose I was.