Colonel Toby Sewell, the Queen's Regiment, remembers the end of the Queen's Royal Surrey Regiment in 1966.
Toby Sewell
Colonel Toby Sewell

Well you didn't change you see because it was just a Battalion renaming itself to something else. We had a parade on 31st December 1966 on the square at Münster where one said, "1st Battalion Queen's Surreys lay down your arms" and then "the 1st Battalion of the Queen's Regiment take up your arms", and at the same time Les Wilson who was there had arranged the flags of the Battalion to be run down and run up and so on, and there was a message from the Colonel in Chief and we gave three cheers for her and then we had a march past, actually our local Brigadier who was someone I knew very well and who had actually been one of our supporting gunners in Italy, a chap called John Douglas Withers, and that was it. We were still the same Battalion but we had another name and one made that clear, that our philosophies and our way of practice wasn't changed. The only problem to some extent was that one acquired even more Colonels of the Regiment to look after and I think at the end of my time I totted them up and I think there were 11 people who had either been or were connected with the Regiment from General John Whitfield, who had been the last Colonel of the Queen's Royal Regiment, Brigadier George Roupell, the East Surrey Regiment, John Metcalfe, General Francis Piggott and so on and so forth, and then we had the new Colonel, General Dick Craddock of the Queen's Regiment. So that side was a bit difficult to keep them all informed and so on, but actually on the ground it didn't make any difference, one just put on a new cap badge and wore different ties some of the time and got on with it, we hadn't changed really.