Queen's Royal Surrey Regiment
|Queen's Royal Surrey Regiment|
Memorial Chapel, Guildford Cathedral
The Queen's Royal Surrey Regiment was a line infantry regiment of the British Army which existed from 1959 to 1966. In 1966, it was amalgamated with the Queen's Own Buffs, The Royal Kent Regiment, the Royal Sussex Regiment and the Middlesex Regiment (Duke of Cambridge's Own) to form the Queen's Regiment, which later merged with the Royal Hampshire Regiment in September 1992 to form the Princess of Wales's Royal Regiment (Queen's and Royal Hampshires).
As a consequence of defence cuts in the late 1950s, the Queen's Royal Regiment (West Surrey) and the East Surrey Regiment were amalgamated on 14 October 1959 to form the 1st Battalion, Queen's Royal Surrey Regiment.
In 1961 the 1st Queen's Surreys was sent to Aden. In 1962 the regiment joined the Hong Kong garrison, remaining there on a 2-year posting before heading for Münster, West Germany in 1964 as part of the British Army of the Rhine.
In 1966 the regiment's short existence came to an end when it, along with the three other remaining regiments of the Home Counties Brigade, was amalgamated to form the Queen's Regiment, one of the new 'large' regiments that were formed in the 1960s.
When the regiment was formed, the Territorial Army battalions of the merging regiments continued to use their former titles. However, in 1961, a reduction in the size of the TA lead to the formation of 3rd and 4th Queen's Surreys:
- 3rd Battalion (TA) was formed of units affiliated to the Queen’s Royal Regiment: the 5th and 6th battalions and the 565th Light Anti-Aircraft Regiment, Royal Artillery (the successor to 4th Battalion). Its headquarters were in Guildford.
- 4th Battalion (TA) was formed from former battalions of the East Surrey Regiment: the 6th East Surreys and the 23rd London Regiment. The battalion headquarters were in Kingston upon Thames.
The two territorial battalions were disbanded in 1967, with their successor units in the Territorial and Army Volunteer Reserve (TAVR) being "A" Company (Queen's Surreys) of the 5th (Volunteer) Battalion, Queen's Regiment and the 6th (Territorial) Battalion, Queen's Regiment (Queen's Surreys).
The Surrey Infantry Museum
The Queen's Royal Surrey Regiment archives were put in storage when Regimental Headquarters and Museum in the Keep at Kingston upon Thames closed. Colonel JW Sewell reached agreement with the National Trust to re-establish the regiment's museum at Clandon Park, West Clandon. The regiment's archives and library are located at the Surrey History Centre in Woking.
The Queen's Royal Surrey Regiment Museum opened in 1981 with exhibits including uniforms, medals, weapons, regalia, photographs and memorabilia. The museum was upgraded in 2001. In 2011, with part funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund further redevelopment took place and, in July that year, the museum merged with those of the Princess of Wales's Royal Regiment and the Queen’s Regiment to become The Surrey Infantry Museum.
On 29 April 2015, a blaze ripped through Clandon Park House with the remains of the roof and upper floors of the house collapsing into the basement area where the museum was based. All artifacts made of combustible materials were lost, but a number of fire-resistant objects, especially medals, have since been recovered. The museum's displayed medal collection included replicas of six Victoria Crosses, including those awarded to: Lieutenant Wallace Duffield Wright, Lance Corporal Leonard James Keyworth, Corporal John McNamara and Second Lieutenant Arthur Fleming-Sandes.
The Colonels of the Regiment were:
- 1959–1964: Maj-Gen. John Francis Metcalfe, CB, CBE
- 1964–1966: Maj-Gen. Francis James Claude Piggott, CB, CBE, DSO (to Queen's Regiment as Deputy Colonel)
The regiment's alliances included:
- Canada The Queen's York Rangers (1st American Regiment) -- Canada (1959–1966)
- Canada South Alberta Light Horse—Canada (1959–1966)
- Australia 2nd Infantry Battalion (The City of Newcastle Regiment) -- Australia (1959–60)
- Australia Royal New South Wales Regiment—Australia (1960–1966)
- Zimbabwe The Northern Rhodesian Regiment (1959–1964)
- "Queen's Royal Surrey Regiment". British Army units1945 on. Archived from the original on 17 March 2016. Retrieved 9 September 2016.
- "The Queen's Regiment 1966 - 1992". Queen's Royal Surreys. Retrieved 24 January 2016.
- "3rd Bn The Queen's Royal Surrey Regiment (TA)". The Queen's Royal Surrey Regimental Association. Retrieved 14 July 2007.
- "4th Bn The Queen's Royal Surrey Regiment (TA)". The Queen's Royal Surrey Regimental Association. Retrieved 14 July 2007.
- "The Queen's Royal Surrey Regiment 1967-present". regiments.org. Archived from the original on June 12, 2007. Retrieved 14 July 2007.
- "The Queen's Royal Surrey Regiment". Surrey History Centre. Archived from the original on 17 January 2012. Retrieved 9 March 2012.
- "Surrey Infantry Museum at Clandon Park". The Queen's Royal Surrey Regimental Association. Retrieved 22 October 2012.
- "Clandon Park House fire in Surrey destroys Victoria Crosses and priceless art". Mail Online. 30 April 2015. Retrieved 24 January 2016.
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