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Summary of the arrangement of the records of the Queen's Royal Surrey Regiment

Archive Catalogues

The two main archive catalogues are:

  • Records of The Queen's Royal Regiment (West Surrey), formerly the 2nd Foot, (1662)-2007, under the reference QRWS.
  • Records of The East Surrey Regiment, formerly the 31st (Huntingdonshire) Regiment and the 70th (Surrey) Regiment, 1702-2003, under the reference ESR.

The records of the Queen's Royal Regiment (West Surrey) include the following major series: records relating to the regiment as a whole or to the depot at Guildford (QRWS/1/-); records of the two regular battalions, 1st Battalion (QRWS/2/-) and 2nd Battalion (QRWS/3/-); the militia or 3rd Battalion (QRWS/4/-); the volunteer later territorial battalions, 4th Battalion, 5th Battalion, 6th Battalion (formerly 22nd London Regiment) and 7th Battalion (formerly 24th London Regiment), which multiplied during the world wars to form 1/4th, 2/4th Battalions etc (QRWS/5/- to QRWS/13/-, QRWS/15/- to QRWS/16/-); the additional service battalions and reserve battalions created during World War I, 6th (Service) Battalion (QRWS/14/-), 7th (Service) Battalion, 8th (Service) Battalion, 10th (Service) Battalion, 11th (Service) Battalion, 12th (Reserve) Battalion (QRWS/17- to QRWS/21/-) and 19th Battalion (QRWS/26/-); additional battalions raised in World War II, 12th (Home Defence) Battalion, 13th (Home Defence) Battalion, 14th Battalion, 15th Battalion (QRWS/22/- to QRWS/25/-), 30th Battalion (QRWS/27/-) and 70th (Young Soldiers) Battalion (QRWS/28/-); and the Cadet Force (QRWS/29/-).

Special order of the day, 12 July 1916, issued by General H Rawlinson, commanding 4th Army, which included 2nd Battalion, The Queen's. (SHC ref QRWS/2/7/1)

During World War II, the Territorial Battalions generally served together, 1/5th, 1/6th and 1/7th Battalions in 131st (Queen's) Infantry Brigade (44th (Home Counties) Division) and 2/5th, 2/6th and 2/7th Battalions in 35 Infantry Brigade (12th Division), later 169th Queen's Brigade of 56th London Division. As a result many records relating to these battalions cannot be assigned to an individual unit: these records have been grouped into a Territorial series (QRWS/8/-) which should be consulted alongside the series relating to each battalion.Papers of Private Edward Cutt, 9th (Service) Battalion, The East Surrey Regiment, missing at Loos, September 1915. (SHC ref ESR/25/CUTT/1-15)

The records of The East Surrey Regiment include the following major series: records relating to the regiment as a whole or to the depot at Kingston (ESR/1/-); records of the two regular battalions, 1st Battalion (ESR/2/-) and 2nd Battalion (ESR/3/-); the militia and extra reserve battalions, 3rd Battalion and 4th Battalion (ESR/4/- and (ESR/5/-); the volunteer, later territorial battalions, 5th Battalion, 6th Battalion and 7th Battalion (formerly 23rd London Regiment) all of which multiplied during the world wars to form 1/5th, 2/5th Battalions etc (ESR/6/- to ESR/16/-); the additional service battalions and reserve battalions created during World War I, 7th (Service) Battalion, 8th (Service) Battalion, 9th (Service) Battalion, 11th (Reserve) Battalion, 12th (Bermondsey) Battalion and 13th (Wandsworth) Battalion (ESR/17/- to ESR/19/-, ESR/22/- to ESR/24A/-); and additional battalions raised in World War II, 9th Battalion, 10th Battalion and 70th (Young Soldiers) Battalion (ESR/20/- to ESR/21/-, ESR/24A/-).

Records of each regiment and its constituent battalions might include: standing orders, daily orders, nominal rolls, casualty returns and prisoner of war registers, headquarters files, digests of service, war diaries and other operational records, mess records, sports records, magazines and newsletters, programmes, menus and other ephemera, photographs, writings and research on the history of the unit and records of the regimental or battalion association.

Soldiers of 1/6th Battalion, the East Surrey Regiment in the ruins of Cassino, 1944. (SHC ref ESR/10/12/1)The archives also include personal papers of both regiments. They include service papers, private diaries, letters, photographs, and other collected papers relating to an individual's service and life, are organised alphabetically by surname.

The records of the Queen's Royal Surrey Regiment, created in 1959 and amalgamated into the newly formed Queen's Regiment in 1966, are held under the reference QRS. They chiefly include records of 1st Battalion and 3rd and 4th Battalions, merged in 1967 to form 6th (Territorial) Battalion, The Queen's Regiment. Also included are a small quantity of papers accumulated by individuals serving with the Regiment.

All catalogues can are fully searchable online.

Detailed lists of the contents of all photograph albums held within the above five catalogues are available at Surrey History Centre. These lists name all those individuals identified by name in the photographs.

Related holdings

The official regimental journals are held in Surrey History Centre and brief details of contents can be found on the periodicals database (which is searchable on the Exploring Surrey's Past website):

  • J/442: Journal of the Queen's Royal Regiment (West Surrey), 1925-1959.
  • J/553: Journal of the East Surrey Regiment, 1920-1959.
  • J/551: Journal of the Queen's Royal Surrey Regiment, 1960-1966.
  • J/122: Journal of the Queen's Regiment, 1967-1987.
  • J/552: Queen's Royal Surrey Regimental Association Newsletter, 1967-2003.

Surrey History Centre also holds enlistment and discharge registers and World War II honours index cards, 1892-1958, for the Queen's Royal Regiment (West Surrey) and the East Surrey Regiment under the reference 7791.

Also held are recruitment registers relating to 31st (East Surrey Regiment) Recruiting District, 1908-1933, and a single register relating to 2nd (Queen's Royal West Surrey Regiment) Recruiting District, 1917-1918, under the reference 2496. These registers have been transcribed and indexed and a CD published by Surrey History Trust

In addition the Surrey History Centre library holds the standard regimental histories and many other books and articles on the regiments and individual battalions and campaigns, together with published and unpublished memoirs of some of those who served.

Images:

Special order of the day, 12 July 1916, issued by General H Rawlinson, commanding 4th Army, which included 2nd Battalion, The Queen's. (SHC ref QRWS/2/7/1)

Papers of Private Edward Cutt, 9th (Service) Battalion, The East Surrey Regiment, missing at Loos, September 1915. (SHC ref ESR/25/CUTT/1-15)

Soldiers of 1/6th Battalion, the East Surrey Regiment in the ruins of Cassino, 1944. (SHC ref ESR/10/12/1)

Further reading on the Exploring Surrey's Past website: Queen's Royal Surrey Regiment.

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