Title: History of the East Surrey Regiment

Author: Daniell, David Scott

Condition: Very Good

Edition: 1st Edition

Publication Date: 1957


Cover: Hard Cover with Dust Jacket – 283 pages

Comments: The history of the The East Surrey Regiment up to 1957. Now a scarce 1st edition copy of British unit history.

The East Surrey Regiment was a regiment in the British Army formed in 1881 from the amalgamation of the 31st (Huntingdonshire) Regiment of Foot and the 70th (Surrey) Regiment of Foot. In 1959, it was amalgamated with the Queen’s Royal Regiment (West Surrey) to form the Queen’s Royal Surrey Regiment.

In 1702 a regiment of marines was raised in the West Country by George Villier (not related to the Villiers that became the Duke of Buckingham. It was named Villier’s Marines and its direct descendant became the East Surrey Regiment. Villier was drowned in 1703, and the regiment was taken over by Alexander Luttrell. After Luttrell’s death in 1705, the command went to Joshua Churchill until 1711 when it became Goring’s Regiment (At this time regiments took the name of their colonel).

In 1715 the regiment was removed from the marines and became the 31st Regiment of Infantry, and in 1751 the designation was changed to the 31st Regiment of Foot. Five years later a second battalion was raised in Scotland, the 2/31st Foot, which was predesignated in 1758, the 70th Regiment of Foot (Glasgow Lowland Regiment).

Further changes were made in 1782. The 31st became known as the Huntingdonshire Regiment, while the 70th became the Surrey Regiment. They stayed with this title until 1881 when they became the 1st & 2nd battalions of the East Surrey Regiment. They had been paired in 1873 as linked regiments for alternate service at home and abroad.

In the form of the 31st Foot, the regiment saw service at the Battle of Dettingen, where it received the nickname “The Young Buffs”. In the Napoleonic Wars it served in the West Indies and Spain, where it won 8 Battle Honours. It was fighting in the Second Anglo-Sikh War, the Crimean War, in China at the Taku Forts.

The 70th Foot was in the Indian Mutiny, the Maori Wars in New Zealand, and the Second Afghan War

The 1st Battalion, after formation, was based in various garrisons around the British Empire but did not see major action until the First World War in 1914.

The 2nd Battalion on the other hand was in action soon after formation, being part of the British expedition to the Sudan in 1884. This battalion also took part in the Anglo-Boer War that started in 1899. They took part in the Relief of Ladysmith , the Battle of the Tugela Heights and Laing’s Nek. After South Africa the battalion was shipped to India in 1903 where they remained until the outbreak of World War I.

During the First World War, the regiment raised 18 battalions. The Regiment served on the Western Front from the Battle on Mons in August 1914 to the Armistice in November 1918. Battalions also served in Italy, Macedonia, Mesopotamia, and Egypt. Also in North Russia in 1919. It was given 62 Battle Honours and seven of its soldiers were awarded the Victoria Cross, all of whom survived the awarding action. During the war over 6000 men of the Regiment lost their lives.