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Secret Surrey: the Queen’s Royal Surrey Regiment Museum, Clandon Park, Guildford

PUBLISHED: 16:57 12 May 2009 | UPDATED: 15:51 20 February 2013

The Queen's Royal Surrey Regiment at Clandon Park, Guildford

The Queen's Royal Surrey Regiment at Clandon Park, Guildford

Housed at Clandon Park, near Guildford, the Queen's Royal Surrey Regiment Museum provides a taste of what life has been like for Surrey's infantry soldiers down the centuries. STEPHEN BAIN reveals more about this fascinating place

Originally published in Surrey Life magazine March 2009

Housed at Clandon Park, near Guildford, the Queen's Royal Surrey Regiment Museum provides a taste of what life has been like for Surrey's infantry soldiers down the centuries. STEPHEN BAIN reveals more about this fascinating place

Why pay a visit...?

The Queen's Royal Surrey Regiment Museum opened in 1981 following the amalgamation of the two Surrey regiments' museums: the Queen's Royal (West Surrey) Regiment Museum, which was established at Stoughton Barracks, Guildford, in 1924, and the East Surrey Regiment Museum that opened at Kingston Barracks a year later.
Visitors of all ages can learn about every aspect of the county's military history. The fascinating array of items date from 1661 to 1959, when the two Surrey regiments merged with each other to form the Queen's Royal Surrey Regiment. Seven years later, they merged with neighbouring counties Sussex, Kent and Middlesex to form the Queen's Regiment.

What you can expect...

A must for history and army enthusiasts alike, the museum holds a wide range of artefacts and equipment from various conflicts. Among the most interesting items are a collection of Victoria Crosses and two army recruiting boards dating from 1715. Also, do make time to chat to the volunteers, several of whom are ex-members of the regiment.

Tell your friends about...

The football on display at the museum. This is the same ball that was kicked by East Surrey soldiers on the first day of the Battle of the Somme in 1916. The Somme was one of the British Army's bloodiest campaigns with more than 1.5 million casualties suffered. By the end of the first day alone, the number of casualties was 58,000.

Special interest...

Several generations of the Onslow family served in the Surrey regiments - the first started in 1680 and the last finished in 1855. The Onslow name has remained well known in British politics for centuries. Clandon Park, where the museum is based, was also built by the Onslow family.

On another point of interest, the Surrey regiments were formed to protect the dowry of Catherine of Braganza, the bride of King Charles II.

And the biggest secret of all...?

The East Surrey Regiment has a special place in history as they were among the first official English Marines and were honoured for their part in the battle of Gibraltar from 1704-05.

  • The Queen's Royal Surrey Regiment Museum, Clandon Park, West Clandon, Guildford GU4 7RQ. Tel: 01483 223419.

Tell us your secrets...
We'd love to hear about the hidden treasures you've discovered in Surrey. E-mail or write to the usual address. Find more of Surrey's lesser known tourist hot spots here.

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