The Queen's Regiment

queen's regiment


The Navy Crown 1st June 1794

Throughout the 17th and 18th Centuries it was frequent pracise for Infantry Regiments to be employed as Marines in the Ships of the Royal Navy. The Holland Regiment had been equipped and organised for this purpose immediately after its formation in 1665 and the 31st Regiment had been raised as a Marine Regiment in 1702.

In 1794, several companies of The Queen's, forming a composite 2nd Battalion, were serving aboard Admiral Lord Howe's Fleet. Detachments were in HMS Queen Charlotte, the flagship; HMS Russel; HMS Defence; HMS Royal George; and HMS Majestic. After a long chase and several days of desultory action against the French Fleet, Admiral Howe brought the enemy to battle and won a resounding victory which has ever since been known as "The Glorious First of June". Because of it's distinguished conduct during the battle, the Regiment was authorised to bear as a distinction on the Regimental Colour the Naval Crown, superscribed "1 June 1794".

The Sphinx

The Sphinx superscribed "EGYPT" was borne on the Regimental Colour. It was awarded to The Queen's for distinguished conduct in the Egyptian campaign of 1801 which saw the defeat of Napoleon Bonaparte's ambitions in Africa. The Regiment was present at most engagements of the campaign, including the major battles of Aboukir and Alexandria.

The Sphinx was the first of the Regiment Battle Honours borne on the Colours which was actually awarded at the time of the action, a practice followed subsequently. All those Battle Honours which pre date 1801 were awarded retrospectively between 1905 and 1914.

Honourary Distinctions

In Commemoration of its service as the 42nd Battalion Royal Tank Regiment, the 23rd London Regiment was granted the Honorary Distinction of a badge of the Royal Tank Regiment borne on the Regimental Colour. This badge carries four scrolls. The first bore the date "1941-1945" and the other three the Battle Honours "NORTH WEST EUROPE", "NORTH AFRICA" and "ITALY". The distinction descended first to the 4th Battalion The Queen's Royal Surrey Regiment and then to the 6th (TA) Battalion The Queen's Regiment (Queen's Surreys).

In terms of direct descent, it now properly belongs to the 6th / 7th (Volunteer) Battalion, although there is a strong case for its being displayed by the London Regiment which now occupies the old 23rd London Headquaters at Clapham Junction.

The Title Royal

The title "ROYAL" was first awarded to The Queen's by Queen Ann for valour at the siege of Tongres in 1703, for in the early years of the standing Army it was an accolade only granted for brave conduct in action. The Queen's Regiment, even though its formal title did not include the distinction, was nevertheless a Royal Regiment and derived the title from brave conduct in battle.

The Roussillon Plume

The Roussillon Plume was not in itself a Battle Honour, but was associated with "QUEBEC 1759". The 35th Regiment, later 1st Royal Sussex, served under General Wolfe in Canada between 1756 and 1759. At the decisive battle of Quebec, the French Royal Roussillon Regiment was shattered by the volley fire of the 35th and its Regimental Colour captured.

The Roussillon Regiment wore a splendid White Plume in its head dress, which was taken by its conquerors in the same way as the 1st Guards later adopted the 'Genadiers' after Waterloo.

The Plume adorned the badge of the Royal Sussex Regiment until 1966 and was later worn on the Regimental collar badges of the Queen's Regiment.