Battalions from forbear regiments of The Princess of Wales's Royal Regiment were deployed on operations in the Falkland Islands after the War of 1982 and had been deployed to the Central American country of Belize since the 1970s. There was also the ongoing British commitment to support the United Nations’ peacekeeping force in Cyprus.
No Queen’s or Royal Hampshire battalions were directly committed to either the Falklands (Operation CORPORATE) or the first Gulf War (Operation GRANBY), though during the Iraq War, 3rd Battalion The Queen’s Regiment maintained the logistic and communications link in Cyprus and The 1st Battalion prepared to send reinforcements to Kuwait from Germany. A number of individuals did participate in the two conflicts.
The Sikhs of India had assumed that the British withdrawal from Afghanistan in 1842 meant that their grip on India was weak. A Sikh Army subsequently crossed the River Sutlej, the boundary between the Punjab and British India and there then followed the battles of Moodki, Ferozeshah, Aliwal and Sobraon. The 31st (Huntingdonshire) and 50th (Queen’s Own) fought with great distinction in all of them.
The First World War, which followed the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand in Sarajevo and the eventual invasion of The Low Countries by the German Kaiser’s armies, is well documented. All of the Regiment’s forebears were represented in huge numbers during the Conflict and they fought in nearly all of the campaigns. In this short Guide it is not possible to go into much detail of the Great War or to do justice to the scale of heroism and unflinching devotion to duty.
Parachuting has been required as a military skill for some soldiers and has been both a sport and an adventure training activity. Many soldiers from the Regular battalions had the opportunity to parachute because of their experience of being with 5 Airborne Brigade and earned their ‘wings’. Others have jumped during adventure training in Canada, whilst the Regimental Free-Fall Team, ‘The Tigers’, has given some soldiers the opportunity to help recruit and become semiprofessional at the sport, during their busy display programme each year.
The years 1756 to 1758 marked the raising of four further forebear regiments. The 2nd Battalion of the 31st Foot, which became the 70th Foot and later combined with the 31st to form The East Surrey Regiment, was raised in Glasgow. Also raised were the 50th Foot, later The Queen’s Own Royal West Kent Regiment (the Queen being Adelaide, wife of William IV), the 57th Foot, later the senior forebear of The Middlesex Regiment, and the 67th Foot, later to become with the 37th Foot, The Hampshire Regiment.
Britain, Prussia and Portugal were aligned against France, Austria, Russia, Sweden and Poland, during the Seven Years' War. The War was described by William Pitt as the first world war, because of its geographical spread and its aftermath helped to forge the British Empire.
The French and Indian War was the American phase of the Seven Years' War, which began two years later in Europe.
France’s support to the American colonists helped create the economic crises which led to the French Revolution. The deposed king, Louis XVI, was supported by Prussia and Austria, who formed an alliance with Britain, Holland and Spain to restore the French monarchy, but without success.
In 1908 the Liberal War Minster, Mr Haldane, converted the Militia into the Special Reserve, which meant that these battalions provided reinforcements for war. He converted the title ‘Volunteers’ into the ‘Territorial Force’, later the ‘Territorial Army’ and now the ‘Army Reserve’. This new force was re-equipped and made an integral part of the county regiments, usually bearing the same names and badges. Most of the Regiment’s forebears acquired two or more battalions each. These battalions helped form the basis for further expansion during the First World War.
This is another piece of silver that is steeped in tradition and ceremony. The piece itself is a highly chased and ornate silver standing salt pot, with cover and spoon. The top is in a crown pattern with “XXXI” embossed on the body. The lid is surmounted with an oak tree with hunting dogs beneath. Inside the lid a fragment of the 31st Regiment’s Colours is mounted. This fragment is from the Colours carried at the Battle of Sobraon, Punjab, during the Sikh Wars of 1846.