The Cardwell Reforms


Edward Cardwell, Liberal Secretary of State for War, introduced a number of major reforms in the Army during this period. This included the abolition of purchasing commissions and promotion. In 1872, he linked battalions in a regiment to ensure regular exchanges between home and overseas postings and gave each regiment a county affiliation and a recruiting and training depot within it. In due course, The Queen’s became The Queen’s (Royal West Surrey) Regiment, The Buffs became The Buffs (East Kent) Regiment, the 31st and 70th became The 1st and 2nd Battalions The East Surrey Regiment, the 35th amalgamated with the 107th to form two battalions of The Royal Sussex Regiment (The 107th was originally the 3rd Regiment of Bengal European Infantry, raised by The East India Company in 1853 and transferred to the British Army, as the 107th after the Indian Mutiny), the 37th and 67th united to form the two battalions of The Hampshire Regiment and the 50th and 97th came together as the two battalions of The Queen’s Own Royal West Kent Regiment. The 57th and the 77th became the 1st and 2nd Battalions of The Middlesex Regiment.