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"WW1 Indian Army" Topic

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Sir Sidney Ruff Diamond28 Apr 2017 7:53 a.m. PST

I'm struggling to work out what heads to use on my Woodbine Design Indians for Kut. There are Sikh and Hindu options but which regiments are Sikh and which Hindu? The only reference I have gives a vague geographical location with no mention of religion.

I'm supposing they were separated or did both religions serve side by side in the same regiments?

Assuming they are separate is there a list of regiments and whether they were Sikh or Hindu.

Last question, what about Muslims?


Personal logo chicklewis Supporting Member of TMP28 Apr 2017 12:47 p.m. PST

From a quick search in wikipedia:

The Indian Troops at Kut seem to have been from the 6th (Poona) division.

16th (Poona) Brigade

2nd Bn. Dorsetshire Regiment
1st Bn. 20th Duke of Cambridge's Own Infantry (Brownlow's Punjabis)
1st Bn. 104th Wellesley's Rifles
1st Bn. 117th Mahrattas

17th (Ahmednagar) Brigade

1st Bn. Ox & Bucks
1st Bn. 119th Infantry (The Mooltan Regiment)
1st Bn. 103rd Mahratta Light Infantry
1st Bn. 22nd Punjabis

18th (Belgaum) Brigade

2nd Bn. Norfolk Regiment
1st Bn. 110th Mahratta Light Infantry
1st Bn. 120th Rajputana Infantry
1st Bn. 7th (Duke of Connaught's Own) Rajputs

Punjabis are very likely to be Muslim
Mahrattas are Hindu
Rajputs are Hindu
There do not seem to be any Sikhs

Sir Sidney Ruff Diamond28 Apr 2017 3:26 p.m. PST

Thanks that's great help.

I had the OOB but didn't know what the mix of religions were. So Hindu heads will be fine.

Lascaris29 Apr 2017 6:00 a.m. PST

I believe some of the Punjabi regiments would have individual companies of Sikhs intermixed. I'll try to check some books tomorrow when I'm home.

Windy Miller30 Apr 2017 8:57 a.m. PST

@Lascaris. It was common practice in the Indian Army to have infantry battalions made up of a mix of religions. My grandfather was an officer in the 16th Rajputs who served in Mesopotamia from 1916. His battalion consisted of two companies of Rajputs, one of Sikhs, and one of Punjabi Muslims. It was a throwback to the post-Mutiny reforms of the 1860s, which were designed to ensure that if that situation ever arose again at least a part of each regiment would remain loyal.

Lascaris30 Apr 2017 9:37 a.m. PST

Thanks Windy! I had just started to look up some references and had found a passage referring to the 20th Punjabi having 1 1/2 companies of Pathans and, based on a deserter shooting a sentry, at least some Sikh's but now that we have "straight from the horses mouth" info I can stand down.

Windy Miller30 Apr 2017 12:16 p.m. PST

No probs mate. If I could work out how to upload pictures we've got a few photos of him in Mesopotamia around 1916/17, and some of his sepoys too. He was the battalion Machine Gun officer. He retired as a Half Colonel just after partition.

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