DEFENCE NOTES

14th PUNJAB REGIMENT

This chapter is being re-produced with thanks from JOHN GAYLOR'S fine book 'SONS OF JOHN COMPANY'. JOHN GAYLOR, first came to India with the Royal West African Frontier Force and served in India and in Burma with the 82nd (West African) Division. He subsequently served with the London Scottish and the Special Air Service. He is the Secretary of The Military Historical Society and lives in retirement in Kent. This book is available from JOHN GAYLOR directly at 19.99 (UK) plus postage. He can be contacted at 30 Edgeborough Way, Bromley, Kent BRI 2UA Tel 44 (181) 3251391

Centre: 1923 FEROZEPORE
              1946 JHEUM

Class Composition: 1923 Punjabi Mussalmans, Sikhs, Dogras and Pathans 1946 Dogras from the Punjab and Jammu and Kashmir State. Pathans from within the admin- istrative borders of the NWFP of British India, NWFP states and Tribal Territory. Punjabi Mussalmans from the Punjab (less Ambala Civil Division) including Niazi and other Pathans of the Punjab, Hazarawalas of NWFP and Mussalmans of Jammu and Kashmir State and Gilgit Agency. Sikhs from the Punjab.

The 14th Punjab Regiment, created in 1922, was made up of infantry regiments born of the years of the Great Mutiny. The six in question were, in 1903, the 19th, 20th, 22nd and 24th Punjabis, the 40th Pathans and the 21st Punjabis. The Punjabis had all been raised by John Lawrence's Punjab Administration whilst the 40th Pathans began life as the Shahjehanpur Levy in 1858. Despite service in Mutiny operations, the new regiment's first battle-honours were won by the 20th and 22nd Punjabis in China in 1860. The 40th Pathans were the only Pathan regiment and the combination of its number and the reputed proclivities of the Pathan resulted in the inevitable nickname of the Forty Thieves; equally inevitable was the unenviable label of Ali Baba for their colonel. Their first active service was in the expedition to Tibet in 1903-04 by which time its exclusive character had been diluted by the Punjabi Musalmans and Dogras brought in by the linked-battalion system in 1901.

FIRST WORLD WAR

19th Punjabis - India, Persia, Russia

2/19th Punjabis (raised in 1917) - India, Egypt

20th Duke of Cambridge's Own Punjabis (a title awarded after service in Egypt in 1882) - Mesopotamia, Egypt.

22nd Punjabis - India, Mesopotamia, Persia

2/22nd Punjabis (raised in 1917) - India, Hong Kong

24th Punjabis - India, Mesopotamia, Russia, Greece

40th Pathans - Hong Kong, France, German East Africa, India

2/40th Pathans (raised in 1918) - India

21st Punjabis - India, Egypt, Palestine, Russia

2/21st Punjabis (raised in 1917) - India

Following the return of Indian troops after the war, all the war-raised battalions were disbanded.

BETWEEN THE WARS

When the 14th Punjab Regiment was created in 1922, their new badge was a five-pointed star, representative of the five rivers of the Punjab, with the numeral '14' in the centre, a crown above and a scroll below, reading 'Punjab Regiment'.

The battalions of the new regiment were listed as follows - 1st Bn (the old 19th Punjabis), 2nd Bn (the old 20th Punjabis), 3rd Bn (the old 22nd Punjabis), 4th Bn (the old 24th Punjabis), 5th Bn (the old 40th Pathans) and the 10th Bn (the old 21st Punjabis). To these was added the Territorial battalion, the 11th, based in Delhi, originally raised early in 1922 as the 1st (Territorial) Bn, 26th Punjabis.

In 1923, the 1st Bn was among the first units selected for Indianisation. By this process, all future King's Commissioned Officers posted to the battalion would be Indians trained at Sandhurst. By 1938, all officers below field-rank (captains and subalterns) were Indian.

It may well be that the 5/14th Punjab can lay claim to have erected the first 1914-18 war memorial within the British Empire. A huge stone .303 inch rifle-cartridge stands at Attock, overlooking the Indus River and this was dedicated in April 1919.

In August 1935, the Sikh Company of the 5th Bn was sent to Addis Ababa to guard the British Legation during the Italian campaign in Ethiopia. The British Minister's cavalry escort from the 8th Light Cavalry was made up of Sikhs and it was felt that a composite Sikh body would create the right impression. They remained there on detachment for fourteen months.

SECOND WORLD WAR

1st Battalion - India, Malaya. Captured in Singapore in February 1942 by the Japanese.

2nd Battalion (Duke of Cambridge's) - India, Hong Kong. Captured in Hong Kong in December 1941 by the Japanese. Reconstituted in April 1946 by amalgamation with the 8th Bn.

3rd Battalion - India, Egypt, Aden, Italian East Africa, Burma.

4th Battalion - India, Burma, Siam.

5th Battalion (Pathans) - India, Malaya. Captured in Singapore in February 1942 by the Japanese. After the war, the survivors were posted to the 1st Bn.

The 5th was not reconstituted before Partition.

6th Battalion - raised in Baroda in October 1940. India, Singapore. Captured in Singapore in February 1942 by the Japanese.

7th Battalion - raised in Kakul in March 1941. India, Burma. Disbanded in May 1946.

8th Battalion - raised in Jhansi in April 1941. India, Ceylon, Burma, French Indo-China. Disbanded in July 1947.

11th Battalion - this pre-war Territorial battalion was mobilised in September 1939. Subsequently, it was transferred to the 9th Jats, becoming the 9/9th Jat Regiment in September 1941. This transfer arose because of the large number of Jats in the battalion.

12th Battalion - raised in November 1939 as a second Territorial battalion but it was transferred in September 1941 to become the 14/9th Jat Regiment, again because of the large Jat element.

14th Battalion - raised in Ferozepore in January 1942. India. Disbanded in October 1945.

15th Battalion - formed at Ferozepore in July 1942 by redesignation of the Machine-Gun Battalion. Converted to a normal infantry role in August 1942 and served as a jungle-training unit. India. Disbanded in April 1946.

16th Battalion - redesignation of the 25th Garrison Bn in July 1942 on conversion to active status. India. Disbanded in July 1944.

25th Garrison Battalion - raised in Ferozepore in August 1941. On conversion to active status in July 1942, it was redesignated the 16/14th.

26th Garrison Battalion - raised in Ferozepore in March 1942. Converted to active status in January 1945 but not renumbered. India, Cocos Islands. Disbanded late 1945.

Machine-Gun Battalion - raised in January 1942. Redesignated the 15/14th in July 1942.

Towards the end of the war, the Centre experienced some difficulty in securing recruits. 14 Punjab, with four battalions in Japanese hands, three of them regular, had acquired an unfortunate reputation.

PARTITION

The Regiment was allocated to Pakistan on Partition. On transfer of power, the regular battalions were the 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th.

Dogras and Sikhs were posted to India's new army whilst 14 Punjab received Muslim drafts from units routed to India.

BATTLE HONOURS

Taku Forts, China 1860-62, Pekin 1860, Abyssinia, Ali Masjid, Ahmed Khel, Kandahar 1880, Afghanistan 1878-80, Tel-el-Kebir, Egypt 1882, Punjab Frontier, Malakand, Pekin 1900, China 1900.

Ypres 1915, St Julien, Aubers, France and Flanders 1915, Macedonia 1918, Suez Canal, Egypt 1915, Megiddo, Sharon, Nablus, Palestine 1918, Basra, Shaiba, Kut-al-Amara 1915, 1917, Ctesiphon, Defence of Kut-al-Amara, Baghdad, Khan Baghdadi, Mesopotamia 1914-18, Merv, Persia 1915-19, NW Frontier, India 1915-17, Narungombe, East Africa 1916-18, Afghanistan 1919.

Agordat, Keren, Abyssinia 1940-41, Alam El Halfa, Defence of Alamein Line, North Africa 1940-43, Kampar, Singapore Island, Malaya 1941-42. Hong Kong, South East Asia 1941-42, The Yu, North Arakan, Buthidaung, Razabil, Maungdaw, Ngakyedauk Pass, Imphal, Shenam Pass, Nungshigum, Bishenpur, Kanglatongbi, Jessami, Naga Village, Mao Songsang, Monywa 1945, Kyaukse 1945, Nyaungu Bridgehead, Letse, Magwe, Rangoon Road, Pegu 1945, Sittang 1945, Burma 1942-45.

BOOKS

'History of the 20th (DCO) Infantry, Brownlow's Punjabis 1857 to 1907' (Swiss and Co. Davenport 1910)

'Historical Records of the 20th (DCO) Infantry, Brownlow's Punjabis Vol II 1909-1922) (Butler and Tanner, Frome and London 1923)

'Records of the 1/XXI Punjabis' by Major P Murray (Gale and Polden Ltd, Aldershot 1919)

'The 40th Pathans in the Great War' (The Civil and Military Gazette Press, Lahore 1921)

'Fourteenth Punjab Regiment 1939-1945' (Lund Humphries, London n.d.)

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