DEFENCE NOTES

10th BALUCH REGIMENT

Centre: 1923 RAJKOT
1946 KARACHI

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

Perhaps surprisingly, the 10th Baluch Regiment sprang from the old Bombay Army and its predecessors were freely used to sort out India's problems in and around the Persian Gulf and the Arabian Sea. Appropriately, the senior battalion originated in the 2nd (Marine) Bn of the 12th Regiment of Bombay Native Infantry raised in 1820. In 1838, as the 24th Regiment of Bombay Native Infantry, they stormed Aden, bringing that hotbed of pirates under the British flag. The 26th Bombay Native Infantry was raised in 1825 as the 2nd Extra Bn of Bombay Native Infantry, changing its name a year later. Sir Charles Napier raised two regiments in Karachi - the 1st and 2nd Belooch Regiments - for local service within Sind in 1844 and 1846 respectively. The term 'local' was interpreted fairly loosely when it became necessary to send the 2nd Belooch to the Persian War in 1856-57, a campaign frequently overshadowed by the events of the Great Mutiny in 1857. The 1st was in Karachi when the news of the insurrection reached the Commissioner. Sir Bartle Frere despatched them with all haste, on foot across the Sind desert in May to join the siege artillery train on its way to Delhi, the only Bombay unit to join the Delhi Field Force. The regiment was brought into the regular line for its services in Central India and it became the 27th Regiment of Bombay Native Infantry in the post-Mutiny realignment. The 2nd Belooch, in the meantime, had qualified for a similar change in status for their work on the NW Frontier and became the 29th Regiment of Bombay Native Infantry. In 1858, Major John Jacob raised a local battalion, soon to be known as Jacob's Rifles and they made such a reputation in and around Jacobabad that they, too, were accorded regular status, becoming the 30th Regiment of Bombay Native Infantry or Jacob's Rifles in 1861. In the years which followed, the subsidiary title lapsed and does not appear to have been officially revived until 1910, by which time, the 24th, the 26th, the 27th, the 29th, and the 30th had all had one hundred added to their numbers in 1903, emerging as the 124th, the 126th, the 127th, the 129th and the 130th.

A distinction shared by no other regiment was a spell in Japan by the 29th in 1864. They were summoned from Shanghai to Yokohama in September to protect Queen Victoria's British and Indian subjects. The British force remained in Japan until September the following year.

FIRST WORLD WAR

124th Duchess of Connaught's Baluchistan Infantry - India, Mesopotamia, Persia.

2/124th (formed in 1916)- Persia, Mesopotamia, Egypt, India.

3/124th (formed in 1917)- India, Persia, Mesopotamia.

126th Baluchistan Infantry - India, Egypt, Muscat, Aden, Mosopotamia. 2/126th (formed in 1918) - India.

127th Queen Mary's Own Baluch Light Infantry - India, East Africa, Persia.

2/127th (formed in 1918) - India, Egypt.

129th Duke of Connaught's Own Baluchis - India, France, East Africa.

2/129th (formed in 1917) - India, Mesopotamia.

130th King George's Own Baluchis (Jacob's Rifles) - India, East Africa.

2/130th (formed in 1918) - India.

Only the 2nd Bn of the 124th of the wartime raisings was retained after the post-war reforms.

The 129th in the 3rd (Lahore) Division, was the only battalion of the regiment to serve on the Western Front, the first Indian regiment to attack the Germans, the first also on two other counts - to lose the first British officer and to earn the first Victoria Cross, this by Sepoy Khudadad Khan at Hollebeke. Wounded, he recovered to enjoy the distinction of being the first Indian soldier to receive the King Emperor's most coveted gift. Prior to 1911, Indian soldiers had not been eligible to receive the Cross.

BETWEEN THE WARS

The badge chosen for the 10th Baluch Regiment in 1923 was a Roman 'Ten' within a crescent moon, a crown above and title scroll below.

The line-up of battalions for the new regiment was as under:

124th Duchess of Connaught's Own Baluchistan Infantry - 1st Bn 10th Baluch Regiment.

126th Baluchistan Infantry - 2nd Bn 10th Baluch Regiment.

127th Queen Mary's Own Baluch Light Infantry - 3rd Bn (Queen Mary's Own) 10th Baluch Regiment.

129th Duke of Connaught's Own Baluchis - 4th Bn (Duke of Connaught's Own) 10th Baluch Regiment.

130th King George's Own Baluchis - 5th Bn (King George's Own) (Jacobs Rifles) 10th Baluch Regiment.

2/124th Duchess of Connaught's Own Baluchistan Infantry - 10th Bn 10th Baluch Regiment.

There was no Territorial battalion but the 5/10th was selected for Indianisation. It was not among the initial six infantry battalions nominated in 1923, but it featured in a supplementary list in 1933.

SECOND WORLD WAR

1st Battalion - India, Iraq, Iran, Syria, Egypt.

2nd Battalion - India, Malaya. Captured in Singapore in February 1942.

Reformed in April 1946 from Cdr. of 9/10 Baluch.

3rd Battalion - India, Iran, Iraq, Egypt, Sicily, Italy. On return to India the battalion was nominated for conversion to a parachute role to join 2 Indian Airborne Division.

4th Battalion - India, East Africa, Egypt, Cyprus, Italy.

5th Battalion - India, Burma.

6th Battalion - raised in Karachi on 1 Jan 40. India. Disbanded 1 Feb. 47.

7th Battalion - raised in Benares on 10 Oct 40. India. Burma.

8th Battalion - raised in Karachi on 1 Feb. 41. India, Burma. Disbanded 22 Dec 46.

9th Battalion - raised in Nasirabad on 1 Feb. 41. India. Disbanded 25 Apr 46 but almost 500 went to reform the regular 2nd Bn.

14th Battalion - raised in Karachi on 1 Feb. 41. India, Burma, Malaya, Siam. Disbanded 15 Sep 46.

16th Battalion - raised in Karachi on 15 Oct 41. India, Burma, Malaya. Disbanded March 1946.

17th Battalion - raised November 1942 by conversion of 53 Regt IAC, India, Iraq, Palestine, Greece, Libya.

18th Battalion - raised originally as 25 Garrison Bn, it became an active battalion and was redesignated 18/10th. India. Disbanded May 1944.

25th Garrison Battalion - raised in Karachi in July 1941. On conversion to active status, it was redesignated the 18/10th.

26th Garrison Battalion - raised in Karachi in March 1942. India. Disbanded 1946.

Machine Gn Battalion - raised in Karachi on 15 Apr 42. Converted to 53 Regt IAC August 1942. Redesignated 17/10th November 1942.

In common with many other Indian Infantry regiments, the 10th Baluch Regiment lost its number and, at the end of 1945, became The Baluch Regiment.

PARTITION

In August 1947, the Baluch Regiment was allotted to Pakistan, the Dogra companies remaining in India and transferring to, among other regiments, The Indian Grenadiers.

On transfer of power, the active battalions were the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th and 7th.

BATTLE HONOURS

Aden, Reshire, Bushire, Koosh-ab, Persia. Delhi 1857, Central India, Abyssinia, Kandahar 1880, Afghanistan 1878-80, Egypt 1882, Tel-el-Kebir, Burmah 1885-87, British East Africa 1896, British East Africa 1897-99, China 1900, Messiness 1914, Armentieres 1914, Ypres 1914-15, Gheluvelt, Festubert 1914, Givenchy 1914, Neuve Chapelle, St. Julien, France and Flanders 1914-15, Egypt 1915, Megiddo, Sharon, Palestine 1918, Aden, Kut-al-Amara 1917, Baghdad, Mesopotamia 1916-18, Persia 1915-18, NW Frontier, India 1917, Kilimanjaro, Behobeho, East Africa 1915-18, Afghanistan 1919.

Gallabat, Barentu, Massawa, The Cauldron, Ruweisat Ridge, El Alamein, North Africa 1940-43, Landing in Sicily, Sicily 1943, Castel Frentano, Orsogna, Arezzo, Monte Cedrone, Citta di Castello, Monte Calvo, Gothic Line, Plan di Castello, Croce, Gemmano Ridge, San Marino, San Paulo-Monte Spacata, Monte Cavallo, Cesena, Savio Bridgehead, Casa Bettini, Idice Bridgehead, Italy 1943-45, Athens, Greece 1944-45, North Malaya, Machang, Singapore Island, Malaya 1941-42, Kuzeik, North Arkan, Point 551, Maungdaw, Shwebo, Kyaukmyaung Bridgehead, Mandalay, Capture of Meiktila, Defence of Meiktila, The Irrawaddy, Pegu 1945, Sittang 1945, Burma 1942-45

BOOKS

'Historical Records of the 127th Baluch Light Infantry 1845-1905' (wm Clowes, London, 1905)

'The 10th Baluch Regiment - the 1st and 10th Battalions' by O A Chaldecott (Times of India Press, Bombay c. 1935)

'Capital Campaigners' (3/10th Baluch) by Lieut Col W E Maxwell (Gale and Polden Ltd. Aldershot, 1948)

'The Tenth Baluch Regiment in the Second World War' by W S Thatcher (Baluch Regimental Centre, Abbottabad 1980)

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