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14th (King George's Own) Sikhs


nealw66

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Hello all,

I am trying to piece together the movements of the above Batallion and have been checking the catalogue at the National Archives for references for the war diaries. However, they don't appear to have anything listed for the period May - August 1915.

Can anyone point me in the right direction for their service during this period please?

Many thanks

Neal

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Neal

They were with the 29th Indian Brigade at Gallipoli. I have just sought them in the WO95 section,been through all the Gallipoli references in that section and found nowt for the 29th IB !

Could it be that their Diary is elsewhere ?

I saw a reference about the Digger History website and there light be something there about them. There is certainly a Google or two on them,Hill 60 attack,an article about their memorial in India,and a book by Lt Col PG Bamford DSO "The Sikh Regiment"

Sotonmate

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Not an awful lot of help, I suspect, but I have a copy of the history of the 6th Gurkha Rifles (also in the 29th Indian Infantry Brigade); it, obviously, mentions the 14th Sikhs quite often, but as it has no index it's a bit difficult to pin down too much.

Are there any specific events or dates you wish me to look for reference to the 14th Sikhs in?

Also, This thread mentions them a bit.

Incidentally, the regiment dates back to 1846, being raised as the Regiment of Ferozepore, moving to the 14th regiment of Bengal Infantry in 1861 (after much hard fighting in the Mutiny). In 1914 they were the 14th King George's Own Ferozepore Sikhs, becoming the 1st Battalion 11th Sikh Refiment (KGO) (Ferozepore Sikhs)

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Thanks for the help on that guys, I will have a look and see if I can track anything down with the Australians.

I am looking to research Reginald George Wreford who transferred to the 14th KGO Sikhs from the Ceylon Planters Rifle Corps in January 1915. At this stage I'm just trying to identify what sources I can draw on - hence the search for the war diaries, but I may well get back to you Steven re: you offer of help from the 6th Gurkha history once I have a better idea of what I'm looking for!

Thanks again

Neal

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  • 1 month later...
Thanks for the help on that guys, I will have a look and see if I can track anything down with the Australians.

I am looking to research Reginald George Wreford who transferred to the 14th KGO Sikhs from the Ceylon Planters Rifle Corps in January 1915. At this stage I'm just trying to identify what sources I can draw on - hence the search for the war diaries, but I may well get back to you Steven re: you offer of help from the 6th Gurkha history once I have a better idea of what I'm looking for!

Thanks again

Neal

Neal,

I do not know if you have this but here it is, from "The Ceylon Roll of Honour"

Wreford, R. G.; late of Rondura, Nawalapitiya; Enlist, Sept., 1914; Regt C. P. R. C. at Diyatalawa; 2nd-Lt 14th Sikhs; Wounded at Dardenelles and Invalided; Lt, Aug 1917

From Jan 1919 Indian army List:

Indian Army Reserve of Officers

Infantry

Lieutenants

Wreford, Reginald George

Date of 1st comission : 14th Jan 1915

Lieut : 14th Jan 1916

He later got a regular IA comission in late 1919 and retired as Captain R. G. Wreford on the 15th Sept. 1922. I think his later service was with the Supply & Transport Corps. If I am right in July 1922 he became the Director of State Graneries in Kashmir and was still holding that position in 1934

He may have been a census comissioner in India afterwards, into the 1940's.

Unbeliveably You have two very good battalion histories to look for:

Talbot, Colonel F. E. G.

The 14th King Georges own battalion, The sikh regiment

The 1st battalion (KGO) (Ferozepure Sikhs) , The 11th Sikh Regiment 1846 -1933

Bamford, Lt-Col P. G.

The 14th King Georges own sikhs

The 14th King George's own Ferozepure Sikhs, The Sikh Regiment 1846 -1946

Hope that helps.

Matthew

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Thanks Matthew

I had some of the bones, but the detail you have added is really helpful and there is a lot of new information for me. Particularly interesting is the reference to being wounded as it clarifies a comment I have from his mother in a letter within the service file of one of his brothers. I will indeed look out for those histories now.

Many thanks again, much appreciated.

Neal

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  • 6 years later...

Screenshot_20161126-052134.jpgDear all, I am Major Ruwan from Sri Lanka(CEYLON) Army.presently i am serving at DIYATALAWA where BOER POWs  were kept.There is a war memorial here to memorize Major HALL BROWN and his men who died during great war 1914 - 1018.at the moment we are maintaining it vary nicely and i need to know when it was made and who made it.I need this to keep them recorded for the knowledge of future generation.I m sending few pics of the memorial.

my email is   ruwanka18@yahoo.com

my phone nos are +94773709995 and 94714561116. if you have any detail about this pl send them by an email,viber,watsapp or through imo.

kind regards Major Ruwan.

20161126_055537.jpg

20161126_053001.jpg

20161126_053218.jpg

20161126_051925.jpg

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Major Ruwan

 

Looks like a fascinating memorial, but could I suggest you start a new thread rather than add on to an existing one? I only stumbled across this by accident!

 

I'm guessing from the badge that the memorial is to the Ceylon Tea Planters' Corps - is that the case? If I'm correct, then heading the thread as such would help; the photos are a bit blurred, too, so any chance of some which are easier to decipher.

 

I'm sure several people here would love to help!

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On 1/4/2010 at 20:59, sotonmate said:

They were with the 29th Indian Brigade at Gallipoli. I have just sought them in the WO95 section,been through all the Gallipoli references in that section and found nowt for the 29th IB !

Sotonmate, here they are but, as Neal says, they do not cover May to Aug 1915.

 

WO 95/4272 29 Indian Infantry Brigade   
WO 95/4272 Headquarters 1915 May - Dec.  
WO 95/4272 1/4 Battalion Gurkha Rifles 1915 Aug. - Dec.  
WO 95/4272 1/5 Battalion Gurkha Rifles 1915 May - 1916 Jan.  
WO 95/4272 1/6 Battalion Gurkha Rifles 1915 Sept. - 1916 Jan.  
WO 95/4272 2/10 Battalion Gurkha Rifles 1915 May - Dec.  
WO 95/4272 14 Battalion Sikhs 1915 Sept. - Dec.  
WO 95/4272 69 Battalion Punjabis 1915 Apr. - May  
WO 95/4272 89 Battalion Punjabis 1915 Apr. - May  
WO 95/4272 108 Indian Field Ambulance 1915 Apr. - Dec.  
 

and for its time in Egypt:

WO 95/4432 14 Battalion Sikhs 1914 Oct.-1915 Apr.  
WO 95/4432 14 Battalion Sikhs 1916 Jan.-Apr.  

 

Ron

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  • 2 months later...
On 1/6/2010 at 12:33, nealw66 said:

Thanks for the help on that guys, I will have a look and see if I can track anything down with the Australians.

I am looking to research Reginald George Wreford who transferred to the 14th KGO Sikhs from the Ceylon Planters Rifle Corps in January 1915. At this stage I'm just trying to identify what sources I can draw on - hence the search for the war diaries, but I may well get back to you Steven re: you offer of help from the 6th Gurkha history once I have a better idea of what I'm looking for!

Thanks again

Neal

 In the remote chance that you may revisit the GWF here's something that will help.

 

Wreford is mentioned in the 29th Indian Inf Bde War Diary as a casualty (wounded) between 1st - 5th June 1915 serving with the 14th Sikhs. IAR attached.

 

I happen to have transcribed the Brigade diary which is online on Amazon. It is a fabulously detailed diary and is a searchable document.  Click

 

I am also putting the 14th KGO Sikhs diary online this week. Unfortunately the months May- Aug 1915 are missing from the original. Given the diaries were made in duplicate it is possible that the missing pat is in another archive. I am trying to track it down. In the meantime the Brigade diary is the only source of info other than the extremely rare and expensive publish history. MG

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On 1/4/2010 at 20:59, sotonmate said:

They were with the 29th Indian Brigade at Gallipoli. I have just sought them in the WO95 section,been through all the Gallipoli references in that section and found nowt for the 29th IB !

Could it be that their Diary is elsewhere ?

WO 95/4272 29 Indian Infantry Brigade   
WO 95/4272 Headquarters 1915 May - Dec.  
WO 95/4272 1/4 Battalion Gurkha Rifles 1915 Aug. - Dec.  
WO 95/4272 1/5 Battalion Gurkha Rifles 1915 May - 1916 Jan.  
WO 95/4272 1/6 Battalion Gurkha Rifles 1915 Sept. - 1916 Jan.  
WO 95/4272 2/10 Battalion Gurkha Rifles 1915 May - Dec.  
WO 95/4272 14 Battalion Sikhs 1915 Sept. - Dec.  
WO 95/4272 69 Battalion Punjabis 1915 Apr. - May  
WO 95/4272 89 Battalion Punjabis 1915 Apr. - May  
WO 95/4272 108 Indian Field Ambulance 1915 Apr. - Dec.  
 

Doesn't help with May to August 1915, I'm afraid, but the brigade were with Suez Canal Defences up to April 1915. There is no relevant War Diary for 14/Sikhs in Egypt that I can see, covering the months in question.

 

Ron

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7 hours ago, Ron Clifton said:

WO 95/4272 29 Indian Infantry Brigade   
WO 95/4272 Headquarters 1915 May - Dec.  
WO 95/4272 1/4 Battalion Gurkha Rifles 1915 Aug. - Dec.  
WO 95/4272 1/5 Battalion Gurkha Rifles 1915 May - 1916 Jan.  
WO 95/4272 1/6 Battalion Gurkha Rifles 1915 Sept. - 1916 Jan.  
WO 95/4272 2/10 Battalion Gurkha Rifles 1915 May - Dec.  
WO 95/4272 14 Battalion Sikhs 1915 Sept. - Dec.  
WO 95/4272 69 Battalion Punjabis 1915 Apr. - May  
WO 95/4272 89 Battalion Punjabis 1915 Apr. - May  
WO 95/4272 108 Indian Field Ambulance 1915 Apr. - Dec.  
 

Doesn't help with May to August 1915, I'm afraid, but the brigade were with Suez Canal Defences up to April 1915. There is no relevant War Diary for 14/Sikhs in Egypt that I can see, covering the months in question.

 

Ron

 I have all of these and have transcribed them all. The 108th Indian Fd Ambulance diary has some rather wonderful photographs. The reason I think that the May-Aug 1915 diary for 14th KGO Sikhs is potentially floating elsewhere is based on experience with other diaries. Sometimes they are completely misfiled or whole months are out of sequence. The accidental shuffling of files opens the possibility that the 'missing' months are embedded in an earlier (or later) set of files. 

 

As you are probably aware the split in diary bundles is almost always when a unit changed from one formation to another. For example the Guards diaries for Aug 1914 to July 1915 are in one set with their respective Divisions and Brigades but are filed under the Guards Division from August 1915 onward. The Battalions that later formed 4th Guards Brigade with 33rd Div have their diaries again in a third set of files. To get the National Archives UK (NAUK) files for some of these Battalions requires three different files/downloads at £3.45 each. Total cost £10.35. If a line infantry Battalion had stayed with the same formation from 1914-1918, typically their diary can be downloaded from on set of files for £3.45. In short, NAUK's pricing does not reflect the cost of creating the single files and is more tilted towards the number of times a unit changed formation.

 

If we take the 29th Inf Bde files as a case in point, the 1/4th Gurkha Rifles were sent from France. Their war diaries for France are under WO 95/3929 which in theory run from Dec 1914 to July 1915. The diary actually starts in Aug 1914 in Bakloh, Punjab and ends on 30th Aug 1915 when they disembark at Lemnos, Dardanelles.  When they transferred to Gallipoli the diaries should run from Sep 1915 to Dec 1915 under WO 95/4272. In fact the diary starts on 1st Aug 1915 when they were still in France at Lansdowne Post....so there is an overlap in both sets of diaries of a month. If a Gallipoli entry is in a France file and vice versa, there is a hope that something similar happened elsewhere.

 

The 14th KGO Sikhs were with 29th Indian Inf Bde in the Suez Canal Section, Egypt prior to deploying to Gallipoli. I am hoping, if I can locate the Canal Section diary, that the early months for Gallipoli are still attached to this set. Unfortunately this requires a trip to NAUK. The File is WO 95/4432 and in theory ends in April 1915. There is a very remote possibility that the May-Aug 1915 part of their diary is still attached to this diary. 

 

The other possibility is the HQ 29th Indian Inf Bde diary WO 95/4432 for the pre-Gallipoli period. Again a trip to NAUK is required. 

Edited by Guest
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There is a set of records at the British Library called "Indian Army First World War - War Diaries" which consists of 1826 volumes, arranged in date order. IOR/L/MIL/17/5/2421-4246 : 1914-1921

http://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/browse/r/38fde128-a3e0-4e61-80ac-fdb7e735a81f

These appear to be printed volumes, not handwritten.

 

The following is a British Library article about the Casualty Appendix to the War Diaries

http://britishlibrary.typepad.co.uk/untoldlives/2014/09/finding-indian-soldiers-who-served-in-world-war-one.html (It appears the the Casualty Appendices are catalogued separately to the War Diaries they were attached to}

 

It seems likely this set of British Library  War Diary records would contain Gallipoli War Diaries.

 

Cheers

Maureen

Edited by Maureene
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6 hours ago, Maureene said:

There is a set of records at the British Library called "Indian Army First World War - War Diaries" which consists of 1826 volumes, arranged in date order. IOR/L/MIL/17/5/2421-4246 : 1914-1921

http://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/browse/r/38fde128-a3e0-4e61-80ac-fdb7e735a81f

These appear to be printed volumes, not handwritten.

 

The following is a British Library article about the Casualty Appendix to the War Diaries

http://britishlibrary.typepad.co.uk/untoldlives/2014/09/finding-indian-soldiers-who-served-in-world-war-one.html (It appears the the Casualty Appendices are catalogued separately to the War Diaries they were attached to}

 

It seems likely this set of British Library  War Diary records would contain Gallipoli War Diaries.

 

Cheers

Maureen

 

Maureen Many thanks for this. I am in awe of your ability to find information.

As you doubtless know, diaries were kept in duplicate and these might be the other copies. I have never used the British Library before so it will be an interesting journey. 

 

MG

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MG, I hope what you are looking for is available.

 

As you have not used the British Library before, you will need to register for a Reader ticket, and beware that although some photography is allowed, some is not.

The FIBIS Fibiwiki page British Library has various links about these matters, including contact details for "Asian and African Studies" which is the area which holds the India Office Records  (IOR) collection.

http://wiki.fibis.org/index.php?title=British_Library

 

Cheers
Maureen

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  • 2 weeks later...

I am also trying to trace biographies of the men in this picture. Of the 13 Battalion Officers, 10 were killed during the war (77% if you were wondering) They are the British Officers of the 14th KGO Sikhs in 1913. All named:The are top left to right followed by bottom row left to right

 

Lt Cursetjee IMS *...............later a General it seems from the annotation.

Lt C Mc D Allardice .............KIA 26/4/15 Belgium   - Bond of Sacrifice obituary and photo

Lt R J F P Meade.................KIA 4/6/15 Gallipoli     - Bond of Sacrifice obituary and photo

Lt L R Fowle........................KIA 4/6/15  Gallipoli     - Bond of Sacrifice obituary and photo

Capt K R McLoughlin *.........KIA 25/9/15 France

Capt H G Wilmer *................KIA 5/7/15 Gallipoli

Lt M D Spankie....................KIA 14/5/15 Gallipoli  - Bond of Sacrifice obituary and photo

Capt A W McRae *...............KIA 4/6/15 Gallipoli

Lt L F Cremen *....................KIA 4/6/15 Gallipoli

Maj G D P Swinley *..............KIA 14/5/15 Gallipoli

Lt Col F A Jacques...............KIA 4/6/15 Gallipoli     - Bond of Sacrifice obituary and photo

Lt Col P C Palin *..................WIA 9/5/15 Gallipoli

Capt M Wace *

Capt F E Talbot *

 

The ones with asterisks are the missing biographies. Bond of Sacrifice has some detailed biographies of Jacques, Allardice, Fowle and Meade which I will post out of interest. Any pointers on the others would be welcome. I don't have either of the published histories (both have eluded me for a while) and the diary up to Aug 1914 is MIA. 

 

Photo is from the Sikh Album posted here for research purposes only. MG

 

 

14th KEGO Sikhs Officers 1913.JPG

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The same group, this time with the Sikh Officers. 8 of the 14 named were killed (57%). All the others were probably wounded.

This band of brothers had fatality ratios nearly five times higher than the average for British soldiers during the war. Any biographical notes or pointers would be welcome.

 

The 27 British and Sikh  Battalion Officers combined suffered 18 fatalities (exactly two-thirds). These are fatality ratios that are the extreme end of the scale by any measure. MG 

 

Sub    Prem         Singh    KIA    04/06/1915
Jem    Rur            Singh    KIA    04/06/1915
Jem    Wazir          Singh        
Jem    Bir              Singh     KIA    04/06/1915

Sub    Sham          Singh
Sub    Kirpal          Singh    KIA    04/06/1915
Jem    Rala           Singh    KIA    04/06/1915
Sub    Sundar        Singh    KIA    01/12/1917
Jem    Pertab         Singh    KIA    03/02/1915
Jem    Dhiyan        Singh    KIA    04/06/1915
Sub    Tilok           Singh    WIA    04/06/1915
SM     Bhagwan    Singh        
Sub    Jamal          Singh    WIA    29/03/1905
Jem    Anokh         Singh    WIA    04/06/1915    
 

14th KGO Sikhs Oficers BO and IO.JPG

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3 hours ago, QGE said:

 

 

The 27 British and Sikh  Battalion Officers combined suffered 18 fatalities (exactly two-thirds). These are fatality ratios that are the extreme end of the scale by any measure. MG 


 

 

 

Where would we have been without them?

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3 hours ago, Steven Broomfield said:

 

Where would we have been without them?

 

I am not sure. Self Sacrifice at Gallipoli does not appear to have achieved much. It does however provide a glimpse of the absolute commitment of these British and Indian Officers and doubtless too the men they led. Here is their darkest day according to the HQ 29th Indian Infantry Brigade diary:

 

“On the 4th June the 14th Sikhs were to assault on the first of the two formidable trenches facing the 29th Indian Infantry Brigade by taking it in flank. 

 

The leading parties of the 14th Sikhs came under machine gun fire from hidden positions on both sides of the ravine soon after leaving our own line of trenches, and suffered very heavily, losing 4 British Officers and 25% of their number almost at once.  Rushes forward were made under gallant leaders to reach the spot where the two Companies of the first line had been ordered to take the enemy’s trench to the West in flank and it was reached but to little purpose as the frontal attack had failed.  Some dead ground here and a narrow gorge most gallantly carried, enabled a lodgement in the ravine to be effected through a great further loss. 

 

On the West of the ravine, two Companies went forward with the assault.  When the main attack failed they would not retire with it but held on to the ravine edge all day losing all their British Officers and 75% of their numbers. 

 

The Battalion moved out of its trenches on the 4th June numbering 15 British Officers, 14 Indian Officers, and 514 Rank & File.  The remnants collected next morning unwounded were 3 British Officers, 3 Indian Officers and 134 Rank & File. 

 

In spite of these tremendous losses there was not a sign of wavering all day.  Not an inch of ground gained was given up and not a single straggler came back.  The brave men of the 1st Bn Lancashire Fusiliers who held on with the Sikhs on the left and the 4th Bn Worcestershire Regt whom they fought alongside on the right of the ravine were full of admiration for the gallantry of their Indian comrades.  The defence of the point gained in the ravine itself with an enemy entrenched on both sides above it speaks for itself and is a very fine example of the character the Sikh bears as a stubborn fighting man. 

 

The enemy’s trenches leading into the ravine were blocked with Turks and Sikhs who died fighting at close quarters, and the slope is thickly dotted with the bodies of these fine soldiers all lying on their faces as they fell in their steady advance on their enemy. 

 

The history of the Sikhs affords many instances of their value as solders, but it may be safely asserted that nothing finer than the grim valour and steady discipline displayed by the 14th Sikhs on June 4th has ever been done by soldiers of the Khalsa. Their devotion to duty and their splendid loyalty to their orders and to their leaders makes a record their nation should look back upon with pride for many generations.”

 

They were not alone; the 1/5th Gurkha Rifles served at the same time in the same theatre in the same Brigade with a remarkably similar outcome. 100% British Officer casualties, two thirds fatal. MG

 

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12 hours ago, QGE said:

I am also trying to trace biographies of the men in this picture. Of the 13 Battalion Officers, 10 were killed during the war (77% if you were wondering) They are the British Officers of the 14th KGO Sikhs in 1913. All named:The are top left to right followed by bottom row left to right

 

Lt Cursetjee IMS *...............later a General it seems from the annotation.

 

The  War Service details for Cursetjee (to January 1937) are 3rd from bottom in this link page 189 Supplement to the Indian Army List January 1937

https://archive.org/stream/in.ernet.dli.2015.285121/2015.285121.Supplement-Indian#page/n136/mode/1up

 

Also his details are 4th from the bottom of this link, which is page 637 of the April 1937 Indian Army List

https://archive.org/stream/in.ernet.dli.2015.285121/2015.285121.Supplement-Indian#page/n1019/mode/1up

 

 The April 1937 Indian Army List  is at the back of the first mentioned title. Link to show when the April 1937 List commences.

https://archive.org/stream/in.ernet.dli.2015.285121/2015.285121.Supplement-Indian#page/n339/mode/2up

 

This digital file is one of the few Indian Army Lists which can be read online. The others which are available digitally must be downloaded as pdfs.

See  the FIBIS Fibiwiki page http://wiki.fibis.org/index.php?title=Indian_Army_List_online

 

Cheers

Maureen

 

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Was the preserve of IMS officers in Indian Battalions Indian only? I note that the MO of the 5th Gurkha Rifles was English. 

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26 minutes ago, seaforth78 said:

Was the preserve of IMS officers in Indian Battalions Indian only? I note that the MO of the 5th Gurkha Rifles was English. 

 

Not sure. As you know the British Army and Indian ARmy were both rather stretched for Officers in 1914-1915. This was not helped by the fact that over 200 India Army Officers were held back in UK in Aug 1914.

 

I suspect that the situation was rather fluid and RAMC and IMS became interchageable particularly as both British and Indian Army units served in the same brigades..

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Indeed. And also what's frequently forgotten at times is that Indians in the IMS were the only ones to hold the King's commission. 

 

Thank you. 

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From my 1st Edition history of the 5th. 

I own the sword of Colonel Erskine MC (then Lt) in the photo who contributed so much to the Regimental History in 1930's. He was well known as he was the senior officer left when as Adjt on taking over the Battalion in Gallipoli in June 1915 due to heavy officer casualties. 

IMG_0370.JPG

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