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Regimental Districts of WW1 INDIA


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I have found my Great Grandfathers Regiment on the Indian Army List of 1918. He was with the 1st Garrison Battalion of the Royal Irish Fusiliers who arrived in India

4th March 1916. Is there a way to find out more about this Battalion ? Also it states that they were in Regimental District No 87 (No 11 District) how can I identify that location ?

Many Thanks...........Kieran Healy

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Welcome to the forum

It's quite difficult to research units posted to India as it was not a theatre of war, therefore no war diary.


Garrison duties in India were carried on in much the same way as they were both before and after the war, the main difference being the personnel posted to India during the war were medical category B1 (unless of course they were the TF Battalions sent out to replace the Regular units at the outset of war).  In the Garrison Battalions some men had previously served in France, while others were in less than A1 fitness.


I don't know where you found the reference to No 11 District but it refers to the Dublin Record Office; 87 is the code used for the RIF.  

They have no relation to districts in India. See this earlier thread


One way to find their postings is to look at service records, but even these are not especially helpful, merely saying a soldier was 'posted to India'.  Garrison Battalions could be dispersed across quite large distances.  In 1918 I found a man who was with the 1st Garrison Bn at Cawnpore, but in 1919 I found a man who died of malaria in Burma; another, who survived was also admitted to the Base Hospital in Maymyo Burma in August 1919. Interestingly the second man was Pte G/603 Finnegan who was transferred from the Royal Irish Regiment on disembarkation at Bombay on the 4th March 1916.  Another man in the Bn was disciplined serving at Shwebo, Burma in September, 1917 etc. You need to spend some time collating these fragments. 


Also you can look at CWGC, which seems to have crashed tonight!


The museum may have a more accurate account of their posting in India.




Edited by kenf48
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Dear Kieran,

The subject was broached some time ago: look for:-

1st Garrision Battalion Bedfordfordshire Regiment

Kindest regards,


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Garrison Battalions consisted of men who were medically unsuited for combat and who served in Garrisons overseas in order to release fit men for fighting.


Alan Grievson’s World War 1 Forum http://www.circlecity.co.uk/wartime/board/index.php

contains a query and reply dated Tuesday 26th January 2016 regarding a Charles McGowan  based at Police Bungalow Colaba Bombay Feb 1917.


The reply stated that

The Army medal rolls (B/103a page 12) record a Lance Corporal Charles McGowan, G/283, who served in the 1st Garrison Battalion Royal Irish Fusiliers.

The 1st Garrison Battalion Royal Irish Fusiliers served in India and Burma.

The 1st Garrison Battalion had been raised in Dublin in September 1915. In February 1916 it sailed for India where it arrived on March 4th 1916 and remained until May 1917 when it joined the Burma Division.


I elsewhere found a brief comment that this regiment was in Burma at the end of the war


1928 military map (click for link) indicates that District 11 was the Deccan. I do not know if this was the same during WW1 The link is 



Edit: Neither of these links work for me. Try copying the link and pasting in your browser, which does work for me.




Edited by Maureene
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Pressure seems to be off CWGC this morning!


There are 53 Casualties recorded for the 1st Garrison Bn RIF.  For present day political reasons most have been concentrated on CWGC Memorials, you need to look at the 'Concentrations' tab which shows where they were originally interred, if known.


A small sample shows:-

Carberry M  2/06/1916 Bombay

Bates E 31/10/1917 Shwebo

Glenn T 19/09/1918 Aungban Southern Shan States

Foley JW 13/03/1919 Mandalay


Some caution is needed as they may have been evacuated to hospital centres before dying either from malaria or some other tropical disease although the large number of casualties in 1918-1919 suggest they were victims of the influenza pandemic, by definition they were in a lower medical category.


However mapping all 53 casualties could give you some indication as to the Battalion's movements in Burma, although as previously noted Garrison Battalions could be dispersed over a wide area.





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Wow, I am incredibly grateful for all your collective knowledge and wisdom on this topic. As you guessed I am a newbie and trying to make inroads into my Great Grandfathers military service also doing it from California is not ideal ! Below is what I have discovered so far although it would appear that his service records were among the "burnt" documents. I did contact the RIF Museum and they gave me the India information from their attestation books. If anyone has any suggestions of other avenues to follow or can decipher the attached pension card especially the reference to Chelsea; MNC 5146 I would be very grateful. Also even though the Ist Garrison Bn went on to Burma the Indian Army List 1920 still show it in India in Jan but gone by April and neither date corresponds to Denis Healy's discharge. Thanks again to all of you.................Kieran Healy

Private Denis Healy, 15 November 1877- 26 August 1960.

Service Record.


Denis Healy enlisted to serve in the "North Cork Militia" (WO.68 Vol. 306-312) on May 3rd 1893. As Private No: 1563 of "G” Company, 9th Battalion, 60th Kings Royal Rifle Corps" (WO.25 Vol. 668-669), he served a total of 10yrs in the Army. From 13th January 1900, Denis served in South Africa during the 2nd "Boer" war (1899-1902), upon his return to "Queenstown" Cobh on 13th June 1901, for one year 239 days of embodied service; Denis received the "Queens South African Medal with Clasps, Cape Colony, Orange Free State, and Transvaal. His conduct was considered”Good" and he was discharged at Mallow on 2nd May 1903. He was described as being " 28 yrs old, 5'7" tall, of Fresh complexion with blue eyes and brown hair and a labourer by trade.

On 24th August 1915 at age, 44 Denis Healy rejoined the army this time serving with "The Royal Munster Fusiliers" service No: 5870. He served in France from 19th December 1915 to 7th of July 1917, which entitled him to the 1915 Star Medal. It would appear from the initial date in France that he would have been with the 8th Battalion Royal Munster Fusiliers:


RMF 8th (Service) Battalion
Sep/Oct 1914 Formed at Fermoy as part of the Second New Army (K2), then moved to Mitchelstown, County Cork and joined the 47th Brigade of the 16th Division.
May 1915 Moved to Templemore then back to Fermoy then to Blackdown, Aldershot.
18.12.1915 Mobilised for war and landed at Havre.
30.05.1916 Absorbed 12 Officers and 200 men of the disbanded 9th Battalion, and engaged in various action on the Western Front including; The Battle of Guillemont and The Battle of Ginchy.
23.11.1916 Disbanded in France and the remaining personnel moved to the 1st Battalion.


RMF 1st Battalion

22.11.1916 Absorbed 21 officers and 446 men from the disbanded 8th Battalion and transferred to the 47th Brigade of the 16th Division and continued to engage in action on the Western Front;
During 1917
The Battle of Messines, The first Battle of Cambrai, Third Battles of Ypres.

      We then have a gap in service from 7th July to 22nd December 1917 could he have been recovering from Multiple Neuritis at that time ? He may have been admitted to the Royal Hospital Chelsea (Ref No: m.n.c. 5146 ) as an award of a War Disablement Pension was subsequently made in respect of the condition "Multiple Neuritis", regrettably no payment details remain at The War Pensions Agency. 

Presumably, on 22nd December 1917 he joined "The Royal Irish Fusiliers" service number: 45420 and 7042431, and according to the RIF Attestation Book he served in India until 25th September 1920. He was discharged in Dublin on 23rd November 1920 with his address given as 25 Gould Street, Cork. It appears that the only RIF battalion in India was the 1st Garrison Bn. RIF.

RIF 1st Garrison Battalion:
Sept 1915 Formed at Dublin.
Feb 1916 Deployed to India.
May 1917 Deployed to Burma.


I am not sure if he went to Burma or not, the 1st Garrison Battalion (according to the Indian Army Lists) were in India in January 1920 but gone by April 1920.

In addition, I believe the seven series service numbers started in 1920.


844-Denis_Healey-Pension Card.pdf

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1/Garr Bn Royal Irish Fusiliers arrived in India in February 1916 and joined the Bombay Brigade in 6th Poona Divisional Area.

They arrived in Mandalay in May 1917 from Bombay. In October 1917 they moved to Schwebo, and in December 1918 they moved to Maymyo. After arrival at Mandalay they formed part of the Burma Division.


With reference to the original post, "87 Regimental District" refers to their nominal recruiting area. The regimental depot was at Armagh, but neither of the Regular battalions were stationed there in 1914. No. 11 District, based in Dublin, was that part of Ireland, mainly the north and east, responsible for the records of the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, Royal Irish Rifles, Royal Irish Fusiliers and Royal Dublin Fusiliers. (No. 12 District, covering the south and west of Ireland, had its HQ in Cork.)



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  • 1 month later...

Hello Kieran - sorry for the delay but I have only just seen your response.


The information is from Order of Battle of Divisions, Part 5B: the Indian Army Divisions by F W Perry. It is an extension of the official series edited by Major A F Becke.



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