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Remembered Today:

95th Russell's Infantry (Indian Army), etc.


Nick Thornicroft
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If anyone has brief details of the following Indian Army units during WW1 I would be most grateful:

95th Russell's Infantry

126th Baluchistan Infantry

17th Infantry (the Loyal Regiment)

116th Mahratta's Infantry

Many thanks

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The 95th (1st Battalion) went to Persia to protect the oilfields until May 1915, until returning to India for a spell before going to Mespot. After the end of the war they ended up in Salonika and on the Black Sea until 1920.

126th (obviously) Kut.

17th. No idea - disbanded in 1922, oddly. Formed in 1858 and seemed to consist of Mussulman Rajputs.

116th. Ended up in Mespot in April '17 but seem to have done little until the Arab revolt.

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17th. No idea - disbanded in 1922, oddly. Formed in 1858 and seemed to consist of Mussulman Rajputs.

Rajputs are Hindu, so Musselman Rajputs seems a contradiction.

ETA: It appears a number of Rajput families converted for political reasons, partly to retain power and partly to intermarry into the local muslim heirarchy. They seem to have kept their position within the hindu heirarchy while being outwith the religion. The majority of muslim Rajputs are in Pakistan but there are a considerable number in India. How queer.

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Nick

To add to Michael's post:

126th Baluch

Returned from China in July 1914

Served in Aden 1914-17 including operations in Muscat

1917 onwards in Army Reserve in Mesopotamia providing drafts forward to the 2nd/124th Baluch

17th Infantry (The Loyal Regiment)

Stationed in Mauritius before disembarking in British East Africa in December 1915.

At first employed on L of C duties during the invasion of GEA, then the unit did some very hard work south of the Central Railway.

Departure date from East African theatre not known but 55 dead are commemorated in theatre.

This regiment is dificult to research as it was disbanded and so disappeared in the Indian Army post-Great War reorganisation.

Harry

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Thanks Harry - the 17th have proved especially difficult to research, as you mention. Every bit of info adds to the overall picture.

Nick

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If anyone has brief details of the following Indian Army units during WW1 I would be most grateful:

95th Russell's Infantry

126th Baluchistan Infantry

17th Infantry (the Loyal Regiment)

116th Mahratta's Infantry

Many thanks

Nick,

The outlines you have are quite good. However:

With the 1922 reforms 95th Russell's Infantry became 10th bn 19th Hyderabad Regiment - the training battlion to the 19th Hyderadabd Regiment. No Published History.

With the 1922 reforms 126th Baluchistan Infantry 2nd 10th Baluch Regiment. They don't have a specific battalion history but a History of the Baloch regiment by Major-General Rafiudddin Ahmed in the last few years which I am told is useful - I have his volume for the period 1939-56 which I think is quite good.

17th Infantry (the Loyal Regiment) was disbanded in 1921 - no published regimental history. Bit tricky this lot.

17th Loyal Regiment

Serving 8th (Lucknow) Divison, 22nd Lucknow Brigade 1914. Sent to Mauritius to replace 1st Essex regiment in October 1914 then from there in December 1915 it was sent to East Africa to join Force “B”. May have been released from December 1917 onwards. In June 1918 they were part of 53rd Division (Palestine)

2nd battalion 17th Loyal Regiment., formed at Dinapore 20th April 1918 (Disbanded 1st June 1921)

116th Mahratta's Infantry - a published history exisits - Historical Record of the 4/5 Mahratta Light Infantry by Captain A. R. Solly. 4th Bn 5th Mahratta Light Infantry was the post-1922 designation of the 116th Infantry. It's only 84 pages covering the period 1800-1924 so it could be light on detail but I don't have a copy.

A good guide to the Indian Army in the 20th Centry is "Son's of John Company. The Indian & Pakistan Armies 1903-1922" by John Gaylor. A must for anyone with more than a passing interest in the Indian Army.

Regards,

Matthew

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Matthew

Excellent stuff - thank you. I don't suppose you have any mention of Major James Newmarch Fenton, do you? He served in the afore-mentioned regiments during WW1.

Many thanks

Nick

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Nick

The Indian Army List 1919 shows Captain (Acting Major) J.N. Fenton as listed in The 44th Merwara Infantry but as serving with the 1st Bn 17th Infantry (The Loyal Regiment) (pages 1199 and 1086).

However pages 33 and 260 of the same source identify him as coming from the 2nd Bn The 43rd Erinpura Regiment.

(When you study the four volumes of this List you wonder how anybody was able to proof-read it without going "Doolally-Tap"!)

Harry

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Nick,

From what I have to hand and I can supply the following:

James Newmarch Fenton

Born 18th April 1888, son of General A. B. Fenton, C. B.

Eduacted at Wellington College 1900-1905

Comissioned 24th January 1906 into the Essex Regiment

Lieutenant 1908

transfers to the Indian Army & the 17th Infantry 25th September 1911

Captain 24th January 1915

War service - Egypt 14th December 1914 to 21st March 1915, Iraq 1919-21

married Eugenia, daughter of A. P. H. Elphinstone in 1916

Acting Major 8th July 1918 - 23rd January 1921

served with 44th Merwara Infantry from 7th July 1918 - ?

Major 24th January 1921

Transferred to 2nd 14th Punjab Regiment

appointed a Compamy Commander 14th January 1924

Lt- Col 24th January 1932

Retired 25th January 1932

In 1933 he was living Villa Posillipo, Scuctier Francais, Knock le Zoute, Belgium

Hope that helps,

Regards,

Matthew

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1924 Indian Army List Supplement:

War of 1914-21 - Operations in Iraq 13th October 15 to 12 July 1916 and 1920.

So it sounds likea trio and GSM Iraq.

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Many thanks to all of you for the extra info - much appreciated. I have Fenton's MIC, & there is no mention of a 1915 Star, although it would seem he was entitled to one. He has the British War Medal & British Victory Medal 'issued in India', as well as the GSM with 'Iraq' clasp. I had assumed he remained in India upon retirement, so Belgium is quite a surprise.

Nick

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