This article is about the 2nd Battalion 152nd Punjabis and will help you to research the Battalion and soldiers who served with it during the First World War. I have written separate articles for the other battalions of the Regiment and other guides to researching soldiers who served in the Indian Army:
- 1st Battalion 152nd Punjabis
- 3rd Battalion 152nd Punjabis
- Guides to Researching Soldiers who Served in the Indian Army
I also offer a First World War Soldier Research Service.
2nd Battalion 152nd Punjabis
Lineage: Formed Egypt May 1918 and disbanded on 31 July 1920.
Class Composition of Battalion in 1919: 1 Company of Dogras, 1 Company of Rajputs and 2 Companies of Punjabi Musalmans.
The 2nd Battalion 152nd Punjabis was one of eighteen new Indian infantry battalions formed in the Middle East in 1918. These battalions had been created to replace British battalions withdrawn from the Middle East to France following the German Spring Offensive in March 1918. The Battalion was formed from:
The Battalion served in the Palestine Campaign and took part in the Battle of Megiddo in September 1918. After the war, the 2nd Battalion 152nd Punjabis remained in Egypt until March 1919 when the Battalion returned to India. The 2nd Battalion 152nd Punjabis was disbanded on 31 July 1920.
Below is an extract from the July 1919 Indian Army List which records the British officers serving with the Battalion. Indian Army Lists are a great resource to use when researching Indian units and officers and I have a page to help you understand the jargon you will encounter when using them: Indian Army Abbreviations and Acronyms.
War Diary of the 2nd Battalion 152nd Punjabis
There is only one war diary for the 2nd Battalion 152nd Punjabis and it is only available to view at the National Archives. I have transcribed some of the diaries at the bottom of the page.
- Date: 16 May 1918 – 12 March 1919
- 181st Infantry Brigade, 60th (London) Division, Egyptian Expeditionary Force
- Reference: WO95/4672
- Notes: A good war diary which provides plenty of information regarding the activities of the 2nd Battalion 152nd Punjabis. After January 1919 the entries are brief. The usual operational orders as appendices, also an account of the raid on Table Hill and Keen’s Knoll on the night of 12-13 August. A 6 page typed account written by Lt Col Wilkinson late Commandant 2/152 Punjabis and Officer Commanding Historical Section War Office titled “Narrative of Operations carried out by the 60 Division between 19th September and 23rd September 1918” with appendix showing number of prisoners, and casualties by each brigade, dated 1929.
Further Sources for the 2nd Battalion 152nd Punjabis
For information regarding British and Indian officers who served with the Battalion, the Indian Army List should be consulted. There are no confidential reports for the Battalion. A regimental history wasn’t produced for the 152nd Punjabis after the war.
Extracts from War Diary of the 2nd Battalion 152nd Punjabis (Crown Copyright: National Archives):
16 May 1918 – 12 March 1919, Egyptian Expeditionary Force, WO95/4672
02 July 1918 – Nothing to report, weather fine, training started.
17 July 1918 – Regiment prepared to relieve 2nd Battalion 153rd Infantry in Right Sub Sector…
19 July 1918 – Situation quiet. A Company sent in two Turkish deserters from Rock Park. Companies were issued with small box respirators to replace the PH helmets which were issued first. Companies not quite completed but more respirators will be issued to-morrow. 1 Sepoy evacuated to Field Ambulance. B Company report that they were shelled (High Explosive and shrapnel) to-day on Cardiff Hill.
20 July 1918 – Situation “Nothing to report”. Companies completed with small box respirators… Patrol proceeded to Q28G52 at22.30 on 19th and left pamphlets on sticks near the Mill for prospective deserters. Arrived back 03.15 and reported no sign of men on Wadi Samieh…
22 July 1918 – Situation unchanged. Enemy aeroplane Albatross type passed over the line at 11.45 hours flying between 6000-7000 feet… Patrol of A Coy of 1 Indian officer and 7 other ranks left Rock Park at 23.00 hours night 21-22 and proceeded to Q30C29 where they encountered about 40 enemy who attempted to capture the patrol. Patrol retired and were followed a short distance, no firing took place on either side.
23 July 1918 – Two Turkish deserters 1 Sergeant, 1 Corporal both 3/76 Regiment were sent in by A Coy. One Arab deserter gave himself up at the support post of the Warren at 09.50 hours…
30 July 1918 – Officer Commanding B Company reports that 9 Turks were observed at 05.30 hours cutting cops at Q20 G54 and were fired at with a Lewis gun. 2 apparently being hit. Remainder disappeared into the Wadi Elkola and when sniped at disappeared among the rocks. Between 14.00 and 15.00 hours, 18 77mm shell (shrapnel) were fired at the Warren presumably at the movement amongst the trees in Congleton Clump.
04 August 1918 – Heavy rifle, machine gun fire from the left also a few hand grenades. Enquired from the 2/22 Londons what the cause was and they replied that it was a patrol of the 130th Baluchis getting fired on.
29 August 1918 – To day being the Hindu festival of Janmashtami the C.O. excused all parades to B and D Companies.
30 August 1918 – Battalion parade under C.O. at 06.30 hours. Marched down to the Training Ground where we picked up a section of MGs and a F.O.O. Attacked the hill in front of El Jib. Points noticed a) Scouts need a lot of training b) Lewis gun section commanders must be trained to use their initiative more than they do.