2nd Battalion 17th Infantry (The Loyal Regiment)

This article is about the short-lived 2nd Battalion 17th Infantry (The Loyal Regiment) and will help you to research the Battalion and soldiers who served with it during the First World War. I have written a separate article about the 1st Battalion 17th Infantry (The Loyal Regiment) and a series of guides to help you to research soldiers who served in the Indian Army during the war. To view the guides click on the blue links below:

I also offer a First World War Soldier Research Service.

The 2nd Battalion 17th Infantry (The Loyal Regiment) in the First World War

Lineage: The 2nd Battalion 17th Infantry was formed at Dinapore (Danapur, Bihar, India) on 20 April 1918 and disbanded on 1 June 1921. For a history of the Regiment’s lineage see my page on the 1st Battalion 17th Infantry.

Class Composition of Battalion in July 1918: 4 Companies of Musalmans, of Eastern Punjab and Hindustan.

The 2nd Battalion 17th Infantry was a short-lived Indian infantry battalion formed at Dinapore (Danapur, Bihar, India) on 20 April 1918. The Battalion’s first commanding officer was Acting Lieutenant-Colonel Leonard Sueton Hirsch Smithers who was appointed to the Battalion from the 1st Battalion 17th Infantry on 20 April 1918. Initially, the majority of British officers were Indian Army officers on probation or with a temporary commission. The 2nd Battalion 17th Infantry was inspected by Brigadier-General W. M. Southey Commanding 44th Infantry Brigade in January and March 1919 who reported:

General remarks: A new battalion was raised with indifferent nucleus and has made great strides though the turnout was not good. The British Officers require more practice in handling the Battalion. The Indian Officers are smart and intelligent. I consider the regiment in a satisfactory condition. A senior second-in-command is required. Not yet up to pre-war standard.

Confidential review reports on Indian Army units, depots, British officers, etc. for 1918-1919: IOR/L/MIL/7/17030

In the April 1920 Indian Army List, the Battalion was serving at Thall on the North West Frontier, now Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan. The 2nd Battalion 17th Infantry did not serve overseas nor did it take part in the Third Anglo-Afghan War and was disbanded on the 1 June 1921. The extract below was taken from the July 1918 Indian Army List and recorded British officers serving with the 2nd Battalion 17th Infantry (The Loyal Regiment). There are two pre-war British Indian Army officers which is typical of a late war-raised infantry battalion.

2nd Battalion 17th Infantry (The Loyal Regiment) WW1

War Diaries for the 2nd Battalion 17th Infantry

Unfortunately, there are no war diaries for the 2nd Battalion 17th Infantry.

Further Sources for the 2nd Battalion 17th Infantry

For information on the British and Indian officers who served with the 2nd Battalion 17th Infantry (The Loyal Regiment), the Indian Army List should be consulted. There are two confidential reports for the Battalion held at the British Library:

  • Confidential review reports on Indian Army units, depots, British officers, etc. for 1918-1919: IOR/L/MIL/7/17030
  • Confidential review reports on Indian Army units, depots, British officers, etc. for 1919-1920: IOR/L/MIL/7/17031. This report is the 2nd Battalion 17th Infantry’s Depot only.

The first report also contains the annual reports of the British officers serving with the Battalion and the second only reports of the British officers serving with the Depot.

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