This article will provide you with an overview of the history of the short-lived 2nd Battalion 41st Dogras during the First World War and help you to research those who served with the Battalion. I have written a separate article on the 1st Battalion 41st Dogras and a series of guides to help you research those who served in the Indian Army during the war. These guides can be viewed by clicking on the links below:
I also offer a First World War Soldier Research Service.
2nd Battalion 41st Dogras in the First World War
Lineage: The 2nd Battalion 41st Dogras was formed at Jubbulpore (Jabalpur, Madhya Pradesh, India) on 16 October 1917 and became the 10th Battalion 17th Dogra Regiment, a training battalion, on 1 March 1922. For a history of the Regiment’s lineage see my page on the 1st Battalion 41st Dogras.
Class Composition in April 1919: 4 Companies of Dogras.
The 2nd Battalion 41st Dogras was an Indian infantry battalion formed at Jubbulpore (Jabalpur, Madhya Pradesh, India) on 16 October 1917. The Battalion had a core of British officers drawn from other Dogra regiments but the majority were either Indian Army officers on probation or from the Indian Army Reserve of Officers (I.A.R.O.). The Battalion was built around a small cadre of men from the 38th and 1st Battalion 41st Dogras but had difficulty in attracting recruits, especially as Jubbulpore was so far from the Dogra recruiting grounds. The 2nd Battalion was inspected by Brigadier-General Charles Gordon Prendergast, Commanding Jubbulpore Brigade on 6 February 1918:
The unit consists of a nucleus and some 100 recruits and is unfit for service… As unit is almost new only square drill is being carried out. The instructing staff is with a few exceptions satisfactory. Steps have been taken to change some of the instructors.
Confidential review reports on Indian Army units, depots, British officers, etc. for 1917-1918: IOR/L/MIL/7/17029
The Battalion arrived at Sialkot (Punjab, Pakistan) on 12 March 1918 where it remained until it was mobilized in May 1919 following the outbreak of the Third Anglo-Afghan War (6 May – 8 August 1919). The Battalion served as part of the 45th Infantry Brigade, 16th Indian Division during the war while its Depot remained at Sialkot. There is a war diary covering July and August 1919 when the Battalion was at Nowshera but it is very poor. The best source of information for this period is the regimental history The Story of the 1st and 2nd Battalions 41st Dogras which can be read and downloaded for free online.
In October 1919, the Battalion and its Depot moved to Lahore where it received orders to mobilize for service in Waziristan on 20 January 1920. There is a war diary covering the Battalion’s service with the 24th Indian Infantry Brigade between October 1920 and December 1921. This war diary is slightly more detailed and its main benefit is the locations the Battalion served in which include: Jandola, Chagmalai, Wana, Zerai, and Dargai. When the Battalion served as part of Waziristan Force between October 1920 and December 1921 its Depot was first at Lahore Cantonment and then Jullundur (Jalandhar, Punjab, India). On the 17 December 1921, the Battalion arrived at Jullundur. The 2nd Battalion 41st Dogras became the 10th Battalion 17th Dogra Regiment, a training battalion, on 1 March 1922.
Below is an extract from the July 1918 Indian Army List which recorded the British officers serving with the 2nd Battalion 41st Dogras. The Indian Army List is a great resource if you are researching British and Indian officers and there’s usually a wide variety of sources to consult.
War Diaries of the 2nd Battalion 41st Dogras
There are two war diaries for the Battalion neither of which has been digitized and can only be viewed at the National Archives. I have copies of both war diaries and have transcribed a few entries below.
- Date: 01 July – 31 August 1919
- 45th Infantry Brigade, 16th Indian Division, North West Frontier Force
- Reference: WO95/5414
- Notes: A poor war diary which contains few entries over the course of two months.
- Date: 27 October 1920 – 17 December 1921
- 24th Indian Infantry Brigade, Waziristan Force
- Reference: WO95/5402
- Notes: An average war diary, which provides an overview of the activities of the 2nd Battalion 41st Dogras. December 1920 and April 1921 missing.
Further Sources for the 2nd Battalion 41st Dogras
For information regarding British and Indian officers who served with the 2nd Battalion 41st Dogras, the Indian Army List should be consulted. There are two confidential reports for the Battalion, though 1919-1920 concerns the Depot and the British officers serving with it only:
- Confidential review reports on Indian Army units, depots, British officers, etc. for 1917-1918: IOR/L/MIL/7/17029
- Confidential review reports on Indian Army units, depots, British officers, etc. for 1919-1920: IOR/L/MIL/7/17031
There is a good regimental history The Story of the 1st and 2nd Battalions 41st Dogras which can be read online and downloaded for free online. The history devotes a chapter to the Battalion containing information which would be difficult to find elsewhere. There is also a list of British officers who served with the Battalion.
Extracts from War Diaries of the 2nd Battalion 41st Dogras (Crown Copyright: National Archives)
01 July – 31 August 1919, Waziristan Force, WO95/5414
03 July 1919 – Nowshera – Took over the weekly garrison duties for Nowshera. Two parties of Indian officer and 30 other ranks proceeded to Akora and Kairabad to picquet and guard the two villages while the villagers chased a number of raiders.
16 July 1919 – Nowshera – The Battalion was inspected by Major-General Sir William George Lawrence Beynon K.C.I.E. C.B. D.S.O. Commanding 16th (Indian) Division in the field. The Battalion was joined up in line and inspected after which the Battalion marched past in column of companies. The General Officer Commanding remarked very favourably of the Battalion considering they were only young soldiers. Took over the duties, guards and pickets in Nowshera from the 2nd Battalion 72nd Punjabis.
17 July 1919 – Nowshera – Two parties of 1 Indian officer and 25 other ranks proceeded to Akora and Kairabad for the purpose of guarding the railway line which the raiders threatened to take up.
25 July 1919 – Nowshera – The Commander-in-Chief inspected the guard of honour supplied by the 2nd Battalion 41st Dogras under Lieutenant H. E. Forester who met the C-in-C at the railway station.
28 July 1919 – The picquet at Kairabad under Jemadar Suida was attacked by raiders at 23.10 hours. Firing was kept up until 23.55pm with the enemy at a distance of 150 yards. There were no casualties.
01 August 1919- Nowshera – Two picquets from Akora and Kairabad under Gami Sarain [?] and Jemadar Sundar (2) respectively returned to the unit.
25 August 1919 – Nowshera – Battalion parades and Nowshera duties.
27 October 1920 – 17 December 1921, Waziristan Force, WO95/5402
01 December 1920 – About 13.15 hours enemy opened heavy fire on working party of 2nd Battalion 61st Pioneers and convoy from hill NNW of Eagle Post. The road protection troops replied that the convoy was interrupted and about 835 camels returned to Haidari Kach. Two platoons were sent out at 13.35 hours followed later by two more platoons but there was no further enemy action. Reports indicated enemy strength to have been about thirty. All troops reached camp unmolested at 17.40 hours. No. 01192 Sepoy Samson 2nd Battalion 61st Pioneers brought in wounded, since died in hospital. Casualties 2/61st Pioneers killed one, wounded seven.