57th Wilde’s Rifles (Frontier Force)

This article on the 57th Wilde’s Rifles (Frontier Force)) aims to help you research either the Regiment or a soldier who served with it during the First World War. I have also have created a series of guides to help you research soldiers who served in the Indian Army during the First World War. The links below will take you to the guides:

I also offer a WW1 Soldier Research Service.

The 57th Wilde’s Rifles (Frontier Force) in WW1

Lineage: Raised by Captain G. G. Denniss at Lahore in 1849 from drafts from the disbanded Sikh Darbar regiments as the 4th Regiment of Punjab Infantry. In 1851 it became the 4th Regiment of Punjab Irregular Force and the 4th Regiment of Infantry, Punjab Frontier Force in 1865. In 1901 it became the 4th Punjab Infantry, in 1903 the 57th Wilde’s Rifles (Frontier Force) and in 1922 the 4th Battalion 13th Frontier Force Rifles.

Class Composition in 1914: 2 Companies of Sikhs, 2 of Dogras, 2 of Punjabi Musalmans and 2 of Pathans. 1919: 1 Company of Sikhs, 1 Company of Dogras, 1 Company of Punjabi Musalmans and 1 Company of Pathans.

Location in July 1914: The 57th Wilde’s Rifles was stationed at Ferozepore (Firozpur, Punjab, India) having arrived from Bannu (Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan) on 19th March 1911.

War Diaries of the 57th Wilde’s Rifles (Frontier Force)

  • Date: 01 August 1914 – 30 November 1915
  • 3 Indian (Lahore) Division, 7 Ferozepore Infantry Brigade, France
  • Reference: WO95/3923/5
  • Notes: An excellent war diary, which has been digitised and is available to download from the National Archives’ website. British and Indian officers and Indian other ranks (with service number) appear throughout. A nominal roll of British and Indian officers which left Ferozepore on 21 August 1914. Four-page report actions “around Wytschaete and Messines on the 29, 30, 31 October, and 1 November 1914. A very long account “Action for the recovery of trenches lost near Festhubert, November 23-24, 1914”. 5 page “Report on part taken by 57 Rifles F.F. in action on 20,21 and 22 December”. Appendix on the attack on 27 April 1915, with complete casualty list.
  • Date: 01 November 1915 – 30 June 1916
  • Suez Canal Defences
  • Reference: WO95/4432
  • Notes:
  • Date: 01 July – 31 December 1916
  • 2 East Africa Infantry Brigade, East Africa
  • Reference: WO95/5341/1
  • Notes: This war diary has been digitized and is available to download from the National Archives’ website.
  • Date: 01 January – 31 March 1917
  • Kassangire Column, East Africa
  • Reference: WO95/5334/19
  • Notes: This war diary has been digitized and is available to download from the National Archives’ website.
  • Date: 01 April – 31 May 1917
  • Hanforce, East Africa
  • Reference: WO95/5320/7
  • Notes: This war diary has been digitized and is available to download from the National Archives’ website.
  • Date: 01 June – 30 September 1917
  • Lines of Communication, East Africa
  • Reference: WO95/5369/18
  • Notes: This war diary has been digitized and is available to download from the National Archives’ website.
  • Date: June 1919
  • 60 Infantry Brigade, Lines of Communication, Kohat-Kurram Force
  • Reference: WO95/5392
  • Notes: A good, detailed war diary. There are two appendices, both orders.
  • Date: 01 August 1920 – 30 September 1920
  • 16 Infantry Brigade, 1 Indian Division
  • Reference: WO95/5407
  • Notes:
  • Date: 01 January 1922 – 28 February 1922
  • Waziristan Force: 9th Indian Infantry Brigade
  • Reference: WO95/5400
  • Notes:

Further Sources for the 57th Wilde’s Rifles (Frontier Force)

If you are researching a British or Indian officer who served in the 57th Wilde’s Rifles (Frontier Force) then the Indian Army List should be consulted. A good resource for the Regiment are its confidential reports held at the British Library: Confidential Reports on Regiments etcThese reports also contain the annual reports for the British officers serving with the Regiment. However, when the 57th Wilde’s Rifles (Frontier Force) was serving abroad only its Depot and the British officers serving with it were reported on.

There is also a regimental history which was reprinted by the Naval & Military Press in 2009: Regimental History of the 4th Battalion 13th Frontier Force Rifles (Wilde’s) by Sir A.T.Wilde. 

If you are researching a soldier who served in the First World War click on the photograph below to learn more about the research service I offer.ww1-research-service

Extracts from War Diaries of the 57th Wilde’s Rifles (Frontier Force) (Crown Copyright: National Archives):

June 1919, Kohat-Kurram Force, WO95/5392

02 June 1919 – ? – The Stokes gun section advanced behind a screen of skirmishers of the Kuram Militia and came into action first at an approximate range of 750 yards. The position taken up was found to be too exposed to enemy rifle fire. So another position was taken up in a nullah about 550 yards from the enemy’s position. From this position 38 shells were fired at the enemy post, at an interval of 35 seconds, when the first post surrendered to the Kurram Militia.

Guides to Researching Soldiers who Served in the Indian Army

Guides to Researching Soldiers who Served in the British Army