This article on the 1st Battalion 150th Infantry aims to help you research this war-raised Battalion and those served with it. I have written separate articles for the other two Battalions of the Regiment and guides to help you research soldiers who served in the Indian Army:
The 1st Battalion 150th Indian Infantry
Lineage: Formed at Basrah 19 May 1918 and disbanded on 15 April 1921.
Class Composition of Battalion in 1919: 4 Companies of Rajputs.
The 1st Battalion, 150th Indian Infantry was a short-lived Indian infantry battalion which was formed at Makina, Basra, Mesopotamia (Iraq) in May 1918. The Battalion was formed from the following four regiments:
- 2nd Rajputs British Officers 2. Indian Officers 4. Indian Other Ranks 255. Followers 14.
- 4th Rajputs British Officers 2. Indian Officers 4. Indian Other Ranks 259. Followers 15.
- 8th Rajputs British Officers 1. Indian Officers 4. Indian Other Ranks 253. Followers 11.
- 13th Rajputs British Officers 1. Indian Officers 4. Indian Other Ranks 249. Followers 11.
The 1st Battalion was one of 18 new Indian infantry battalions created in the Middle East during 1918 to try and replace British battalions which were departing to France. The Battalion is difficult to research as there’s only one war diary covering May 1918 for the First World War period. The Battalion was recorded as being stationed at Muttra, now Mathura, Uttar Pradesh in the April 1920 Indian Army List. The Battalion served on the North West Frontier in 1920 and a war diary is available for the period between August and November 1920. The Battalion served as part of the 8th Infantry Brigade, Waziristan Force during this period. The 1st Battalion, 150th Indian Infantry was disbanded on 15 April 1921
War Diaries of the 1st Battalion 150th Indian Infantry
There are two war diaries for the Battalion and the first is available to download from the National Archives’ website for a small fee. The second war diary is only available to view at the National Archives in London. I have transcribed some entries below.
- Date: May 1918
- Lines of Communication, Mesopotamia
- Reference: WO 95/5247/11
- Notes: A short war diary of only three pages which is available to download from the National Archives’ website. Details the composition of the regiments and lists British officers, and Indian officer appointments.
- Date: 01 August – 30 November 1920
- 8th Indian Infantry Brigade, Waziristan Force
- Reference: WO 95/5399
- Notes: A typical war diary for a unit serving on the North West Frontier. Not the most detailed of war diaries, but gives a good overview of the activities of the 1st Battalion, 150th Indian Infantry.
Further Sources for the 1st Battalion 150th Indian Infantry
If you are researching a British or Indian officer who served with the Battalion you should look at the Indian Army List. There are two confidential reports for the Battalion, though the second concerns its Depot only. These reports also contain the confidential reports of the British officers who were serving with the Battalion in 1918-19 and serving with its Depot in 1919-20:
- 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
Extracts from War Diaries of the 1st Battalion 150th Indian Infantry
01 August – 30 November 1920, Waziristan Force, WO 95/5399
07 August 1920 – Saidgi – News received that a gang of Mahsuds had attacked a 2nd Battalion 4th Rajput picquet near Khajuri about 06.30 hours. Under orders from Brigade one platoon from A Company under an Indian Officer was despatched to Shinki Bridge Camp as a reinforcement and all picquets of Shinki Bridge Camp reinforced by 4 ? Indian other ranks at night time.
13 August 1920 – Saidgi – Information received that about 100 Mahsuds of Shabi Khel and Abdula seen passing from Sein towards Tarakai about seven miles south of Shinki. All posts and picquets warned and 45th Brigade informed.
03 September 1920 – Saidgi – About 22.30 hours a party of tribesmen attempted to get between to picquets at Shinki Bridge Camp where A company is stationed. They were fried on and retreated. Blood found on stones next day.
11 September 1920 – Saidgi – About 17.00 hours a party of tribesman about 30 strong were seen from Saidgi Fort moving in the Bannu direction in the Tochi Nullah and firing was heard in that direction. One British Officer and 3 men with a Lewis were despatched in motor car to ascertain the situation…
26 November 1920 – Saidgi – Information received from 8th Brigade that about 1500 Khost men and Wazira were collecting near Matun to attack probably Daroonni – Bannu line. and that further information would be given. One platoon was sent to Shinki to remain on road while it was open and all posts were warned.