1st Battalion 152nd Punjabis

This article is about the 1st 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:

The 1st Battalion 152nd Punjabis

Lineage: Formed at Amara, Mesopotamia (Iraq) in May 1918 and disbanded 15 May 1921.

Class Composition of Battalion in 1919: 2 3/4 Companies of Punjabi Muslims, 3/4 of a Company of Sikhs, 1/4 of a Company of Pathans, and 1/4 of a Company of Dogras.

 The 1st Battalion 152nd Punjabis was one of eighteen war-raised Indian infantry battalions formed in 1918 to replace British battalions withdrawn from the Middle East. British battalions had been withdrawn due to the German Spring Offensive which commenced in March 1918. The 1st Battalion, 152nd Punjabis was formed at Amara, Mesopotamia (Iraq) in May 1918 from drafts from the following regiments:

The Battalion remained in Mesopotamia until June 1918 when it embarked on board the Hired Transport Abbassieh which after stops at Muscat and Aden arrived at Suez on 10 July 1918. The Battalion disembarked the next day and moved to Kantara and subsequently Surafend. The Battalion would spend the summer in the front line and there is a good war diary covering this period. In September 1918, the Battalion took part in the Battle of Megiddo. The Battalion remained in the Middle East after the war and returned to Egypt in 1919 where it was stationed at Kantara. In February 1919, the Battalion returned to India.

After the 1st Battalion 152nd Punjabis returned to India, the Battalion served on the North West Frontier. On the outbreak of the Third Anglo-Afghan War in May 1919 the Battalion served as part of the North West Frontier Force. The 1st Battalion 152nd Punjabis was disbanded on 15 May 1921.

Below is an extract from the July 1919 Indian Army List which records the British officers then serving with the Battalion. As you can see, the page is full of military abbreviations and acronyms and I have created a page to help you decipher them: Indian Army Abbreviations and Acronyms.

1st Battalion 152nd Punjabis

War Diary of the 1st Battalion 152nd Punjabis

There is one war diary for the 1st Battalion 152nd Punjabis which hasn’t been digitized and can only be viewed at the National Archives. I have transcribed some entries at the bottom of the page.

  • Date: 24 May 1918 – 28 February 1919
  • 234th Infantry Brigade, 75th Division, Egyptian Expeditionary Force
  • Reference: WO 95/4694
  • Notes: Between May and July 1918 the majority of entries consist of “Situation normal”.
  • List of British officers, and strength of the companies which joined the 152nd Punjabis when it was raised. Months start with a list of British officers present. There are a large number of appendices, maps, orders, training programmes etc. Also, a 3 page account of the part the 152nd Punjabis took in the Battle of Megiddo in September 1918. Citations of Indian soldiers for Battle of Megiddo transcribed below.

Further Sources for the 1st Battalion 152nd Punjabis

If you are researching a British or Indian officer who served with the Battalion, the Indian Army List can be consulted. Unfortunately, there was no regimental history produced for the 152nd Punjabis. There are no confidential reports for the Battalion at the British Library.

Extracts from the War Diary of the 1st Battalion 152nd Punjabis 

24 May 1918 – 28 February 1919, Egyptian Expeditionary Force, WO 95/4694

24 May 1918 – Amara 9.10 am – D Company 24th Punjabis joined D Company 26th Punjabis. thus forming the 1st Battalion 152nd Indian Infantry. Authority C.G.S. Delhi Telegram 30612 dated 18 April 1918.

2 pm – B Company 1st Battalion 25th Punjabis and B Company 31st Punjabis joined 1st Battalion 152nd Indian Infantry thus completing the Battalion.

05 August 1918 – Deir Ballut – 04.15 – Working party of 2 B.O. and 530 I.O.Rs marched to X2 C88 for road work. 08.45 Enemy aeroplane passed low over camp flying east along Wadi Ballut dropping smoke bombs.

11 August 1918 – Deair Ballut – 05.00 – 05.10 – 6 shells (4 duds) fell on ridge 300 yards north of camp.

27 August 1918 – Rafat – 03.15 – Patrol returned having been an enemy patrol which retired. Later heavy enemy firing broke out, but not directed on patrol. No further incident. 03.30 Enemy patrol approached our post… but retired when one bomb was thrown at it.

31 August 1918 – Rafat – 14.30 One enemy aeroplane observed destroyed in air fight. Crashed about 4 miles west of camp.

01 October 1918 – Bedouin Hill – 15.00 – Whole Battalion bathed in the sea.

09 October 1918 – Kakon – 16.30 – Took over from 3rd Kashmir Rifles following Prisoners of War. German officers 5, other ranks 239. Turkish officers 93, other ranks 802. 1120 Total.

15 October 1918 Kerkur – Information received from 234 Brigade that Commander-in-Chief has allotted following honours to this unit for the action of 19 September 1918.

Jemadar Jahan Khan Indian Distinguished Service Medal- During the attack by this unit on the ridge west of Tireh, one of our aeroplanes was felled by hostile machine gun fire and fell between our advanced line and the enemy. Jemadar Jahan Khan at once doubled out with a party and brought in the wounded pilot and observer under hostile machine gun fire.

No. 760 Naik Raj Wali I.D.S.M. – On Lt A. I. Aymer being wounded Naik Raj Wali left the trench and brought Lt Aymer unto cover under heavy machine gun fire. He was severely wounded whilst doing this, but continued to assist Lt Aymer till he got him under cover.

No. 526 Lance Naik Mathra I.D.S.M. Same citation as Jemadar Jahan Khan above.

No. 263 Lance Havildar Ghulam Ali I.D.S.M During the action of 19th September 1918 Lance Havildar Ghulam Ali put an enemy machine gun out of action with his Lewis gun and captured the entire crew.

No. 329 Sepoy Akhmadji I.D.S.M. When our line was held up by hostile machine gun fire during the attack on Et Tireh, Sepoy Akhmadji left his trench and advanced into the open alone, firing his Lewis gun from the shoulder at the enemy. He succeeded in silencing their machine gun fire, thereby enabling our line to advance and take the position.

Guides to Researching a Soldier who Served with the Indian Army

Guides to Researching a Soldier who Served with the British Army