This article is about the 2nd Battalion 7th (Duke of Connaught’s Own) Rajputs and will help you to research the Regiment and the soldiers who served with it during the First World War. I have written a separate article for the 1st Battalion, 7th Rajputs and a series of guides to help you to research soldiers who served in the Indian Army during World War One. To view the guides click on the blue links below:
- 1st Battalion, 7th (Duke of Connaught’s Own) Rajputs
- Researching Soldiers who Served in the Indian Army
The 2nd Battalion 7th (Duke of Connaught’s Own) Rajputs in the First World War
Lineage: The 2nd Battalion 7th (Duke of Connaught’s Own) Rajputs was formed at Alipore on 16th June 1918 and disbanded on 20 August 1921. For a history of the Regiment’s lineage see my page on the 1st Battalion, 7th Duke of Connaught’s Own Rajputs.
Class Composition of Battalion in 1919: 3 Companies of Rajputs and 1 Company of Kurmis.
The 2nd Battalion 7th Duke of Connaught’s Own Rajputs was a short-lived Indian infantry Battalion formed at Alipore on 16 June 1918. The Battalion’s first commanding officer was Acting Lieutenant-Colonel Charles Alfred Gordon Pierrepont Meadows who was appointed from the 1st Battalion 7th Rajputs on 10 January 1918. The Battalion received its first inspection by Brigadier-General R. G. Strange, Commanding Presidency Brigade on 27 February 1919:
General remarks: The Battalion has been in existence eight months. It has made very good progress and training has been on sound lines. By the end of May 1919 it will have its full complement of trained soldiers. The regiment is very well commanded by Lieutenant-Colonel Meadows, the officers are very junior in service but are keen and well trained, the 2nd-in-command has only 4 years’ service – a more senior officer is needed.
Confidential review reports on Indian Army units, depots, British officers, etc. for 1918-1919 IOR/L/MIL/7/17030The extract above was taken from the July 1918 Indian Army List and recorded that British officers serving the 2nd Battalion 7th Rajputs.
The Battalion served in India (in the January 1920 Indian Army List the Battalion was stationed at Fort William, Calcutta) with the Presidency Brigade until the 30 July 1920 when embarked at Bombay (Mumbai) bound for Mesopotamia (Iraq) to help quell the 1920 Iraqi Revolt. The Battalion served with the 75th Indian Infantry Brigade, 17th Indian Infantry and there is a war diary covering the period between July and November 1920. The 2nd Battalion 7th Rajputs spent a considerable period of their overseas service at Baghdad and Hinaidi (near Baghdad). The Battalion qualified for the General Service Medal with Iraq Clasp and fortunately, many Medal Index Cards to the Battalion have survived. The Battalion returned to India either in 1920 or early 1921 and in the July 1921 edition of the Indian Army List was stationed at Fatehgarh (Uttar Pradesh, India). The 2nd Battalion 7th Duke of Connaught’s Own Rajputs was disbanded on 20 August 1921.
War Diary of the 2nd Battalion 7th Rajputs
There is only one war diary for the Battalion which has been digitized by the National Archives. To download this war diary for a small fee click on the blue link below which will take you to the National Archives’ website. I have transcribed some of the entries below.
- Date: 01 July – 28 November 1920
- 75th Indian Infantry Brigade, 17th Indian Division, Mesopotamia
- Reference: WO 95/5214/4
- Notes: A good war diary for this short-lived Battalion providing plenty of information. There are a number of appendices including Dispositions of A and B Companies 2nd Battalion 7th Rajputs in Baghdad Defences Western Sector dated 27 August 1920 and a nominal roll of British and Indian officers on 27 August 1920 with the company of each Subadar noted. Also, a one-page précis of a report by Captain Mackenzie on Operations near Baqubah on 17 August 1920 and detailed orders from the HQ Baghdad Defences.
Further Sources for the 2nd Battalion 7th Rajputs
For information regarding the British and Indian officers who served with the 2nd Battalion, 7th Rajputs, the Indian Army List can be consulted. Confidential reports for the Battalion are held at the British Library: Confidential Reports on Regiments etc. The Battalion’s Medal Index Cards for the General Service Medal, Iraq Clasp are best viewed on Ancestry (a subscription website).
Extracts from the War Diary of the 2nd Battalion 7th Rajputs
01 July – 28 November 1920, Mesopotamia, WO 95/5214/4
28 July 1920 – Allahabad – Battalion Strength 10 British Officers, 21 Indian Officers and 787 Indian other ranks and 59 Followers left Allahabad on 28 July 1920 and arrived Bombay 30 July 1920. They embarked in the British India Steam Navigation Company SS Chakla and arrived at Basra on the 6 August 1920 at 09.00.
13 August 1920 – Hinaidi – A Company from 3/9th Bhopals on 12 August 1920 and D Company took up a temporary outpost position for the external defence of Baghdad on 13 August 1920.
18 August 1920 – Baghdad – Jemadar Tiloke Singh who went out on the next train escort on 18 August 1920 met Arabs at mile 25/8 with his platoon and opened fire seeing 3 Arabs fall. Battalion continued to provide escorts for trains to and from Baqubah and hold outposts until 26 August 1920.
28 October 1920 – Baghdad – At 10.00 hours 28 October A and B companies entrained at Baghdad South under the command of Major G.H. Plinston en route for Samarah. They formed part of a column under the command of Lieutenant Colonel C. A. Meadows which was sent out under orders to the General Officer Commanding Baghdad Defence to put up obstacles around a sunken Turkish barge full of rifles near Al Quaim tower.