2nd Battalion 113th Infantry

This article on the short-lived 2nd Battalion 113th Infantry will provide you with an overview of the Battalion’s history and help you research those who served with it. I have written a separate article about the 1st Battalion 113th Infantry and a series of guides to help you research soldiers who served in the Indian Army during the First World War:

The 2nd Battalion 113th Infantry in the First World War

Lineage: The 2nd Battalion 113th Infantry was formed at Bombay (Mumbai, Maharashtra) on 27 November 1916 and disbanded in February 1922. For a history of the Regiment’s lineage see my page on the 1st Battalion 113th Infantry.

Class Composition of Battalion in 1919: 2 Companies of Rajputana Jats, 1 Company of Rajputana Gujars and 1 Company of Punjabi Muslims.

The 2nd Battalion 113th Infantry was one of the first of the new infantry battalions to be raised by the Indian Army during the First World War. The Battalion was formed at Bombay, now Mumbai on 27 November 1916 and served in India for the duration of the war. The 2nd Battalion 113th Infantry was inspected by Major-General Wyndham Charles Knight between December 1916 and March 1917 who reported:

Turn-out: Good.

Physique: Good, with a few exceptions.

Efficiency in Drill: Progressing satisfactorily.

Manoeuvre and Reconnaissance: Being a newly raised Unit very little to date.

Musketry: Satisfactory progress.

Signalling: Very satisfactory progress.

Conduct: Good

Recruits and Drafts: Battalion only raised in November 1916. Recruiting satisfactory.

Health: Good.

Arms: In good order but 700 only authorised and Regiment 1,050 strong.

Accoutrements: Complete and satisfactory.

Interior Economy: Satisfactory. Officers’ Mess in debt owing to large initial expenses.

General Efficiency: Large proportion of Regiment are employed on guard and escort duties. This seriously hampers training but on the whole, considering the drawbacks, satisfactory progress is being made.

Confidential review reports on Indian Army units, British officers, etc. for 1916-1917: IOR/L/MIL/7/17028.

By December 1918, the Battalion had moved to Bushire in Persia, now Iran with its Depot at Benares, now Varanasi where it was still stationed in March 1919. In June 1919, the unit had left Persia and moved to Benares. On 6 May, the Third Anglo-Afghan War had commenced and the Battalion joined Waziristan Force on 4 August, four days before the war ended from Benares. While serving on the North West Frontier, the Battalion’s Depot reopened in Benares. After the end of hostilities, the Battalion continued to serve on the North West Frontier in what is now the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province of Pakistan.

There is a war diary covering the Battalion’s service with the 21st Indian Infantry Brigade of Waziristan Force between August 1920 and November 1921. Part of the war diary is transcribed below. During this period the Battalion spent most of its time at Palosina, Kotkai, Sararogha and Tank. While the Battalion served on the North West Frontier its Depot remained at Benares. By December 1919, the Battalion had moved to Cawnpore, now Kanpur where it was disbanded on 3 February 1922. The extract below was taken from the July 1918 Indian Army List which recorded the British officers serving with the Battalion.

112th Infantry British Officers 1918

War Diary of the 2nd Battalion 113th Infantry

A war diary was written by a British officer and recorded a unit’s location and activities. There is only one war diary for the 2nd Battalion 113th Infantry but it has not been digitized and can only be viewed at the National Archives.

  • Date: 01 August 1920 – 30 November 1921
  • 21st Indian Infantry Brigade: Waziristan Force
  • Reference: WO 95/5401
  • Notes: The only war diary for the 2nd Battalion 113th Infantry is very detailed with British and Indian officers appearing throughout. Appendices include regimental orders, an appendix showing the grant of Waziristan Force Certificates for “Devotion to Duty while on Active Service”, progress of work for June to September 1921 and letters to the 2nd Battalion 113th Infantry from Major-General Matheson and Brigadier-General Orr on their departure. Also, a nominal roll of British officers who returned from Field Service in November 1921.

Further Sources of Information the 2nd Battalion 113th Infantry

For information concerning the British and Indian officers who served with the 2nd Battalion 113th Infantry, the Indian Army List can be consulted. The confidential reports for the Battalion are held at the British Library: Confidential Reports. These reports also contain the confidential reports of the British officers serving with the Battalion.

Extracts from War Diary of the 2nd Battalion 113th Infantry

01 August 1920 – 30 November 1921, Waziristan Force, WO 95/5401

07 August 1920: Palosina: Road picqueted as usual through Ibrahim Gul. Company training parades. Work on new feeding trough in animal night-standing lines; the mule track from camp to water supply completed. Work on improving football ground.

08 August 1920: Palosina: Bathing and washing parades. Picquets reported situation normal. “Tich” Picquet reports hearing men estimated at 20 in number moving near picquet on night of 7th/8th. Fired two Very lights but failed to see anything. Fire was not opened.

13 August 1920: Palosina: 68th Brigade reports that about 150 Tochi Militia divided into three gangs with six days rations intend to attack camps or convoy in Jandola – Kotkai area. All picquets informed.

10 September 1920: Palosina: Following report received from Tich Piquet. When day group of Tich Picquet were going out, one enemy was seen in sangar usually occupied. Covering party fired on sangar and enemy disappeared but party of enemy fired on group and covering party from East of day group position. Non-commissioned officer in-command Picquet claims four enemy wounded, which he saw being carried away. Our casualties nil. Estimated strength of enemy – 25.

16 September 1920: Palosina: Musketry practice will ball ammunition carried out by companies, firing in southwestern direction. Indian officers and Nos. 1 and 2 Lewis gunners given practice in revolver shooting. 11:00 hours – Wire received from Commanding Detachment Palosina that “Non-commissioned officer in command Tich Picquet reports that at 22:00 hours on 15, enemy were heard in nullah below picquet. At 23:00 hours enemy approached wire on four sides, strength about 20 men and attempted to cut wire. First bomb thrown from picquet did not explode. One second bomb being thrown enemy retired and fired about 5 rounds on picquet. Enemy finally retired from proximity of picquet about 02:00 hours on 16th. Our casualties nil. Enemy’s unknown.

29 October 1920: Sorarogha: Regiment marched to Ladha arriving at 14:00 hours after a half-hour’s halt en route. Met about 1/2 mile from camp by Brigadier-General Gwyn Thomas Commanding 9th Infantry Brigade who watched the Regiment march past. Men issued with a third blanket and orders issued that all men must wear greatcoats at 18:00 hours daily.

24 November 1920: Sorarogha: 17:30 hours: Whilst men were watching some games outside of camp perimeter a man was heard shouting for help. Subadar Mehtab Khan although unarmed proceeded in the direction of the voice and found that three sarwans [camel drivers] had been attacked in the big nullah South of camp and their camels taken. The Subadar sent back news and proceeded to bank of nullah where he saw some Mahsuds leading away the camels. By shouting etc. he caused them to leave the camels and take refuge in a cave where they were caught by a platoon of 2nd Battalion 1st Gurkha Rifles who were covered by platoons from A, C and D Companies. Withdrawal to camp completed 18:45 hours.

Guides to Researching Soldiers who Served in the Indian Army

Guides to Researching Soldiers who Served in the British Army