This article is about the short-lived 2nd Battalion 129th Duke of Connaught’s Own Baluchis and will help you research those who served with it during the First World War. I have written a separate article for the 1st Battalion 129th Duke of Connaught’s Own Baluchis and a series of guides to help you research those who served in the Indian Army during World War One. To view the guides click on the links below:
- 1st Battalion 129th Duke of Connaught’s Own Baluchis
- Guides to Researching Soldiers who Served in the Indian Army
The 2nd Battalion 129th Duke of Connaught’s Own Baluchis in the First World War
Lineage: The 2nd Battalion 129th Baluchis was formed at Quetta (Balochistan, Pakistan) on 21 June 1918 and disbanded on 16 March 1922. For a history of the Regiment’s lineage see my page on the 1st Battalion 129th Duke of Connaught’s Own Baluchis.
Class Composition of Battalion in 1919: 1 Company of Baluchis and 3 Companies of Punjabi Musalmans.
The 2nd Battalion 129th Baluchis was a short-lived Indian infantry battalion formed at Quetta (Balochistan, Pakistan) on 21 June 1918. The Battalion’s first commanding officer was Acting Lieutenant-Colonel Athol Bulkley Merriman who was appointed from the 127th Baluch Light Infantry on 9 June 1918. The majority of British officers were initially drawn either from the Indian Army Reserve of Officers or were Indian Army officers on probation.The above excerpt is taken from the July 1918, Indian Army List showing most of the British officers serving with the Battalion. The date in the first column is when they were first commissioned, with the date they gained their rank in the third column. The abbreviation I.A is for Indian Army and I.A.R.O. for Indian Army Reserve of Officers. The numbers of both serving with the Battalion is typical for a war-raised Indian infantry battalion in 1918. The first four British officers in the list above have been awarded the Military Cross for gallantry.
Unfortunately, there is only one Confidential Report for the Battalion for 1918-1919 which I have quoted extensively from below. The Battalion was inspected in February 1919 by Major-General F. J. Fowler:
The unit has made fair progress during its twelve months’ existence but it is considered that more would have been made had junior British officers been given definite tasks far earlier than was actually done. Fuller advantage might also have been taken of brigade courses of instruction. Owing to demobilisation and reorganisation only half the battalion has been able to carry out field training. The British officers are keen and capable and an excellent tone exists amongst them. Indian officers and other ranks also strive for efficiency and although the battalion is not yet fit for service rapid progress is being made.
There is still room for improvement in the turn out both on and off parade, and Indian Officers have a good deal to learn. The men are good material above the standard in physique and are well cared for. With the good ‘Esprit de Corps’ that prevails the unit should develop into a fine battalion.
Confidential review reports on Indian Army units, depots, British officers, etc. for 1918-1919: IOR/L/MIL/7/17030.
During the Third Anglo-Afghan War, the Battalion was sent to Quetta from Karachi as part of the 10th Infantry Brigade, Baluchistan Force on 20 May 1919. The Battalion was recorded as serving overseas in the July 1921, Indian Army List, with its Depot at Karachi (Pakistan). The 2nd Battalion 129th Baluchis was disbanded on 16 March 1922.
War Diaries of the 2nd Battalion 129th Baluchis
Unfortunately, there are no war diaries for the 2nd Battalion 129th Baluchis.
Further Sources for the 2nd Battalion 129th Baluchis
For information regarding British and Indian officers who served with the 2nd Battalion 129th Baluchis the Indian Army List should be consulted. There is only one confidential report for the Battalion which is held at the British Library: Confidential review reports on Indian Army units, depots, British officers, etc. for 1918-1919: IOR/L/MIL/7/17030. This confidential report also contains the annual reports for the British officers serving with the Battalion.