This article is about the short-lived 2nd Battalion 27th Punjabis and will help you to research the Battalion and those who served with it during the First World War. I have also written a separate article for the 1st Battalion 27th Punjabis and a series of guides to help you research soldiers who served in the Indian Army in the First World War:
The 2nd Battalion 27th Punjabis in the First World War
Lineage: The 2nd Battalion 27th Punjabis was formed at Agra on 25th July 1918 and disbanded on 15 April 1921. For a history of the Regiment’s lineage see my page on the 1st Battalion 27th Punjabis.
Class Composition of Battalion in 1919: 1 Company of Punjabi Musalmans, 1 Company of Pathans, 1 1/2 Companies of Sikhs and 1/2 a Company of Dogras.
The 2nd Battalion 27th Punjabis was a short-lived Indian infantry battalion formed at Agra on 25 July 1918. The Battalion did not serve outside of India during the war though it served on the North West Frontier (Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan) before it was disbanded. The Battalion’s first commanding officer was Acting Lieutenant-Colonel John Yule Tancred who was appointed from the 19th Punjabis on 29 July 1918. The majority of the Battalion’s British officers were Indian Army officers on probation or from the Indian Army Reserve of Officers (I.A.R.O.). The extract below was taken from the April 1919 Indian Army List and records the British officers serving with the Regiment.
The 2nd Battalion 27th Punjabis was mobilised at Agra in May 1919 on the outbreak of the Third Anglo-Afghan War. The Battalion served as part of Waziristan Force with the 43rd Indian Infantry Brigade from 1 June 1919. There is a short war diary which covers the events between 28 May 1919 and 31 July 1919 when the Battalion was at Bannu. The Battalion served on the North West Frontier after July 1919 but I have no information about when it left the province. The 2nd Battalion 27th Punjabis was disbanded on 15 April 1921.
War Diary of the 2nd Battalion 27th Punjabis
There is only one war diary for the 2nd Battalion 27th Punjabis which hasn’t been digitized and can only be viewed at the National Archives. I have a copy of the war diary and have transcribed some entries below.
- Date: 28 May 1919 – 31 July 1919
- Waziristan Force: 43rd Indian Infantry Brigade
- Reference: WO 95/5401
- Notes: Unfortunately, the only surviving war diary for the 2nd Battalion 27th Punjabis is just 8 pages long. Despite this, the war diary contains a number of interesting entries (see two transcribed dates below) and is typical of a unit serving on the North West Frontier.
Further Sources for the 2nd Battalion 27th Punjabis
For information concerning the British and Indian officers who served with the 2nd Battalion 27th Punjabis, the Indian Army List can be consulted.
Extracts from War Diaries of the 2nd Battalion 27th Punjabis
28 May 1919 – 31 July 1919, Waziristan Force, WO 95/5401
14 July 1919 – Bannu – Aerodrome guard at Islam Chowki of 1 Indian Officer and 40 rifles under Jemadar Ram Singh as heavily attacked at 1.30 am and firing went on for about 1 hour. Aerodrome is surrounded by a barbed wire fence in various stages of completion and 3 entrances still not wired. A party of enemy of about 25 men penetrated through the gap and reached the aerodrome: Jemadar Ram Singh who was sitting behind some bags with 6 sepoys at the door of the aerodrome immediately found himself mixed up in a melee with 3 of his own men knocked out. As he was obstructing the fire from the adjoining sangar he ordered the remaining men to scatter and he reached the nearest sangar himself.
He at once ordered bombs to be taken into use, one was thrown amongst the men at the aerodrome door, another over the wire fence in front and the precincts of aerodrome were cleared of the enemy.
Casualties: Killed Uaham Singh, Gopal Singh, Baula Singh. Died of Wounds: Sher Singh. Wounded: Fauja Singh, Mohund Singh, Mule driver.
3 Rifles lost (2 1914 pattern, 1 Mk III Short)
Enemy’s Casualties: Unknown. 2 dead and 1 wounded left behind. 1 rifle captured.
Reported to be Tori Khels – Muhammit Khels and Mahsuds.
22nd July 1919 – Naik Naud Singh was in command of an ambush piquet outside Idak Post that ambushed, wounded and captured a notorious outlaw “Baldergai” No. 635 Fateh Khan chased the man for 200 yards with a bayonet and finally shot him. Rupees 50 was given as a reward by General Officer Commanding and Sepoy Fateh Khan promoted to Lance Naik.