This article is about the 2nd Battalion 6th Light Infantry and will help you to research the Battalion and the soldiers who served with it during the First World War. I have written a separate article for the 1st Battalion 6th Jat Light Infantry 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:
The 2nd Battalion 6th Jat Light Infantry in the First World War
Lineage: The 2nd Battalion 6th Jat Light Infantry was formed at Agra on 20 November 1917 and became the 10th Battalion 9th Jat Regiment (a Training Battalion) on 1 January 1922. For a history of the Regiment’s lineage see my page on the 1st Battalion, 6th Jat Light Infantry.
Class Composition of Battalion July 1921: 2 Companies of Jats from the Punjab, 1 of Punjabi Muslims and 1 of Muslim Rajputs. January 1922: 2 Companies of Jats from the Punjab, 1 of Punjabi Muslims, 1 of Muslim Rajputs, 1 1/2 of Kumaonis and 2 Platoons of Kumaoni Brahmans.
The 2nd Battalion 6th Jat Light Infantry was a war-raised Indian infantry battalion which was formed at Agra on 20 November 1917. The Battalion’s only commanding officer was Lieutenant-Colonel Grant Espie Hardie who was appointed from the 123rd Outram’s Rifles on 24 November 1917. The Battalion was inspected by Major-General Lionel Charles Dunsterville, Commanding Agra Brigade on 12 February 1918:
This young battalion has not yet had sufficient opportunity for Field training which has now begun and is being run on sound lines – in every other sense it is ready for war. Musketry and bayonet fighting are very well taught, and great keenness is displayed by all ranks.
Confidential review reports on Indian Army units, depots, British officers, etc. for 1918-1919: IOR/L/MIL/7/17030.
Below is an extract from the July 1918 Indian Army List which recorded the British officers serving with the Battalion. The Indian Army List is an excellent resource if you’re researching either an officer of the Indian Army or one of its regiments. The majority of British officers were either on probation (on probn.), from the India Army Reserve of Officers (I.A.R.O.) or holding a Temporary Commission (T.C.).The 2nd Battalion 6th Jat Light Infantry served at Agra during the war until 1920 when it was sent to Mesopotamia (Iraq) to help quell the 1920 Iraqi Revolt. The Battalion served as part of the 51st Indian Infantry Brigade, 17th Indian Division (I have transcribed part of the war diary below). The Battalion qualified for the General Service Medal with Iraq clasp and some of their Medal Index Cards have survived. The Battalion served in Mesopotamia until the summer of 1921 when it returned to India. While the Battalion was overseas its Depot was at Agra. There are 30 soldiers of the Battalion commemorated by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission on the Basra Memorial. In January 1922, the 2nd Battalion 6th Jat Light Infantry became the 10th Battalion 9th Jat Regiment, which was the Training Battalion of the Regiment. The 2nd Battalion 6th Jat Light Infantry was one of only a handful of war-raised units to remain in the Indian Army post-1922.
War Diary of the 2nd Battalion 6th Jat Light Infantry
There is only one war diary for the 2nd Battalion 6th Jat Light Infantry 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.
- Date: 01 April – 30 June 1920
- 51st Indian Infantry Brigade, 17th Indian Division, Mesopotamia
- Reference: WO 95/5211/4
- Notes: This is a good war diary with plenty of accounts of sniping, ambushes etc. a couple of which are transcribed below. There is a list of British officers serving with the 2nd Battalion 6th Jat Light Infantry on 30th April 1920.
Further Sources for the 2nd Battalion 6th Jat Light Infantry
For information regarding British and Indian officers who served in the 2nd Battalion 6th Jat Light infantry, the Indian Army List should be consulted. Confidential reports for the Battalion are held at the British Library: Confidential Reports on Regiments etc. These reports also contain the annual reports of the British officers serving with the Battalion. However, when the Battalion was abroad only its Depot and the British officers serving there were reported on. The Battalion’s medal records for the General Service Medal, Iraq Clasp are best viewed on Ancestry (a subscription website but the cards can be viewed for free).
Extracts from War Diaries of the 2nd Battalion 6th Jat Light Infantry
01 April – 30 June 1920, Mesopotamia, WO 95/5211
12th May 1920- All picquets handed over to 80th Carnatic Infantry 4 sick men of D Company were in a motor convoy which was attacked at Wadi Safna. The party were captured but on the arrival of an armoured car were released. 1 wounded; 1 beaten with a clubbed rifle. 1 missing ( No.1543 Sepoy Pat Ram).
14th May 1920 – 05.30 – 8 Mile North of Haidetha – At about 05.45 advanced guard of convoy C Company got in touch with Arabs in position on hills both side of road. Enemy opened fire on the convoy from all sides. Advanced guard took up a position and was reinforced by Lewis gun of B Company. Firing continued for some time the enemy shewing great determination.
A party of B Company attacked on left flank and drove the enemy from his position with the bayonet. The enemy then dispersed towards the flank and was pursued for some distance. The convoy then proceeded to Hadietha but the enemy had again collected, attacked the rearguard, which was engaged for about 2 hours. The convoy was also fired on from a village on the left bank of the river.
09.00 – Convoy proceeded to Hit. 2 platoons A Company taking the place of 2 platoons B Company. Casualties: 4 killed; 16 wounded. 1 horse and 1 mule killed; 2 mules wounded. Enemy casualties estimated at 20 killed.
18 June 1920 – 21.00 – Lower Camp Anah – At about 21.00 hours the sentry of picquet on left bank of Euphrates protecting camp from the flank reported horsemen moving about his front. The picquet stood to and a Very light was sent up and a burst of Lewis gun fire was opened. Enemy scattered left and right of piquet and commenced firing both on picquet and camp. Sniping continued for about an hour; the enemy in occasions endeavouring to creep close to picquet to bomb it. Snipers were engaged by machine gun fire from the camp.
Enemy later made off, but returned at about 01.00 and endeavoured unsuccessfully to approach picquet position. At 04.30 hours a patrol was sent out which discovered a bomb of German manufacture (stick pattern 5 1/2 second fuse) which had failed to explode, about 80 yards fro picquet. Articles of Arab clothing and headdress were also found by the picquet. There were traces of blood on the clothing.
Own casualties 1 man died of sounds. 1 mule wounded in camp and subsequently destroyed.