This article on the 2nd Battalion 88th Carnatic Infantry aims to help you either research the Battalion or a soldier who served with it during its brief existence. This article should be used in conjunction with my Guides to Researching Soldiers who Served in the Indian Army which will help you uncover even more information. I have written a separate article on the 1st Battalion which can be read here: 1st Battalion 88th Carnatic Infantry
The 2nd Battalion 88th Carnatic Infantry in the First World War
Lineage: The 2nd Battalion 88th Carnatic Infantry was formed at Bangalore, India on 3 July 1918 and was disbanded in 1920. For a history of the Regiment’s lineage see my page on the 1st Battalion 88th Carnatic Infantry.
Class Composition of Battalion in 1919: 2 Companies of Coorgs, 1 Company of Maravans and 1 Company of Madrassis.
The 2nd Battalion 88th Carnatic Infantry was a war-raised Indian infantry battalion formed at Bangalore on 3 July 1918. The Battalion did not see active-service and has left few records to consult. During its brief existence, the 2nd Battalion 88th Carnatic Infantry served with Southern Command before the Battalion was disbanded in 1920.
The Battalion was initially commanded by Major (Acting Lieutenant-Colonel) Robert James Malet. Robert Malet was a career Indian Army officer who was commissioned on 22 January 1898 and spent most of his career with the 64th Pioneers. Malet’s only active service had been with the 64th Pioneers during the Kachin Hills Uprising in 1915. The passages below are inspection reports taken from Confidential review reports on Indian Army units, depots, British officers, etc. for 1918-1919 IOR/L/MIL/7/17030:
Brigadier-General Owen Cadogan Wolley-Dod, Commanding Bangalore Brigade: Men are well turned out. Training has been rather handicapped lately owing to large demands for fatigue parties, but is quite good. Regiment cannot be fit for active service for sometime. There is more centralization of authority in the Commanding Officer than is desirable, but is at present unavoidable, owing to absence of senior Officers.
Lieutenant General Charles Alexander Anderson: I inspected this unit at Bangalore on 4th September 1918 when it had only been 2 months in existence. The personnel looked very promising. The Coorg Indian Officers were a decidedly good lot but of course very lacking in training. The unit has evidently come on well in the last 7 months.
Below is an extract from the April 1919, Indian Army List which recorded the British officers serving with the Battalion. Of the officers, only two were commissioned pre-war which is the usual number found in a war-raised infantry battalion. The vast majority were either from the Indian Army Reserve of Officers (I.A.R.O.) or held Temporary Commissions (T.C.). The Indian Army List is one of the few resources available to learn more about the Battalion and the British and Indian officers who served with it.
War Diaries for the 2nd Battalion 88th Carnatic Infantry
There are no war diaries for the 2nd Battalion 88th Carnatic Infantry.
Further Sources for the 2nd Battalion 88th Carnatic Infantry
For information regarding British and Indian officers serving with the Battalion, the Indian Army List can be consulted. There is a single 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 report also contains the confidential report of the British officers serving with the Battalion.