3rd Battalion 152nd Punjabis

This article is about the 3rd Battalion 152nd Punjabis and will help you to research the Battalion and soldiers who served with it during the First World War. I have written separate articles for the other battalions of the Regiment and other guides to researching soldiers who served in the Indian Army:

The 3rd Battalion 152nd Punjabis

Lineage: Formed in Egypt in May 1918 and disbanded on 30 April 1921.

Class Composition of Battalion in 1919: 1 1/4 Companies of Sikhs, 1 1/2 Companies of Punjabi Muslims, 1 Company of Kashmiri Muslims, 1/4 Company of Pathans.

The 3rd Battalion 152nd Punjabis was formed in Egypt in May 1918 as one of eighteen new Indian infantry battalions formed in the field to replace departing British battalions. This was due to the large casualties sustained by the British Army following the start of the German Spring Offensive in March 1918. The 3rd Battalion 152nd Punjabis was formed in May 1918 from the following drafts:

The Battalion served with the 159th Infantry Brigade, 53rd (Welsh) Division during the Palestine Campaign and took part in the Battle of Megiddo in September 1918. The Battalion served in India on the North West Frontier after the war as part of Waziristan Force. The 3rd Battalion 152nd Punjabis was disbanded on 30 April 1921.

The extract below was taken from the July 1919 Indian Army List which records the British officers serving with the Battalion. Indian Army Lists are a great resource to use when researching Indian units and officers and I have a page to help you understand the jargon you will encounter when using them: Indian Army Abbreviations and Acronyms.

3rd Battalion 152nd Punjabis

War Diaries of the 3rd Battalion 152nd Punjabis

There are two war diaries for the 3rd Battalion 152nd Punjabis and they are only available at the National Archives. I have transcribed some of the war diary entries below.

  • Date: 01 May 1918 – 31 January 1919
  • 159th Infantry Brigade, 53rd (Welsh) Division, Egyptian Expeditionary Force
  • Reference: WO 95/4630
  • Notes: A good war diary with detailed entries from the creation of the 3rd Battalion 152nd Punjabis in May 1918 until October of the same year. There is a list of British officers present with the Battalion when it was formed. The majority of months contain casualty returns (no names except for British officers on the returns dated November and December 1918).
  • Date: 01 August 1920 – 28 February 1921
  • Waziristan Force
  • Reference: WO 95/5399
  • Notes: A short war diary consisting of only 9 pages. Very little happens and most days aren’t covered by an entry.

Further Sources for the 3rd Battalion 152nd Punjabis

For information regarding British and Indian officers who served with the 3rd Battalion 152nd Punjabis, the Indian Army List should be consulted. There are no confidential reports for the Battalion. A regimental history wasn’t produced for the 152nd Punjabis after the war.

Extracts from War Diaries of the 3rd Battalion 152nd Punjabis 

01 May 1918 – 31 January 1919, Egyptian Expeditionary Force, WO 95/4630

24 May 1918 – D Company 28th Punjabis joined A Company 20th Punjabis near Sheikh ? 07.00 hours. This was the time of concentration of the 3rd Battalion 152nd Infantry. These two companies marched to Surafenc where they were met by Company 27th Punjabis.

25 May 1918 – Mobilization equipment British service scale was drawn from the ordnance Ludd. No indents were prepared. The gear was all drawn in bulk. In the case of the Transport equipment, which was entirely new to us. This proved a difficult question especially as the few men we had sent on ahead to be trained as drivers has not finished their course. New numbers from 1 to 1100 were allotted to men.

05 June 1918 – The march into Divisional Reserve area was a short one of about six miles and we were able to settle ourselves in under the olive trees at the head of the Khirat el Hishish well before dark. One gallon of water per head allowed.

15 August 1918 – Blindfold Lewis gun stripping competition. 1st Lance Naik Bhagat Singh B Company, time 1 minute, 9 seconds.

01 August 1920 – 28 February 1921, Waziristan Force, WO 95/5399

02 – 07 August 1920- One company preliminary musketry. Remainder individual training. Section commanders competition in sand model. Inter platoon competition removing wounded by “Puttee” method.

30 – 31 August 1920 – A Company commenced Dardoni musketry course. Remainder Battalion individual training. During month 20% Battalion went on leave for 45 days. Sickness same as previous month average in hospital four per cent chiefly fever and accident cases. Increase in temperature on previous month, No rain.. Games hockey and football every afternoon throughout month.

13 September 1920 – Dardoni – Battalion marched to Idak in relief 2nd Battalion 21st Punjabis.

09 November 1920 – Idak – Sappers blew up two Waziris at Tarakai No.23 new post with a ‘booby-trap’.

07 December 1920 – Idak – Four Wazirs, believed to be Mahomed Khel tried to cut the wire between 10 and 11 picquets of this camp, one was shot and brought in.

Guides to Researching a Soldier who Served with the Indian Army

Guides to Researching a Soldier who Served with the British Army