This article is about the 3rd Battalion 154th Indian Infantry and will help you to research both the Battalion and soldiers who served with it. I have written separate articles for the 1st and 2nd Battalions and a series of guides to help you research soldiers who served in the Indian Army during the First World War:
The 3rd Battalion 154th Indian Infantry
Lineage: Formed at Samarra, Mesopotamia (Iraq) in May 1918 and disbanded in 1919.
Class Composition of Battalion in 1919: 1 and 3/4 Companies Gujars, 2 Companies of Jats and 1/4 Company Punjabi Muslims.
The 3rd Battalion 154th Indian Infantry was formed at Samarra, Mesopotamia in May 1918. The Battalion was one of eighteen Indian infantry battalions formed in the field to replace British battalions withdrawn from the Middle East to France. This was in consequence of the German Spring Offensive which began in March 1918. The 3rd Battalion 154th Indian Infantry was formed from drafts of the following regiments:
- D Company 112th Infantry
- B Company 113th Infantry
- The war diary does not record where the other drafts came from
The Battalion moved to Egypt in July 1918 where it joined the 158th Infantry Brigade, 53rd (Welsh) Division. The 3rd Battalion 154th Indian Infantry took part in the closing stages of the Palestine Campaign including the Battle of Megiddo in September 1918. The 3rd Battalion 154th Indian Infantry was disbanded in 1919.
War Diaries of the 3rd Battalion 154th Indian Infantry
There are two war diaries for the 3rd Battalion 154th Indian Infantry and the first war diary is available to download from the National Archives for a small fee. The second war diary is only available to view at the National Archives. I have transcribed some entries from the war diaries below.
- Date: May 1918
- Lines of Communication, Mesopotamia
- Reference: WO 95/5247/13
- Notes: Only a single page which briefly outlines the raising of the Battalion. This war diary has been digitized and is available to download from the National Archives’ website.
- Date: 01 June – 31 December 1918
- 158th Infantry Brigade, 53rd (Welsh) Division, Egyptian Expeditionary Force
- Reference: WO 95/4627
- Notes: A poor war diary which while giving the location of the 3rd Battalion 154th Indian Infantry and its tasks provides little in the way of detail. Even the murder of the Subadar Major only receives the briefest of mentions. Between June and July 1918 the majority of dates have no entry. British officers appear throughout.
Further Sources for the 3rd Battalion 154th Indian Infantry
For information regarding British and Indian officers who served with the 3rd Battalion 154th Indian Infantry, the Indian Army List should be consulted. There was no regimental history produced for the 154th Indian Infantry. There is one confidential report for the Battalion for 1918-19 which also contains the reports of the Battalion’s British officers:
- Confidential review reports on Indian Army units, depots, British officers, etc. for 1918-1919 IOR/L/MIL/7/17030
Extracts from the War Diary of the 3rd Battalion 154th Indian Infantry
May 1918, Mesopotamia, WO 95/5247
14 May 1918 – Samarrah – 3rd Battalion 154th Indian Infantry formed by the assembly of D Company 112th Infantry and B Company 113th Infantry….
15 May 1918 – In camp Samarrah.
16 May 1918 – Arrived Baghdad entrained at Samarrah at 8.30am and arrived at Baghdad in the afternoon.
20 May 1918 – Arrived at Magil 6.30 am and proceeded to camp at Makina.
01 June – 31 December 1918, Egyptian Expeditionary Force, WO 95/4627
09 September 1918 – Two companies training and road making by night.
16 September 1918 – Subedar Major Ramhet Singh and Jemadar Gulab Singh murdered by 745 Lance Naik Lekh Ram.
20 September 1918 – Left Wadi Merj 10 ama and proceeded to Hindhead. Bivouacked there during the day. Shelled at 18.00 hours.
22 September 1918 – Remained at Yanun. Salvage parties collected salvage from Akrabeh and district. 2 prisoners brought in.
23 September 1918 – Salvage parties sent to battle area. Salvage collected and dumped on road in C 23GD
25 September 1918 – Work commenced on Nablus Road in accordance with instructions received on evening 24 September 1918. Three men reported wounded by explosion of bomb whilst on fatigue. This was reported by Major Saunders.
29 October 1918 – C and B Companies proceeded to range for fire practice.
02 December 1918 – Battalion paraded at 6.00 and marched to inspection area. Battalion was inspected by Commander-in-Chief Sir E. Allenby. After which the Battalion marched past, and proceeding through the streets of Alexandria returned to Hadra Camp.