This article is about the 3rd Battalion, 9th Bhopal Infantry and will help you to research the Battalion and those who served with it during the First World War. I have written separate articles about the 1st, 2nd and 4th Battalions and a series of guides to help you to research soldiers who served in the Indian Army during World War One. To view the articles click on the blue links below:
- 1st Battalion 9th Bhopal Infantry
- 2nd Battalion 9th Delhi Regiment
- 4th Battalion 9th Bhopal Infantry
- Researching Soldiers who Served in the Indian Army
The 3rd Battalion 9th Bhopal Infantry in the First World War
Lineage: The 3rd Battalion 9th Bhopal Infantry was formed at Fyzabad (Faizabad, Uttar Pradesh, India) on 3 November 1917 (early editions of the Indian Army List give the date as October 1917) and disbanded in August 1921. For a history of the Regiment’s lineage see my page on the 1st Battalion 9th Bhopal Infantry.
Class Composition of Battalion in April 1919: 1 Company of Ahirs, 1 Company of Gaur Brahmins, 1 Company of Gujars and 1 Company of Rajputs.
The 3rd Battalion 9th Bhopal Infantry was a short-lived Indian infantry battalion formed at Fyzabad (Faizabad, Uttar Pradesh, India) on 3 November 1917. The Battalion’s first commanding officer was Acting Lieutenant-Colonel Henry George Bally who was appointed from the 10th Jats on 24 October 1917. Like other war-raised Indian units, the Battalion drew the majority of its British officers from newly commissioned Indian Army officers or from the Indian Army Reserve of Officers (I.A.R.O.). The extract below records the British officers serving with the 4th Battalion, 9th Bhopal Infantry in the July 1918 Indian Army List.The Battalion left Calcutta for Mesopotamia (Iraq) on 7 November 1918, embarking on the Hired Transport Egra at Bombay on 10 November 1918. However, the Battalion did not arrive at Basra until the 16 November, therefore missing out on qualifying for First World War Campaign Medals by less than a week. The Battalion spent most of their initial months in Mesopotamia at Basra and Tekrit (Tikrit) serving on the Lines of Communication and a war diary is available. In April 1919, the 3rd Battalion 9th Bhopal Infantry started serving with the 53rd Infantry Brigade, 18th Indian Division. During the Iraqi Revolt (May-October 1920) the Battalion was mainly stationed in Baghdad and Baqubah and the war diary provides an overview of its activities. The Battalion served in Mesopotamia until March 1921 and arrived back in India at Bombay (Mumbai) on 30 March 1921. The 3rd Battalion 9th Bhopal Infantry was disbanded in August 1921. While stationed overseas the Battalion’s Depot was at Alipore. Soldiers of the Battalion who served in Mesopotamia during the Iraqi Revolt qualified for the General Service Medal with Iraq Clasp and some of their Medal Index Cards have survived.
War Diaries of the 3rd Battalion, 9th Bhopal Infantry
There are two war diaries for the Battalion and both have been digitized by the National Archives. To download the war diaries for a small fee click on the blue links below. I have transcribed some extracts below.
- Date: 07 November 1918 – 31 March 1919
- Lines of Communication, Mesopotamia
- Reference: WO 95/5247/3
- Notes: A poor war diary which is typical of a unit which served on the Lines of Communication. The majority of days have no entries and those which do invariably concern the effective strength of the Battalion.
- Date: 3 April 1919 – 31 March 1921
- 53rd Indian Infantry Brigade, 18th Indian Division, Mesopotamia
- Reference: WO 95/5226/1
- Notes: A good war diary in parts but many months have very brief or repetitive entries. However, the diary does contain far more information than the previous war diary.
Further Sources for the 3rd Battalion, 9th Bhopal Infantry
For information concerning British and Indian officers who served with the 3rd Battalion 9th Bhopal Infantry the Indian Army List should be consulted. The confidential reports for the Battalion only cover the Depot and can be seen at the British Library: Confidential Reports on Regiments etc. These reports also contain the confidential reports of British officers serving with the Battalion’s Depot. The Battalion’s surviving Medal Index Cards for the General Service Medal, Iraq Clasp are best viewed on Ancestry (a subscription website).
Extracts from War Diaries of the 3rd Battalion, 9th Bhopal Infantry
07 November 1918 – 31 March 1919, Mesopotamia, WO 95/5247/3
10 November 1918 – Bombay – Completed embarkation on Hired Transport Egra … Sailed under orders for Basra to join Indian Expeditionary Force D.
16 November 1918- Makina – All clear of ship. Marching in strength 13 British Officers, 15 British Non-commissioned officers. 21 Indian Officers and 1023 Indian Other Ranks. 2nd Lieutenant T. A. Rayner to Hospital, Colitis.
18 November 1918 – Makina M Camp – 08.00 am – Moved by march route in relief of 1st Battalion 9th Bhopal Infantry.
1 February 1919- Jaipur Lines Basra- 66 men surplus to War Establishment sent to No.3 Indian Base Depot for return to India. Effective strength: British Officers 9, British Other Ranks, 7, Indian Officers 21, Indian Other Ranks 823, Public Followers 53.
03 February 1919 – J Camp – Makina – Orders received to join the 53rd Brigade, North of Baghdad. Move on 06 February 1919 in two parties on PS58 and PS61.
13 February 1919 – A Company and D Company arrived Tekrit and came under orders of 53rd Brigade. Encamped on site near river Headquarters and remainder of Battalion arrived at Hanaidi Grove.
30 March 1919 – Tekrit – Effective Strength with unit: British Officers 13. Indian Officers 22. Indian Other Ranks 892. Public Followers 54. Private Followers 9.
3 April 1919 – 31 March 1921, Mesopotamia, WO 95/5226/1
15 August 1920 -Baghdad West – One platoon (Subadar Diwan Singh) sent off towards Mahmudiyah as covering party to blockhouse construction work. On arrival at the scene of the day’s work, fire was opened on the party from Khan Azad ridge and Subadar Diwan Singh was ordered to clear the ridge. He advanced under heavy rifle fire, without support for about 700 yards, when he received orders to withdraw.
Withdrawal carried out in good order. Casualties 5 wounded (one since died). Enemy’s casualties unknown.
16 August 1920 – Baghdad West – Captain Holder and Captain Diggory with one company despatched to clear Khan Azad ridge of enemy to enable work to be done on with. Found enemy had deserted during the night. This strengthens the supposition that yesterday’s action caused the enemy heavy casualties.