41st Dogras

This article will give you an overview of the history of the 41st Dogras during the First World War and help you to research those who served with it. I have written a separate article on the war-raised 2nd Battalion 41st Dogras and a series of guides to help you research those who served in the Indian Army during the First World War. These guides can be viewed by clicking on the links below:

The 41st Dogras in the First World War

Lineage: Raised at Jullunder (Jullundur) by Major E. T. Gastrell in 1900 as the 41st (Dogra) Regiment of Bengal Infantry. In 1901 it became the 41st Dogra Infantry, the 41st Dogras in 1903 and the 3rd Battalion 17th Dogra Regiment in 1922.

Class Composition in 1914: 8 Companies of Dogras. 1919: 4 Companies of Dogras.

Location in July 1914: The 41st Dogras was stationed at Bareilly (Uttar Pradesh, India) having arrived from Cawnpore (Kanpur, Uttar Pradesh, India) on 6th November 1912.

The extract below was taken from the October 1914 Indian Army List and recorded the British officers serving with the 41st Dogras. The Indian Army List is a great resource to use to research both officers (Indian and British) and regiments of the Indian Army and I have written a guide to help you with its jargon: Indian Army Abbreviations and Acronyms.

41st Dogras British Officers 1914

War Diaries of the 41st Dogras

There are four war diaries for the 41st Dogras and all have been digitized by the National Archives. To download the war diaries for a small fee click on the blue links below.

  • Date: 09 August 1914 – 31 August 1915
  • 21st Bareilly Infantry Brigade, 7th (Meerut) Division, France
  • Reference: WO 95/3948/3
  • Notes: A very detailed war diary which includes a number of maps and a couple of panoramas including a ”Plan of Section of Trenches held by Coldstream Guards – 41st Dogras – 9th Gurkha Rifles 22-24 December 1914”. Also, a list of citations (p67-68) for the recommend rewards of an Indian Order of Merit and multiple Indian Distinguished Service Medals for gallantry at Neuve Chapelle. A short report on ”action of patrol 41st Dogras on the night of 10-11 June 1915”.
  • Date: 26 September – 30 November 1915
  • 22nd Indian Infantry Brigade, No. 2 Section, Suez Canal Defences
  • Reference: WO 95/4428
  • Notes: A good, detailed war diary with British and Indian officers named throughout. Also includes two appendices, Operation orders No.14, (16 October 1915), 2 A4 pages and No. 15, 2 1/2 A4 pages (18 October 1915) by Major E Colson, Commanding 41st Dogras.
  • Date: 01 December 1915 – 31 January 1916
  • 21st Indian Infantry Brigade, 7th (Meerut) Division, Mesopotamia
  • Reference: WO 95/5139/7
  • Notes: An excellent war diary with very detailed accounts of the part the 41st Dogras played in the battles of Sheikh Sa’ad, Wadi and Hanna. For each of the battles, there is a list of British and Indian officers who were present, along with casualties. Also, a list of British and Indian officers who embarked on the HS Khosrou on 05 December 1915.
  • Date: 01 February – 8 July 1916
  • 35th Indian Infantry Brigade, 14th Indian Division, Mesopotamia
  • Reference: WO 95/5176/1
  • Notes:  A good, detailed war diary. There is a list of British and Indian officers serving on operations with the 41st Dogras between 6 and 10 March 1916.

Further Sources for the 41st Dogras

For information concerning the British and Indian officers who served with the 2nd Battalion 41st Dogras, the Indian Army List should be consulted. A good resource for the 41st Dogras is the Regiment’s annual confidential reports held at the British Library: Confidential Reports on Regiments etcThese reports also contain the annual confidential reports of the British officers serving with it. Though, when the 41st Dogras was abroad only its Depot and the officers serving with it were reported on. There is a regimental history: Story of the 1st and 2nd Battalions, 41st Dogras. Volume 1 October 1900 to December 1923 and October 1917 to March 1922 by Officers of the Regiment.

Extracts from War Diaries of the 41st Dogras

26 September – 30 November 1915, Suez Canal, WO 95/4428

14 October 1915 – No. 1, 2 and 3 Companies with Machine Gun Section under commanding officer Lieutenant C. W. Tribe moved out at 6.15am to Hill 40 on El Arish road, as on Tuesday, 12th to furnish support if required to Mysore Lancers and Bikaner Camel Corps who were waiting for a body of Turks reported by intelligence agents to be preparing an ambush for our cavalry patrols. Cavalry returned about 8.30am reporting no enemy troops then returning to post.

27 October 1915 – A draft of 16 other ranks Indian and 2 public followers under 2 Lieutenant J.P. Fullerton 41st Dogras joined the Battalion at 5 pm yesterday. This draft left cantonment [?] (Bareilly) India on 10.10.15. Embarked Bombay in H.S. Aronda on 14.10.15. Disembarked Suez, Egypt on 26.10.15.

03 November 1915 – Camp Moscar, Ismailia – Company parades 7 am. Training in loading of camels. Bathing and instructional parades.

06 November 1915 – Camp Moscar, Ismailia – Recruits’ musketry on range in desert North of Spinney Camp. Regimental holiday on account of the festival of the Diwali.

01 December 1915 – 31 January 1916, Mesopotamia, WO 95/5139/7

 22 December 1915 – At Sea – Crossed bar at mouth of Shat-el-Arab River 11 am proceeded upstream passing Abadan (Anglo-Persian Oil Company’s Works) 3 pm. Mohammerah 4 pm; also passed Persian war vessel and sunken German liner and 2 smaller vessels, sunk by Turks in an ineffective attempt to block channel near junction of Shat-el-Arab and Karun Rivers arriving off Basra 6.30 pm. Country along either bank of river very flat and covered with groves of date palms, which thin and gradually merge into ? desert towards interior.

Guides to Researching Soldiers who Served in the Indian Army

Guides to Researching Soldiers who Served in the British Army