This article on the short-lived 2nd Battalion 95th Russell’s Infantry aims to help you research the Battalion and those who served with it during the First World War. I have written a separate article on 1st Battalion 94th Russell’s Infantry and also a series of guides to help you research soldiers who served in the Indian Army during the First World War. The links below will take you to the guides:
- Guide to the 1st Battalion 95th Russell’s Infantry
- Guides to Researching Soldiers who Served in the Indian Army
The 2nd Battalion 95th Russell’s Infantry in the First World War
Lineage: The 2nd Battalion 95th Russell’s Infantry was formed at Secunderabad (Telangana, India) on 20 January 1918 and was disbanded on 15 February 1921. For a history of the Regiment’s lineage see my page on the 1st Battalion 95th Russell’s Infantry.
Class Composition of Battalion in 1919: 1 Company of Rajputs, 1 Company of Hindustani Musalmans and 2 Companies of Ahirs of Western U.P.
The 2nd Battalion 95th Russell’s Infantry was a short-lived Indian infantry battalion formed at Secunderabad (Telangana, India) on 20 January 1918. The Battalion’s first commanding officer was Acting Lieutenant-Colonel Albany Robert Cecil Saville. The Battalion was inspected by Brigadier-General F. A. Smith, Commanding Secunderabad Brigade on 20 March 1919:
General Observations: Unit has a smart and keen lot of Officers. Men are more of the stolid than the quick type- big and hardy and keen on remaining in the service. Unit moves very well on field manoeuvres and the tone is good. Steady and satisfactory progress has been made all round. I consider quite fit for service now and has the makings of a very good Battalion.
Confidential review reports on Indian Army units, depots, British officers, etc. for 1918-1919: IOR/L/MIL/7/17030
The 2nd Battalion 95th Russell’s Infantry was stationed at Ambala (Haryana, India) when it was mobilized for service on the North West Frontier (Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan) in October 1919. The Battalion spent most of its time on the frontier stationed at Landi Kotal and a very poor war diary exists for this period. The Battalion was disbanded on 15 February 1921. The extract below was taken from the April 1919 Indian Army List and recorded the British officers serving with the Battalion.
War Diary of the 2nd Battalion 95th Russell’s Infantry
There is only one war diary for the 2nd Battalion 95th Russell’s Infantry which as of January 2018 has not been digitized and can only be viewed at the National Archives. I have a copy of the war diary and have transcribed some entries below.
- Date: 24 October 1919 – 28 October 1920
- Waziristan Force: 2nd Indian Infantry Brigade
- Reference: WO 95/5403
- Notes: A very poor war diary where a number of months consist of one or two lines. There is a list of British officers serving with the 2nd Battalion 95th Russell’s Infantry in October 1919.
Further Sources for the 2nd Battalion 95th Russell’s Infantry
For information regarding British and Indian officers who served with the 2nd Battalion 95th Russell’s Infantry the Indian Army List can be consulted. There are two confidential reports for the Battalion which held at the British Library. These also contain the annual reports for the British officers who were serving with the 2nd Battalion 95th Russell’s Infantry.
- Confidential review reports on Indian Army units, depots, British officers, etc. for 1918-1919: IOR/L/MIL/7/17030
- Confidential review reports on Indian Army units, depots, British officers, etc. for 1919-1920: IOR/L/MIL/7/17031
Extracts from War Diary of the 2nd Battalion 95th Russell’s Infantry
24 October 1919 – 28 October 1920, Waziristan Force, WO 95/5403
26 October 1919 – Arrived at Landi Kotal.
November 1919 – Ordinary reliefs of picquets and posts held by this unit. Nothing further to report.
December 1919 – Landi Kotal – Unit has been employed on ordinary picquets and escorts. Nothing worthy of report has happened during this period.
2 January 1920 – Enemy fired about 20 rounds into camp. Fire coming from direction of Bazaar Valley. A few rounds dropped in vicinity of lines occupied by this unit. Velocity of bullets suggests presence of modern weapons.
30 January 1920 – Whilst visiting picquet north of camp 2 rounds were fired at British officers and escort (by what appeared to be ordinary villagers).
February 1920 – Landi Kotal – Nothing to report.
19 March 1920 – Ice Factory Guard – 02.15 hours – Guard attacked by (approximately) 30 raiders. The raiders taking advantage of excellent cover approached to within 20 or 30 yards and fired a volley killing the sentry there on duty. After a fight lasting about 3/4 of an hour enemy retired, a few of their number previously approached to within 10 yards of post but immediately withdrew carry[ing] one of their number (dead or wounded). Our casualties: 1 killed, 1 seriously wounded (afterwards died), 1 wounded.
4 April 1920 – Landi Kotal – 06.00 hours – Party consisting of 1 Lance Naik and 3 men was ambushed whilst proceeding to day post. The Lance Naik was killed.