This article is about the 2nd Battalion, 9th Delhi 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, 3rd 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
- 3rd Battalion 9th Bhopal Infantry
- 4th Battalion 9th Bhopal Infantry
- Researching Soldiers who Served in the Indian Army
The 2nd Battalion, 9th Delhi Infantry in the First World War
Lineage: The 2nd Battalion, 9th Delhi Infantry was formed at Raisina, Delhi on 15 February 1917 and disbanded on 1 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 Gujars, 1 Company of Hindustani Muslims and 1 Company of Jats.
The 2nd Battalion, 9th Delhi Infantry was formed at Raisina, Delhi on 15 February 1917 and was the first of three new battalions raised by the 9th Bhopal Infantry during the war. The Battalion was first inspected on 29 and 30 November 1917 by Brigadier-General R. G. Strange, Commanding Presidency Brigade:
General remarks: Training has been hampered by the numbers of recruits, shortage of British Officers and paucity of instructors. At one period the regiment was 2,000 strong with only one officer (the Officer Commanding) with more than 3 years’ service. Good progress has however been made, the men are active and of a good stamp, senior officers have now been posted and if the regiment can have two or three months more steady training it will be fit for service.
The clerical work has been very great throughout the year and has necessarily occupied most of the time of the Commanding Officer and Adjutant. Great difficulty was experienced in finding efficient clerks. The accounts are in consequence not all up to date. Good work has been done by all ranks since the regiment was formed in February 1917. It is not at present fit for service.
Confidential review reports on Indian Army units, depots, British officers, etc. for 1917-1918: IOR/L/MIL/7/17029
The extract below recorded the British officers serving with the 2nd Battalion 9th Delhi Regiment in the July 1918 Indian Army List. There are far more pre-war British Indian Army officers serving with the Battalion than you would usually find for a war-raised unit.The Battalion was stationed at Calcutta until 14 December 1917, when it departed for Bombay and subsequently embarked on the SS Ekma on 17 December 1917. Arriving at Basra, Mesopotamia (Iraq) on 23 December 1917 the Battalion spent nearly two years on the Lines of Communication. There is a war diary covering this period but it is very poor. However, it will give you the location of the 2nd Battalion 9th Delhi Infantry. Between December 1919 and March 1920, the Battalion was on guard duties at Baghdad. The Battalion served in Mesopotamia throughout 1920 before returning to India, likely in early 1921 and was disbanded on 1 August 1921. While the Battalion served overseas, its Depot was at Nasirabad (Rajasthan, India). Due to the Battalion’s service in the Iraqi Revolt (May-October 1920) it qualified for the General Service Medal with Iraq Clasp. Fortunately, the Medal Index Cards have survived and can be viewed online at Ancestry.
War Diaries of the 2nd Battalion 9th Delhi Regiment
There are two war diaries for the 2nd Battalion, 9th Delhi Regiment and both have been digitized by the National Archives. To download the war diaries for a small fee click on the blue links below which will take you to the National Archives’ website. I have transcribed some entries at the bottom of the page.
- Date: 01 December 1917 – 30 November 1919
- Lines of Communication
- Reference: WO 95/5247/2
- Notes: While only twenty-five pages in length, this war diary is full of the names of both British and Indian officers. However, very little happens. The majority of months contain nominal rolls of British officers serving with the Battalion.
- Date: 01 December 1919 – 30 March 1920
- Base and Defence Troops, Mesopotamia
- Reference: WO 95/5035/8
- Notes: Each month consists of a single page with a couple of lines at best. There is a nominal roll of British officers in the margin and I have transcribed the war diary below.
Further Sources for the 2nd Battalion 9th Delhi Infantry
For information concerning British and Indian officers who served with the 2nd Battalion 9th Delhi Infantry the Indian Army List should be consulted. The confidential reports for the Battalion can be seen at the British Library: Confidential Reports on Regiments etc. Only 1917-18 concerns the Battalion, as the next two are the Battalion’s Depot. These reports also contain the annual reports of the British officers serving with the Battalion for 1917-18 and the Depot for the other two years. If you are looking for the Battalion’s Medal Index Cards for the Iraqi Revolt they are best viewed on Ancestry which is a subscription website.
2nd Battalion 9th Delhi Infantry War Diary Extracts
01 December 1917 – 30 November 1919, Mesopotamia, WO 95/5247/2
14 December 1917 – The 2/9th Delhi Regiment left Calcutta. Strength 13 British Officers, 12 Indian Officers, 1024 ranks, 79 followers.
23 December 1917 – Arrived Basrah, marched to No.3 Indian Base Depot, Maina, and camped in huts.
10 January 1918- Lieutenant Colonel Eyre-Lloyd admitted to Hospital. Major I.A.Bean (of B Company) admitted to Hospital. Major Taylor D.S.O. (Distinguished Service Order) arrived in Jaipur Lines and assumed the duties of Commanding Officer.
5 March 1918 – Draft of 1 Indian Officer, 227 Indian Other Ranks, 3 followers of 59th Rifles attached for duty.
01 December 1919 – 30 March 1920, Base and Defence Troops, Mesopotamia, WO 95/5035/8
01 December – 16 December 1919 – Regiment performed Guard duties at the Base.
16 December – 22 December 1919 – Regiment moved to Baghdad.
23 December – 31 December 1919- Regiment performed Guard duties at the advanced Base.
01- 31 January 1920 – The Regiment performed Guard Duties at Baghdad. Detachment 1 Indian Officer and 26 Indian Other Ranks still at Fao.
01 February – 29 February 1920 – The Regiment performed Guard Duties at Baghdad. Detachment 1 Indian Officer and 26 Indian Other Ranks still at Fao.
01- 31 March 1920 – The Regiment performed Guard Duties at Baghdad.