This regiment laid claim to have served the crown for more than 200 years. Their list of battle honours is long, many of which were earned in the struggle against Tipu Sultan. At Seedaseer, they were part of a force of 2000 surrounded by 12,000 of Tipu's men. They showed enormous courage holding them at bay until reinforcements arrived, during which time they suffered severe losses.
They fought in the Sikh War of 1845 and were part of the Abyssinia Expedition.
In 1914 they were stationed at Ahmednagar. Returns of 1897 and 1914 state that the regiment comprised 4 companies of Dekhani Mahrattas, 2 of Konkani Mahrattas and 2 of Dekhani Muslims. Their WW1 service was in India and Mesopotamia. Some surprise was expressed at the fighting spirit shown in Mesopotamia during an unfortunate campaign that ended with their capture at Kut-al-Amara. But the Mahrattas had displayed their formidable skills a hundred years before when the British spent so long engaged in war against them.
After the War, they became the 1st battalion 5th Mahratta Light Infantry. The title of Light Infantry was a matter of great honour to the 103rd and to the other Mahratta regiments that made up the other five battalions. They were stationed at Belgaum.
They spent WW2 in India, Iraq, Egypt and Italy. In September 1945 the battalion went to Japan with 268 Indian Infantry Brigade as part of the British Commonwealth Occupation Force.