In Collaboration With Charles Griffin


Brief History
The Bhopal Battalion was made up of the loyal remnants of the disaffected Bhopal, Gwalior and Malwa contingents raised for local service in Central India. They remained localised until the Second Afghan War when they were to man the North-West Frontier. In 1903, they were brought into the Line as the 9th Bhopal Infantry.

Their nickname was 'The Bo-Peeps' but they earned a reputation for toughness in World War 1. At first they were stationed at Fyzabad and comprised 2 companies of Sikhs, 2 of Rajputs, 2 of Brahmans and 2 of Muslims. Then in September 1914 they were sent to France. In the late afternoon of a cold, wet late autumn day, the Bhopals went to the aid of the remnants of a Brirish battalion near Neuve Chapelle. Still in cotton-drill, they had their first encounter with trenches and barbed wire and stayed, locked in battle for three days without food. Their losses were 11 officers and 262 men. Three days later they lost a further 200 at Festubert. Remaining in France until May 1915, they went on to Mesopotamia where a sepoy, Chattar Singh, earned a VC.. 42 decorations were won by the regiment including 4 Military Crosses. On returning to India, there remained only 15 of the originals who had sailed for France in 1914. The Bhopals did not have linked battalions so that they suffered immediate problems when they sustained the heavy casualties in France. Unknown officers were posted in and whole platoons of reinforcements arrived, made up of differing tribal origins.

In 1922 they became the 4th battalion 16th Punjab Regiment which was stationed at Mooltan. Their WW2 service was in India, Egypt, Italian East Africa, Italy and Palestine.

Badge
Badge
Uniforms
Post Mutiny
Principal Campaigns and Battles
1879 - 80 Afghanistan
Predecessor Units
Bhopal Levy
(1859 - 1865)
Bhopal Battalion
(1865 - 1903)
Successor Units
4th Bn. (Bhopal) 16th Punjab Regiment
(1922 - 1947)
Post-Independence Fate
To Pakistan
Suggested Reading
A Matter of Honour
by Philip Mason

India's Army
by Donovan Jackson

Regiments and Corps of the British Army: A Critical Bibliography
by Roger Perkins

Sons of John Company
by John Gaylor

Armies of India
Painted by Lovett, Text by Macmunn

The Indian Army
by Boris Mollo

Forces of the British Empire
by E. Nevins and B. Chandler

Indian Army Uniforms - Infantry
by W. Y. Carman

Sergeant Pearman's Memoirs
by Anglesey, the Marquess of

Soldier Sahibs
by Charles Allen

The Bengal Native Infantry
by Dr Amiya Barat,

An Account of the War in India Between the English and French on the Coast of Coromandel, From the Year 1750 to the Year 1761
by Richard Owen Cambridge

Sketch of the Services of the Bengal Native Army
by Lt Cardew

The Indian Army: The Garrison of British Imperial India
by Heathcote

Britain's Army in India from its Origins to the Conquest of Bengal
by James Lawford

The Battle Honours of the British and Indian Armies
by Leslie

Sikh Soldier; Battle Honours and Sikh Soldier; Gallantry Awards by Narindar Singh Dhesi

A Matter of Honour: An Account of the Indian Army, its Officers and Men
by P Mason

A History of Military Transactions of the British Nation in Indostan from the Year 1745
by R Orme

From Sepoy to Subedar
by Sita Ram

Forty-one Years in India
by Earl Roberts

Wellington in India
by Weller

The Bengal Native Infantry
by Captain Williams


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by Stephen Luscombe