In Collaboration With Charles Griffin

Brief History
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.

Post Mutiny
Principal Campaigns and Battles
Beni Boo Ali
1868 Abyssinia
Predecessor Units
2nd Battalion, Bombay Sepoys
(1768 - 1796)
1st Battalion, 2nd Regiment of Bombay Native Infantry
(1796 - 1824)
3rd Regiment of Bombay Native Infantry
(1824 - 1871)
3rd Regiment of Bombay (Light) Infantry
(1871 - 1901)
3rd Bombay Light Infantry
(1901 - 1903)
Successor Units
1st/5th Mahratta Light Infantry
(1922 - 1947)
Post-Independence Fate
To India
Maratha Light Infantry: Early Years
Maratha Light Infantry: WW1
Maratha Light Infantry: WW2
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