Pakistan: The Punjab Regiment to 1957
v.1.0 September 1, 2002

Babur Mahmood

Pakistan’s Infantry battalions have a long and distinguished history of valor, unbroken in some instances for more than two centuries. Some of the great traditions and legends of military lore- adopted universally by fighting men everywhere were born in predecessors of Pakistan’s infantry regiments.

The pioneers of the famed Frontier Force gave to the world the uniform that put the word ‘Khaki’ into the universal lexicon. The belt that officers in many armed forces still wear immortalizes the name of one of their officers, Sam Browne. The humble regimental water carrier, Jumma, was the real life model for the Rudyard Kipling’s magnificent hero Gunga Din.

In Calcutta in 1898, Capt Bertie Clay invented the dum-dum bullet: the only means to counter the heroic Afridi rebels of the north-west, who were as disdainful of conventional weapons and death as they were dedicated to Islam.

The Army ‘s most senior fighting arm is the Punjab Regiment.  In fact, two battalions of the Punjab Regiment are the senior most in the sub-continent. Three other were also raised in the 18th century, and most have a history extending back more than a century.

The two senior infantry regiments of the British Indian Army bore the territorial title of the area from which the majority of India's soldiers came. Nonetheless,  the constituent battalions of both the 1st and 2nd Punjab Regiments began life in the old Madras Army and all the eighteenth and nineteenth century battle-honors were gained by the Coast sepoys who had marched and fought under Lake and Wellesley.

However, with the apparent need to remove Madras units from the order of battle and to reinstate them as Punjab regiments, the 2nd, 6th, 16th, 22nd and 24th Madras Infantry were all well on their way to conversion when the official changes of title became effective in 1903. Northerners had already replaced most of the native officers. In 1903, the old Madras regiments, by adding sixty to their numbers, became the 62nd, 66th, 76th, 82nd and 84th Punjabis. Twenty years later, the 1st Punjab Regiment came into being, made up of the 62nd Punjabis (1st Bn), 66th Punjabis (2nd Bn), 76th Punjabis (3rd Bn), 1st Brahmans (4th Bn) - an exception as a Bengal regiment - 82nd Punjabis - (5th Bn) and the 84th Punjabis (10th Bn). An important change was that these previously individual regiments - mostly one-battalion regiments -  became battalions of a large regiment. Thus, the old 62nd became the 1st Bn 1st Punjab Regiment, colloquially referred to as First First Punjab and so on.

Actually, the Punjab first came into existence in 1818 as the ‘The Bhopal Contingent ‘ composed of 600 horses and 400 men. It changed shape six year later when the cavalry was reduced to 300, and the infantry increased to 674 with the addition of twenty gunners. The ancient matchlocks were replaced with modern muskets and force saw its first action in the same year, when the local Raj, Chain Singh of Narsingh Garah, confronted the battalion at the junction of the Siwan and Lotia rivers. In the battle that followed, Chain Singh and forty of his soldiers died.

It look its name as the 22nd Regiment of the Punjab Infantry on 9 June 1857, with 800 men organized into ten companies, and on 11 October marched to Jullundur to relieve the 21st Punjab Infantry. Thereafter the 22nd served with distinction throughout the sub-continent, earning in Dec 1882, the accolade from Sir Donald Stewart, the C-in-C, That it was a fine regiment as I have seen in this country.

At the turn of the century, it underwent more reorganization and ushered in the 20th century with four companies of Punjabi Muslims, two companies of Pathans and two of Jat Sikhs. The regiment was rearmed two year later with new Lee Enfield rifles, replacing the old Henrys that had done many years stout service. The same year detachment sent to England to form one of the honor guards at the coronation of King Edward VII.
The Punjab served with distinction in both world wars, taking part in several campaigns in the European theatre in France during 1914 and 1915, suffering a total 708 casualties before being transferred to Mesopotamia. It was here, in action on the south banks of the river Tigris, that the regiment distinguished itself by winning its first ever Victoria Cross.
Other Punjabis also served in Aden, Palestine and East Africa. The 30th Regiment distinguishing themselves in the relentless struggle against the hit-and-run guerillas led by Col Paul Von Lettow-Worbek, whose harassment of the British forces was one of the most brilliant campaigns in the military history. The sustained efforts of the Punjabis in the most difficult environment and climate earned the acclaim for their display of tenacity and endurance under the severest tropical conditions .

Performance of Punjabi regiments in the FIRST WORLD WAR

19th Punjabis -
India, Persia, Russia
2/19th Punjabis (raised in 1917) - India, Egypt
20th Duke of Cambridge's Own Punjabis (a title awarded after service in Egypt in 1882) - Mesopotamia, Egypt.
22nd Punjabis - India, Mesopotamia, Persia
2/22nd Punjabis (raised in 1917) - India, Hong Kong
24th Punjabis - India, Mesopotamia, Russia, Greece
40th Pathans - Hong Kong, France, German East Africa, India
2/40th Pathans (raised in 1918) - India
21st Punjabis - India, Egypt, Palestine, Russia
2/21st Punjabis (raised in 1917) - India

Following the return of Indian troops after the war, all the war-raised battalions were disbanded:
25th Punjabis,
26th Punjabis,
27th Punjabis,
28th Punjabis,
29th Punjabis,
30th Punjabis - India, German East Africa, Egypt
2/30th Punjabis (raised in 1917) -India, Egypt
3/30th Punjabis (raised in 1918)  India
4/30th Punjabis (raised in 1918)  India
31st Punjabis - India, Mesopotamia, Russia
33rd Punjabis - India, Egypt, France, Aden, German East Africa
2/33rd Punjabis (raised in 1917)  India
9th Bhopal Infantry - India, France, Egypt, Mesopotamia
2/9th Bhopal Infantry (The Delhi Regiment) (raised in 1917) - India, Mesopotamia
3/9th Bhopal Infantry (raised in 1917) - India, Mesopotamia
4/9th Bhopal Infantry (raised in 1918) - India

  9th Bhopal - usually referred to as the Bo-Peeps – were in Flanders in October 1914. In the late afternoon of a cold, wet, late autumn day, the Bhopals went to the aid of the remnants of a British 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 eleven officers and 262 men. Three days later, at Festubert, they lost a further 200. Remaining in France until May 1915, they then went on to Mesopotamia where a sepoy, Chattar Singh, earned a Victoria Cross. On return to India, there remained only fifteen of the original 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 of Flanders in 1914 and 1915. Unknown officers were posted in and whole platoons of reinforcements arrived, made up of differing tribal origins. Notwithstanding, the Bo-Peeps' reputation stood high but they constituted a potent argument in favor of the reforms planned for after the war.

The badge chosen for the 1st Punjab Regiment was basically the Star of India with, superimposed upon it, the Elephant over a tablet 'Assaye', an honor gained by the 1st Bn (62nd Punjabis as the 2nd Madras Native Infantry) and the 10th Bn (84th Punjabis as the 24th Madras Native Infantry): below, a China Dragon gained by both the 1st and 2nd Bn (66th Punjabis as the 6th Madras Native Infantry), all surmounted by a crown.
46th Punjabis - India, Egypt

62nd Punjabis - India, Egypt, Mesopotamia, Aden. Among the Regiment's officers was a Captain C J E Auchinleck, later Field Marshal Sir Claude and Colonel-in-Chief of 1st Punjab Regiment.
66th Punjabis - Burma, Mesopotamia. Captured at Kut-al-Amara and spent the rest of the war in Turkish captivity.
2/66th Punjabis (raised in 1918) - India.
76th Punjabis - India, Egypt, Mesopotamia. Captured at Kut-al-Amara and spent the rest of the war in Turkish captivity.
2/76th Punjabis (raised in 1917) - India.
1st Brahmans - India, Aden.
2/1st Brahmans (raised in 1917) - India, Persian Gulf.
82nd Punjabis - India, Mesopotamia.
84th Punjabis - India, Persian Gulf, Mesopotamia, Russia.
Following the return home of Indian troops after the war, all the war-raised battalions were disbanded.
67th Punjabis, 1st battalion. See action in third war of Afghanistan
67 th Punjabis, 2nd battalion. Afghanistan 1919
69th Punjabis, Afghanistan 1919
72nd Punjabis, 
third Afghan war 1919
74th Punjabis, and
87th Punjabis, to form 1st Bn, 2nd Punjab Regiment

89th Punjabis - India, Aden, Egypt, Gallipoli, France, Mesopotamia, Greece, Russia.
2/89th Punjabis (raised in 1917) - India, Mesopotamia 90th Punjabis - India, Mesopotamia
2/90th Punjabis (raised in 1918) - India
91st Punjabis - India, Mesopotamia, Egypt
2/91st Punjabis (raised in 1918) - India, Egypt
92nd Punjabis - India, Mesopotamia, Egypt
93rd Burma Infantry - India, Egypt, France, Mesopotamia, Burma
Following the return of Indian troops after the war, all the second battalions were disbanded with the exception of the 2/89th Punjabis.

After the first World War in 1923 re-organization of the different Punjabi regiments took place. All of the remaining battalions and regiments were of Punjabis were organized into six Punjab Regiments before that they were known as Punjabi regiments.
The new regiments were raised as

1st Punjab, 2 Punjab, 8 Punjab, 14 Punjab, 15 Punjab and 16 Punjab.

The new structure for 1 Punjab was to be as follows:
1st Battalion - 62nd Punjabis
2nd Battalion - 66th Punjabis
3rd Battalion - 76th Punjabis
4th Battalion - 1st Brahmans
5th Battalion - 82nd Punjabis
10th Battalion - 84th Punjabis

By this reorganization and re designation, the battalions of the Regiment regained their correct seniority in the British Indian Infantry, an issue disregarded in 1903.

In February 1923, eight units were selected for Indianisation and the 2nd Bn 1st Punjab Regiment was one of these. The experiment was not universally either popular or successful but several of 2/1 Punjab's young Indian officers ultimately reached general officer rank.

In addition to the six regular battalions, the 11th Bn, formed in 1921 was also based at Jhelum. It was originally the 1st (Territorial) Bn 62nd Punjabis but the title was changed in 1922 to the 11/1st Punjab Regiment with no reference to its Territorial status. Only Punjabi Muslims were enlisted in the 11/1st.

All the regular battalions saw service on the Frontier during the between-wars years and the 4/1st spent a couple of years in China from 1927 in defense of British interests threatened by the Nationalist campaign against the Republicans. In December 1931, after 156 years of honorable existence, the 4/1st - the old 1st Brahmans - was disbanded as a result of retrenchment of the Indian Army. In the Great Mutiny of 1857 it was the only regiment of the old Bengal Line which remained loyal. In 1925 and again in 1928, attempts were made to transfer this battalion with its heavy loading of Garhwali Brahmans to the 18th Royal Garhwal Rifles but the prospective recipients of this windfall battalion declined to accept.
2 Punjab
It traces its origins to 1761 when the first battalion was raised at Trichinopoly. The first four battalions of what later became the 2nd Punjab Regiment and finally the Punjab Regiment, were raised during the hostilities in the Carnatic in south India between 1761 and 1776. The numbers and titles of the battalions changed during the successive reorganizations of the Madras Presidency Army and later of the British Indian Army during the 18th, 19th and 20th Centuries. The names changed from Coast Sepoys to Carnatic Battalions to Madras Native Infantry to The Punjab Regiment.


The Regimental Centre was first raised at Loralai and was shifted to Multan in 1922,
2nd Punjab Regiment
formed by union:
1st Battalion, formed by redesignation of 67th Punjabis
2nd Battalion, formed by redesignation of 69th Punjabis
3rd Battalion, formed by redesignation of 72nd Punjabis
4thBattalion, formed by redesignation of 74th Punjabis
5th Battalion, formed by redesignation of 87th Punjabis
10th Battalion, formed by redesignation of 2nd Bn, 67th Punjabis

8 Punjab
The 8th Punjab Regiment was another of those which owed its origins to the old Madras Army. The 29th Madras Infantry was mustered out on 15 Oct 1893 and was reconstituted the next day at Meiktila in Central Burma as the 29th (7th Burma Bn) Madras Infantry, made up of Punjabis and Sikhs. Similarly, the 30th Madras Infantry became the 30th (5th Burma Bn) Madras Infantry, the 31st became the 31st (6th Burma Bn) Madras Infantry, the 32nd became the 32nd (4th Burma Bn) Madras Infantry and the 33rd the 33rd (3rd Burma Bn) Madras Infantry. In 1901, all these titles were simplified by removal of all mention of Madras and the five regiments were styled 29th Burma Infantry, 30th Burma Infantry, 31st Burma Light Infantry, 32nd Burma Infantry and 33rd Burma Infantry. These Burma battalions were to police the troublesome new territories acquired in the Third Burma War. In 1903, when all Madras regiments had sixty added to their numbers, the 29th and 30th became 89th and 90th Punjabis, the 31st became the 91st Punjabis (Light Infantry), the 32nd became the 92nd Punjabis whilst the 33rd only performed a half-change, entering the new Line as the 93rd Burma Infantry. It may be said that it was the Afghan Campaign of 1878-80 which set the seal on the future of the Madras soldier. The 30th Madras Native Infantry served in the Khyber Pass but suffered so much from extremes of cold that it put into doubt the suitability of the Southern soldier for service in what was clearly to be a recurring trouble spot.

The badge chosen for the 8th Punjab Regiment on its creation in 1923 was probably one of the most interesting and heraldically appealing. In the light of the former history of the constituent regiments, it was appropriate that the new regiment should adopt the Chinthe, the mythical lion-dragon, the guardian of Buddhist pagodas, above the numerical '8' and the title scroll.

8th Punjab regiment was formed by union of the following :

89th Punjabis became 1st Bn 
90th Punjabis became 2nd Bn
91st Punjabis (Light Infantry) became 3rd Bn
92nd (Prince of Wales's Own) Punjabis became 4th Bn  (Prince of Wales's Own)
93rd Burma Infantry became 5th Bn (Burma)
2/89th Punjabis became 10th Bn

The 92nd had been made 'Prince of Wales's Own' in 1921 for their services during the war. The 5th Bn of the new regiment was nominated in the early 1930s as one of the battalions chosen for Indianization.

There was no Territorial battalion raised for the 8th Punjab Regiment.

14th  Punjab Regiment

The 14th Punjab Regiment, created in 1922, was made up of infantry regiments born of the years of the first Independence War 1857. The six in question were, in 1903, the 19th, 20th, 22nd and 24th Punjabis, the 40th Pathans and the 21st Punjabis. John Lawrence’s Punjab Administration had raised all the Punjabis whilst the 40th Pathans began life as the Shahjehanpur Levy in 1858. Despite service in Mutiny operations, the new regiment's first battle-honours were won by the 20th and 22nd Punjabis in China in 1860. The 40th Pathans were the only Pathan regiment and the combination of its number and the reputed proclivities of the Pathan resulted in the inevitable nickname of the Forty Thieves; equally inevitable was the unenviable label of Ali Baba for their colonel. Their first active service was in the expedition to Tibet in 1903-04 by which time its exclusive character had been diluted by the Punjabi Musalmans and Dogras brought in by the linked-battalion system in 1901.

When the 14th Punjab Regiment was created in 1922, their new badge was a five-pointed star, representative of the five rivers of the Punjab, with the numeral '14' in the centre, a crown above and a scroll below, reading 'Punjab Regiment'.
The battalions of the new regiment were listed as follows 

1st Battalion, formed by redesignation of 19th Punjabis
2nd Battalion, formed by redesignation of 20th Punjabis
3rd Battalion, formed by redesignation of 22nd Punjabis
4th Battalion, formed by redesignation of 24th Punjabis
5th Battalion, formed by redesignation of 40th Pathans
10th  Battalion, formed by redesignation of  21st Punjabis

To these was added the Territorial battalion, the 11th, based in Delhi, originally raised early in 1922 as the 1st (Territorial) Bn, 26th Punjabis.

In 1923, the 1st Bn was among the first units selected for Indianisation. By this process, all future King's Commissioned Officers posted to the battalion would be Indians trained at Sandhurst. By 1938, all officers below field-rank (captains and subalterns) were Indian.

It may well be that the 5/14th Punjab can lay claim to have erected the first 1914-18 war memorial within the British Empire. A huge stone .303 inch rifle-cartridge stands at Attock, overlooking the Indus River and this was dedicated in April 1919.

In August 1935, the Sikh Company of the 5th Bn was sent to Addis Ababa to guard the British Legation during the Italian campaign in Ethiopia. The British Minister's cavalry escort from the 8th Light Cavalry was made up of Sikhs and it was felt that a composite Sikh body would create the right impression. They remained there on detachment for fourteen months.

15th Punjab Regiment

15Punjab was formed in 1922/23 by union of six units in raised during first war of independence of the sub-continent peoples in 1857.  Raised as Lahore,  Peshwar, Rawalpindi, Ferozpur and Jallundur Punjab Regiments.  Then regularized as 17th, 18th, 19th, 20th and 21st Punjab regiment in late 1857. In 1861 these units were converted as 29th, 30th, 31st, 32nd and 33rd Regiments of Bengal Native Infantry. Renamed in 1864 as Punjab Regiment of Bengal Native Infantry and their numbers were changed to 25th, 26th, 27th, 28th and 29th Punjab Regiments of Bengal Infantry. In 1903 these units were renamed as 25th Punjabis and so on in British Indian Army.

15 Punjab was formed as follows:

1st Battalion, formed by redesignationof 25th Punjabis
2nd Battalion, formed by redesignation of 26th Punjabis
3rd Battalion, formed by redesignation of 27th Punjabis
4thBattalion, formed by redesignation of 28th Punjabis
10th Battalion, formed by redesignation of 29th Punjabis

16 Punjab Regiment

The 16th Punjab Regiment, was raised in 1922, was the last one to be made up of Lawrence's Punjab levies and, like the 14th and 15th Punjab Regiments, although its constituent elements were raised for service in the Independence War 1857, they did not receive honors for that campaign.

The 22nd Punjab Infantry began life in Ludhiana in 1857 and was regularized in 1861 as the 30th Punjab Infantry. The 31st Punjab Infantry was also raised in 1857, in Ferozepore, being known as Bloomfield's Sikhs, a name derived from Captain C G Bloomfield, their first Commandant. In 1878, the 31st served in Malta and Cyprus, both new stations for Indian troops.

The Allahabad Levy was formed from men of more lowly social strata desirous of showing their loyalty to authority at a time when many of their social superiors were less scrupulous. In 1861, they became the 33rd Punjab Infantry and, a few years later, recruitment of the menial classes ceased and, by 1890, the regiment was entirely Punjabi Muslims in its composition.

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 localized 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.
Raised in 1900, was the old 46th Punjab Infantry who were later to become the 10th Bn 16th Punjab Regiment

Between the wars the PR added to its laurels as an efficient peace-keeping force by the hour,day,week and the month, not only in India but also on the turbulent North-West Frontier and in Phalestine.

The badge chosen for the new 16th Punjab Regiment in 1922 also incorporated the Sikh quoit and the Muslim crescent with a Maltese cross, a crown above and a title scroll below.

The battalions of the new Regiment became:


1st Bn (the old 30th Punjabis)

2nd Bn (the old 31st Punjabis)

3rd Bn (the old 33rd Punjabis)

4th Bn (the old 9th Bhopal Infantry)

10th Bn (the old 46th Punjabis).


No Territorial battalion was raised for the 16th Punjab Regiment.

Despite the changes in title in 1922, most officers continued to claim allegiance to, say, the 33rd Punjabis for years afterwards and it took the Second World War to establish the 1922 titles in the minds of the older Indian Army off

Between the both World Wars Organizations of Regiments took place in the British Indian Army. These regiments took part in Second World War in these theatres and sectors.


First Punjab

1st Battalion - India, Egypt, Iraq, Burma, Singapore, Dutch East Indies.
2nd Battalion - India, Burma. This battalion received more gallantry awards than any other Indian Army battalion during the war. The list comprised:
VC 1 DSO 4 MC 22 IOM 6 MM 23 GM 1 IDSM 12
3rd Battalion - India, Egypt, Italy. In June 1946, the battalion was nominated for training in a parachute role to join 2nd Indian Airborne Division: training was completed by the end of the year but, early in 1947, 3rd (Para) Bn 1st Punjab Regiment became engaged in operations in aid of the civil power, a situation which all soldiers hate and, in July, was detailed to join the Punjab Boundary Force, formed to keep the peace on the new East-West Punjab border.
5th Battalion - India, Burma, Japan. This battalion was posted after the end of the war to 268 Indian Infantry Brigade which went to Japan as part of the British Commonwealth Occupation Force.
6th Battalion - raised in Benares in August 1940. Captured in Singapore by the Japanese in February 1942.
7th Battalion - raised in Jhelum in April 1941. India, Andamans, Singapore. When Major Budh Singh MC took over command in March 1947, the 7th became the first battalion in the Regiment to have all Indian officers.
8th Battalion - raised in Jhelum in April 1941. In December that year, it was converted to a light anti-aircraft role and its officers mindful of their origins, were permitted to wear a small brass Elephant badge on their khaki helmets. Initially, the 6th (1st Punjab) LAA Regt, they suffered a further change in January 1945 when they began conversion to an airborne role as the 28th (Punjab) Para LAA Regt.
9th Battalion - in September 1939, the Territorial battalion the 11th, was mobilised and took over railway protection duties from the 2/1st. In June
1941, the 11/1st was disembodied and the 9/1st came into being. In February 1943, after a year on the Frontier, a request was received from the Royal Indian Navy for volunteers to transfer and as seven hundred signified their willingness, the battalion was transferred despite the fact that only very few of the men had ever seen the sea. The only other such transfer was of the 15/13th Frontier Force Rifles, also once a pre-war 11th Bn.
11th Battalion - the pre-war Territorial battalion was converted to active status in June 1941 and redesignated the 9/1st.
14th Battalion - raised in Jhelum in January 1942. India. Disbanded in July 1947.
15th Battalion - raised in Jhelum in July 1942. India. Disbanded in April, 1946.
16th Battalion - raised originally as the 25th Garrison Bn in August 1941, it became a training battalion and, in August 1943 was redesignated the 16/1st. Disbanded in March 1946.
25th Garrison Battalion - raised in Jhelum in August 1942. India. Redesignated the 16/1st in August 1943.
26th Garrison Battalion - raised in Jhelum in March 1942. India. Disbanded in 1943.

8 Punjab
1st Battalion - India, Malaya. Captured on Singapore Island in February 1942.
Reformed in 1946 by redesignation of 9/8 Punjab.
2nd Battalion - India, Burma.
3rd Battalion - India, Persia, Egypt, Italy.
4th Battalion - India, Iraq, Iran.
5th Battalion - India, Burma, Malaya, Dutch East Indies.
6th Battalion (Machine Gun) - raised in August 1940. India, Burma, Malaya, Dutch East Indies.
7th Battalion - raised in August 1940. India, Malaya. Captured on Singapore Island in February 1942.
8th Battalion - raised in May 1941. India, Burma.
9th Battalion - raised in May 1941. Joined 6/15 Punjab and 6/16 Punjab in 39 Indian Infantry Brigade, the only all-Punjab brigade in the Indian Army.
India, Ceylon, Cyprus. Redesignated 1/8 Punjab in 1946.
14th Battalion - redesignated 9th (Punjab) HAA Regt Indian Artillery in June 1942.
15th Battalion - Raised in January 1942. India. Became a training battalion for VCOs and NCOs.
16th Battalion - Raised in August 1943. India.
25th Garrison Battalion - raised in April 1941. India.
26th Garrison Battalion - raised in March 1942. India.
The Regiment's pipes and drums went to London in 1946 to march in the Victory parade, their claim being that they were the best in the Indian Army.

14 Punjab
1st Battalion - India, Malaya. Captured in Singapore in February 1942 by the Japanese.
2nd Battalion (Duke of Cambridge's) - India, Hong Kong. Captured in Hong Kong in December 1941 by the Japanese. Reconstituted in April 1946 by amalgamation with the 8th Bn.
3rd Battalion - India, Egypt, Aden, Italian East Africa, Burma.
4th Battalion - India, Burma, Siam.
5th Battalion (Pathans) - India, Malaya. Captured in Singapore in February 1942 by the Japanese. After the war, the survivors were posted to the 1st Bn.
The 5th was not reconstituted before Partition.
6th Battalion - raised in Baroda in October 1940. India, Singapore. Captured in Singapore in February 1942 by the Japanese.
7th Battalion - raised in Kakul in March 1941. India, Burma. Disbanded in May 1946.
8th Battalion - raised in Jhansi in April 1941. India, Ceylon, Burma, French Indo-China. Disbanded in July 1947.
11th Battalion - this pre-war Territorial battalion was mobilised in September 1939. Subsequently, it was transferred to the 9th Jats, becoming the 9/9th Jat Regiment in September 1941. This transfer arose because of the large number of Jats in the battalion.
12th Battalion - raised in November 1939 as a second Territorial battalion but it was transferred in September 1941 to become the 14/9th Jat Regiment, again because of the large Jat element.
14th Battalion - raised in Ferozepore in January 1942. India. Disbanded in October 1945.
15th Battalion - formed at Ferozepore in July 1942 by redesignation of the Machine-Gun Battalion. Converted to a normal infantry role in August 1942 and served as a jungle-training unit. India. Disbanded in April 1946.
16th Battalion - redesignation of the 25th Garrison Bn in July 1942 on conversion to active status. India. Disbanded in July 1944.
25th Garrison Battalion - raised in Ferozepore in August 1941. On conversion to active status in July 1942, it was redesignated the 16/14th.
26th Garrison Battalion - raised in Ferozepore in March 1942. Converted to active status in January 1945 but not renumbered. India, Cocos Islands. Disbanded late 1945.
Machine-Gun Battalion - raised in January 1942. Redesignated the 15/14th in July 1942.

Towards the end of the war, the Center experienced some difficulty in securing recruits. 14 Punjab, with four battalions in Japanese hands, three of them regular, had acquired an unfortunate reputation.

16 Punjab

1st Battalion - India, Burma, Dutch East Indies.
2nd Battalion - India, Malaya. Captured by the Japanese in February 1942.
Reconstituted in May 1946 by amalgamation with 5/16 Punjab.
3rd Battalion - India, Malaya, Singapore. Captured by the Japanese in February 1942. Reconstituted in May 1946 by amalgamation with 6/16 Punjab.
4th Battalion - India, Egypt, Italian East Africa, Italy, Palestine 5th Battalion - raised in Lucknow in April 1941. Joined 9/8 Punjab and 6/15 Punjab in 39 Indian Infantry Brigade, the only all-Punjab brigade in the Indian Army. India, Ceylon. In January 1945 became Airborne as part of 14 Air-landing Brigade of 44 Indian Airborne Division. Redesignated 3/16 Punjab in May 1946.
7th Battalion - raised in Sialkot in May 1941. India, Burma, Malaya. 9th Battalion - formed by redesignation of the 25th Garrison Bn. India.
25th Garrison Battalion - raised in Sialkot in mid-1941. India. Redesigned 9/16 Punjab in May 1946.
7th Battalion - raised in Sialkot in May 1941. India, Burma, Malaya.
9th Battalion - formed by redesignation of the 25th Garrison Bn. India. 25th Garrison Battalion  raised in Sialkot in mid-1941. India. Redesignated 9/16 Punjab in October 1943 on conversion to active status.
26th Garrison Battalion - raised in Sialkot in March 1942. India. Disbanded May 1946.
Machine-Gun Battalion - raised in July 1942. In August 1942, transferred to the Indian Artillery as the 16th Punjab A/TK Regt.
Despite the grievous loss of two of its regular battalions, Solah (Sixteen) Punjab, as it was known, had a creditable war record.

In 1947 the British Government announced the Independence and partition of the  sub-continent between Pakistan and India. British Indian Army was divided also. Battalions of the Punjab Regiments were also divided between Pakistan and India. Out of six regiments, 1st Punjab, 8 Punjab, 14 Punjab, 15 Punjab and 16 Punjab were allotted to Pakistan Army and 2nd Punjab to Indian Army.

1st Punjab regimental center was located at Jehlum. In early September 1947 Pakistani personnel arrived from 2nd Punjab regimental center Meerut and Indian personnel (Sikhs) were dispatched to 11 Sikh RC and Rajputs to 6 Rajputana Rifle Center.

Class Composition before 1947 Pakistan1947
Punjabi Muslims 50%; Sikhs 25%; Rajputs 25%. Pathans replaced the Sikhs and Rajputs.

1st Punjab Regiment had  six battalions at the time: 1/1, 2/1, 3/1, 5/1, 7/1, 14/1.    

8 Punjab Regimental center was located in Lahore. It had 50% PMs, 25% Sikhs and 25% Gujars. The Sikhs and Gujars were exchanged with PMs from 11 Sikhs and 7 Rajput RC. Later composition was 50 Punjabi and 50 % Sindh and Balochistan.
8 Punjab had seven battalions 1/8, 2/8, 3/8, 4/8, 5/8, 6/8 and 8/8.

14 Punjab RC was located at Ferozpur. It departed from Ferozpur on 5Dec 1947 and reched at Jehlum. The class composition was 50% PM, 25% Sikhs and 25% Dogras. Sikhs departed to 11 Sikh RC at Ambala and Dogras to 2 Punjab RC at Meerut. Composition in Pakistan army changed to 50% Punjabi and 50% Pathans.
14 Punjab had five battalions 1/14, 2/14, 3/14, 4/14, 5/14.

15 Punjab RC was located at Ambala. It completed  its move to Sialkot by 19 August 1947. 15 Punjab consisted of Punjabi Muslims, Pathans, Sikhs and Jats in equal (25%) proportion. Jats were dispatched to 9 Jat Center at Barielly and Sikhs to 11 Sikhs Center 15 Punjab was reconstituted with 75% PMs and 25% Pathans.
15 Punjab had four battalions 1/15, 2/15, 3/15, 4/15

16 Punjab was located at Ambala.  In June 1947 moved to Sialkot and then Kohat in 1952. 16 Punjab regiment had 50% Punjabi Muslims, 25% Sikhs and 25 % Dogras. Sikhs and Dogras were replaced by Muslims from 9 Jat, 11 Sikhs and 4 Indian Grenadiers. Later composition was 50% equal PMs and Pathans. On transfer of power, the regular battalions were the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th - all pre-war battalions - plus the 7th, universally known as Sath Solah and probably rewarded for its notable service in Burma during the war.

The Wilcox Committee Report on the future of the Indian Army after the war had recommended the disbandment of the 16th Punjab Regiment but Partition overtook almost everything and Solah Punjab passed to Pakistan to suffer extinction by merger nine years later.

In 1956, 1st,14th , 15th  and 16th   Punjab regiments were amalgamated into Punjab Regiment Center at Mardan.

Please find here under a part of my last article please add this at the end of orbat of 1954.

Reorganization of Training Centers 1956
The situation of PA training centers were not proper in the beginning. There are 11 centers are serving 55 Pakistani Battalions and four centers for 20 Azad Jammu And Kashmir battalions.
The eleven centers were reduced to five.
The new grouping is as,
Grouping of Centers
1 Punjab, 14 Punjab, 15 Punjab and 16 Punjab merged into PUNJAB Regiment based at Mardan,
while 8 Punjab was merged into Baloch Regiment. Their new arrangement was as,

Old New
1 Punjab
1/1 Punjab 1 Punjab
2/1 Punjab 2 Punjab
3/1 Punjab 3 Punjab
5/1 Punjab 4 Punjab
7/1 Punjab 18 Punjab
14/1 Punjab 20 Punjab
14 Punjab Regiment
1/14 Punjab 5 Punjab
2/14 Punjab 6 Punjab
3/ 14 Punjab 7 Punjab
4/14 Punjab 8 Punjab
5/14 Punjab 16 Punjab
15 Punjab Regiment
1/15 Punjab 9 Punjab
2/15 Punjab 10 Punjab
3/15 Punjab 11 Punjab
4/15 Punjab 12 Punjab
16 Punjab Regiment
1/16 Punjab 13 Punjab
2/16 Punjab 14 Punjab
3/16 Punjab 15 Punjab
4/16 Punjab 17 Punjab
7/16 Punjab 19 Punjab
Baloch Regiment

8 Punjab Regiment
1/8 Punjab 1 Baloch
2/8 Punjab 2 Baloch
3/8 Punjab 3 Baloch
4/8 Baloch 4 Baloch
5/8 Baloch 5 Baloch
6/8 Baloch 13 Baloch
8/8 Baloch 17 Baloch
9/8 Baloch 18 Baloch

The 1st battalion 16 Punjab became the 13th battalion and celebrated its centenary on 4 june 1957, in Pakistan. Its long history of valour did not end there. To the long line of those who hold the British and French badges of courage- two VCs, Croix de Guerre, DSO, MCs. In the Pakistan Army won four Nishan-e-Haider (highest military Battle medal).

Back to Main

All content © 2002 Ravi Rikhye. Reproduction in any form prohibited without express permission.