Bangali Paltan or Bengalee Regiment

Bangali Paltan or Bengale Regiment is a regiment of Bengali soldiers during the First World War.[1][2] At the beginning of the First World War (1914-1918), Bengalis began to be recruited for the Indian Army. So that time many non-combatant soldiers and skilled and unskilled laborers were also recruited from Bengal. In middle 1916, the British Government decided to

create a regiment of Bengali soldiers. At first, it was called Bengali Double Company.[3] These Double Companies, each consisting of 228 soldiers, thought to annex with Indian Army as a regiment. The Bengali Double Company raised the first Bengali Battalion on 26 June 1917. It was named the 49th Bengalee regiment or briefly the 49th Bengalis.[2]

The 49th Bengalee Regiment

Monumental Plaque of the 49th Bengalee Regiment Active June 26, 1917 - 30 August 1920 Country British India Branch British Indian Army Type Line Infantry Role Infantry Size 2 Companies, each consisting of 228 soldiers Anniversaries June 26, 1917

This Bengali Battalion was not like an ordinary army unit. Basically, young men from educated middle-class families had joined as soldiers. Many of them were in jobs with good salaries before joining the army. Some had graduation, masters or law degrees. Some young sons of nawabs and zamindars and of rich families also joined the Bengali Battalion. Although Indian soldiers were not allowed to rise as commissioned officers, but £115 million was paid from the Indian exchequer.[4]

Formation

Governor of Bengal Lord Carmichael announced to form a Bengali army companies at the concluding session of the Legislative Council in Dhaka On 7 August 1916.[2] That time the leaders of Bengal also decided to form a Bengali Regiment Committee to extend cooperation to the government in recruiting companies. And then central office was established in Calcutta (now Kolkata) and many branch offices were formed at all districts and at some major subdivisions. The committee ran campaigns through public meetings, newspaper publicity, and other means to enthuse people to join the Bengali Double

Companies where important leaders, zamindars, and social leaders also attended these meetings. The government very earnestly solicited their cooperation. The programme to recruit Bengalis for the Double Companies began on 30 August 1916 at the Fort Williams Cantonment in Calcutta. The first ten soldiers of the Bengali Double Company left Calcutta on September 12 for Naushera for training. Subsequently, more groups of recruits left for Naushera. There the 46th Punjab Regiment was in charge of their training. The first regiment of 228 soldiers of the Bengali Double Company arrived in

Karachi in January 1917 after four months of training at Naushera.[5]

The first battalion of the Bengali Regiment divided into three groups left Karachi in July 1917 to take part in the

In the war

 

Monument in College Square in Kolkata

Mesopotamian war and by mid-September reached Baghdad.[6] But in Baghdad a good number of soldiers became sick and some of them died. So that the 49th Bengalis were transferred from Baghdad to the city of Azizia and by mid-March to Al Kut. Still there was no significant improvement in their health in Al Kut. Then Towards the end of October, they were sent to Tanuma near Basra. While at Al Kut, Tanuma and Azizia, the Bengalis performed mainly security duties alongside receiving military training. By November 1918 armistice was declared. At Tanuma the Bengalis performed the post-war rehabilitation duties. Some of the

soldiers were engaged in Baghdad and elsewhere. After the Mesopotamian war, there was a revolt in Kurdistan in April 1919. As many as 235 Bengalis were engaged in suppressing this rebellion. After coming back to Kolkata in August 1920, the Bengali Battalion got disbanded on 30 August 1920.[2]

After the first battalion of the 49th Bengali Regiment left for Baghdad in July 1917, its remaining soldiers stayed in Karachi and continued to receive military training. This group of the Bengalis was called Karachi Depot. A group of the Bengali Battalion that stayed in Calcutta was called Calcutta

Depot where the new recruits stayed. The soldiers of the Karachi Depot also used to stay here while in transit from leave or on some duty. As a large number of soldiers from East Bengal were recruited in September 1918, a Depot was also opened in Dhaka. It was called Dhaka Depot.[1]

war diaries

Ther are two war diaries for the 49th Bengalee regiments have been digitalized by Indian national archives.

● No 1: ◆ Date: 01 july 1917 to 30 april 1918 

◆ Trigris Defences and Communication, Aziziyeh ◆ References: WO95/5020/5 ◆ Notes:

Monument in the memory of Bengalee Regiment

   

 

Name of Soldiers inscribed in the three side of the monument at College square in Kolkata

Sixty-three soldiers of the Bengali Battalion died of sickness and other causes. To honor their memory a commemorative statue was erected at Calcutta College Square in August 1924. In one side of the monument, inscribed in the words: “ memory of members of The 45th Bengalee Regiment who died in the Great War, 1914-1918, To the Glory of God, King, and Country. ” The other three sides of the memorial base contain the names of the 49 Bengalis

monument at College square in Kolkata

killed in the Great War of 1914 – 1918. It also contains the following information of Reg. No., Rank, Date of Death, District from which come. The districts are Midnapore, Mymensingh, Murshidabad, Nadia, Calcutta, Jessore, Burdwan, Pabna, Chittagong, Khulna, Barisal, Faridpore, Pabna, 24-Parganas and Tripura (Tipperah). Some Bengali soldiers and officers received awards and recognition for their meritorious services in Mesopotamia. These recognitions were published in the official gazette. In July 1919 a victory march (rally) and peace celebration were held in London. Soldiers and officers from different parts of the

world took part in it. One British officer and one Indian officer and two soldiers represented the 49th Bengali Regiment at this celebration.[1]

List of soldiers

Reg. No. Rank Name District Date of Death 160 Sepoy Bhairath Panda Burdwan 21 June 1917 563 Sepoy Bagalacharan Banerjee Burdwan 5 May 1918 416 Sepoy S. Mukherjee Burdwan Date unknown 610 T. Naik Dhirendranath Chatterjee Barishal 11 Sept 1919 514 Sepoy Binod Chandra Ghosh Barishal 29 Dec 197 1215 Sepoy Bisweswar Indu Barishal 14 July 1918 1200 Sepoy Atalchandra Ghosh Barishal 10 Jan 1918 663 Radhica Mohan Dey Dhaka 8 March 1918 644 Sepoy Suresh Chandra Bose Dhaka 27 dec 1917 663 Sepoy Styanarayan Bose Dhaka 23 Dec 1917 1272 Sepoy Abdul Rahman Dhaka 5 June1919 1297 Sepoy Jagadish Chandra Bose Dhaka 1 Jan 1918 1913 Sepoy Shamal Bhattacharya Dhaka 26 Jan 1918 2686 Sepoy Kamakshyaya Dey Dhaka Date Unknown 1332 Sepoy Bholanath Chowdhury Bogra 7 June 1918 1558 Sepoy Tarak Chandra Sarkar Bogra 19 Feb 1918

Citations 1. Nath, Ashok (2014). The British Indian Army: Virtue and Necessity. References

Cambridge Scholars Publishing. pp. 65–76. ISBN 9781443853965. 2. "Bangali Paltan - Banglapedia" . en.banglapedia.org. Retrieved 2018-06-22. 3. "The Telegraph - Calcutta (Kolkata) | Metro | Tears for subaltern" . www.telegraphindia.com. Retrieved 2018-06-22. 4. "49 Bengali Regiment | Rangan Datta" . rangandatta.wordpress.com. Retrieved 2018-06-22. 5. "49th Bengalis - Researching WW1" . Researching the Lives and Service

List of soldiers

Reg. No.RankNameDistrictDate of Death
160SepoyBhairath PandaBurdwan21 June 1917
563SepoyBagalacharan BanerjeeBurdwan5 May 1918
416SepoyS. MukherjeeBurdwanDate unknown
610T. NaikDhirendranath ChatterjeeBarishal11 Sept 1919
514SepoyBinod Chandra GhoshBarishal29 Dec 197
1215SepoyBisweswar InduBarishal14 July 1918
1200SepoyAtalchandra GhoshBarishal10 Jan 1918
663Radhica Mohan DeyDhaka8 March 1918
644SepoySuresh Chandra BoseDhaka27 dec 1917
663SepoyStyanarayan BoseDhaka23 Dec 1917
1272SepoyAbdul RahmanDhaka5 June1919
1297SepoyJagadish Chandra BoseDhaka1 Jan 1918
1913SepoyShamal BhattacharyaDhaka26 Jan 1918
2686SepoyKamakshyaya DeyDhakaDate Unknown
1332SepoyBholanath ChowdhuryBogra7 June 1918
1558SepoyTarak Chandra SarkarBogra19 Feb 1918

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