Bombay Battalion

From FIBIwiki
Jump to navigation Jump to search

The Bombay Battalion was an auxiliary regiment under the Bombay command.


  • Possible earlier chronology to be researched
  • 1877 raised on 15th August as Bombay Volunteer Rifles[1] (by General Order of the Honorary Governor in Council No. 533 of 1877)[2]
  • 1917 1st April became 16th Bombay Battalion[3]
  • 1920 redesignated the Bombay Battalion on 1st October[3]



1877 - A detailed description of the uniform and horse furniture can be found in the First annual report[2]

By 1901 - Officers - Khaki serge, NCOs and men - Khaki drill[1]

Detached companies

  • Poona - at formation in January 1878 this was G Company[2]

Cadet companies

In 1877 cadets from the following schools were formed into three companies.[2]

  • No 1 Company: Bombay Education Society School (Byculla)
  • No 2 Company: St Mary's Institution (Byculla)
  • No 3 Company: Scottish Schools (Byculla), Scottish Schools (Fort), Cathedral Choir School (Fort)



The Bombay Volunteer Rifles produced an annual report[2] at the end of their first year that contains a lot of useful information for anyone interested in the corps in this period. This publication is available to read online (see note). Included are a nominal roll of all 7 companies, listing hundreds of names (Appendix G), a nominal roll of officers (p.5), a nominal roll of bandsmen (p.11), details of winners of shooting competitions, members of the Rifle Association (the shooting range was at Coorla) and a list of honorary members (p.1). At formation, the Corps were limited to service within the limits of the Island of Bombay.[2] The Government offered the "Old Sailors' Home" as a Headquarters and issued the Corps with Henry-Martini rifles.[2] The report notes 770 men joined the regiment in the first year, with 160 struck off, leaving 610 volunteers (not including cadets).[2]

Appendix B of the First annual report contains the rules of Corps. The first two prescribe that the Rifle Corps is to be composed of Europeans and Eurasians who must be over 16 and taller than 5 foot 2 inches.[2]

Highland Company

The Bombay Volunteers raised a Highland company in 1914 which was disbanded in 1922. Hunting Stewart tartan.[4]

Regimental histories

  • The Bombay Volunteer Rifles: a History by Samuel T. Sheppard 1919.
Available at the British Library UIN: BLL01001795347
  • Bombay Volunteer Rifle Corps. Eighth annual report, season, 1884-85. Available at the BL UIN: BLL01018840723
  • “J” ... Company, Bombay Volunteer Rifles. First Annual Report, 1915-1916. Available at the BL UIN: BLL01001795348


  1. 1.0 1.1 Indian Army List 1st Sept 1901
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 2.7 2.8 First annual report of the Bombay Volunteer Rifles for season 1877-78 (1878). Online at
  3. 3.0 3.1 Jackson, Major Donovan India's Army (1940)
  4. Summary of the Commonwealth Scottish Regiments by Kim Stacy. Scroll down. Information by the Scottish Military Historical Society, now an archived webpage.