Simla Rifles

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Simla Rifles Cap Badge

The Simla Rifles were an auxiliary regiment.


  • 1861 raised as 2nd Punjab (Simla) Volunteer Rifle Corps on 2nd May[1]
  • 1904 renamed the Simla Volunteer Rifles[2]
  • 1917 1st April, became the 4th Simla Rifles[2]
  • 1920 1st October, redesignated Simla Rifles[2]


In 1901:[3]

  • Headquarters - Simla
  • Uniform - Khaki serge
  • Detachments:

By 1940:[2]

  • Uniform - Khaki
  • Facings - Rifle Green
  • Badge - The Monogram "S.R." surmounted by a crown, pendant therefrom a bugle horn stringed. "The Simla Rifles, A.F.I." on a scroll underneath.
  • Motto - "In Defence"


In 1947, Freddie Brown, schoolmaster at BCS, along with the British & Hindu boys had to ensure that 42 Pakistani boys were not harmed. Between 15 August to 21 Oct 1947, at night, under Freddie’s supervision, armed guards from the Simla Rifles cadets patrolled the dormitories, until the Pakistani boys were safely evacuated.[5]
  • It seems possible that the Lawrence Military Asylum, Sanawar, near Kasauli, with its strong military background could also have had a cadet unit whch was part of the Simla Rifles. In 1923 the Principal was 2nd in Command of the Simla Rifles, refer Individuals below.


  • Henry Mortimer Durand, ‘Boundary-Maker’ and ‘Peace-Maker’ was Foreign Secretary. In the autumn of 1889, his health broke down and he was sent home on long furlough. On his return to India, he was invited to take command of the somewhat run down Simla Volunteers. Characteristically he took his part-time soldiering extremely seriously, and, in the spirit of the ‘inherited traditions of the Mutiny’, told the Volunteers, “Practice is everything. You can no more make war without practice than you can make boots. For the purposes of defence, which is the main business of volunteers, determined men with rifles in their hands can do a great deal, even if they are not highly drilled troops.’[6] At Simla he also established the Durand Football Tournament, as recreation for British troops stationed in India,[7] which ultimately became the leading Association event in India. The Simla Rifles reached the finals in 1889, but lost by the largest margin ever, 8-1[8]
  • In 1923, the Reverend George Dunsford Barne O.B.E., 2nd in Command, Simla Rifles Auxiliary Force, and Principal,Lawrence Royal Military School , Sanawar was made a Companion of the Most Eminent Order of the Indian Empire.[9]


  1. Indian Army List 1901 states "Formed by Punjab GO No. 101 of 2nd May 1861 and 171 of 21st October 1861."
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 Jackson, Major Donovan India's Army (1940)
  3. Indian Army List 1st Sept 1901
  4. Heritage Old
  5. Old Cottonians Newsletter August 2006
  6. Sir Mortimer Durand’s Medals
  7. Sir Mortimer Durand
  8. Durand Cup History from The Rec.Sport.Soccer Statistics Foundation
  9. Supplement to the London Gazette, 2 June 1923

Also see

Photograph of B Company, Simla Volunteer Rifles Football Team 1914, winners of the Viceroy’s Cup.

External links

Historical books online