Stations of British Army troops in India
Sources for locating the stations of British Army regiments, battalions or batteries in India.
Army stations are frequently listed in directories and publications such as The Army and Navy Gazette, the United Service Magazine and even some newspapers. These may be consulted online where available, refer Military periodicals online, or in national libraries. This article details some online sources that may provide significant shortcuts when it comes to finding regiments.
- British Army - Locating a regiment for details of information available in online editions of the Monthly Army List, New Annual Army List, Indian Army List, and other publications.
Nafziger Collection documents
The following table links to pdf documents from The Nafziger Collection of Orders of Battle, Combined Arms Research Library [CARL], (U.S. Army Command and General Staff College, Fort Leavenworth USA) which are derived from sources such as The Army and Navy Gazette.
Please note that some years do not contain information relating to the Royal Artillery.
Although there does not appear to be any information relating to British troops in India after 1904 in the Nafziger Collection documents, there is information available prior to 1862. There is a Finding Aid (link to a pdf download which depending on your browser you may need to locate in your downloads folder), (or see External links below) to assist in navigating the titles available for viewing, and the links to those titles.
The Finding Aid is Searchable. There are title headings such as Stations of British Troops in India (available 1836-1904), British Regiments Serving in India, (available 1816-1835), Distribution of the British Army (available 1836-1868, 1872, 1899-1903) Stations of the British Army (available 1869-1904). The latter two titles include British troops in India.
Note that for some computers/browsers in the past it was not possible to search the Finding Aid, but this situation may have improved. If this is still the situation, "British Regiments Serving in India" 1816 is located on page 167. "Distribution of the British Army" 1836 is located on page 168. Alternatively use your internet Search engine with terms such as nafziger "Stations of the British Army" and a date.
At times the above links may not be accessible. In that situation some previously archived Nafziger Collection links may be accessed though the following 2017 archive.org link.
- Regiments, Battalions, Batteries, &c Serving in Afghanistan, 1878 -1881
- Distribution of the South Afghanistan Field Force, 14 January 1879
- Strength and Distribution of the Southern Afghanistan Field Force 16 May 1879
- 2nd (Khyber) Division North Afghanistan Field Force, September 1879
- Troops Warned for Movement to Afghanistan, 14 December 1879
- Strength of the Kabul Field Force 31 December 1879
- British Troops in the Kurram District, Afghanistan, April 1880
- British Garrisons in Afghanistan, 30 June 1880
- Distribution of Troops on Line of Communication in Afghanistan 30 June 1880
- British Forces in Afghanistan, 10th August 1880
- British Forces in Southern Afghanistan Assigned to the Relief of Kandahar 17 August 1880
- British Forces in Southern Afghanistan, 24 August 1880
- Stations of 1st & 2nd Divisions of the Southern Afghanistan Field Force 30 October 1880
- British Garrisons in Afghanistan, 31 March 1882
- Distribution of Troops on Line of Communications in Afghanistan 31 March 1882
Pages from various Army Medical Department: Report for the Year.. See Military periodicals online - Army Medical Department Report. The tables include information for "Stations during the Year". Google Books, Archive.org, Hathi Trust Digital Library
|1867 *||1868 *||1869
* Pages require rotation.
From the publication Vital statistics of India. Vol. IV, Annual returns from 1871 to 1876. British Army of India, Native Army and jails of Bengal from the National Library of Scotland’s online collection “Medical History of British India”.
Details of the number of soldiers are also included.
Information is provided at the end of June for each year, during the summer, so some regiments are at hill station cantonments.
Note: pdf links may be slow to open.
|1871 (file page 72)||1872 (file page 204)||1873 (file page 336)||1874 (file page 466)||1875 (file page 592)||1876 (file page 722)|
|1871 (file page 73)||1872 (file page 205)||1873 (file page 337)||1874 (file page 467)||1875 (file page 593)||1876 (file page 723)|
- Stations of Units of the Regular Forces, Militia, Special, Reserve, and Territorial Force by [Great Britain] War Office. His Majesty’s Stationery Office (HMSO)
- University of Oxford seems to have most editions No. 1-27, 29-40, 42-45 (not digitised), from the catalogue entry and further links. No 45 is perhaps the last publication.
1911 England and Wales Census
This National Archives catalogue entry shows the regiments in India which were included in the 1911 Census. The items (17 in total) are RG 14/34978-34992, 34995, 34997. It appears that there were additional regiments in India at the time which are not included in the list, so the census is not complete for British Army regiments, or British Army personnel in India. Searching the 1911 census data, on findmypast and Ancestry, and perhaps other sites, is generally free to search, but pay to view data. Note that for searching findmypast the "County" is Overseas Military. You may be able to access data for free at some institutions, see Miscellaneous tips - Access some subscription websites with a Library Card.
Great War Forum topic by Black Sapper (Peter Holden) "1911 Census for Military – Overseas" contains pdf links to 1911 Overseas Military Census data on Ancestry including that for India, in post 13 and subsequent posts. In addition, links are provided for census information for army regiments in England, Wales and Ireland, and the Royal Navy, overseas and England, Wales and Ireland.
Note the pdf images are only available to logged in members of GWF. To actually access the information in the pdf files, you must be logged in to Ancestry, a pay site.
Also see Great War Forum topic "Military Units in India - 1911 Census Index".
- Where were the British Regiments in India and when "Indian portion of In Search of Forlorn Hope by John M Kitzmiller" - lists the location/year of all British regiments that served in India and related regions. (Regiments, Locations). From Genealogy in India, isp.ans.com.au/~rampais, archived. Locations given can be quite general. Kitzmillers's two volume book is available at the British Library UIN: BLL01010128905, full title In Search of the 'Forlorn Hope': A Comprehensive Guide to Locating British Regiments and their Records (1640-WWI).
- "Her Majesty’s British Forces in the Bengal and North-Western Provinces, corrected to 1st July 1859" from The Quarterly Army List of Her Majesty's British and Indian Forces on the Bengal Establishment corrected to 5 July 1859 Google Books
- Location of British Army Infantry and Cavalry Regiments 1878-1891 Remembering The Past, now an archived webpage. There are references to Regiments in India
- The British Army 1902 by Graham E.Watson from Orbat.com, now an archived website. Select pages 6 and 7 of the document for India.
- "The Trooping Season. British Reliefs. Indian Reliefs" "The sanctioned programme of reliefs of British and Indian units to be carried out during 1913-14 is published". Changes in location for various regiments.The Singapore Free Press and Mercantile Advertiser 19 February 1913, Page 3. NewspaperSG. Singapore Government.
- The Army In India – July 1914 by Prof Charles Tustin Kamps. Orders of Battle, now archived. Note, this is summer time, so some regiments are at hill station cantonments.
- Also see British Army - Locating a regiment for details of more information available, including in online editions of the Monthly Army List, New Annual Army List and Indian Army List.
- Nafziger Orders Of Battle Collection Finding Aid 2012 edition. Archive.org. Use the Finding Aid to locate titles, however the URLs (links) within this volume are no longer valid. The first part of a 2012 URL/link http://usacac.army.mil/cac2/CGSC/ must be replaced by https://usacac.army.mil/sites/default/files/documents/ to form a URL/link such as https://usacac.army.mil/sites/default/files/documents/carl/nafziger/862DAB.pdf