49th Bengali Regiment

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Raised as the 49th Bengal Infantry on 1 July 1917, but the title was changed to the 49th Bengali Regiment, or 49th Bengalis (49th Bengalees)

Bengal responded positively to the war effort, in the form of an ambulance corps, a signal company and an infantry regiment , the 49th Bengalis.

Uniquely, the Regiment consisted entirely of Bengalis, and also uniquely recruited soldiers from Bhadralok (upper and middle class) families.[1]

On the 7th August, 1916, the Government finally permitted the formation of two companies, also called the Bengali Double company which was commanded by Lt S G Taylor

The regiment was sent to Punjab for training and the regiment was finally officialy raised in Karachi on 1 July 1917. The 49th Bengalis were sent to Mesopotamia (Iraq) after the surrender of the British forces in Iraq to the Turkish Army. They reached Baghdad in September 1917 and were assigned to garrison duties . The unhealthy climate took their toll and large numbers of the troops fell sick. The regiment did not see any combat, however , being on garrison duties or guard duties during the war. The regiment was one of the first to be demobilised after the war and it ceased to exist on 31 August 1920

There is a memorial to those who died, in College Square, Calcutta, which also includes the Districts from which the men came.[2]

Also see

External links


  1. The 49th Bengalees and the War Memorial in College Square March 5, 2013 Reflections, which quotes from "A Bengali Infantry Regiment in the Great War" by Ashok Nath, originally published in Peace and Security Review Vol. 4, No. 7, First Quarter, 2011, pp. 32-44 (Bangladesh Institute of Peace and Security Studies)
  2. Bengali War Memorial, College Square, Calcutta (Kolkata) December 25, 2011 Rangan Datta.