Rajputs of World War 1

Contribution of the Rajput community during World War 1 THE CAMPAIGN IN MESOPOTAMIA 1914-1918© IWM (HU 104959)

Sepoy Jhandu Singh

During World War 1 the Rajput community was sent to serve India in Mesopotamia. The 3rd battalion fought the Battles of Qurna and Kut-al-Amara against the Turks. In one of the battles, the Turks had invaded both the flanks of the 3rd Rajput, during which Jemadar Sital Baksh was severely wounded. Sepoy Jhandu Singh rushed to his rescue, the Jemadar ordered him to leave him behind but the sepoy lifted him on his back and started moving through the marshlands. Soon both the rescuer and the rescued became targets of the Turks and were riddled with bullets. Sepoy Jhandu Singh was awarded posthumous IOM and  Médaille militaire.

Most of the Rajput battalions saw action during World War 1. The 1st battalion fought at the Battle of Dujailah in Mesopotamia, where it was nearly annihilated.  A large number of other awards and battle honours were won by the Rajputs and at the end of WW1, a total of 37 battle honours were on the colours of the Rajputs, which exceeded that of any other regiment of the Indian Army.

In 1922 the infantry regiments of the British Indian Army were reorganised and all the Rajput regiments (with the exception of 13th (Shekhawati) Rajput Infantry, which became the 10th battalion of the 6th Rajputana Rifles) were amalgamated to become battalions of the new 7th Rajput Regiment (which in 1947 was renamed the Rajput Regiment).


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