Saturday, June 23, 2012

15th (Ludhiana) Regiment of Bengal Native Infantry

The 15th (Ludhiana) Sikhs trace their origins to 1846, when they were known as the Regiment of Ludhiana. In 1861 they became the 15th Bengal Native Infantry and in 1864 the 15th (Ludhiana) Regiment of Bengal Native Infantry. In 1885 they became the 15th Regiment of Bengal Native Infantry (Ludhiana Sikhs).

British and Indian Officers of the 15th Bengal Native Infantry (Ludhiana Sikhs) 1885

The 15th Sikhs took an active part in the Second Anglo-Afghan War under the command of Lt. Colonel G. R. Hennessy. The Regiment joined General Stewart's invasion force on 24th October 1878 at Multan. At Sukkur the regiment was split into half-battalions, with one proceeding to Kandahar and Kelat-i-Ghilzai, and the other escorting a large convoy to Kandahar - the regiment was reunited at Kandahar in February 1879, where it garrisoned the citadel. 

15th (Ludhiana) Regiment of Bengal Native Infantry

At the end of March 1880 the Sikhs marched through the valley of Khushk-i-Nakhud, and it joined Stewart's column on its way to Kabul at Karez-i-Oba. Four days later they saw action serving in Brigadier General R Barter's 1st Infantry Brigade of 1st Division at Ahmed Khel, and then again at Arzu on 23rd April. Operations in and around the Logar Valley included fighting at Jabar Kila in May. 

After marching with Roberts' column to Kandahar in August, the 15th Sikhs were heavily involved in fighting Ghazis during the reconnaisance of Ayub Khan's position, and it was engaged again on the following day at the Battle of Kandahar, on 1st September 1880, serving in the 3rd Infantry Division under Major General Sir Charles Metcalfe McGregor.

My Ludhiana Sikhs wear the "transitional" uniforms of the Second Anglo-Afghan War, part khaki, part full dress. The figures are Perry Sudan Campaign Sikhs. In Afghanistan they still wore their traditional striped turban. They wore all-khaki uniforms in the Sudan, including khaki turbans.

In the Sudan Campaign the 15th Sikhs fought in the Battle of Tofrek, March 1885 and the Battle of Tamai in December 1888.


  1. Appropriately beautiful paint job for such beautiful figures!

    Must say it's exciting for me to see someone else using the "old meets new" half full dress/half khaki style of field uniform widely employed by Indian and British units at the start of the Second Afghan War.

  2. The 1885 photo has an English officer wearing what looks like a wristlet watch on his right wrist (2 officers standing, the one on the right.).
    I am interested in the origins of the wrist watch and would like to know if this is a correct assumption of mine, could you please verify if you have the original or an enlargement?
    Thanks, Robert.