East India Company Regiments

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East India Company Regiments

Postby acanthus » 28 Dec 2013 00:17

Hi all,

Does anyone have access to the East India Registers for the years of 1847 and 1848? I need the full regimental listings for the 1st and 2nd Scinde Irregular Horse.

If anyone can help. I would be most grateful.
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Re: East India Company Regiments

Postby Maureene » 28 Dec 2013 22:47

Acanthus, the 1847 is available online. For a link see the FIBIS Fibiwiki page "Directories online", section East India Register
http://wiki.fibis.org/index.php/Directo ... _Directory

If no one is able to help you with the 1848 edition, it is available on LDS microfilm, number 2046096 which contains both the 1st and 2nd editions for 1848.
https://familysearch.org/search/catalog ... %20Library

Cheers
Maureen
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Re: East India Company Regiments

Postby acanthus » 30 Dec 2013 21:25

Thanks Maureen, I have a look.
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Re: East India Company Regiments

Postby acanthus » 02 Jan 2014 00:45

Hi Maureen,

The 1847 List information was very useful, but still need to get the 1848 information to maintain continuity.

Many thanks,

Gordon
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Re: East India Company Regiments

Postby jose50 » 23 Oct 2017 16:10

Hello - I've recently found out that my great grandfather was possibly part of an NI regiment, the 45thNI. Is it usual to have a European senior noncom in these regiments? Or was there an EIC European infantry regiment. His medals include Sutlej, Sobraon and Chillianwalla clasps. Any info would be much appreciated. Thanks. Jose50
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Re: East India Company Regiments

Postby Maureene » 24 Oct 2017 02:11

There were British support staff, mainly Warrant Officers and Sergeants, who were considered as not attached to a regiment.

See the FIBIS Fibiwiki page Unattached List for further details.
https://wiki.fibis.org/w/Unattached_List

Perhaps your ancestor may have had a role such as assisting the Quartermaster of the Regiment, who would have been an officer. I think officially he would have been part of the Unattached List.

Do the medals give a regiment?

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Re: East India Company Regiments

Postby mike snook » 24 Oct 2017 20:36

Jose, Each of the three EIC presidencies, Madras, Bombay and Bengal, had its own army and each of the three armies had two or three regiments of European infantry, as well as a number of European troops of horse artillery or companies of field artillery. 45th Native Infantry is, theoretically, not a specific designation, as we need to know to which presidency it belonged. eg 45th Bengal Native Infantry, 45th Madras Native Infantry, 45th Bombay Native Infantry. It's probably Bengal as this did the bulk of the fighting against the Sikhs. You will be able to determine this by examination of the orders of battle for the three actions you mention. If 45th Bengal NI turns up each time and the other's don't, well that's your answer. That's a simple piece of research but if you don't have the resources or access, or can't get adequate results by googling, come back to me and I will do the exercise for you. I have books here which will make it a simple and tolerably quick exercise.

Yes there were European NCOs in native infantry regiments - two of them. (There were 26 European officers and roughly twice as many native officers). If Maureen will forgive me saying so, I beg to differ: the NCOs would not be on the unattached list, as regimentally attached is precisely what they were. One such figure was the sergeant-major. The sergeant major or 'RSM' in today's (British) terminology is a key man. You can't have an unattached sergeant-major: he is the regiment's sergeant major - its top non-commissioned man. I hold a man called Jeremiah Brasyer in high regard as a historical figure of the company's army. He retried as a colonel, but had first joined the Bengal Artillery in the ranks in the 1830s, where he rose to sergeant, before being appointed as sergeant major of a Bengal native Infantry regiment - 26th Bengal NI if memory serves. There was no native sergeant major in those days. The other European NCO in a NI regiment was the quartermaster-sergeant, which is the next grade down from the sergeant major. There were no European NCOs any lower than that. Indian born Eurasian Christians were typically to be found in the band and drums, but in accordance with the prevailing prejudices of the day were decidedly not counted 'European', no matter where they said their prayers.

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Mike
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Re: East India Company Regiments

Postby Maureene » 24 Oct 2017 22:28

mike snook wrote:Yes there were European NCOs in native infantry regiments - two of them. (There were 26 European officers and roughly twice as many native officers). If Maureen will forgive me saying so, I beg to differ: the NCOs would not be on the unattached list, as regimentally attached is precisely what they were. One such figure was the sergeant-major. The sergeant major or 'RSM' in today's (British) terminology is a key man. You can't have an unattached sergeant-major: he is the regiment's sergeant major - its top non-commissioned man.


Interesting Mike. Are there any muster roll records for those in Presidency Army Native regiments? For instance, the description of "Bengal Army Muster Rolls and Casualty Returns" British Library records IOR/L/MIL/10/130-185 says it consists of "NCOs and privates of the various European companies and regiments of the Bengal Army" which seems to exclude those in Native Infantry regiments.

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Re: East India Company Regiments

Postby mike snook » 25 Oct 2017 11:36

Sorry Maureen, because I don't come at history from the point of view of either ancestors or medals, I don't have any particular interest in, or knowledge of, archived personal records. I should imagine that the EIC's pensions system must have compelled the maintenance of an identical set of records in respect of native regiments, but where they might be held now (if at all) I couldn't begin to say. I would hazard a guess that Europeans attached to BNIs might conceivably be recorded under their parent corps or regiments. Attachment, unlike transfer, is after all a temporary status and doesn't alter the original corps/regimental affiliation of the individual.

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Re: East India Company Regiments

Postby Maureene » 25 Oct 2017 22:20

Thanks for your comments Mike.

For those interested in muster rolls etc, I have now located some information which indicates for record purposes, men in roles such as Quarter Master Sergeant in a Native Infantry Regiment would be classified as part of the Unattached List. See my post of 24 October 2017 above.

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Re: East India Company Regiments

Postby mike snook » 26 Oct 2017 01:12

At 1 and 2 below are the National Archives definitions of the two types of 'Unattached List'. I have not looked into these boxes at the NA and so in large part am only 'thinking aloud' here (as it were) for interest's sakes.

The NCOs Unattached List was an administrative mechanism implemented only in 1859. The man Jose is looking for served in the Sikh Wars and is apparently a Company soldier, not a British Army one working in the post-Mutiny 'Indian Army' setting, at which latter juncture, as I understand it, the only pool of European NCOs was to be found in the imperial regiments/corps that happened to be serving in India at any given juncture, though plainly it was possible for warrant officer/conductor types eventually to migrate across permanently to the Indian Army. If anything a Company (as in EIC) NCO, of the era that I thought we were dealing in, which is to say the pre-Mutiny era, might appear on the so-called 'Town Major's' Lists operated by the Bengal Presidency, as a precursor of the Unattached List. I can detect no definition of how these two types of list might have differed.

In the Unattached NCOs list 'unattached' can clearly cover 'extra-regimental' appointments. This is 'army-speak' stuff. To decipher it, it is necessary to understand that somebody who has been detached from his parent regiment, to serve with another regiment, is not in fact serving 'extra-regimentally' - he is still serving at 'regimental duty', but with a regiment other than his own. 'Extra-regimental' would mean on the army staff, or in a ordnance department, or at a base facility or depot or hospital or something of that sort. The National Archives definition is entirely consistent with this premise as can be seen below. In the officers' list, 'unattached' means not yet permanently posted to a parent Indian Army regiment, but serving on temporary (probationary) secondment to a British regiment. I am not altogether clear what we are talking about here Maureen: lists or records? A list is a list, which captures a mildly prolonged slice of time and space (over the period in which it is being drafted...the chances are that it will incorporate at least some inaccuracies on the day of its publication, having been overtaken by events in the interim, but that latter aspect is besides the point). A tour of duty with a native regiment was also limited in time and space and might form a relatively small part of a soldier's career. As far as I am aware such a tour did not necessarily sever a soldier's affiliation with his parent regiment, (not least because if he proved a failure or misbehaved he would have to be returned from whence he came), but I am prepared to be proved wrong on this in the face of compelling evidence to the contrary. I cannot for example imagine my old friend Brasyer being dressed as a blue coated sergeant of Bengal Artillery, while he was serving as the sergeant major of the redcoated 26th BNI, but if he had by some chance misbehaved I would expect him to have been sent back to some part of the Bengal Artillery. The sergeant majors were often commissioned at the end of their tours, (as was Brasyer), which would very definitely sever the original parent affiliation permanently. The quartermaster-sergeant, on the other hand, might well be the man to succeed the outgoing sergeant major.

If one is looking for a serviceman's personal record, surely that is something altogether different from his transitory appearance on a list of supernumeraries. Surely one would look for his personal records in whatever location his parent regiment's papers are archived. To my mind parent regiments change only on permanent transfer to another regiment or corps, or in the event of commissioning, effectively a sub-set of transfer. I can recall as an adjutant seeing transferees records physically depart my orderly room, bound for the orderly room of the receiving unit. On the other hand, I served a tour as a seconded company commander with the 22nd (Cheshire) Regiment, but you would still look for my records in the RRW/R Welsh archive and I would be conspicuous in the 22nd Regt archive only by my absence.

In any event this is what the NA says about it:

1) Unattached List - NCOs - Indian Army Name given after 1859 to the special cadre of European NCOs who served extra-regimentally in the Indian Army - they were employed mainly in the Ordnance, Commissariat and Public Works Departments but also in a number of minor departments and in various miscellaneous posts. The Unattached List replaced the former EIC Town Major's List/Effective Supernumeraries. NCOs on the Unattached List were, after 1859, recruited solely from NCOs of British Army regiments stationed in India and could be remanded to their parent regiments in cases of incompetence and/or misconduct. A soldier on the Unattached List only became fully part of the Indian Army if and when subsequently promoted to the warrant officer rank of Sub-Conductor.

2) Unattached List - Officers - Indian Army List of graduates of the Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst, granted commissions in the Indian Army but serving a probationary year with a British Army regiment in India before joining the Indian Army proper. During their probationary year they were required to obtain a basic qualification in a vernacular language failing which their probation was extended by a further year. Lists of officers on the Unattached List are recorded in the quarterly Indian Army Lists.

Quote ends.

Regards

Mike

PS. Jose, If it was the 45th Native Infantry then it was 45th Bengal Native Infantry. That regiment served in the Anglo-Sikh Wars and bore the battle honours Moodkee, Ferozeshuhur, Punjaub, Chillianwalla and Goojerat. (I have rendered these names in their battle honour form and not as we would commonly render them today). The 45th Madras Native Infantry did not serve in the Sikh Wars. The Bombay Line did not run as high as 45. It is perhaps significant that your relation has a Sobraon clasp. Other Bengal NI regiments were awarded Sobraon as a battle honour but 45th Bengal NI was not. That said I imagine it is perfectly possible for men to be eligible for the clasp even if their regiment is not singled out for the battle honour. I will check for 45th Bengal Native Infantry's presence at Sobraon.

PPS. 45th Ben NI was 25 km from the Battle of Sobraon in a detached brigade covering the Attaree Ford on the Sutlej. Whether or not its members were eligible for the clasp I could not say, though if I'd been in the thick of the fray at Sobraon and later bumped into some bloke who had been 25km away from the heat but wearing the same medal set as me, I might have had something to say about it!

PPPS. 45th BNI was most decidedly engaged at Chillinawallah. It was one of the two sepoy regiments in Pennycuick's Brigade and was thus involved in the attack famously and disastrously spearheaded by HM 24th Regiment of Foot. Thought it rang a bell!
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Re: East India Company Regiments

Postby jose50 » 27 Oct 2017 13:20

Mike - perhaps some more info that would pin down my great grandfather's history even further. He was attached to either the 43rd or 45th N.I. as a noncom. His 1909 obit was sort of fuzzy in places. It states that he was aboard the ship "Humayoon" on its passage to India in 1842 and also states that later in his career was a senior noncom (QMS) to a NI regiment that mutinied - so whichever regiment that was.
His name was Patrick J. Renaghan (also phonetic spellings Renahan, Renehen) and it seems he had three medals to his name, Sutlej Campaign (1st Anglo-Sikh war) with Sobraon clasp, Punjab Campaign (2nd Anglo-Sikh war) with Chillianwala clasp, and the Indian Mutiny medal; perhaps also the Indian Service medal as well.
After the mutiny he was on the 'unattached' lists for a time at the arsenal at Dum Dum (regional HQ?) I think he was subsequently brought into the regular British army. He was pensioned off sometime after that. Again, everything's a bit fuzzy.
Any comments would be more than welcome.
Thanks, jose
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Re: East India Company Regiments

Postby mike snook » 27 Oct 2017 15:35

Jose,

Hmmm....it seems to me that if he was a seconded QMS with a BNI in 1857, then he probably earned his Anglo-Sikh War medals in some other Company unit, (more likely in the Bengal Army than any other), perhaps the Bengal Artillery or the 1st European Fusiliers, 2nd European Fusiliers or 3rd European Regiment - in all cases take the caveat Bengal as implied. None of the three infantry regiments were awarded battle honours for both Sobraon and Chillianwallah. 1st was at Sobraon, 2nd at Chillianwallah and 3rd at neither. That could be a pointer towards the Bengal Artillery, although transfer from 1st to 2nd Europeans in the interim couldn't be ruled out. I suppose, there being a substantial gap in between the two battles, that it is also theoretically possible that he might have earned Sobraon (10 Feb 1846) with a European unit, but Chillianwallah (13 Jan 1849) with 45th BNI. This would, however, require a minimum tour length of 8-9 years for him still to be the QMS in 57 (which seems improbable). No clues in the obit to point to any of those permutations or postulations I presume?

To turn to the matter of 43rd Light Infantry and 45th Native Infantry in 1857, The former were stationed at Barrackpore and the latter at Ferozepore.

The 43rd did not mutiny but were subject to precautionary disarming on 14 June. A number of the sepoys, amounting perhaps to several score, deserted to the enemy thereafter. If he was definitely with a regiment that mutinied, this can't be it.

The 45th, (commanded by Lt-Col J. Liptrap), on the other hand, mutinied over the period 13-14 May. The garrison in Ferecopore comprised HM 61st, 10th BLC, 45th BNI and 57th BNI. On the 13th the authorities decided to separate the two native infantry regiments by marching them to camping grounds lying in opposite directions. If Reneghan was the QMS at this time he would have been involved in the regimental parade in preparation for this. The regiment started out quietly but, on nearing the magazine, several hundred sepoys broke away and attempted to enter the magazine, (likely a large walled compound), which was already in the hands of a treacherous guard from 57th BNI. About 150 sepoys stood by Liptrap and continued to the camping ground under his orders. I would speculate that the QMS would likely have been part of this body. HM 61st attacked the magazine and secured it, temporarily scattering the 45th in the process. This left the Europeans too thinly spread and that night the lines were burned. On 14 May the 45th mutineers took to flight, marching off towards Farid Kot with their arms and the colours (which I can only presume had not been on parade during the day). They were pursued and duly routed by 2 squadrons of 10th BLC, Majors Beatson and Harvey commanding. The colours were recovered in the affray. Some sepoys were brought back as prisoners, others were rounded up by villagers subsequently and brought in, while a few succeeded in getting through to the rebel army at Delhi. There must have been a casualty toll running to 200-300 plus I should think. Some 24 sepoys of the 45th were selected for execution, of whom a dozen turned Queen's evidence and were spared. Of the remaining dozen, two were hanged and ten blown from guns, (which is a high number for that latter form of execution). If your man was the QMS, I daresay he would have been present at those executions. Because the incident did not entail the flight of the Europeans from their station, leading to some long and dramatic adventure in the countryside for the survivors, I would judge it fairly unlikely that the QMS of the 45th would warrant a particular mention in any of the older histories (so I'm not going to burn time on what would probably be a wild goose chase). What he might have done after May 57 is anybody's guess. HM 61st were sent off to Delhi of course. There would be no particular reason to imagine that the QMS of 45th BNI might also have done so, as Ferozepore continued to be held throughout, but who knows. Just about anything is possible in a big conflict like the Mutiny.

Tolerably scientific conjecture and useful background padding perhaps, but it doesn't really nail his record of service down for you I'm afraid. I hope you are able to find some better clues in due course Jose.

Best Wishes

Mike

PS Yes he would have been transferred into the British service in 1860 and if he was employed 'extra-regimentally' at Dum Dum he would have been on the (new) unattached list. That could conceivably be a pointer to transfer to the Commissariat Department or similar.
Last edited by mike snook on 27 Oct 2017 16:20, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: East India Company Regiments

Postby mike snook » 27 Oct 2017 16:18

Jose

This British Library link to the India Office Records in their care might point you in the right direction.

http://www.bl.uk/reshelp/findhelpregion/asia/india/indiaofficerecordsfamilyhistory/occupations/europeanncosandprivatesoldiers/europeanncos.html

Regards

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Re: East India Company Regiments

Postby jose50 » 27 Oct 2017 18:32

Thanks for all that info Mike. There are a few snippets of intel that I've been able to glean recently as well. For what it's worth, my mother (Renaghan's granddaughter) remembers her father speaking of him as some sort of artilleryman and also speaking of 'blowing from guns'. Those are merely family stories as most of my cousins and I were told. Still, there could be a modicum of actual history there. I'll dig further. Jose
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