The 3 presidency armies, namely the Bombay Army, the Bengal Army and the Madras Army and were unified together to develop the United British Indian Army in 1903. The 16th Madras Native Infantry was also known as the 76th Punjabis.
History of 16th Regiment of Madras Native Infantry
The infantry regiment was formed by Captain Thomas Lane as the 16th Carnatic Battalion on 16 December 1776 at Trichonopoly. The regiment participated in the seizure of the French territory of Pondicherry in the year 1778. Through out the next 20 years, the 16th Regiment of Madras Native Infantry was involved in continuous war against the rulers or Sultans of Mysore.
Military Operations of 16th Regiment of Madras Native Infantry It fought in the Battles of Pollilur, the Battle of Seringapatam and the Battle of Sholinghur during the Second Mysore War. The unit also took part in the conquest of Porto Novo. Further more, the regiment also participated in the First Anglo Burmese War and the Third Anglo Burmese War during the 19th century. The military battalion was renamed as the 16th Madras Infantry in 1903 and was restructured with Hindu Jats, Punjabi Muslims and Sikhs. After the reforms administered by Lord Kitchener in the regiments of the British Indian Army, all the units of Madras Army added 60 to their numbers and the regiment was renamed as the 76th Punjabis.
After the beginning of the First World War in the year 1914, the 16th Regiment of Madras Native Infantry was stationed in Egypt in order to defend the Suez Canal. The troops were later sent to Mesopotamia and became a part of the 12th Indian Division.It eventually joined the 6th Indian Division under the Major General Charles Townshend in the conquest to Baghdad. The unit also fought in the Battle of Ctesiphon and Kut al Amara. Later the 76th Punjabis became prisoners of war. The British Indian regiment was re-established on 1 January 1917 and went to Chaman on the North West Frontier. It formed a second battalion on 16 October 1917 at Nasirabad. The 1st Battalion 76th Punjabis also participated in the Third Afghan War in 1919 and the 2nd Battalion 76th Punjabis provided military service in Waziristan from 1919 to 1020.
The 2nd Battalion was dissolved in the year 1922. In the same year, the 16th Regiment of Madras Native Infantry was merged with the 62nd Punjabis, 66th Punjabis, 82nd Punjabis, 84th Punjabis, and the 1st Brahmans in order to raise the 1st Punjab Regiment. After the partition of India, the 1st Punjab Regiment was reassigned to the Dominion of Pakistan in 1947.
Designations of 16th Regiment of Madras Native Infantry
The 16th Regiment of Madras Native Infantry regiment comprised of many titles through out its service in the British Indian Army. These are mentioned as follows -
* 16th Carnatic Battalion - 1776
* 16th Madras Battalion - 1784
* 2nd Battalion 5th Regiment of Madras Native Infantry - 1796
* 16th Regiment of Madras Native Infantry - 1824
* 16th Regiment of Madras Infantry - 1885
* 16th Madras Infantry - 1901
* 76th Punjabis - 1903
* 1st Battalion 76th Punjabis - 1917
* 3rd Battalion 1st Punjab Regiment - 1922
* 3rd Battalion The Punjab Regiment - 1956