(Last Updated on : 05/11/2012)
The 17th Bombay Native Infantry was an infantry regiment of the British Indian Army
. The unit was raised by the Honourable British East India Company
in 1800 as the Bombay Fencible Regiment and remained active till 1922. It was a part of the Bombay Native Infantry of the Bombay Army
, which was one of the main Presidency Armies in British India
. The Bombay Army was considered as the formal armed force of the Bombay Presidency in British India. It functioned under the administration of the British East India Company till the Great Revolt or Sepoy Mutiny
of 1857. But after the culmination of the rebellion and the authorisation of the Government of India Act 1858
, the military unit was managed by the British Empire in India
. Later in the year 1903, the army unit was included as a part of the United British Indian Army. The 17th Bombay Native Infantry was also known as the 117th Mahrattas regiment.
Military Operations of 17th Bombay Native Infantry
The 17th Bombay Native Infantry provided significant military service during upheaval of the First World War. The unit was merged with the 6th (Poona) Division during the Great War. The troops later took part in the Mesopotamia campaign and the Battle of Ctesiphon in 1915. The battalion was compelled to retreat back to Kut. Later the troops surrendered after the Siege of Kut.
Development of 17th Bombay Native Infantry
After the completion of the First World War, the British Government of India
re-grouped and re-numbered the entire the British Indian Army. The separate single battalion units were amalgamated together in order to establish larger multi battalion infantry regiments which comprised 4 to 6 battalions. Consequently, the 17th Bombay Native Infantry was designated as the 5th Battalion 5th Mahratta Light Infantry in the year 1922.
After the country achieved freedom from the political domination of the British Empire in India
in the year 1947, the nation was divided by the Partition of India
. As a result, the regiments of the British Indian Army were shared amongst the Union of India
and the Dominion of Pakistan. The 17th Bombay Native Infantry unit was allocated to the modern Indian Army.
Designations of 17th Bombay Native Infantry
The 17th Bombay Native Infantry regiment of the British Indian Army occupied a number of designations through out its service. These are mentioned below-
* Bombay Fencible Regiment in 1800
* 1st Battalion, 9th Regiment of Bombay Native Infantry in 1803
* 17th Bombay Native Infantry in 1824
* 17th Bombay Infantry in 1885
* 117th Matrattas in 1903
* 5th Battalion 5th Mahratta Light Infantry in 1922