History of 19th Regiment of Bengal Native Infantry
The 19th Regiment of Bengal Native Infantry was formed by the Honourable East India Company as the 7th Regiment of Punjab Infantry in the year 1857 during the upheaval of the Great Revolt in British India. The unit was raised by the orders of the British Chief Commissioner of the Punjab, John Lawrence. The regiment initially served in North India.
Military Operations of 19th Regiment of Bengal Native Infantry
The troops of the 19th Punjabis fought in the Bhutan war in 1864 and took part in the Second Afghan War from the year 1878 to 1880. The military battalion participated in the 2nd Miranzai Expedition in the North West Indian Frontier and also fought in the Black Hill Expedition. The army unit later took part in the Tibet expedition in the year 1903. The 19th Regiment of Bengal Native Infantry was re-designated as the 19th Punjabis during the reforms of the British Indian Army under Lord Kitchener in the year 1903. The unit served in the North West Frontier in British India during the First World War. It became a part of the 4th (Quetta) Division.
The regiment was posted in Persia in the year 1916. A second battalion of the 19th Punjabis regiment was established in 1917 for service in the war. The 2nd battalion later dissolved after the culmination of the World War I.
Development of 19th Regiment of Bengal Native Infantry
After the First World War, the British Government of India renumbered and restructured the Indian army. The separate single battalion infantry regiments were merged together in order to develop multi battalion regiments of 4 to 6 battalions. The 19th Regiment of Bengal Native Infantry was united with the 40th Pathans, the 20th Punjabis, 21st Punjabis, 22nd Punjabis and the 24th Punjabis regiment. The Infantry unit was re-designation as the 1st Battalion 14th Punjab Regiment. The armed force also provided significant military service during the Second World War. It also participated in the Malayan Campaign and was captured by the Japanese army after the British authorities surrendered on Singapore Island on 15 February 1942. The unit was re-established in the year 1946.
After the country gained freedom from the supremacy of the British Empire in India on 15th August 1947, the nation was divided into the Union of India and the Dominion of Pakistan through the Partition of India. The British Indian Army was split amongst the 2 nations and the military unit was assigned to Pakistan Army.
Designations of 19th Regiment of Bengal Native Infantry
The 19th Regiment of Bengal Native Infantry occupied various designations and titles through out its existence under the British Indian Army. The various titles are mentioned as follows-
* 7th Regiment of Punjab Infantry - 1857
* 23rd Regiment of Bengal Native Infantry - 1857
* 19th Regiment of Bengal Native Infantry - 1861
* 19th (Punjab) Regiment of Bengal Native Infantry - 1864
* 19th (Punjab) Regiment of Bengal Infantry - 1885
* 19th Punjab Infantry - 1901
* 19th Punjabis - 1903
* 1st Battalion 19th Punjabis - 1916
* 19th Punjabis - 1919
* 1st Battalion 14th Punjab Regiment - 1922