History of 23rd Bengal Native Infantry
The 23rd Bengal Native Infantry was established by the East India Company as the 15th (Pioneer) Regiment of Punjab Infantry in 1857 for service during the Sepoy Mutiny. Later the unit was re-designated as 23rd Bengal Native Infantry in 1861 and as the 23rd Punjab Pioneers in the year 1901.
Military Operations of 23rd Bengal Native Infantry
The 23rd Punjab Pioneers regiment participated in a number of British conquests and battles, which include the Battle of Taku Forts in 1858, the Battle of Taku Forts in 1860 and the Battle of Palikao during the Second Opium War. Later the troops took part in the Abyssinia Expedition of the Army of British Empire in 1868 against the Ethiopian Empire. The 23rd Bengal Native Infantry also fought in the Battle of Charasiab in the year 1878 during the Second Afghan War and the Battle of Peiwar Kotal. In the year 1903, the battalion also participated in the military expedition to Tibet and supported in the invasion of the British Indian army into Tibet.
Development of 23rd Bengal Native Infantry
The former structure of separate single battalion regiments of the British Indian Army was re-organised by the British Government of India in order to raise multi battalion units, each consisting of 4 to 6 battalions. In 1922, the 23rd Bengal Native Infantry was renamed as the 1st Battalion, 3rd Sikh Pioneers. Later the infantry regiment was again re-designated as the as the Corps of Sikh Pioneers in 1929. However the unit was dissolved in 1933.
The 23rd Punjab Pioneers regiment was re-established during the Second World War and was titled as the Sikh Light Infantry. After the independence of India from the governance of the British Empire in 1947, the British Indian Army was divided along with the geographical borders of the country through the Partition of India. As a result, the 23rd Bengal Native Infantry was assigned to the Union of India and the modern Indian Army.
Designations of 23rd Bengal Native Infantry
The British Indian army regiment held many designations through out its service and renumbering of the army. These are listed as follows -
* 15th (Pioneer) Regiment of Punjab Infantry in 1857
* 23rd Bengal Native Infantry in 1861
* 23rd (Punjab) Bengal Native Infantry (Pioneers) in 1864
* 23rd (Punjab) Bengal Infantry (Pioneers) in 1885
* 23rd Punjab Pioneers in 1901
* 1st Battalion, 3rd Sikh Pioneers in 1922
* Corps of Sikh Pioneers in 1929
* Disbanded in 1933
* Reformed as Sikh Light Infantry in 1944
* Assigned to Indian Army in 1947