156th Infantry

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156th Infantry
Active May 1918 – 1919
Country  British India
Allegiance British Crown
Branch  British Indian Army
Type Infantry
Size One battalion
Part of Karachi Brigade
Service First World War

The 156th Infantry[a] was an infantry regiment of the British Indian Army. It was formed in Mesopotamia in May 1918 during the First World War. It moved to India in June where it remained until disbanded in 1919.


Heavy losses suffered by the British Expeditionary Force on the Western Front following the German Spring Offensive in March 1918 resulted in a major reorganization of the Egyptian Expeditionary Force:

In fact, the 75th Division already had four Indian battalions assigned,[c] so of the 36 battalions needed to reform the divisions, 22 were improvised[16] by taking whole companies from existing units already on active service in Mesopotamia and Palestine to form the 150th Infantry (3 battalions), 151st Sikh Infantry (3), 152nd Punjabis (3), 153rd Punjabis (3), 154th Infantry (3), 155th Pioneers (2), 156th Infantry (1) and the 11th Gurkha Rifles (4).[17] The donor units were then brought back up to strength by drafts. In the event, just 13 of the battalions were assigned to the divisions[18] and the remaining nine were transferred from Mesopotamia to India in June 1918.[19]


The regiment was formed with a single battalion (1st Battalion) in Mesopotamia in May 1918 by the transfer of complete companies from:[2]

The battalion was transferred from Mesopotamia to India in June 1918 and joined the Karachi Brigade where it remained in until the end of the First World War.[20] The 156th Infantry was disbanded in 1919.[1]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Gaylor[1] states that the regiment was called the 156th Indian Infantry whereas Perry[2] says 156th Infantry. The latter seems more likely given the designation of, for examples, the pre-war 18th Infantry, 98th Infantry and 108th Infantry.
  2. ^ The remaining infantry division in the Egyptian Expeditionary Force in March 1918 – the 54th (East Anglian) Division – remained unaffected by these changes.[13]
  3. ^ In March 1917, the Egyptian Expeditionary Force started forming the 75th Division, originally to be made up of Territorial Force battalions arriving from India. In May 1917, to speed up the formation of the division, it was decided to incorporate Indian battalions.[14] To this end, the independent 29th Indian Brigade was broken up in June 1917 and its battalions posted to 75th Division.[15]


  1. ^ a b Gaylor 1996, p. 346
  2. ^ a b Perry 1993, p. 177
  3. ^ Becke 1936, p. 115
  4. ^ Becke 1937, p. 121
  5. ^ Perry 1993, p. 54
  6. ^ Perry 1993, p. 90
  7. ^ Perry 1993, pp. 21–24
  8. ^ Perry 1993, pp. 25–28
  9. ^ Becke 1938, pp. 15–16
  10. ^ Becke 1936, pp. 120–121
  11. ^ Becke 1937, pp. 29–30
  12. ^ Becke 1937, pp. 126–128
  13. ^ Becke 1936, pp. 128–129
  14. ^ Becke 1937, p. 129
  15. ^ Perry 1993, p. 167
  16. ^ Perry 1993, p. 174
  17. ^ Perry 1993, pp. 177–178
  18. ^ Hanafin, James. "Order of Battle of the Egyptian Expeditionary Force, September 1918" (PDF). orbat.com. Archived from the original (PDF) on 9 January 2015. Retrieved 11 November 2011. 
  19. ^ Perry 1993, pp. 44,64,81,103,155
  20. ^ Perry 1993, p. 64


  • Becke, Major A.F. (1936). Order of Battle of Divisions Part 2A. The Territorial Force Mounted Divisions and the 1st-Line Territorial Force Divisions (42–56). London: His Majesty's Stationery Office. ISBN 1-871167-12-4. 
  • Becke, Major A.F. (1937). Order of Battle of Divisions Part 2B. The 2nd-Line Territorial Force Divisions (57th–69th) with The Home-Service Divisions (71st–73rd) and 74th and 75th Divisions. London: His Majesty's Stationery Office. ISBN 1-871167-00-0. 
  • Becke, Major A.F. (1938). Order of Battle of Divisions Part 3A. New Army Divisions (9–26). London: His Majesty's Stationery Office. ISBN 1-871167-08-6. 
  • Gaylor, John (1996). Sons of John Company: The Indian and Pakistan Armies 1903–1991 (2nd ed.). Tunbridge Wells: Parapress. ISBN 1-898594-41-4. 
  • Perry, F.W. (1993). Order of Battle of Divisions Part 5B. Indian Army Divisions. Newport: Ray Westlake Military Books. ISBN 1-871167-23-X. 

External links[edit]