The 89th Punjabis was an infantry regiment of the British Indian Army raised in 1798 as a battalion of Madras Native Infantry. It was designated as the 89th Punjabis in 1903 and became 1st Battalion 8th Punjab Regiment in 1922, in 1947, it was allocated to Pakistan Army, where it continues to exist as 1st Battalion, The Baloch Regiment. The regiment was raised on 9 November 1798 at Masulipatam as the 3rd Extra Battalion of Madras Native Infantry by Captain Alexander MacLeod and was known as MacLeod ki Paltan. In 1800, it was designated as the 1st Battalion 15th Regiment, the battalion was composed mostly of Muslims, Tamils and Telugus of South India. In 1818, it was dispatched to Ceylon to suppress a rebellion of the Sinhalese, in 1832, it was stationed at Malacca, Malaya, when it was again engaged in suppressing a revolt in the State of Naning. The regiment served in Burma during the Third Burma War of 1885–87, in 1893, it was reconstituted with Punjabi Muslims, Sikhs, Rajputs & Brahmins, and permanently based in Burma. Its new designation was 29th Regiment of Madras Infantry, in 1901, its title was changed to 29th Burma Infantry. The Burma Battalions were special units raised to police the new territories acquired in the Third Anglo-Burmese War, subsequent to the reforms brought about in the Indian Army by Lord Kitchener in 1903, all former Madras units had 60 added to their numbers. Consequently, the designation was changed to 89th Punjabis. In 1910, the Burma Battalions were delocalized from Burma and in 1914, the 89th Punjabis have a most distinguished record of service during the First World War. They have the distinction of serving in more theatres of war than any other unit of the British Empire. Gallipoli, where they fought in the Second Battle of Krithia in May 1915, france, where they endured the horrors of trench warfare from May to December 1915. Mesopotamia, where the regiment fought with distinction and was almost decimated in the bloody battles for the Relief of Kut al Amara on the Tigris Front in 1916. North West Frontier of India, where served on the Mohmand Blockade in 1917. Salonika, where they arrived in 1918 but were not actively engaged, russian Transcaucasia, where they served from 1918–20 as part of the British Expeditionary Force. The regiment finally arrived home in August 1920 after six years of active service. During the war, it suffered 1018 casualties including 211 killed and their long list of honours and awards includes the Victoria Cross awarded to Naik Shahmed Khan in 1916. The regiment raised a battalion on 5 June 1917
Image: Badge of 89th Punjabis (1903 22)
Gallantry Award recipients of 89th Punjabis with Lt Col NM Geoghegan, DSO, Nowshera, 1917.
Image: Sepoy, 29th Madras Native Infantry. Watercolour by Alex Hunter, 1846
Image: Naik Shah Ahmad Khan, VC, 89th Punjabis, 1916 copy 2