The 14th Regiment remained at Ferozepore for only a short time,
but the men benefited considerably from their few months' rest after
their long campaigning in the Mutiny. In February, 1860, the Regiment
was detailed to provide the escort to the Viceroy's camp, which
it joined in Sialkot. The Sikhs accompanied the Viceroy to Kalka
and then returned to Sialkot. A few months later Lieutenant-Colonel
Brasyer retired and was succeeded by Captain Montague.
After the Indian Mutiny the Honourable East India Company ceased
to exist and the Army in India was reorganized. The Presidency armies
now consisted only of Indian troops, which became a part of Her
Majesty's Forces. In the Bengal Army irregular regiments were absorbed
into the Line as regulars and for a few months the Regiment of Ferozepore
was designated the 15th Regiment. However, shortly afterwards it
became the 14th Regiment of Bengal Native Infantry, although the
Regiment was generally known as the 14th Sikhs.
In June, 1861, the Regiment moved to Peshawar and in the same month
Major Ross was appointed Commandant.
THE AMBELA EXPEDITION, 1863
Towards the end of 1863 a force moved out under Brigadier-General
Sir Neville Chamberlain from Peshawar for punitive operations against
some fanatical tribesmen at Malka. When the force was crossing the
Ambela Pass it encountered quite unexpectedly a large lashkar which
was reinforced from other districts a few days later. It became
quite clear that the force was being opposed by a general combination
of tribes from the Indus to the Afghan border, so Sir Neville Chamberlain
immediately called for reinforcements before proceeding.
The 14th Sikhs were the first to arrive and took part in a series
of fierce battles around an important post, Crag Piquet, protecting
the British camp on the pass. The tribesmen made many attacks on
this piquet and it changed hands several times. At the beginning
of November the 14th Sikhs displayed great gallantry in recapturing
this piquet and holding it against repeated attacks by large numbers
of tribesmen on several occasions. The Sikhs suffered considerable
casualties in these engagements and Lieutenant Davidson and Subadar
Jowahir Shah, who had been awarded the Indian Order of Merit for
gallantry at Lucknow in 1857, were killed.
On the 18th of November the tribesmen advanced in great strength
and attacked the defences of the camp held by one hundred and thirty
men of the 14th Sikhs under Major Ross. The enemy attacked with
great ferocity, but the Sikhs, although they were completely outnumbered,
held out with great determination until reinforcements arrived and
the tribesmen were driven back. This party of the Regiment suffered
seventy-two casualties; Lieutenant Mosley was killed and Lieutenant
Ingles was wounded. Subadar-Major Sekundar Khan and twelve other
ranks were awarded the Indian Order of Merit for their gallantry
in this action.
By the 17th of December sufficient reinforcements had arrived and
the British column took the offensive. Malka was destroyed and the
expedition withdrew back to the Peshawar Valley. The 14th Sikhs
accompanied the column, but did not have any serious fighting after
the battles on the Ambela Pass.
The 14th Sikhs remained in Peshawar only a few days before moving
off to Lahore, where they arrived in February, 1864. In October
the Regiment took part in the Durbar held by Sir John Lawrence and
then proceeded to Ambala to act as escort to the Commander-in-Chief,
Sir Hugh Ross.
The next twelve years were peaceful and the Regiment was stationed
at different stations in India. In June, 1865, it moved to Benares
and three years later to Fort William, Calcutta. After that the
Sikhs went to Jullundur, then in 1872 to Rawalpindi and by the end
of 1875 they were back again in Peshawar, ready for further operations
on the North-West Frontier. Throughout this period of twelve years
the 14th Sikhs were commanded by Colonel Ross, who was promoted
to command a brigade in September, 1875, and was succeeded by Major
THE JOWAKI EXPEDITION, 1877-1878
In the autumn of 1877 the Sikhs formed part of a column under Brigadier-General
Ross, their former Commandant, and moved into the Jowaki district
against the Afridis. The enemy opposed the column on the Shergasha
Heights and the 14th Sikhs were detailed to assault the position.
The fighting was, however, not severe and the Afridis withdrew without
offering much resistance. The force moved into the Bori valley and
destroyed the offending villages with only slight opposition from
the tribesmen. It then withdrew to Peshawar in 1878 without incident.
SECOND AFGHAN WAR, 1878
The 1st Division was assembled at Jamrud,
under the command of Lieutenant-General Sir Sam Browne, to take part
in the Second Afghan War, which broke out in the autumn of 1878. The
14th Sikhs, commanded by Lieutenant-Colonel Williams, together with
the 81st Foot and the 27th Punjabis, were in the 3rd Brigade of this
The Afghans were known to be holding a position at Ali Masjid in
the Khyber Pass and were supported by the local frontier tribesmen.
Sir Sam Browne decided to capture the Ali Masjid position by sending
the 1st and 2nd Brigades on a wide encircling movement, while the
3rd and 4th Brigades attacked the position from the front. The 14th
Sikhs were the advance guard to the assaulting brigades and set
out from Jamrud for the Khyber Pass early on 21st November. The
Regiment arrived some two and a half miles south of Ali Masjid without
meeting opposition, and the two brigades formed up for the assault
which, was due to take place at 1 p.m., when the two encircling
brigades were expected to be in position on the flanks. At this
time there was no sign of these brigades, but it was decided that
the frontal attack should continue according to plan. A company
of the 14th Sikhs moved forward with the 27th Punjabis in support
and the 81st Foot, The assaulting troops made steady progress against
strong opposition, and by 5 p.m. the Sikhs, under Captain McLean,
were at close grips with the enemy under a very heavy fire. However,
there was still no sign of the British turning columns, so Sir Sam
Browne decided to break off this attack so as to avoid unnecessary
casualties. The Sikhs, with the Punjabis in support, were in very
close contact with the enemy when they were ordered to withdraw.
It was a very difficult operation, but the Sikhs, displaying great
gallantry and determination, managed to break contact after dark
and withdraw. No fewer than eight men were awarded the Indian Order
of Merit for gallantry in this action.
The British forces bivouacked for the night in readiness to renew
the attack the next morning,. but at daybreak on the 22nd of November
it was found that the Afghans had withdrawn. The 1st and 2nd Brigades
had at last arrived and had threatened the enemy's flank and rear.
The 14th Sikhs accompanied Divisional Headquarters to Landi Khana
the next day, but encountered no opposition. By the 21st of November
the 1st Division was concentrated in Dakka at the western end of
the Khyber Pass, where it remained for several weeks.
On the 2nd of December a number of men contracted a virulent typhomalarial
fever. Many men died of the disease and the Regiment had to return
to Peshawar. The epidemic continued to rage and the Regiment was
sent off to Ambala by easy stages. The disease was eventually stamped
out, but over two hundred men died.
The 14th Sikhs remained quietly at Ambala until April, 1881, when
they were detailed to join a column forming at Bannu for a punitive
expedition into Waziristan. The Regiment left Ambala by rail for
Rawalpindi, arriving on the 17th of April. It then marched to Bannu
and covered the one hundred and ninety-two miles in eleven days
in very hot weather. The column moved forward into hostile territory
on the 2nd of May and marched to Razmak by the Khaisora valley.
At Razmak the column contacted another column which had moved out
from Tank. The enemy offered very little resistance and soon submitted
to terms. General Gordon's column was back in Bannu by the 22nd
of May and then returned to Ambala. Subadar-Major Didar Singh, who
had been subadar-major for ten years and had served with the Regiment
throughout the Mutiny, died on the expedition.
In October, 1881, the 14th Sikhs moved to Agra, where they were
stationed for three years. In May, 1884, Lieutenant-Colonel G. N.
Channer, V.C., became Commandant in place of Colonel Williams and
the Regiment moved to Jhelum in December. The 14th Sikhs joined
the Durbar Camp in Rawalpindi in March, 1885, held by Lord Duferin,
the Viceroy, and the following cold weather took part in training
exercises in Delhi.
At this time instructions were received that the 14th Sikhs would
be composed of all Sikhs and the Punjabi Mohammedans would be allowed.
to die out, while the next year the Regiment was linked to the 15th
Sikhs and 45th Sikhs and the regimental centre for the three regiments
was established at Multan.
BLACK MOUNTAIN EXPEDITION, 1888
In September the 14th Sikhs left Jhelum to join the Hazara Field
Force, which was formed to carry out punitive operations against
the tribes of the Black Mountain country lying north-west of Abbottabad.
The Regiment, under the command of Lieutenant-Colonel Ellis, who
had taken over command from Colonel Channer, moved out with No.
3 Column of the Force in October.
There was little heavy fighting during the expedition, but the 14th
Sikhs formed the advance guard of the column and sustained a few
casualties in brushing aside minor resistance by the tribesmen when
moving into the area. The column camped at Akhund on the crest of
the Black Mountain, while small columns moved out and destroyed
a number of villages without incident. The Force was broken up after
returning to Oghi and the 14th Sikhs were back in Jhelum by Christmas.
In 1890 the Regiment moved to Peshawar and spent three peaceful
years there before marching in relief to Ferozepore in 1893.
New Colours were presented to the Regiment on the 15th of March,
In June, 1894, the 14th Sikhs were ordered
to find an escort for the British political agent proceeding to
Gilgit. "A" and "B" Companies, under the command
of Captain C. R. Ross, were detailed for this role and left Ferozepore
on the 15th of June. On arrival at Gilgit "A" Company,
under Lieutenant Harley, was sent to Mastuj, while "B"
Company remained at Gilgit.
All was quiet until January, 1895, when the
Mehtar of Chitral was murdered. At this time the assistant political
officer was in Chitral with an escort of nine men of the 14th Sikhs,
so Lieutenant Harley immediately sent Subadar Gurmukh Singh with
fifty men from Mastuj to reinforce the escort. On the 27th of January
the British agent set out for Chitral to investigate the situation
and took with him the remainder of "A" Company under Lieutenant
Harley and three hundred Kashmir State troops under Captain Campbell.
On arrival at Chitral the agent took over the fort and completed
the stocks there in case of emergency.
Meanwhile, Umra Khan of Bajaur, a tribal leader,
invaded Chitral territory and soon overcame the weak resistance
of the Chitralis. By the beginning of February Umra Khan had captured
the fort at Drosh, a few miles from Chitral, and was joined by Sher
Afzul, who claimed the Mehtarship. Umra Khan supported Sher Afzul
and demanded the withdrawal of the political agent and his escort.
Negotiations broke down and the Chitral pretender advanced on Chitral.
On receiving information of the approach of
Sher Afzul on the 3rd of March Captain Campbell took a force of
two hundred men of the Kashmir State troops and reconnoitered along
the road to Drosh. The enemy were encountered two miles from the
fort and Captain Campbell attacked. The enemy were in much greater
strength than had been anticipated and the column was repulsed with
heavy losses. Lieutenant Harley was therefore instructed to bring
out a party of men to cover the retreat. He immediately moved out
with fifty men and took up a position in the Serai, a quarter of
a mile from the fort. By the time the Sikhs were in position it
was quite dark and the enemy were pressing on hard after the Kashmir
Rifles. The Sikhs held on to their position. They then successfully
broke contact and withdrew in good order back to the fort. Captain
Campbell was very seriously wounded in this action, so his second-in-command,
Captain Townsend,( *Later General Townsend and defender of Kut in
the First World War.) took over command of the Chitral garrison.
The fort, which was on low ground near the river,
was difficult to defend, as it was commanded on three sides by hills,
while water for the garrison had to be obtained from the river.
The siege started in earnest on the 4th of March,
when the enemy fired into the fort all day long. At the beginning
the Sikhs were detailed to hold the southern face of the fort and
the keep, while the Kashmir Rifles were allotted to the northern
and western faces, covering the main gate and the water point. Steps
were immediately taken to improve the defences and construct a covered
way to the water point.
On the night of the 7th of March the enemy made
a determined effort to fire the tower covering the waterway. They
were repulsed, but the Kashmir sepoys holding the tower had been
so shaken by the action on the 3rd of March. that it was quite evident
that they could not be trusted to defend any of the important points
in the fort. The Sikhs therefore took over the north and west faces.
On the night of the 14th of March the enemy
made ferocious attacks against the western face, but were repulsed
with losses by a party of 14th Sikhs under Subadar Gurmukh Singh.
After this the enemy concentrated on trying to seize the water point,
so twenty men of the 14th Sikhs had to occupy a sangar near the
water's edge. This was an unpleasant duty, as there were always
six inches of water in the sangar and there was no cover from the
heavy rain and snow which fell continually at the beginning of the
siege. The Sikhs accepted the duty cheerfully, as it was considered
a post of honour.
Everyone was placed on short rations at the beginning of the siege
and duties were very heavy, but all hardships were borne cheerfully
and the men never grumbled.
Gun Tower - Chitral Fort
On the 6th of April the enemy occupied a summer-house
situated close to the garden wall outside the fort, while at about
5 a.m. they attacked the water point under cover of heavy fire on
the western and northern faces of the fort. The Sikhs threw back
the enemy from the waterway, but during the fighting another party
of the enemy, unnoticed by the Kashmir sentries, piled up and set
a heap of firewood alight at the bottom of the south-eastern tower.
This fire set light to beams in the tower and there was great danger
of the tower collapsing.. The fire was put out with the greatest
difficulty, as the enemy kept up a continuous fire on that part
of the fort. However, a party of Sikhs was sent to reinforce the
garrison of the tower and the fire was eventually put out after
six hours' hard work. Sepoy Bhola Singh was awarded the Indian Order
of Merit for his gallantry when helping to put out the fire. He
was severely wounded in one arm, but continued to throw water on
the fire, although constantly exposed to heavy enemy fire.
On the next day the men of the 14th Sikhs asked
to be allowed to hold all four towers of the fort as well as the
water sangar, since the safety of the garrison depended on the vigilance
of the sentries on these important posts. Captain Townsend accepted
the suggestion and the Sikhs took over these positions and held
them until the end of the siege.
On the 11th of April the enemy made another
attack on the east and west faces, but they were again beaten back
without much difficulty. On the 17th of April, after a few apparently
quiet days, a sentry heard the noise of picking from the direction
of the summer-house and it was soon obvious that a mine was being
made and that the enemy had reached a point about twelve feet from
the fort. Captain Townsend decided to send Lieutenant Harley with
fifty Sikhs and sixty men of the Kashmir Rifles to capture the summer-house
and destroy the mine.
At 4 p.m. the assaulting party assembled at
the eastern ate, with the Sikhs in front. Harley dashed through
the gate followed closely by his men, and charged straight for the
summer-house. A party of Pathans, located in the summer-house to
cover the men working in the mine, fired a volley at the assaulting
party, but they fled down the garden wall as the Sikhs closed in
with the bayonet. The enemy took up a position at the end of the
garden and opened up very heavy fire on the Sikhs around the summer-house.
Harley told off a party to engage the enemy while he searched for
the mine. Another party of Pathans opened up from the left of the
summer-house and two young Sikhs dashed forward and assaulted the
position. Although these two men were immediately killed, their
gallant action put the Pathans to flight and they were all killed'
by fire from the fort.
The mine was well hidden and the Sikhs could
not find it for some time. It was eventually discovered behind the
garden wall and Lieutenant Harley and six men immediately jumped
down the shaft. Twenty Pathans armed with swords tried to escape,
but they were all bayoneted as they dashed forward. Lieutenant Harley
immediately laid some powder bags to blow up the mine, but found
that the fuse had been damaged during the fighting. While he was
repairing the fuse two more Pathans tried to escape from the mine
and two Sikhs opened fire and the powder exploded. The explosion
opened up the mine from end to end and killed six Pathans who had
remained in it. Fortunately the force of the explosion was expended
by the time it reached the Sikhs at the end of the mine and Harley
and a few of the men were only knocked to the ground. Lieutenant
Harley had completed his task, so he ordered his men to withdraw
to the fort. The Sikhs dashed back under heavy fire, taking the
arms and accoutrements of the casualties and a number of rifles
and swords of the enemy. The Sikhs lost only three killed and five
wounded, while the enemy's casualties were at least a hundred, of
which thirty-five were killed by the bayonet.
During the night, of the 18th of April a Pathan
came to the fort and reported that the enemy had fled and that British
troops were near. In the morning there was no sign of the enemy
and the siege: was over, and on the next day Colonel Kelly arrived
with a relief force from Gilgit. Captain Townsend, in his report
on the siege, wrote
"The spirit of the 14th Sikhs was
our admiration; the longer the siege lasted the more eager they
became to teach the enemy a lesson. There could not be finer soldiers
than these men of the 14th Sikhs and they were our sheet anchor
in the siege."
Younghusband, in his "Relief of Chitral,"
"It was the discipline ingrained
into these men that saved the garrison. As long as a Sikh was on
sentry, while Sikhs were holding a threatened point, Captain Townsend
had nothing to fear. The enemy would never catch a Sikh off his
guard and could never force their way through a post of Sikhs while
one remained alive. They saved the garrison and the officers gratefully
acknowledged their service."
In recognition of the gallant and successful
defence of the fort at Chitral, His Excellency The Viceroy sanctioned
a grant of six months' pay to all ranks, while Lieutenant Harley
was awarded the Distinguished Service Order and appointed brevet
major. Subadar Gurmukh Singh was appointed to the Order of British
India and Jemadar Attar Singh and seven men were awarded the Indian
Order of Merit for gallantry.
While "A" Company were at Chitral
with the political agent, "B" Company, under Captain Ross,
took their place in Mastuj, where they arrived at the beginning
of March. A few days later information was received that a sapper
detachment and a party of Kashmir Rifles, en route to Chitral, were
about to be attacked near Reshun.
Captain Ross immediately set out with his company
to support this party. The Sikhs halted the first night at Buni
and moved on early the next morning, the 8th of March. Soon after
1 p.m. "B" Company entered a narrow defile below the village
of Koragh. The defile was about half a mile long and situated where
the Mastuj river, a rapid and unfordable torrent, formed a gorge
through the mountains. It is believed that Captain Ross was anxious
to lose no time and decided to risk entering the defile without
first reconnoitering the heights. This decision had disastrous results.
As the column was approaching the far end of the defile the track
was found to be blocked and in addition parties of the enemy were
discovered to be holding the hilltops and. ridges all round.
Since the enemy were in great strength and holding
strong positions, it was hopeless to try to attempt to force a way
through to Reshun. Captain Ross therefore decided to withdraw and
sent Lieutenant Jones with ten men to seize the Koragh end of the
defile and cover the withdrawal. However, the enemy had already
seized this exit and Lieutenant Jones was unable to break out and
suffered heavy casualties. The attempt to break out was temporarily
abandoned and the whole party took cover in some caves in the river
bank. During the night two attempts were made to force a way out,
but the enemy was on the alert and the Sikhs had to return to the
caves. Having rested in the caves during the day, Captain Ross decided
that they must break through that night at all costs.
The party moved off at 2 a.m. on the 10th of
March. The enemy was, unfortunately, on the alert and offered strong
opposition. Captain Ross was shot dead and many men were killed
or wounded. Only Lieutenant Jones, seventeen men and two followers
succeeded in fighting their way out on to the plain towards Koragh.
Lieutenant Jones halted
his party a short way from the defile in order to assist any further
survivors in breaking through. In this position the enemy launched
two ferocious charges against the Sikhs, who stubbornly held their
ground and drove the tribesmen back time after time. Three more
Sikhs were killed in this fighting and of the rest Lieutenant Jones
and nine men were wounded, so the party withdrew slowly to Buni,
which was reached at 6 a.m. the next morning. Survivors of this
disaster were only Lieutenant Jones, fourteen men and two followers.
Lieutenant Jones was awarded the Distinguished Service Order, and
all the fourteen other ranks the Indian Order of Merit, while the
followers were awarded three months' pay.
At Buni Lieutenant
Jones joined forces with a detachment of Sikhs, which
had been left behind
on the outward journey, and the whole party withdrew to Mastuj a
week later. At Mastuj the remnants of "B" Company, with
a detachment of Kashmir Rifles, defended the fort against a large
force of tribesmen until relieved on the 9th of April. Although
the enemy made; no determined attacks on the fort, the garrison
was continually under fire, while snow and sleet fell most of the
In June the two companies
of the 14th Sikhs marched from Chitral under Lieutenant Harley and
arrived in Ferozepore at the end of the month. Although only one
company of the Regiment took part in the siege of Chitral, the 14th
Sikhs were given the honour of inscribing "Defence of Chitral"
on their Colours.
THE TOCHI FIELD FORCE, 1897
Although the 14th Sikhs had been split up into detachments for a
long period, they had gained such a reputation that they were one
of the first regiments to be selected for active service when the
whole Frontier flared up in 1897. However, the Regiment was unfortunate,
as it was sent to a theatre of operations where no actual fighting
occurred and missed participation in the Frontier expeditions farther
north, where so many troops were later engaged.
The Regiment left Ferozepore by train on the 17th of June for Khusalgarh
and then marched to Bannu, where it joined the Tochi Field Force.
Although the Force carried out considerable journeys into tribal
territory, there was no actual fighting. as the situation had quietened
down. However, convoy and other duties were severe and there was
a great deal of sickness in the Force. The other two regiments in
the Brigade had to return to India on this account, but the 14th
Sikhs kept very fit and remained in the Tochi valley to garrison
the lower posts. The Regiment was finally relieved at the end of
March, 1898, and then marched to its new station, Nowshera, via
the Kohat Pass.
EAST AFRICA, 1897-1899
In June, 1897, a party consisting of Lieutenant Macdonald, Jemadar
Bhagwan Singh and fourteen men proceeded to British East Africa
and joined an expedition formed to fight mutineers and other hostile
elements in the Sudan. Of this small detachment Lieutenant Macdonald
and one sepoy were killed and Jemadar Bhagwan Singh and three sepoys
wounded. Jemadar Bhagwan Singh and three sepoys were awarded the
Indian Order of Merit for continuous conspicuous gallantry in action,
and the officer in charge of the expedition, Colonel Macdonald,
writing about the party, stated
"This detachment fully maintained
the great reputation of the 14th Sikhs and fought with such gallantry
that they secured the admiration of all."
The party returned to the Regiment in Nowshera on the 7th of May,
On the outbreak of the Boxer Rising; in China in the summer of 1900,
troops were dispatched from India to China to join the international
forces engaged in relieving the legations besieged at Peking and
suppressing the rebellion.
The 14th Sikhs, under Colonel Hogge, left Nowshera by train on the
7th of July for Bombay. However, Lieutenant Currie contracted cholera
during a halt at Khandwa and the Regiment had to be, segregated
and their departure to China was delayed. The Regiment embarked
in the S.S. Formosa at Bombay on the 12th of August and sailed to
Shanghai via Singapore and Hong Kong. The 14th Sikhs disembarked
on the 6th of September and went into camp just outside the International
Settlement. By this time the besieged legations at Peking had been
relieved and there was very little further fighting.
The Regiment joined the 2nd Brigade, which was at that time garrisoning
Shanghai. Conditions there were entirely peaceful and the Brigade
remained there until April, 1901. For the British officers the seven
months spent in this city were a most pleasant period. There were
excellent facilities for sport and games, and hospitality abounded.
By the spring of 1901 it was decided to reduce the British forces
in China and the 2nd Brigade was broken up. However, the 14th Sikhs
were amongst those regiments selected to remain in China and were
transferred farther north. The Regiment left Shanghai by sea for
Taku and then proceeded up the railway to Yangtsun, where it was
responsible for protecting the Peking-Tientsin railway, which was
at that time a British responsibility. The Sikhs were split up into
small detachments over a large section of the railway and were employed
in patrolling the railway line and occasional expeditions after
The 14th Sikhs finally left China on the 29th of July, 1902, sailing
from Taku on the Royal Indian Marine ship Clive.
The 14th Sikhs disembarked at Calcutta
on the 15th of August, 1902, and then went by train to Multan, where
they remained until February, 1905. Lieutenant-Colonel W. E. Bunbury,
transferred from the 28th Punjabis, took over command of the Regiment
in place of Colonel Hogge, who had left the Regiment in China to
go on pension.
In January, 1902, the Rajah of Nabha was appointed Honorary Colonel
of the 14th Sikhs and held this distinction until his death.
At Multan the game of hockey was first taken up seriously by the
14th Sikhs. For many years previously there had been periodical
athletic sports meetings and quoit-throwing competitions, but there
had been no regular organized games for the rank and file.
The Regiment moved to Ferozepore in March, 1905, and the following
November marched to Rawalpindi and took part in manoeuvres there
which culminated in a big review before His Royal Highness The Prince
of Wales on the 8th of December.
On the 1st of January, 1906, the Regiment was honoured by the appointment
of His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales as Colonel-in-Chief and
its title was altered to "14th Prince of Wales's Own Ferozepore
Sikhs." Lieutenant-Colonel W. E. Bunbury, Lieutenant and Adjutant
F. E. G. Talbot and Subadar-Major Bhagwan Singh were presented to
the Prince of Wales at Benares in February, and the Subadar-Major
was later decorated with the Medal of the Royal Victorian Order.
In March, 1907, the 14th Sikhs reached the final of the Punjab Native
Army Hockey Tournament and were defeated by the 15th Sikhs by an
In November, 1907, the 14th Sikhs marched from Ferozepore to Hangu
and Fort Lockhart. Sir Henry Craik, a touring Member of Parliament,
who happened to see the Regiment on the march near Lahore, wrote
an article in an English paper on his impressions of the Regiment,
an extract from which reads
"The other day during our
morning ride we passed a regiment, the 14th Sikhs, in marching order
on their sway from Ferozepore through Lahore to the frontier, and
a finer lot of men it has never been my lot to see. . . . Without
exception they were much above middle height and their sergeants,
as the elders of the corps, were models of dignity. . . . They kept
perfect rank and stepped out in perfect time, but at the same time
with an easy long swing that it would be hard for any European regiment
to rival. . . ."
On arrival on the Frontier, headquarters and
half the Regiment were stationed at Hangu whilst the other half
garrisoned Fort Lockhart, but in the summer of 1908 the whole Regiment
concentrated at Fort Lockhart.
In March, 1908, the 14th Sikhs entered for the
Punjab Native Army Hockey Tournament and again met the 15th Sikhs
in the final. This time the score was exactly reversed and the 14th
Sikhs won the tournament for the first time.
In August Lieutenant-Colonel Banbury vacated
command and was succeeded by Lieutenant-Colonel H. J. Jones.
In October the Regiment marched in relief from
Fort Lockhart to Quetta. This was a long and interesting march along
the edge of the Frontier, through Kohat, Bannu, Tank, the Gomal
valley, the Zhob valley, Fort Sandeman and Hindubagh.
After his accession to the Throne in 1910, His
Majesty King George V continued to be Colonel-in-Chief of the Regiment,
which then became "14th King George's Own Ferozepore Sikhs."
At the same time the Regiment was permitted to retain the plume
of the Prince of Walles as one of its badges in addition to the
Royal and Imperial Cypher.
In October, 1910, the 14th Sikhs marched from Quetta to Loralai.
From here Subadar-Major Bhagwan Singh and Jemadar Jaimal Singh went
to England with other representatives of the Indian. Army to attend
the coronation of King George V.
Since the 14th Sikhs were so far away from Delhi
they were able to send only a small detachment to take part in the
Coronation Durbar in December, 1911. This party consisted of Colonel
Jones, Captain Talbot, two Viceroy's commissioned officers and eighteen
other ranks. Whilst at Delhi His Majesty presented engravings of
himself and the Queen to the Officers' Mess, and Subadar Gulab Singh
was decorated with the Medal of the Royal Victorian Order. During
the Durbar Captain Talbot did duty as extra aide-de-camp to the
In August, 1912, Lieutenant-Colonel Jones handed
over command of the Regiment and was succeeded by Lieutenant-Colonel
Palin. In February of the following year the 14th Sikhs moved from
Loralai to Peshawar, where they remained until the outbreak of war
in 1914. While the Regiment was in Peshawar Subadar-Major Bhagwan
Singh was selected as one of the four Indian orderlies to the King
and spent the summer months of 1913 in England.
Never has the reputation of the Regiment stood
higher than it did in Peshawar in 1913 and 1914. Everyone was particularly
happy there, while training, morale and discipline were of a very
high order. The Regiment was fortunate in having an outstanding
batch of officers who were an exceedingly happy family, but, sad
to say, many were to lose their lives in 1915. The athletic achievements
of the officers were outstanding. In Peshawar they won the open
tennis and golf competitions and an officers' team of the 14th Sikhs
beat every other unit, both British and Indian, at hockey and cricket.
The Indian Army cricket eleven of the Peshawar District, which beat
the Rifle Brigade in the final match for the Jamasjee Cup, included
no fewer than nine officers of the 14th Sikhs.
It was with these officers that the 14th
Sikhs went to war at Gallipoli the following year.