The 14th Sikh Regiment left Jullundur on
the 20th of February for Iraq and proceeded to Baghdad, where they
were detailed for garrison duty. Later in the year the 14th Sikhs
moved to Kut al Amara, where they were employed in closing down
the military cantonment and demolishing the post. Early in 1923
the 14th Sikhs were back again in Baghdad and were responsible for
the protection of the Royal Air Force aerodrome.
At this time tribesmen in Kurdistan, under the
leadership of Shaikh Mahmud, were actively hostile to the British
administration. They had met with considerable success in the autumn
of 1922 and the British forces had not been able to deal with them
during the winter on account of the bad weather. In February troops
were urgently required in Kirkuk and "A" and "B"
Companies, under Captains Maclaren and Spankie,, were detailed for
this role. The two companies were transported there by air on the
21st of February. This was the first occasion in history on which
a large body of troops had been carried by air for military operations.
The two companies, in full fighting equipment, were moved in nine
troop-carrying aeroplanes and the actual journey in the air took
less than an hour, whereas by march route: Kirkuk could not have
been reached in less than a week.
The 14th Sikhs took part in the punitive operations
directed by the Commander of the Royal Air Force in Iraq against
Shaikh Mahmud and his forces in May and June, 1923. They joined
a column under Colonel B. Vincent and concentrated in Kirkuk. The
column marched from Kirkuk on the 12th of May and for a fortnight
traversed the Kurdistan country, making many long marches. However,
no serious fighting took place, and no casualties were suffered.
The column returned to Kirkuk in June and then dispersed, although
the 14th Sikhs remained at Kirkuk until the end of September.
For their services in Kurdistan, Major
Story received brevet promotion to lieutenant-colonel and Subadar
Bogh Singh was awarded the Military Cross. The Regiment arrived
back in Baghdad in October and remained there until its return to
India at the beginning of 1924.