45th Rattray's Sikhs

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45th Rattray's Sikhs
45th Sikh Regiment escorting prisoners - 2nd afghan war.jpg
Active 1856-1922
Country Indian Empire
Branch Army
Type Infantry
Part of Bengal Army (to 1895)
Bengal Command
Colors I859 Drab; faced blue
1870 Red; faced light buff 1886 white
Engagements Defence of Arrah
1858 Afghanistan
1878 Ali Masjid
Punjab Frontier

The 45th Rattray's Sikhs was an infantry regiment of the British Indian Army. They could trace their origins to the 1st Bengal Military Police Battalion raised in April 1856, at Lahore, by Captain Thomas Rattray originally consisting of a troop of 100 cavalry and 500 infantry. The initial class composition of the troops was 50% Sikhs and 50% Dogras, Rajputs and Mussulmans (Muslims) from the Punjab and the North-West Frontier. It is said that he went through the villages challenging men to wrestle with him on the condition that they had to join up.[1] Whatever the case, the regiment was raised and trained and developed as an elite corps, which soon saw action in Bihar (then part of Eastern Bengal) in the Sonthal 'purghanas'. After sterling service in Bihar, Bengal and Assam, and during the 1857 Mutiny/Rebellion, the cavalry portion was eventually disbanded in 1864 and the infantry section was taken into the line of Bengal Native Infantry as the '45th (Rattray's Sikh) Native Regiment of Infantry'.[2]

After World War I the Indian government reformed the army moving from single battalion regiments to multi battalion regiments.[3] In 1922, the 45th Rattray's Sikhs became the 3rd Battalion, 11th Sikh Regiment. The regiment was allocated to the new India on independence and is now the 3rd Battalion, the Sikh Regiment, with its headquarters at Ramgarh, Jharkhand (formerly part of Bihar state), India.

Predecessor names[edit]

  • 1856-63: 1st Bengal Military Police Battalion (Rattray's)
  • 1864: 45th (Rattray’s Sikh) Regiment, BNI
  • 1901: 45th Rattray’s Sikh Infantry


  1. ^ http://www.britishempire.co.uk/forces/armyunits/indianinfantry/45thsikhs.htm
  2. ^ Omer Tarin and SD Najmuddin, "Risaldar Sardar Habib Khan, 1st Bengal Military Police Battalion" in Durbar: Journal of the Indian Military Historical Society, Vol 27, No 2, Summer 2010, pp. 67-74
  3. ^ Sumner p.15

Further reading[edit]

  • Col H St G McRae "Regimental History of the 45th Rattray's Sikhs" Vol 1, 1856–1914, Pub Glasgow 1933
  • Barthorp, Michael; Burn, Jeffrey (1979). Indian infantry regiments 1860-1914. Osprey Publishing. ISBN 0-85045-307-0. 
  • Sumner, Ian (2001). The Indian Army 1914-1947. Osprey Publishing. ISBN 1-84176-196-6. 
  • Gaylor, John "Sons of John Company: The Indian and Pakistan Armies 1903-1991" New Delhi: Lancer International, 1993. ISBN 81-7062-185-2

See also[edit]