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The Bengal Regiment is a name given to a large number of infantry regiments raised for the British Indian Army. These regiments were originally raised by the East India Company as part of the Army of Bengal, which was one of the three presidency armies that were absorbed into British Indian Army in 1903. Composing mainly of recruits from the British Indian province of Bengal, following the partitioning of India and its independence from Britain, such regiments have been carried over into the Indian Army, the Pakistan Army and the Bangladesh Army where they continue to serve today.
As a point of history, most regiments in the Bengal Army were dismantled by the British in the aftermath of the Indian Rebellion of 1857, because the mutiny was believed to have been started because of disaffection amongst the sepoys and sowars of the Army of Bengal. One of the main actors of the mutiny, Mangal Pandey belonged to the 34th Bengal Native Infantry, and it was the incident on March 29, 1857 at Barrackpore when he injured the adjutant, Lieutenant Baugh, with a sword after shooting him, that is said to have started the mutiny.
References and notes
- The 'Indian Army' was formed by the Government of India in 1895, however, the presidency armies were not absorbed into this formation until later in 1903.
- The Indian Mutiny of 1857 is referred to by a number of different names, including the First War of Independence, the Bengal Sepoy Mutiny and the Indian Rebellion of 1857. The usage of these various names has been attributed to different points of view regarding the cause and significance of the event, and often upon individual's conceptions of history. Readers should feel free to make up their own minds about the subject.
- Mason, Philip. 1974. A Matter of Honour: An Account of the Indian Army, its Officers and Men. Macmillan.
- Guy, Alan & Boyden, Peter. 1997. Soldiers of the Raj, The Indian Army 1600-1947. National Army Museum, Chelsea.
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