The first battalion was raised at Trichinopoly in 1761 as "Coast Sepoys". The first four battalions were raised during the hostilities in the Carnatic in south India between 1761 and 1776. The numbers and titles of the battalions changed during the successive reorganisations of the Madras Presidency Army and later of the Indian Army.
The regiment insginia is of a naval vessel, a galley. It was awarded to 69th Punjabis in recognition of the readiness to serve overseas, after the battalion had fought in eight overseas campaigns by 1824.
The Great War: Loos, France and Flanders 1915, Helles, Krithia, Gallipoli 1915, Suez Canal, Egypt 1915–17, Gaza, Megiddo, Sharon, Nablus, Palestine 1917–18, Defence of Kut al Amara, Kut al Amara 1917, Baghdad, Mesopotamia 1915–18, Aden, E Africa 1914–17, NW Frontier India 1915 '16–17
Second World War: Keren, Ad Teclesan, Amba Alagi, Abyssinia 1940-41, Central Malaya, Ipoh, Singapore Island, Malaya 1941–42, North Africa 1940–43, Casa Bettini, Italy 1943–45, Buthidaung, Ngakedaung Pass, North Arakan, Imphal, Litan, Kanglatongbi, Tengnoupal, Tonzang, Kennedy Peak, Defence of Meiktila, Pyinmana, Burma 1942–45.