34th Royal Sikh Pioneers

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34th Royal Sikh Pioneers
Indian pioneers.png
Subedar major 34th Royal Sikh pioneers standing 2nd from right & Lance Naik standing 1st on the left
Country British India
SizeThree battalions
Part ofBengal Army (to 1895)
Bengal Command
Nickname(s)Mazhabi Pioneers
UniformRed; faced dark blue
EngagementsIndian Rebellion of 1857
Second Afghan War
Relief of Chitral
World War I
Western Front
Mesopotamia Campaign
Sinai and Palestine Campaign

The 34th Royal Sikh Pioneers was an infantry regiment of the British Indian Army. They could trace their origins to 1857, when they were raised as the Punjab Sappers. The regiment recruited exclusively from the Mazhabi Sikh community of Punjab province. Despite being "pioneers" by name, the regiment functioned as a Sikh infantry regiment specially trained as assault pioneers.

Brief History[edit]

The regiment took part in the Siege of Delhi, the Siege of Lucknow and the Capture of Lucknow during the Indian Rebellion of 1857. They were next in action during the Second Afghan War in 1878 and the Relief of Chitral in 1897. To honour the visit of the Prince and Princess of Wales to Indian they took part in the Rawalpindi Parade 1905.

During World War I they were part of the 3rd (Lahore) Division and served on the Western Front, in the Mesopotamia Campaign and in the Sinai and Palestine Campaign.

After World War I the Indian government reformed the army moving from single battalion regiments to multi battalion regiments.[1] In 1922, the 34th Sikh Pioneers now became the 2nd Battalion, 3rd Sikh Pioneers. The regiment was allocated to the new Indian Army on independence.

Notable Achievements[edit]

Pale-eyed young man with a beard and moustache
His Royal Highness King George V awarded the 34th Sikh Pioneers with the "Royal" title in 1921, making them a Royal regiment for their outstanding service during the First World War.
  • They were the most highly decorated Sikh Regiment of the First World War.
  • They became a "Royal" Regiment in 1921.

Predecessor names[edit]

  • Punjab Sappers - 1857
  • 24th (Pioneer) Regiment of Punjab Infantry - 1858
  • 32nd Bengal Native Infantry - 1861
  • 32nd (Punjab) Bengal Native Infantry (Pioneers) - 1864
  • 32nd (Punjab) Bengal Infantry (Pioneers) - 1885
  • 32nd Punjab Pioneers - 1901
  • 34th Sikh Pioneers - 1903


  1. ^ Sumner p.15
  • 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.