61st Pioneers

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61st Pioneers
Active 1758-1922
Country Indian Empire
Branch Army
Type Infantry
Part of Madras Army (to 1895)
Madras Command
Colors Red; faced white
Engagements Carnatic Wars
Third Anglo-Mysore War
Fourth Anglo-Mysore War
Indian Rebellion of 1857
Second Afghan War
Second Burmese War
Boxer Rebellion
World War I
Third Afghan War

The 61st Pioneers were an infantry regiment of the British Indian Army. They could trace their origins to 1758, when they were raised as the 1st Battalion Coast Sepoys.

The regiment took part in the Carnatic Wars in 1746–1763 and then the Third Anglo-Mysore War. In the Fourth Anglo-Mysore War they took part in the Battle of Seedaseer, the Battle of Seringapatam, the Battle of Nagpore, the Battle of Ava. They were next in action during the Indian Rebellion of 1857 in the Central India Campaign. Their next campaigns were outside India when they took part in the Second Afghan War, the Second Burmese War and the Boxer Rebellion. During World War I they were part of the 9th (Secunderabad) Division in the 27th Banglore Brigade. This brigade served away from its parent division and served in British East Africa as part of the Indian Expeditionary Force B. After returning to India they took part in the Third Afghan War.

After World War I the Indian government reformed the army moving from single battalion regiments to multi battalion regiments.[1] In 1922, the 61st Pioneers now became the 1st Battalion 1st Madras Pioneers, which was disbanded in 1933.

Predecessor names[edit]

  • 1st Battalion Coast Sepoys - 1758
  • 1st Carnatic Battalion - 1769
  • 1st Madras Battalion - 1784
  • 1st Battalion, 1st Madras Native Infantry - 1796
  • 1st Madras Native Infantry - 1824
  • 1st Madras Native Infantry (Pioneers) - 1883
  • 1st Madras Infantry (Pioneers) - 1885
  • 1st Madras Pioneers - 1901
  • 61st Madras Pioneers - 1903
  • 61st Prince of Wales's Own Pioneers - 1906
  • 61st King George's Own Pioneers - 1910


  1. ^ Sumner p.15


  • Barthorp, Michael; Burn, Jeffrey (1979). Indian infantry regiments 1860-1914. Osprey Publishing. ISBN 0-85045-307-0. 
  • Rinaldi, Richard A (2008). Order of Battle British Army 1914. Ravi Rikhye. ISBN 0-9776072-8-3. 
  • Sumner, Ian (2001). The Indian Army 1914-1947. Osprey Publishing. ISBN 1-84176-196-6. 
  • Moberly, F.J. (1923). Official History of the War: Mesopotamia Campaign, Imperial War Museum. ISBN 1-870423-30-5