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Madras Regiment

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The Madras Regiment
Regimental Insignia of The Madras Regiment
Country British India
Branch British Indian Army
Indian Army
TypeLine infantry
Size21 Battalions[citation needed]
Regimental CentreWellington, Udhagamandalam (Ooty), Tamil Nadu
Motto(s)Swadharme Nidhanam Shreyaha (It is a glory to die doing one’s duty)
War cry“Veer Madrassi, Adi Kollu, Adi Kollu, Adi Kollu !”

Meaning “O Brave Madrassi, Hit And Kill, Hit And Kill, Hit And Kill !”

(Which took from old Nair Pattalam of Travancore Kingdom "Adi... Kollu...")
Decorations2 Victoria Crosses
8 Military Cross
1 Ashoka Chakra
5 Maha Vir Chakra
36 Vir Chakras
304 Sena Medals
1 Nao Sena Medal
15 Param Vishisht Seva Medals
9 Kirti Chakras
27 Shaurya Chakras
1 Uttam Yudh Seva Medal
2 Yudh Seva Medals
23 Ati Vishisht Seva Medals
47 Vishisht Seva Medals
151 Mention-in-Despatches
512 COAS's Commendation Cards
271 GOC-in-C's Commendation Cards
3 Jeevan Rakshak Padak
7 COAS Unit Citations
7 GOC Unit Citation
Battle honoursPost Independence Tithwal, Punch, Kalidhar, Maharajke, Siramani and Basantar River.
Colonel of
the Regiment
Lt Gen Manjinder Singh, YSM, VSM
Regimental InsigniaAn Assaye Elephant posed upon a shield with two crossed swords

The Madras Regiment is the oldest infantry regiment of the Indian Army, originating in the 1750s as a unit of the British East India Company. The regiment took part in numerous campaigns with the British Indian Army and the post-independence Indian Army.

As an East India Company mercenary unit[edit]

The town of Madras was founded in 1639 and the first Fort Saint George in 1644. In August 1758, they were formed into regular companies of 100 men each with a due proportion of Indian officers, havildars, naiks, etc. and in December of that year the first two battalions were formed with a European subaltern to each company and a captain to command the whole. (These officers were mostly seconded from the King's service with a step-in rank. They were of a better class, better educated and above all had far more military experience than the company's officers).[1]

Group of the Tenth Regiment of Madras Native Infantry, 1862
Sepoy of 29th Madras Native Infantry. (Watercolour by Alex Hunter, 1846)

The Madras Regiment was initially formed as the Madras European Regiment in the 1660s by the East India Company as the second company established in India. However, it was formed as a battalion in 1748 under the command of Major Stringer Lawrence. The battalion was involved in all the battles against the French forces in India.[2][3] Lawrence structured the regiment to include two battalions, one European and one Sepoy India. They were similar in structure and included seven companies each, with each company including three officers in command and seventy privates. Also part of the companies were four sergeants and corporals and three drummers.[4]

In 1748, Major Stringer Lawrence, a veteran of action in Spain, Flanders and the Highlands, was hired by the East India Company to take charge of the defence of Cuddalore. He laid the foundations of what was to become the Indian Army. Training the levies to become a militia, the Madras Levies were formed into "companies" and trained to become a disciplined and fine fighting force. In 1758, Lawrence raised the Madras Regiment, forming the several Companies of Madras Levies into two battalions. 2 Madras was raised in 1776 as the 15th Carnatic Infantry at Thanjavur (and underwent many name changes thereafter). The original title of these battalions was 'Coast Sepoys'. In 1769, these battalions were numbered and named differently with the battalions in the South being called 'Carnatic' and numbering 1 to 13, while those serving in the North were named 'Circar' and numbered 1 to 6. In 1784, this distinction between 'Carnatic' and 'Circar' was abolished and they were henceforth known as 'Madras' battalions. In 1796, the units were numbered 1st to 50th Madras Native Infantry. In 1891, the word 'Native' was dropped.[5]

The regiment has been through many campaigns with the British Indian Army and the Indian Army. Many well-known British officers have commanded this regiment, among them Robert Clive. This regiment fought in the Carnatic wars, which were fought in South India. The elephant crest symbolises its gallantry in the Battle of Assaye under Arthur Wellesley, later Duke of Wellington.[6]

There after the British annexed the Indian sub-continent, largely with the help of the Madras Regiment sepoys. A British mercenary force to eliminate the native rulers like the Mysore Kingdom and the Polygars such as Puli Thevan, Dheeran Chinnamalai, Maruthu brothers, Kattabomman, Pazhassi Raja, etc., at its zenith in the 1800s, the regiment consisted of 52 battalions. The regiment saw many overseas deployments during this period – First Anglo-Burmese War, First Opium War of 1839-42, Second Anglo-Burmese War of 1852-54.[5][7]

Under the British Crown[edit]

The regiment played an important role in suppressing the First War of Indian Independence Sepoy Mutiny 1857 campaign in Lucknow and Central India, Second Anglo-Afghan War of 1879-80, Third Anglo-Burmese War of 1885-87 and during the Boxer Rebellion in China in 1900.[8] The coming of the British rule and merging of the Presidency armies into a British Indian Army led the erstwhile regiments to be reorganised. After conquest of India, the main perceived threat to British was from Russia. So, recruitment was re-oriented towards north Indians of Punjab and Nepal. This resulted in the British reducing the strength of the Madras Regiment, since the southern borders were relatively peaceful. As part of this change, seventeen Madras regiments, were converted into Punjab and Gorkha regiments between 1890 and 1903. They were renamed the 1st, 2nd and 8th Punjab and 1/7th and 1/10th Gorkha Rifles.

By the time of World War I, the once large regiment was left with eight Carnatic Regiments, the 63rd, 73rd, 75th, 79th, 80th, 83rd, 86th and 88th. These battalions were with a reduced strength of 600 men, as they were intended to perform duties of garrison troops only. During 1917-18, eight additional battalions were raised. In 1922, the regiment was allotted one regiment each of Pioneers and Infantry. During the re-organisation of the Indian Army in 1922, the regiments were numbered according to their seniority. The 1st and 2nd Punjab Regiments, which ironically were raised from senior Madras Regiment battalions were given precedence and the regiment was renamed as 3rd Madras Regiment. Following the great war, nearly the whole of the regiment was disbanded between 1922 and 1928. What remained were four Indian Territorial Force (ITF) and one University Training Corps battalions. This decline was arrested in 1941, when Sir Arthur Hope, the then Governor of Madras put in efforts to revive the regiment. The ITF battalions were converted to regular ones and new ones raised. A training centre was raised at Madukkarai in Coimbatore district in July 1942. After many years, the regiment was re-raised with fresh recruits and a draft of troops from the Queen's own Sappers and Miners (Madras Paraiyar Regiment) and the Madras Sappers during World War II. The newly reborn Madras Regiment performed very creditably during the Burma Campaign. In 1947, the numeral ‘3’ was dropped from the name of the regiment and it came to be known by its present name.[5][9]

Post Independence[edit]

After independence, the infantry battalions of the Travancore "Nair Pattalam", Cochin and Mysore State forces were amalgamated into the Madras Regiment. This included what is now the 9th Battalion, which is the oldest battalion of the Regiment (and thus the Indian Army). It was formerly known as the Nair Brigade (Nair Pattalam/"Nair Army"). This militia was raised in 1704 at Padmanabhapuram as body guards for the Maharajah of Travancore, and saw action in the Battle of Colachel by defeating the Dutch forces. The army was made up of soldiers from Nair warrior clans, however after the 1940s, non-Nairs were permitted to join. The "Nair Army" became incorporated into the Indian Army in April 1951.[10][11]

Post-independence saw the consolidation of the Regiment and re-affirmation of the versatility and valour of the South Indian troops, when the battalions of the Regiment fought fierce battles during the 1947–48 Jammu & Kashmir Operations, the 1962 Sino-Indian Conflict, the Indo-Pak Wars of 1965 and 1971 and Operation Pawan in 1987–89 as a part of the IPKF.[12]

Class composition[edit]

The regiment still recruits heavily from Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh with a slight majority of Tamil- and Malayalam-speaking recruits. Drill commands by NCOs are commonly given in Tamil or Malayalam. However, since the 1990s the percentage from Kannadiga and Telugu speaking recruits has increased, commands are also given through Telugu and Kannada. As is the practice in all the army, the officers of the regiment can be from any part of India.

Crest and uniform[edit]

Regimental Crest

The present Crest of the Madras Regiment consists of the Assaye Elephant surmounting a pair of Malabar swords with a shield at the crossing, and a scroll below inscribed 'THE MADRAS REGIMENT'. It is bi-metallic, the shield being in brass and the rest in white chrome. The elephant faces west as seen from the front, and has an arched back, a slightly curved trunk, tusks pointing upwards, and a sagging belly, with the tuft of the tail resting at the rear edge of its left thigh. The Assaye Elephant was sanctioned as a special honour-badge to the 2nd, 4th, 8th, 10th and 24th Madras Infantry following the victory at the Battle of Assaye in 1803.[13]

An Officer in the regimental uniform

During the Victorian era, European officers within the Madras regiments largely followed British regulations, as photographic evidence and surviving uniforms conform to the standard British pattern tunics, including but not limited to the 1856, 1867, and 1881 pattern officer's tunics. The transition from coatee to tunic is believed to have taken place from January 1856 onwards, as Dress Regulations of the army dictate that tunics were to be purchased once coatees had been worn. Regimental facings were often regimentally specific; for example, the 27th Madras regiment wore scarlet tunics with yellow facings, and the buttons were gilt with the battle honor 'Mahdipore'.[14] European officers at first in the 1850's wore the 'Air Tube Styled' tropical helmet but later transitioned to the official pattern Foreign Service Helmet with a regimentally specific puggaree.[15]

The present uniform of the Madras Regiment includes a green lanyard on the left shoulder and the shoulder title Madras (brass / green letters over scarlet background). The green beret (common to all infantry units in India) has the regimental crest on a scarlet diamond base stitched to the beret and a black pom pom. The latter, a black woollen ball, is unique to the Regiment and it gives a distinct identification. It was adopted on 07 January 1949 following a proposal by the then Commanding Officer of 4 Madras (WLI) - Lieutenant Colonel MK Sheriff.[16] The regimental turban is worn by personnel during ceremonial occasions, parades, on guard duty and by those in the regimental band. It was adopted in November 1979 and consists of a dark green background with yellow, scarlet and white stripes. On the left of the wearer is a yellow silken jhallar with the same stripes. On the front top is a black pom pom and below is the regimental crest on a scarlet background.[17]

Motto, War cry and Salutation[edit]

The motto of the regiment is from chapter 3, verse 35 of Bhagavad Gita. It is स्वधर्मे निधनं श्रेय: (Swadharme Nidhanam Shreyaha), which translates to “It is glory to die doing one’s duty”. The motto was adopted 08 June 1955. The war cry of the regiment is “Veer madrassi, adi kollu, adi kollu, adi kollu !”, which means “O brave Madrassi, hit and kill, hit and kill, hit and kill !”. This was adopted during the Battalion Commanders’ Conference in 1969.[18] The salutation used by the regiment is ‘Namaskaram’. It was adopted by 4 Madras (WLI) in 1956 and subsequently adopted by all the battalions.[19]

Madras Regimental Centre and Records[edit]

The Madras Regimental Centre is presently located in Wellington and is commanded by an officer of the rank of Brigadier. The centre traces its history to the raising of the 36 Madras Battalion at Tanjore in 1794.[20] The unit has been subsequently designated as 2/13 Madras Native Infantry (1798), 26 Madras Native Infantry (1824), 86th Carnatic Infantry (1903) and 10/3rd Madras Regiment (1922) it was subsequently placed under suspended animation. The Centre was re-raised at Madukkarai as the 3rd Madras Regiment - Recruits Training Centre on 19 July 1942. The centre received the colours of old 10/3rd Madras Regiment on 23 September 1942 (Assaye Day).

The centre relocated from Madukkarai to its present location in Wellington in February 1947.[21] It occupied the Wellington barracks, which were built between 1852 and 1860. The Wellington barracks was subsequently renamed Shrinagesh Barracks after independence.[22] The museum of Madras Regimental Centre is located in the Shrinagesh Barracks Complex and was inaugurated in 1993.[23] The Madras Regiment Record Office was formed in Madukkarai in October 1942 and moved to Wellington in 1947.[24]


The Chief of Army Staff, General Dalbir Singh presenting the President’s Colours to 21 Madras Battalion on April 05, 2015

The Madras Regiment Band a full-time military band, that serves as part of the Madras Regimental Centre in Wellington. It was raised in 1951 purely as a brass band and has evolved over the years to become a symphonic band as well. Today, it consists of a concert band, a brass band and a percussion section.[25] It performs at arrival ceremonies for state visits as well as state dinner hosted at the Rashtrapati Bhavan by the President of India, as well as regimental and community events.[26]

Regimental tribute[edit]

Let those who come after, see to it that these names be not forgotten,
For they who at the call of duty, left all that was dear to them,
Endured hardships, faced dangers, and finally passed out of sight of men,
In the path of duty and self-sacrifice, Giving their lives that we might live in freedom.

Current strength[edit]

The Madras Regiment marching during the Republic Day Parade, 2013
U.S. soldiers (left) and Indian soldiers of 12 Madras hold their respective country's national flags during Exercise Yudh Abhyas, 2016.

The list consists of 21 battalions, four Rashtriya Rifles battalions and three Territorial Army battalions.[27][28]

Battalion Raising Date Former designations Battle honours Remarks
1st Battalion 1776 13th Carnatic Battalion (1776), 2/3rd Madras Native Infantry (1796), 13th Madras Infantry (1885), 73rd Carnatic Infantry (1903), 11th Madras Infantry ITF (1933), 1st Battalion, The Madras Regiment (1942) Carnatic, Sholinghur, Mysore, Seringapatam, Burma 1885-87, Mount Popa, Tithwal, Kalidhar Re-organised as a mechanised infantry regiment in 1969 and joined Mechanised Infantry Regiment in 1979
2nd Battalion 1776 15th Carnatic Battalion (1776), 2/4th Madras Native Infantry (1796), 15th Madras Infantry (1885), 75th Carnatic Infantry (1903), 2/3rd Madras Regiment (1922 and 1940), 2nd Battalion, The Madras Regiment (1942) Carnatic 1780-84, Sholinghur, Mysore 1790-92, Afghanistan 1879-80, Burma 1885-87, Mesopotamia 1916-18 Disbanded in 1926 and re-raised in September 1940 from 12th Malabar Battalion ITF, was a Para battalion between 1946 and 1950
3rd Battalion 1777 20th Carnatic Battalion (1777), 2/7th Madras Native Infantry (1796), 19th Madras Infantry (1885), 79th Carnatic Infantry (1893), 3rd Battalion Madras Regiment (1922), 1st (Territorial) Battalion, 79 Carnatic Infantry (1922), 13th (Malabar) Battalion, 3rd Madras Regiment (1922), 13th Malabar Battalion ITF (1929), 3rd Battalion Madras Regiment (1941) Carnatic, Sholinghur, Mysore, Seringapatam, Pegu, Central India, Mesopotamia Disbanded and re-raised as a Territorial Army battalion in 1922, disbanded in 1950 and re-raised in 1962
4th Battalion 1794 33rd Madras Native Infantry (1794), 1/12th Madras Native Infantry (1796), 23rd Wallajahabad Light Infantry (1824), 83rd Wallajahabad Light Infantry (1903), 1/3rd Madras Regiment (WLI) (1922), 4/3rd Madras Regiment (1942), ), 4th Battalion (WLI), The Madras Regiment Seringapatnam 1799, Nagpore, Burma 1885-1887, East Africa, Mesopotamia, Baghdad, Persia, Tamu Road, Ukhrul, Ava, Kama, Punch, Maharajke Disbanded in 1923, re-raised in 1942
5th Battalion 1759 4th Battalion, Coastal Sepoys (1759), 3rd Carnatic Battalion (1770), 1/3rd Madras Native Infantry (1796), 63rd Palamcottah Light Infantry (1903), 5/3rd Madras Regiment (1943) Disbanded 1922, re-raised 1943, disbanded 1947, re-raised 1963. Nicknamed Ferocious Five
6th Battalion 1777 21st Carnatic Battalion (1777), 2/2nd Madras Native Infantry (1796), 20th Madras Native Infantry (1824), 20th Madras Infantry (1885), 80th Carnatic Infantry (1903), 6/3rd Madras Regiment (1943) Carnatic, Sholinghur, Mysore, Seringapatnam 1799 , Basantar Disbanded in 1921, re-raised in 1943, disbanded 1947, re-raised 1963.
7th Battalion 1798 2/14th Madras Native Infantry (1798), 28th Madras Native Infantry (1824), 28th Madras Infantry (1885), 88th Carnatic Infantry (1903), 7/3rd Madras Regiment (1943) Mahidpore, Nagpore, Ava, China 1900 Disbanded in 1921, re-raised in 1943, disbanded 1946, re-raised 1964. Nicknamed Shandaar Saat
8th Battalion 1948 Nicknamed Gallant Guerrillas
9th Battalion 1704 1st Battalion, Nair Brigade (1830), 1st Battalion, Travancore Nair Infantry (1835), 9th Battalion, The Madras Regiment (Travancore) (1948) Burki, Punjab 1965 Former Princely State Forces Unit, Travancore
10th Battalion 1984
11th Battalion 1980 Old Territorial Battalion
12th Battalion 1981 Old Territorial Battalion, nicknamed Bahadur Barah
16th Battalion 1819 2nd Battalion, Travancore Nair Infantry (1819), 16th Battalion, The Madras Regiment (Travancore) (1954) Basantar Former Princely State Forces Unit, Travancore
17th Battalion 1943 Nair Brigade (1860), Cochin State Infantry (1943), 17th Battalion, The Madras Regiment (Cochin) (1953) Former Princely State Forces Unit Cochin
18th Battalion 1859 1st Mysore Infantry (1895), 18th Battalion, The Madras Regiment (Mysore) (1953) Former Princely State Forces Unit Mysore
19th Battalion 1777 20th Carnatic Battalion (1777), 1/7th Madras Native Infantry (1796), 19th Madras Native Infantry (1824), 19th Madras Infantry (1885), 79th Carnatic Infantry (1903), 3/3rd Madras Regiment (1922), 19th Battalion, the Madras Regiment (1966) Disbanded 1923, re-raised 1942, disbanded 1950, re-raised 1966.
20th Battalion 2009 Nicknamed The Mighty Twenty
21st Battalion 2011
25th Battalion 1942 25/3rd Madras Regiment (1942) Raised as a garrison battalion, disbanded in 1946, re-raised in 1966.
26th Battalion 1942 26/3rd Madras Regiment (1942) Siramani Raised as a garrison battalion, disbanded in 1946, re-raised in 1967. Nicknamed Tuskers Battalion and Ashok Chakra Paltan
27th Battalion 1943 27/3rd Madras Regiment (1943) Maheidpore Raised as a garrison battalion, disbanded 1946. Re-raised 1971.
28th Battalion 1942 3rd Coastal Defence Battalion (1942) Raised in 1942 , disbanded in 1946, re-raised in 1976
8 Rashtriya Rifles
25 Rashtriya Rifles 1994
38 Rashtriya Rifles
54 Rashtriya Rifles
110th Infantry Battalion (TA) 1949 Territorial Army battalion situated in Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu
122nd Infantry Battalion (TA) 1949 51st Light Armoured Regiment (TA) (1949), 122nd Infantry Battalion (TA) (1956) Territorial Army battalion situated in Kannur, Kerala, was previous affiliated to the Punjab Regiment.
172nd Infantry Battalion (TA) 2017 Territorial Army battalion situated in Port Blair, Andaman & Nicobar Islands

The battle honours in italics indicate those awarded prior to the independence of India.

Campaigns and Battles[edit]

Native officers, NCOs and Sepoys of Madras Artillery and Infantry, 1791
Pre independence
Post independence
  • Indo-Pakistani War of 1947–1948– 1, 2 and 4 Madras took part in the operations. 1 Madras fought in the axis Kathua-Jammu and then in Baramulla and Tithwal sectors. 2 Madras joined 77 Parachute Brigade at Srinagar in May 1948 and saw action in Uri in July 1948. 4 Madras (WLI) joined operations in September 1948 and in October took part in the capture of Pir Kalewa and 'Camel's Hump', opening the way to the Mendhar valley. The regiment won a Maha Vir Chakra, seven Vir Chakras and 16 Mentions-in-Despatches and was awarded Battle Honours 'Punch' and 'Tithwal' and the Theatre Honour 'Jammu and Kashmir 1947-48'.[31]
  • Hyderabad Police Action (1948) – 8 Madras took part in the rounding up of hostile forces at Tirumalagiri.[32]
  • United Nations Operation in the Congo (ONUC) – 4 Madras (WLI) was posted under ONUC in 1962-63. The regiment received one Vir Chakra and four Sena Medals during this tenure.
  • Sino-Indian War (1962) – 1, 2, 16 and 17 Madras saw action in the war. All except the 16th saw action in NEFA. The 16th was near Gangtok in Sikkim. 1 Madras bore the brunt of the Chinese attack and many were taken prisoners. It was awarded a Vir Chakra.[33]
  • Indo-Pakistani War of 1965[33]
    • 1 Madras was at Rajouri and later at Nowshera. It was then involved in the capture of Malla. It was awarded the theatre honours ‘Punjab 1965’ and ‘Jammu and Kashmir 1965’ and the battle honour ‘Kalidhar’. It was also awarded two Sena Medals and three mentioned in despatches.
    • 2 Madras moved from its location in Ambala to Dera Baba Nanak, where it saw action against the Pakistanis. It then saw action at Khemkaran. The battalion suffered 27 casualties during the war.
    • 3 Madras was given the responsibility to capture Maharajke village, which was part of the larger game plan – Operation Riddle. The village was 2.5 km inside Pakistani territory, the assault began with open fire with artillery, medium machine gun and rifles from the enemy. Despite the effective fire, the Army relentlessly kept up the pace of assault and with remarkable courage captured Maharajke within one day. The battalion suffered 45 casualties during the war and was awarded two Sena Medals.
    • 4 Madras (WLI) also took part in the capture of Maharajke and then in the Sialkot sector as part of 69 Mountain Brigade. It was awarded the battle honour ‘Maharajke’, one Maha Vir Chakra, 3 Vir Chakras and three mentioned in despatches.
    • 6 Madras took part in anti-infiltration role in the Rajouri-Palam Kandi-Budhal axis in September 1965.
    • 7 Madras fought in Mandi area against infiltrators from Pakistani occupied Kashmir.
    • 8 Madras served in Moga and Machhiwara in Punjab and then moved to Rajasthan sector around Jaisalmer.
    • 9 Madras was located at Firozpur under 65 Infantry Brigade. It fought the famous Battle of Burki and played a leading role in the capture of Barka-Kalan and Ichogil Bund. The battalion was honoured with one Vir Chakra, two Sena Medals, twelve mentioned in dispatches and the theatre honour ‘Punjab 1965’.
    • 16 Madras was posted in the eastern border under 32 Mountain Brigade. It was tasked to build a bridgehead across the Ichamati River, which it performed suitably.
    • 17 Madras joined 85 Infantry Brigade at Ahmedabad and was involved in the campaigns at Dali and Jessekapar.
  • Indo-Pakistani War of 1971[33][34][35]
    • 3 Madras was part of 65 Infantry Brigade and took part in the battle of Kalsian Khurd, which involved the capture of this border village on western front in Punjab. The battalion lost 7 soldiers and 9 wounded and was awarded two Sena Medals.
    • 4 Madras was part of 340 Mountain Brigade Group in the Eastern Sector. It saw action in the Bogra Sector and was awarded a Vir Chakra.
    • 6 Madras was under 54 Infantry Division in the Western Front. It saw action in Punjab and was awarded the theatre honour ‘Punjab 1971’ and the battle honour ‘Basantar’.
    • 8 Madras was under 32 Infantry Brigade in the Eastern front of the war. Assigned to press home an attack on Siramani in East Pakistan, a fortified military base of Pakistan the gallant ‘Thambis’, despite strong enemy resistance succeeded in capturing the post through sheer exhibition of courageousness and professionalism. It won the theatre honour ‘East Pakistan 1971’, the battle honour ‘Siramani and a Vir Chakra.
    • 9 Madras was deployed under the 330 Infantry Brigade at Barmer. It captured Mahendro Ro Par and Fateh Ro Par on Gadra City-Umraokot axis and remained deployed at Naya Chor till the announcement of ceasefire on 17 December 1971. The battalion had ten casualties (2 killed and 8 wounded) and was awarded a Vir Chakra.
    • 16 Madras under 54 Infantry Division played an important part in the Battle of Basantar. The battalion fought valiantly and had 5 officers and 27 JCOs and Other Ranks killed, and 1 officer and 103 JCOs and Other Ranks wounded. It was awarded the battle honour ‘Basantar’, two Maha Vir Chakras, five Vir Chakras, two Sena Medals and six mentioned in despatches.
    • 17 Madras under 116 Infantry Brigade and was deployed in Muktsar area. It successfully captured enemy posts of ‘Kili Sahu’ and ‘Chukra’. During these actions, it was awarded one Vir Chakra, three Sena Medals and one mentioned in despatches.
    • 18 Madras made the Indian Army’s deepest thrust in the western desert, as part of 31 Infantry Brigade of 11 Division. It saw extensive marches through trackless desert, periods without food and water and finally bitter fighting at Hingoro Tar, Sind. The battalion suffered 31 casualties: 1 officer, 1 JCO and 16 Other Ranks killed, and 3 officers, 2 JCOs and 8 Other Ranks wounded. It was awarded one Maha Vir Chakra, two Vir Chakras and four Sena Medals.
    • 19 Madras was under 323 Infantry Brigade in Jammu and Kashmir. It was initially deployed to defend the Ramgarh Ditch, but was inducted into Chamb-Jaurian Sector by 11 December. It was then engaged in aggressive patrolling and was awarded one Sena Medal and one mentioned in despatches.
    • 26 Madras was in the eastern front under 350 Infantry Brigade. It undertook aggressive patrolling towards Chuttipur, capturing it and then opening the main road axis Rangaon-Jessore. It then showed mettle in the Battle of Siramani, one of the fiercest battles of the war fought in the Khulna sector. The battalion lost 2 Officers, 2 JCO and 12 Other Ranks killed, and 4 Officers, 2 JCOs and 56 Other Ranks wounded during the operations. It was awarded the battle honour ‘Siramani’, two Vir Chakras, one Sena Medal and one mentioned in despatches.
    • 27 Madras, the freshly minted battalion saw action initially in Longewala and then in the Kutch sector. During a reconnaissance patrol, the commanding officer and six men were killed during an ambush across the international border.
  • Operation Blue Star (1984) – 26 Madras as part of 350 Infantry Brigade took part in the operation. It was tasked to attack from southern (Langar side) entrance to secure the southern and eastern wings. Its casualties included fourteen killed and forty nine wounded.[36][37]
  • Operation Pawan - As many as seven battalions of the Regiment (2, 5, 7, 11, 12, 19, 25) were deployed in Sri Lanka. This was a testimony to the loyalty, dedication and valour of the troops of the Madras Regiment.[38] In addition to its operation role, many of the soldiers were used as interpreters during the conflict.[39]
  • Counter insurgency operations in Jammu & Kashmir and Punjab.
  • Operation Meghdoot (Siachen glacier)
  • United Nations Peacekeeping missions - 2 Madras served in the United Nation mission in Lebanon in 1999-2000 and 26 Madras served as part of the United Nation Forces at Congo in 2007-08.[40]

Battle Honours[edit]

The list of battle honours is evidence to the long history and valour of the regiment. Some of these honours have been declared repugnant after the independence of the country.[41]

Pre Independence
Post Independence

Theatre Honours[edit]

Battle of Sholinghur - Hyder Ali's standard captured by Madras Regiment

The theatre honours earned by the battalions of the regiment are as follows[42] -

Pre Independence
  • World War II 1939-45
  • Burma 1942-45
Post Independence
  • Jammu & Kashmir 1947-48
  • Jammu & Kashmir 1965
  • Punjab 1965
  • Punjab 1971
  • Sindh 1971
  • East Pakistan 1971

Gallantry awards[edit]

9 Madras being presented the President's Colours by the then President V. V. Giri in 1970
Pre independence[43] -
Post independence
  • Ashoka Chakra (AC) - Lieutenant Ram Prakash Roperia, 36 Madras[44]
  • Maha Vir Chakra (MVC) – Naik Raju, Lieutenant Colonel Harbans Lal Mehta, Lieutenant Colonel Ved Prakash Ghai, Captain SS Walkar, Havildar Philipose Thomas[45]
  • Kirti Chakra (KC) - Major P Bhaskaran, Captain SR Kosuri, Company Havildar Major S Michael, Subedar K Raman Ravi, Naib Subedar K George Koshy, Havildar Varghese Mathew, Naik Kannalan Kennady V, Havildar Dhanaraj Muthappan, Major AS Bhadauria, Lieutenant Vikram Ajit Deshmukh, Naik Radhakrishnan C.[46]
  • Vir Chakra (VrC) - Company Havildar Major Pushpanathan, Havildar Gopala Kurup, Naik Abdul Rahiman Kunju, Lance Naik Ayyappan, Jemadar Shaik Khadar, Brigadier K Venugopal, Captain EN Iyengar, Sepoy Sanal Kumaran Pillai, Subedar Major Mohammed Ibrahim, 2nd Lieutenant VN Madan, Subedar CA Madhavan Nambiar, Subedar PM Gregory, Sepoy Kannan, Sepoy Bhaskaran Nair, Captain Gopakumar Raman Pillai, Subedar AP Sreedhara Das, Major PV Sahadevan, Naik Appukuttan Sahadevan, Naik Mani, Naik Jajula Sanyasi, Naib Subedar PO Cheriyan, Naib Subedar PC Varghese, Subedar Krishnan Nair, Sepoy Kolli John Krishthaper, Naik V Bhaskaran, Havildar Kamalasanan PK, Havildar M Anthony Wilson, Captain RS Chopra, Subedar Russel Maria, Havildar A Shanmuga Sundaram, Naik (Lance Havildar) C Subbaiyan, Captain RS Rana, Lieutenant Colonel AS Sekhon.[47]
  • Shaurya Chakra (SC) - 2nd Lieutenant Udhe Singh, Jemadar S Raja Manickam, Sepoy Raji, Sepoy M Lakshmanan, Company Quarter Master Havildar Ramakrishna Pillai, Sepoy PO Ommen, Major Mohanan Pappini Veetil, Lance Havildar Kuppuswamy, Naik Madhusoodanan Pillai, Sepoy C Rayappan, Sepoy A Ravi Kumar, Lance Naik Surendran Nair K, Havildar Sarthi Reddy Budupu, Major Kamal Kalia, Subedar Mayan Gopal, Naik Varsi Vasudev Rao, Major John Soundra Pandian, Major SS Gahlawat, Naik Yama Sivasankara Reddy, Sepoy Alphonse S, Sepoy J Veerabhadrudu, Lieutenant Colonel Ajit Bhandarkar, Havildar Radhakrishnan Kunju Panicker, Major Rajeshwar Singh, Major Chatoth Binu Bharathan, Lance Naik Krishna Murthy G, Naik Manesh PV, Havildar Luis Periyera Nayagam, Lieutenant Colonel Sanjay Kaushik, Major NN Venkata Sriram, Naik Baiju B,[48] Captain Ashutosh Kumar, Naib Subedar Sreejith M, Sepoy Maruprolu Jaswanth Kumar Reddy[49]

Colonels of the Regiment[edit]

The Colonel of the regiment is a senior officer of the regiment, usually the senior-most, who is a father-figure to the regiment and looks after the interests of the regiment. This is a tradition and position that the Indian Army has inherited from the British Army. The officers who have graced this position are as follows -[50][51][52][53]

Name Date
Captain Sir Arthur Hope, KCIE, MC, Governor of Madras 25 September 1942 to 09 August 1946
Lieutenant General Archibald Nye, GCIE, KCB, KBE, MC, Governor of Madras 10 August 1946 to 31 March 1949
General SM Shrinagesh 01 April 1949 to 31 March 1961
Lieutenant General RS Noronha, PVSM, MC* 01 April 1961 to 04 September 1973
Major General SP Mahadevan, AVSM 05 September 1973 to 30 June 1982
Lieutenant General Sami Khan, PVSM, SM 01 July 1986 to 31 March 1989
Lieutenant General VK Singh, PVSM, ADC 01 April 1989 to 31 March 1994
Lieutenant General MM Walia, PVSM, AVSM, SM 01 April 1994 to 30 April 1996
Lieutenant General AS Rao, PVSM, AVSM 01 May 1996 to 31 October 2001
Lieutenant General DS Chauhan, PVSM, UYSM, AVSM, VSM 01 November 2001 to 31 December 2003
Lieutenant General AK Chopra, PVSM, AVSM 22 December 2004 to 30 November 2006
Major General VDI Devavaram, SM, VSM 01 January 2004 to 21 December 2004, 01 December 2006 to 31 December 2007
Lieutenant General PG Kamath, PVSM, AVSM, YSM, SM 01 January 2008 to 31 Mar 2013
Lieutenant General Jai Prakash Nehra, AVSM** 01 April 2013 to 23 October 2014
Lieutenant General SL Narasimhan, PVSM, AVSM*, VSM 24 October 2014 to 31 May 2016
Lieutenant General Rajeev Chopra, PVSM, AVSM, ADC 01 June 2016 to
Lieutenant General Manjinder Singh, YSM, VSM Incumbent

Commemorative stamps[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ FROM -THE MADRAS REGIMENT 1758–1958 -Lt Col E.G. Phythian-Adams- above added by webmaster www.MadrasRegiment.Org pp. 1–2
  2. ^ C.K. Cooke, ed. (1901). Empire Review. Vol. 2. Macmillan and co. limited. p. 621. OCLC 50083309.
  3. ^ Harrington, Peter (1994). Plassey 1757 : Clive of India's finest hour. Osprey. p. 40. ISBN 978-1-85532-352-0. OCLC 31969501.
  4. ^ Addington, Larry H. (1990). The patterns of war through the eighteenth century. Indiana University Press. p. 132. ISBN 978-0-253-20551-3. OCLC 19672195.
  5. ^ a b c "The Family Lineage". Retrieved 2022-11-27.
  6. ^ Sharma, Gautam (1990). Valour and Sacrifice: Famous Regiments of the Indian Army – Gautam Sharma – Google Books. ISBN 9788170231400. Retrieved 2014-02-15.
  7. ^ "History of The Madras Regiment". Retrieved 2022-11-27.
  8. ^ "Origin and Early History of the Regiment". Retrieved 2022-11-27.
  9. ^ "History of The Madras Regiment". Retrieved 2022-11-27.
  10. ^ Sharma, Gautam (1990). Valour and Sacrifice: Famous Regiments of the Indian Army. ISBN 9788170231400. Retrieved 2014-02-15.
  11. ^ "The Madras Regiment- Genesis of Indian Army". 2014-09-13. Retrieved 2022-11-27.
  12. ^ "Madras Regiment.Org". Madras Regiment.Org. 1970-05-23. Retrieved 2014-02-15.
  13. ^ "Crest". Retrieved 2022-11-29.
  14. ^ "Uniforms of the 27th Madras Infantry". Retrieved 2023-09-03.
  15. ^ "Ellwood and Sons' Air Tube Helmet of the British Army". Retrieved 2023-09-03.
  16. ^ "Black Pom Pom". Retrieved 2022-11-29.
  17. ^ "History Of The Madras Regiment, chapter 3" (PDF). Retrieved 2022-11-30.
  18. ^ "Regimental Motto". Retrieved 2022-11-29.
  19. ^ "Namaskaram". Retrieved 2022-11-29.
  20. ^ "250 years of glory and sacrifice : The Madras Regiment". 2009-05-06. Retrieved 2022-11-26.
  21. ^ "The Madras Regimental Centre". Retrieved 2022-11-26.
  22. ^ "Heroes from the hills". The Hindu. 2012-09-17. Retrieved 2022-11-27.
  23. ^ "State-of-the-art museum of Madras Regimental Centre inaugurated". 2019-04-27. Retrieved 2022-11-26.
  24. ^ "The Madras Regimental Centre and Records". Retrieved 2022-11-27.
  25. ^ "Madras Regiment Symphony Band of Indian Army to perform at IIMA". 16 February 2018.
  26. ^ "Heroes from the hills". The Hindu. 17 September 2012.
  27. ^ "The Quarterly Indian Army List For Oct, 1905". Retrieved 2022-12-02.
  28. ^ "History". Retrieved 2022-12-02.
  29. ^ a b "World War I and II". Indian Army - Government of India. Retrieved 2022-11-28.
  30. ^ "History Of The Madras Regiment, chapter 2" (PDF). Retrieved 2022-11-30.
  31. ^ "Jammu and Kashmir War". Retrieved 2022-11-28.
  32. ^ "History Of The Madras Regiment, chapter 6" (PDF). Retrieved 2022-11-30.
  33. ^ a b c "History Of The Madras Regiment, chapter 7" (PDF). Retrieved 2022-11-30.
  34. ^ Ramachandran, DP (2018-11-04). "War in the West 1971: Pakistan's day of reckoning". Retrieved 2022-12-02.
  35. ^ Ramachandran, DP (2018-11-13). "The Bangladesh War 1971: Indian Army's finest hour". Retrieved 2022-12-02.
  36. ^ "Explained: All you need to know about Operation Blue Star". 2014-01-15. Retrieved 2022-12-02.
  37. ^ "Operation Bluestar". 2014-05-19. Retrieved 2022-12-02.
  38. ^ "The Indian Peace-Keeping Force In Sri Lanka, 1987-90" (PDF). 1994-12-17. Retrieved 2023-06-27.
  39. ^ "IPKF". 2022-07-02. Retrieved 2023-06-27..
  40. ^ "UN Missions". Retrieved 2022-12-02.
  41. ^ "Battle Honours". Indian Army - Government of India. Retrieved 2022-11-28.
  42. ^ "Theatre Honours". Indian Army - Government of India. Retrieved 2022-11-28.
  43. ^ "Pre independence awards". Indian Army - Government of India. Retrieved 2022-11-29.
  44. ^ "Ashoka Chakra". Indian Army - Government of India. Retrieved 2022-11-29.
  45. ^ "Maha Vir Chakra". Indian Army - Government of India. Retrieved 2022-11-29.
  46. ^ "Kirti Chakra". Retrieved 2022-11-29.
  47. ^ "Vir Chakra". Retrieved 2022-11-29.
  48. ^ "Shaurya Chakra". Retrieved 2022-11-29.
  49. ^ "Award" (PDF). Retrieved 2022-12-05.
  50. ^ "Cols of the Regt". Retrieved 2022-11-29.
  51. ^ "Lt Gen Rajeev Chopra takes over as DG NCC". 2019-01-31. Retrieved 2022-11-29.
  52. ^ "Madras Regiment bids farewell to Colonel Nehra". The Hindu. 2014-10-24. Retrieved 2022-11-29.
  53. ^ "Lt Gen Rajeev Chopra to assume charge of MRC on June 1". 2016-05-14. Retrieved 2022-11-29.

External links[edit]