|20th Duke of Cambridge´s Own Infantry in Egypt, 1882|
I have chosen this British Indian Army regiment as the first one of my own collection of units for my project... but it didn´t participate in the Third Afghan War!
No problem; all of them are very similar.
This regiment was raised in 1857 as the 8th Regiment of Punjab Infantry and was designated as the 20th Duke of Cambridge´s Own Infantry in 1904. Today, it is the 6th Battalion, The Punjab Regiment in the modern Pakistan Army.
The regiment was raised on August 1857 by Lieutenant Charles Henry Brownlow from drafts of the 4th and 5th Punjab Infantry as a part of the army raised to suppress the Great Indian Mutiny. After this bitter war, the Regiment took part in the Second Opium War against China, taking part in the assault to the Taku Forts in 1860. In 1861, the regiment become part of the line as the 24th Regiment of Bengal Native Infantry but was renumbered as the 20th Regiment later in the year.
In 1863, it took part in the Umbeyla Campaing in the North-West Frontier, in the first of its many engagement against the Pathan tribes. In 1864, the regiment was designed as the 20th (Punjab) Regiment of Bengal Native Infantry and took part in the Black Mountain Expedition.
|Painting by Walter Fane, 1868|
The regiment took part in the Second Afghan War, advancing into the Khyber Pass to clear Afghan forces at Ali Masjid fortress. In 1882, the regiment was dispatched to Egypt as part of the expeditionary force to suppress the revolt of Arabi Pasha, taking part in the battle of Tel-el-Kebir. In honour of its service in Egypt, the Duke of Cambridge was appointed as its honorary colonel in 1883 and the regiment was retitled (again) as the 20th (Duke of Cambridge´s Own) (Punjab) Regiment of Bengal Native Infantry.
In 1891 and 1897, the regiment took part in new expeditions in the North-West Frontier and in 1900 was sent to China to suppress the Boxer Rebellion.
After the reforms brought about in the Indian Army by Lord Kitchener, the regiment received a new designation, 20th Duke of Cambridge´s Own Punjabis in 1903 and then 20th Duke of Cambridge´s Own Infantry (Brownlow´s Punjabis) in 1904.
During the Great War, the regiment saw active service in Mesopotamia and Palestine, taking part in the capture of Kut-al-Amara in September 1915. In May 1918 it returned finally to India.
|30rd Punjabis and 2oth Duke of Cambridge|
In 1921-22 there was a major reorganization in the British Indian Army, grouping four to six battalions in a same regiment. In this way, the 14th Punjab Regiment was formed by grouping the 20th Punjabis with the 19th, 21th, 22th and 24th Punjabis and the 40th Pathans. The new designation of the battalion was 2nd Battalion (Duke of Cambridge´s Own) 14th Punjab Regiment. During the Second World War, the battalion was part of the British garrison of Hong Kong but, after a siege of 18 days, the battalion surrendered and spent the rest of the war in Japanese captivity.
In 1947 the battalion was allocated to Pakistan Army and fought, in 1948, in the war with India in Kashmir and in the Indo-Pakistan War of 1965.
And this is the history of this interesting Regiment.
I like a lot the green touch in the kullahs, and perhaps it is the main reason to choose this unit for painting my first Indian Army figures. I have painted some more figures for this unit:
They are, again, from Woodbine Design and this time I have painted the LMG team and one of the British officers.
I have also painted another of my old Foundry figures from the North-West Frontier range:
It is an Afghan regular soldier for the Second Afghan War. Perhaps I will use him as a Khassadar militiaman, or an "old timer"...