Faridkot Sappers & Miners

Discussion in 'British Indian Army' started by Wilhar, May 11, 2020.

  1. Wilhar

    Wilhar Member

    I have been looking into the history of this small unit. The princely state of Faridkot had a company of Sappers & Miners on its permanent establishment when war broke out. It served on the NW Frontier until May 1943, when it moved to Assam and was employed on airfield construction. The company moved to the Burma front in Aug. 1944 and did not return to India until Aug. 1946.

    A second company of Sappers & Miners were raised in 1941. While the plan was initially to raise it as another state forces unit, the Faridkot Durbar was convinced to instead provide a draft of men for a state-raised Royal Indian Engineers field company instead.This became the 94th (Faridkot) Field Company. The company served in Burma and appears to have been attached at various times to IV Corps and the 19th Indian Division. In Feb. 1945 the company was restored to the Faridkot establishment and became the 2nd Field Company, Faridkot Sappers & Miners. Like the 1st company, it returned to India in 1946.

    While I have a general idea of what the 1st Field Company did during the Burma campaign, I can't seem to pin down what higher formation(s) it was attached to. Does anyone have any idea?

    Cheers,
    Wilhar
     
  2. JITTER PARTY

    JITTER PARTY Well-Known Member

    1 Faridkot Fd Coy were under command of 14 Army Engineers in 1945 at Tamu and Kalewa and later transferred to 12 Army Engineers at Rangoon and were attached to South Burma District by 11/45.
     
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  3. Wilhar

    Wilhar Member

    Thank you, this is very much appreciated.
     
  4. dryan67

    dryan67 Senior Member

    The Faridkot Sappers and Miners

    RHQ
    Faridkot

    Class
    Sikhs, Punjabi Mohammedans

    Title Changes
    1st Field Company, Faridkot Sappers and Miners - 1944 (1 February 1945)

    Indian Government Service
    25 September 1939 - 16 August 1946

    Battle Honours
    Burma 42-45


    The company was organised in July 1939 as a Field Company plus a Depot of thirty men and a reserve of one hundred all ranks with a strength of 363. The company left for Roorkee on September 25th, 1939 to train. One hundred recruits were allocated to the Training Battalion at Roorkee to reinforce the company. It moved to Razmak on September 1st, 1940 and remained there until mid-1942 (Note: still in Razmak in June 1942) when it moved to Peshawar.

    It left Peshawar in May 1943 and was posted to the IV Corps. It moved by truck and train to Chabua, where it thought the IV Corps was located. Eighteen days later the move was complete but the IV Corps was not in the area. The company was taken possession of by the local CRE and it became Army Troops. It worked on the airfields in the Ledo area at Dinjan for the next eighteen months. As work progressed the company was reorganised along the line of an Artisan Works Company. It had two Pioneer Battalions and most of the Indian Tea Association labourers under command. June 1944 saw the company in control of all airfield work at Dinjan. It reformed as a Field Company in August 1944 for field operations in Burma. It moved to Dimapur and from there to Imphal, then Palel, and Tamu, where it remained while the forward troops fought at Kalewa. As the advance slowed the company worked on the Bithness Road building bridges and clearing mines and booby traps through 16 August 1946, when it returned to Faridkot from Rangoon


    2nd Field Company, Faridkot Sappers and Miners

    Raised
    1 February 1945 from 94th (Faridkot) Field Company, IE (Also listed as September 1944)

    Battle Honours
    Burma 42-45

    In March and April 1945, the company was involved in the crossing of the Irrawaddy River under IV Corps. It then moved to Meiktila for mine clearance and road maintenance. During the advance to Rangoon, the company repaired the bridge at Pegu and was still there when the Japanese surrendered. After the surrender, it moved to Mandalay and from there to Hopin on the rail track from Katha to Meitkiniya to work on the rail line. It returned to Faridkot in 1946.
     
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  5. Wilhar

    Wilhar Member

    Thank you dryan67, for a typically thorough and useful response. This is most helpful.

    I should note that there is an excellent summary of the service of the Faridkot State Forces (and all Indian State Forces) in The Maharajas' Paltans by Tony McClenaghan and Richard Head. Most if not all of what I had known about them came from that source, but unfortunately it didn't indicate which unit the 1st Coy was attached to at any point.
     

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