Bicentenary of the 4th Battalion of the Kumaon Regiment



Raised in 1788 by Salabat Khan, Nawab of Ellichpur, to protect the Nizam of Hyderabad’s dominions, the 4th Battalion of the Kumaon Regiment now completes 200 years of service. It acquitted itself with distinction from the early years, taking part in the Maratha War (1803), Pindari War (1817), operations against Bhils (1841) and Arabs (1853), Rohilla War (1854) and operations at Jhansi (1857).

It served in China and Ceylon and during World War I, in East Africa in the Battle of Tanga (1914) and in the Lake Victoria District (1915- 1916). In 1923, the Battalion was selected for Indianisation. Among other senior officers, S. M. Shrinagesh and K.S. Thimayya were commissioned in the Battalion, later becoming Chiefs of the Army Staff.

World War 11 found the Battalion in action against Japanese forces in the Malayan and Burmese jungles.

In October 1947, the D Company of the Battalion moved to Kashmir under Major Som Nath Sharrna. A fierce battle was fought at Badgam village on 3rd November 1947, the company successfully protecting Srinagar airfield against heavy odds. Major Sharma was killed in action and awarded India's first Param Vir Chakra for leadership and gallantry of the highest order. The unit was awarded Battle Honour "SRINAGAR".

Serving with the UN Emergency Force of Gaza in 1959, the Battalion established a high reputation. Returning to India, the 4 Kumaon had the unique honour of being the first unit to be presented with new colours by Dr. Rajendra Prasad, the President of India, on 8th April 1961.

In 1965, 4 Kumaon campaigned in Kashmir against enemy infiltrators of Force Gibraltar, later capturing a dominant feature and destroying a vital enemy bridge. It was awarded Battle Honour "Sanjoi Mirpur". In the 1971 war, 4 Kurnaon captured the communication centre of Shamsher Nagar in Bangladesh and was awarded Battle Honour "SHAMSHER NAGAR". The unit repeatedly proved its mettle in intensive counter-insurgency and several difficult operations. Since Independence it has a proud tally of awards in various wars and other operations: Param Vir Chakra (1), Maha Vir Chakra (3), Kirti Chakra (2), Vir Chakra (21), Bar to Vir Chakra (1), Shaurya Chakra (2), Sena Medal (20), Vishisht Seva Medal (1), Mentioned-in-Despatches (50), COAS's Commendation Cards (10) and Army Commanders Commendation Cards (4).

Date of Issue: 19.2.88