The Bihar Regiment
The saga of valour of the Bihari and his rich tradition of soldiering run like a golden thread in the fabric of Indian History. From the day of Ramayana and Mahabharata, as also during the reign of the Maurya Dynasty, the Bihari soldier was always at the forefront of battle. Sher Shah Suri defeated the Moghul emperor, Humayun, with his help. The Brave Bihari fought numerous victorious campaigns in Central India, Punjab and Afghanistan during the Nineteenth Century.
Background of Bihari as Soldier. The recruitment of Biharis as soldiers of the modern era dates back to the days of the British East India Company, which raised the “Bengal Native Infantry” as a force. It is to be noted with pride that the Biharis were much sought after soldiers by the East India Company. In fact, the 3rd Sepoy Battalion, formed during the tenure of Lord Robert Clive, was raised entirely from the Bhojpur district. Similarly, the districts of Shahabad and Munger were their favourite recruiting areas. The victories of Bihari’s at home, include those of Buxar, Karnatic and Maratha Wars and outside India they won laurels at Malaya, Sumatra and Egypt. The Bihari Soldiers, as part of the Bengal Native Infantry, gave spectacular account of their valour and accumulated number of honours and awards to their credit. It was during the Second World War that soldiers from Bihar were once again recruited in the 19th Hyderabad Regiment from which originated the Kumaon and Bihar Regiment. Thus Bihar Regiment owes its origin to the 11/19 Hyderabad Regiment, which was raised on 15 Sept 1941.
11th/19th Hyderabad Regiment. The 11th/19th Hyderabad Regiment was embodied, like other ITF units, at Danapur Cantt within a few weeks of the outbreak of World War II in 1939. At that time Major JRH Tweed, MBE, MC was the CO of the unit who was known as the Administrative Commandant of 11/19 Hyderabad Regiment. On 26th November 1939, he received orders to moblise the unit to full strength. He issued call up notices, sent recruiting parties all over Bihar and planned that the raising of the battalion be completed by the end of March 1940.