Origin and Raisings - Pre-Independence In the lap of the snow-capped Himalayas, between the kingdom of Nepal and the Indian region of Garhwal, lie the KUMAON Hills, the home of the Kumaonis and the KUMAON Regiment.
But the KUMAON Regiment did not always have its home among the lush hills of KUMAON, nor was it known by that name till recent years. Some of its battalions have a history that goes back to the closing decades of the eighteenth century. Retracing that history, we find that the Regiment was born far away in the Deccan, where some of its units were raised as part of the army of the Nizam of
Hyderabad. Two Battalions of the KUMAON Regiment trace their origin to First and Second Battalions of Ellichpur.Brigade, raised by Nawab Salabat Khan, Subedar of Berar, as part of the forces of Nizam of Hyderabad. In March 1813, Sir Henry Russell, then British Resident in the court of Nizam of Hyderabad , raised the Russell Brigade comprising two Battalions. One of the Battalion is now known as 3 PARA and the other Battalion has been designated as the KUMAON Regimental Centre. Later, four more battalions were raised and they were known as the Berar Infantry. The two battalions of Salabat Khan were also included but continued their separate identity as Ellichpur Brigade. The men of the Russell Brigade were chiefly Hindus, recruited from Oudh and other parts of Uttar Pradesh.
By 1826, the Nizam's Army had grown to eight battalions which remained the same till 1853. Later, in 1853 after signing of a treaty with the then Governor General of India, The Nizam's Contingent was renamed as the Hyderabad Contingent and became part of the regular Indian Army. Two of its battalions, the 5th and 6th Infantry (previously Berar Infantry) were disbanded the same year.Pressures on demand for good fighting men during World War I led to the raising of a KUMAON Battalion at Ranikhet on 23 October 1917, which was named as the 4/39th KUMAON Rifles, and later in 1918 designated as the 1st Battalion the 50th KUMAON Rifles. 2nd Battalion the 50th KUMAON Rifles was also raised in the same year.
On 01 Dec 1922, as part of the reorganization of the Indian Army, the six Regiments of erstwhile Hyderabad Contingent were grouped into one Regiment called the 19th Hyderabad Regiment. The 1st Battalion the 50th KUMAON Rifles joined the 19th Hyderabad Regiment in 1923 and was renamed 1 KUMAON Rifles.
One Company Kumaonis. One Company Jats. One Company Ahirs. One Company Mixed. Thus, with severing of connections with Hyderabad , a need was felt to change the name of the Regiment. A proposal was forwarded in 1935, but was turned down by the Commander-in-Chief. Soon after World War II, the Jats of the Regiment were transferred to the JAT Regiment and the GRENADIERS. The Kumaonis filled the vacancy. On 27 Oct 1945, the long felt need was realized and the name of the Regiment was changed to 19 KUMAON Regiment. 27 October is thus observed every year throughout the Regiment as the KUMAON Day.
Post War Demobilization The end of World War II, once again brought about the demobilization of the Indian Army. The 5th, 7th 8th and 9th Battalions were disbanded in 1946. 4/19th Battalion The KUMAON Regiment was reconstituted by merging the 8th Battalion (which was disbanded) in 1946. The assets and Battle Honours of 8th Battalion were taken over by the 4th Battalion.
RAISING – POST INDEPENDENCE
The reconstitution of the Airborne Division led to renaming of 1st KUMAON as 1st Para Battalion The KUMAON Regiment. Later the unit was renamed as 3rd Battalion The Parachute Regiment.
The 13th Battalion has the distinction of being the first raising in the Regiment after Independence . It was raised in October 1948, with Kumaonis and Ahirs in equal proportion. In 1950, 1 KUMAON Rifles was renamed as 3rd Battalion the KUMAON Rifles (the suffix `Rifles’ was permitted to keep its link with the past).
Two new battalions joined the KUMAON family: 4 Gwalior Infantry, under Lt Col TK Mehra, and the Indore Infantry under Lt Col Ram Singh.
3 BORDER SCOUTS was reorganized and 4 BORDER SCOUTS was raised. Subsequently, the Battalion was designated as KUMAON SCOUTS
On 01 Nov 1970 NAGA Regiment was raised at Ranikhet as a single battalion regiment and was affiliated to the Kumaon Regiment. (The raising of the NAGA Regiment was in fulfillment of Central Governments obligation towards NAGA Peace Accord of 1969). This affiliation with the Kumaon Regiment was made on specific request of the Nagaland Government, based on the performance of battalions of the Kumaon Regiment in fighting insurgency in Nagaland.