REGIMENTAL HISTORY : GARHWAL RIFLES

1.  Details of Raising. Garhwal Rifles as a Regiment came into being on 05 May 1887 at the instance of Field Marshal Sir FS Roberts, VC, KG, KP, GCB, OM, GCSE, the then C-in-C of India. Lt Col EP Mainwaring raised the First battalion at Almora on 05 May 1887 and mov it to Kaludanda (later renamed as Lansdowne after the then Viceroy of India) on 04 Nov 1887. The Regimental Centre was established at Lansdowne on 01 Oct 1921.

2.  Participation in Operations.

(a) Pre-Independence Period. Two battalions of Regiment with a British Battalion (2nd Leicestershire Regiment) fought in World War I (1914) as part of the Garhwal Brigade in France. Two VCs were won by Nk Darwan Singh Negi and Rfn Gabar Singh Negi (Posthumous) in the Battle of Festubert (1914) and Neuve Chapelle (1915) respectively. The third VC of the Regiment was earned by Lt WD Kenny (Posthumous) in NWFP in 1920. During the First World War, numerous battle and theatre honours were won by the Regiment. Garhwalis established a reputation for steadfastness and gallantry, consequent to which the title “Royal” was bestowed on the Regiment in 1921. Meanwhile, two more battalions were raised on 20 Aug 1916 and 23 Oct 1917 respectively. Four more battalions were raised after the outbreak of World War II and the Regiment saw action on various fronts winning numerous awards and Battle Honours during World War II as well.

(b)  Post Independence Period.

(i)  In the difficult days that followed partition, the Regiment quelled communal disturbances and restored law and order. In the Indo-Pak war of 1947-48, one of the battalion of the Regiment won a large number of awards viz, One MVC, 18 VrC, One SC and 19 Mention-in-Despatches besides the Battle Honour ‘TITHWAL’.

(ii)  The another battalion of the Regiment fought with great distinction at Nuranang during the 1962 Indo – Chinese conflict and was awarded two MVCs and seven VrCs. It was bestowed with the Battle Honour ‘NURANANG’ in Eastern Theatre.

(iii)  In 1965, the Regiment earned laurels because of active & distinguished participation by its five battalions. Capt CN Singh of the Regiment was posthumously awarded the MVC for gallantry whilst serving during the war. Two battalions of Regiment were honoured with Battle Honours ‘GADRA ROAD’ and ‘BUTUR DOGRANDI’ respectively.

(iv)  In 1971, a battalion of the Regiment earned glory in the battle of Hilli in Bangladesh where it was awarded three VrCs, three Sena Medals, seven Mention-in-Despatches and the Battle Honour ‘HILLI’.

(v)  Two battalions of the Regiment took part in Op ‘BLUE STAR’ in the year 1984. During the intense fight to flush out the militants from their strong holds, Nk Bhawani Datt Joshi displayed gallantry of the highest order and laid down his life fighting to the end. He was awarded “Ashok Chakra” posthumously.

(vi)  Apart from all the wars, wherein the battalions of the Regiment have made significant contribution, the Regiment has also done the Nation proud in IS and CT tasks. The Regiment contributed six battalions to the Indian Peace Keeping Forces in Sri Lanka (1987-89). Commendable gallantry by the battalions in ‘Op PAWAN’ earned the Regiment many awards.

(vii)  In 1999, three battalions and a company of the Regiment participated in Op VIJAY (Kargil). COAS Unit Citation was awarded to one of the battalion of the Regiment for capture of features Point 5140 and Point 4700, while GOC-in-C’s Unit Citation was awarded to another two battalions. The Regiment was awarded 66 gallantry awards during Op VIJAY. Two battalions of the Regiment have been bestowed with Battle Honours ‘BATALIK’ and ‘DRAS’ respectively with ‘KARGIL’ as Theatre Honour.

(viii)  The Regiment has also distinguished itself with 19 COAS unit citations and 18 GOC-in-C appreciation till date.

(ix)  One of the Territorial Army Battalion of the Regiment was awarded GOC-in-C Northern Comd Unit Citation in the year 2006 and is the only Territorial Army unit to receive the honour.

(x)  The another Territorial Army of the of the Regiment has the honour to receive Indira Gandhi Paryavaran Puraskar for the year 1994.

(xi)  The Regimental Centre also had the honour of receiving the Indira Gandhi Paryavaran Puraskar for the year 2003 and The Best Military Station award in the year 2007.

3. The GARHWAL RIFLES Regiment Centre (GRRC) located in Uttarakhand. The war cry of the Regiment is ‘BADRI VISHAL LAL KI JAI’. Lt Gen SA Hasnain, UYSM, AVSM, SM, VSM** is presently the Colonel of the GARHWAL RIFLES & GARH SCOUTS and Brig Vinod Raizada, SM is Centre Commandant.