1st (Peshawar) Division

History of the Division

Headquartered in Peshawar and manning stations at Chitral, Drosh, Malakand, Chakdara, Dargia, Abazan, Jamrus, Shabkadar and Mardan, the 1st (Peshawar) Division remained in the area throughout the war. It mobilised for action on the North West Frontier on several occasions during the period of the Great War. The division was part of the Northern Army, later called Northern Command. In 1919, the division took part in operations in the Third Afghan war in Afghanistan. Typical of all Indian Army formations, it contained a mixture of British and Indian units.

From “The Mail” of 23 April 1915, thanks to British Newspaper Archive. The area held by 1st (Peshawar) Division throughout the Great War and in which it saw action in the Third Afghan War. The 8th Rajputs of the Peshawar Brigade were attacked at Shabkadar during this month.

Order of Battle

Units of the Indian Army are italicised

Divisional headquarters

Risalpur (1st) Cavalry Brigade

1st Lancers (moved to Peshawar Brigade in August 1914)

13th Lancers (left in July 1916 for 7th Cavalry Brigade in Mesopotamia)

14th Lancers (left in July 1916 for 7th Cavalry Brigade in Mesopotamia)

Guides Cavalry (left in October 1917 for 11th Cavalry Brigade in Mesopotamia)

21st Lancers (Empres of India’s) (joined from 2nd (Rawalpindi) Division in October 1914, left for 14th Cavalry Brigade August 1918)

30th Lancers (Gordons Horse) (joined from 2nd Indian Cavalry Division August 1916, left for 10th Cavalry Brigade December 1917)

5th Cavalry (joined from 2nd (Rawalpindi) Division in October 1916)

17th Cavalry (two squadrons joined from 5th (Mhow) Division October 1917, left for Lahore in November)

33rd Light Cavalry (joined from Lahore November 1917)

4th Cavalry (joined from 7th (Meerut) Division November 1917)

1st (King’s ) Dragoon Guards (joined from 14th Cavalry Brigade August 1918)

M Battery Royal Horse Artillery (see Divisional Artillery, below)

1st Guides Infantry (left for Mesopotamia February 1917)

2nd Guides Infantry (formed at Mardan January 1917 and moved to Malakand in March)

55th Rifles (joined from Kohat Brigade February 1917, left for 16th Indian Division in May)

54th Sikhs (joined from Derajat Brigade in September 1917, left for 10th (Irish) Division 17 February 1918))

3rd Guides Infantry (formed at Mardan October 1917)

22nd Machine Gun Squadron, Machine Gun Corps (joined June 1918)

1st Field Troop, Sappers & Miners (attached from 7th (Meerut) Division January to June 1918)

10th Cavalry Brigade (formed May 1917)

30th Lancers (Gordons Horse) (joined from Risaplur (1st) Cavalry Brigade December 1917)


1st, 2nd and 3rd Armoured Motor Batteries (formed April 1916)

Peshawar Brigade (renamed 1st Brigade in July 1918)

1st Lancers (joined from Risalpur Cavalry Brigade in August 1914)

2nd King’s (Liverpool Regiment) (left for 4th (Quetta) Division December 1917)

1st Royal Sussex Regiment (left for 4th (Quetta) Division December 1917)

14th Sikhs (left for 10th Indian Division October 1914)

21st Punjabis (left for Derajat Brigade February 1916)

72nd Punjabis (left for Bannu Brigade April 1917)

8th Rajputs (joined from 5th (Mhow) Division October 1914. left for 2nd (Rawalpindi) Division April 1916)

1st Brahmans (joined from 9th (Secunderabad) Division November 1914, left for Chitral July 1915)

1st Duke of Wellington’s (West Riding Regiment) (attached from 2nd (Rawalpindi) Division June-July 1915)

1/4th Somerset Light Infantry (joined from Lahore August 1915. Attached to Nowshera Brigade January 1916)

36th Sikhs (joined from 2nd (Rawalpindi) Division October 1915. Left for Mesopotamia February 1916 and joined 14th Indian Division)

1/4th Queen’s (Royal West Surrey Regiment) (joined from 8th (Lucknow) Division January 1916 but moved next month to Nowshera Brigade)

1/15th Sikhs (joined from Egypt February 1916)

1/6th Guides Rifles (joined from Egypt February 1916. Left for 2nd (Rawalpindi) Division May 1916)

12th Pioneers (joined from 4th (Quetta) Division February 1916. Left for Lahore Divisional Area April 1917)

2/4th Border Regiment (joined from 5th (Mhow) Division March 1916. Left for Rawalpindi March 1917)

1/35th Sikhs (joined from 2nd (Rawalpindi) Division July 1916)

2/6th Devonshire Regiment (joined from Meerut Divisional Area August 1916. Left for Mesopotamia, unbrigaded, March 1917)

38th Dogras (joined from Kohat Brigade April 1917. Left for Aden September 1917)

106th Pioneers (joined from 4th (Quetta) Division April 1917. Left for 18th Indian Division November 1917)

52nd Sikhs (joined from Bannu Brigade June 1917. Left for 18th Indian Division December 1917)

29th Punjabis (arrived from Rawalpindi October 1917. Left 19 March 1918 and eventually joined British 75th Division in Palestine)

2nd Somerset Light Infantry (joined from 4th (Quetta) Division December 1917)

3/2nd Guides Rifles (arrived from Meerut Divisional Area December 1917)

3/5th Guides Rifles (arrived from Rawalpindi March 1918)

22, 23 and 24 Machine Gun Squadrons (attached January to June 1918. 22 then left for Risalpur and the others went to Mhow)

115 Motor Machine Gun Battery (joined January 1918)

Nowshera Brigade

1st Durham Light Infantry (left for Rawalpindi in November 1917)

24th Punjabis (left for 10th Indian Division October 1914)

46th Punjabis (attached to Derajat Brigade May to July 1917. Left December 1917 and eventually joined British 10th (Irish) Division on 25 May 1918)

82nd Punjabis (left for Mesopotamia in January 1916)

94th Infantry (joined from 9th (Secunderabad) Division in October 1914. Left for Muscat in January 1916. Rejoined from Derajat Brigade August 1917. Left for 18th Indian Division in January 1918)

112th Infantry (left, became unbrigaded and moved to Dargai in October 1914)

81st Pioneers (joined from Poona Divisional Area in April 1915. Attached to 4th (Quetta) Division March-May 1918 and left for Bushire in August 1918)

2/1st Guides Rifles (attached to the brigade from Chitral in April 1915, left for 2nd (Rawalpindi) Division in September 1915. Left for 16th Indian Division in January 1918)

1/5th East Surrey Regiment (joined from 8th (Lucknow) Division in August 1915. Attached to 2nd (Rawalpindi) Division May to October 1916. Left for Muttra, Meerut Divisonal Area, April 1917)

1/4th Somerset Light Infantry (attached January-February 1916 then left for Mesopotamia)

1/4th Queen’s (Royal West Surrey Regiment) (arrived from Peshawar in February 1916. Left for Lahore in March 1917)

1/9th Middlesex Regiment (attached from 2nd (Rawalpindi) Division March to April 1916)

95th Infantry (arrived from Muscat in April 1916. Left for Bannu Brigade in April 1917)

89th Punjabis (arrived from Mesopotamia in  August 1916. Left for 18th Indian Division in November 1917)

1/5th Guides Rifles (arrived from Peshawar October 1916. Left for 15th Indian Division in March 1917)

2nd North Staffordshire Regiment (joined from 16th Indian Division in November 1917)

2/4th Border Regiment (joined from Rawalpindi in December 1917. Returned there in October 1918)

221 Machine Gun Company (attached June to December 1917. Moved to Egypt and joined “A” Battalion MGC on 21 May 1918)

263 Machine Gun Company (formed at Nowshera in December 1917)

4/3rd Guides Rifles (arrived from Kohat Brigade in January 1918)

2/123rd Rifles (arrived from 8th (Lucknow) Division in March 1918)

12th Pioneers (arrived from 4th (Quetta) Division in May 1918)

1/11th Guides Rifles (arrived from Bombay Brigade in December 1918)

2/11th Guides Rifles (arrived from Bombay Brigade in December 1918)

Peshawar Brigade (a new brigade formed in July 1918)

1st Yorkshire Regiment (arrived in Peshawar in January 1918 and came under command of the brigade on formation)

30th Lancers

Unbrigaded infantry

2/1st Guides Rifles (at Chitral, left for Nowshera Brigade in April 1915)

38th Dogras (at Malakand. Left to join Kohat Brigade in October 1916)

51st Sikhs (at Dargai)

112th Infantry (joined from Nowshera Brigade and moved to Dargai in October 1914. Left for 12th Indian Division in October 1915)

1st Brahmans (relieved the 2/1st Guides Rifles at Chitral in July 1915. Left for the 6th (Poona) Division in October 1917)

113th Infantry (relieved the 112th Infantry at Dargai in October 1915. Left for Mesopotamia in March 1917)

4/3rd Guides Rifles (formed at Rawalpindi in October 1916 as the 1st Reserve Battalion of the Guides Rifles and relieved the 38th Dogras at Malakand. Left for the Kohat Brigade in March 1917)

2nd Guides Infantry (joined from Risalpur and relieved 4/3rd Guides Rifles at Malakand in March 1917. Left March 1918 to join the British 60th (2/2nd London) Division in Palestine)

41st Dogras (joined from 2nd (Rawalpindi) Division in April 1917 and went to Dargai. Left for Bannu Brigade in December 1917)

1/11th Rajputs (joined from Derajat Brigade and relieved the 1st Brahmans at Chitral in October 1917)

2/89th Punjabis (joined from 16th Indian Division and went to Dargai in October 1917)

2/2nd Rajputs (joined from 7th (Meerut) Division in May 1918 and took place of 2nd Guides Infantry at Malakand)

Divisional artillery

VIII Brigade Royal Horse Artillery (M Battery under tactical command of Risalpur Cavalry Brigade; Q Battery left for 1st Indian Cavalry Division October 1914)

75 Battery of III Brigade Royal Field Artillery (left for England October 1914)

XVI Brigade Royal Field Artillery (located at Nowshera)

72 Heavy Battery RGA (left for 4th (Quetta) Division November 1914)

25 Mountain Battery RGA (left for 4th (Quetta) Division November 1915)

VI (Howitzer) Brigade RFA (joined from 7th (Meerut) Division when that formation left for France)

24 Mountain Battery RGA (joined from 2nd (Rawalpindi) Division December 1915)

I Mountain Brigade RGA (formed in December 1916, consisting of 6 Battery at Nowshera and 8 Battery at Peshawar. Left for Rawalpindi June 1918)

33 Reserve Mountain Battery RGA (arrived from 2nd (Rawalpindi) Division June 1917. Left for 4th (Quetta) Division December 1917)

34 Reserve Mountain Battery RGA (arrived from 2nd (Rawalpindi) Division February 1918 and left for Mesopomatia the following month)

Divisional Engineers

6/1st Company, Sappers & Miners (arrived at Peshawar June 1916. Left for Mesopotamia June 1918)

7/1st Company, Sappers & Miners (arrived at Peshawar from Roorki in Meerut Divisional Area in June 1918)


Other Divisions