The Madras Regiment
Mandeep Singh Bajwa

v.1.0, dated 2003

The following article is copyrighted by Manjeet Singh Bajwa and cannot be reproduced in any form without permission from him and ordersofbattle. You are welcome to use it for non-profit purposes after getting permission.

In the Army List the Madras Regiment should actually be the seniormost infantry Regiment as these were the first troops to be organised into regular battalions. But their senior battalions were converted to Punjabis in 1903 and the Madras Regiment itself became third in the order of seniority after it's own battalions. The Regiment now consists of South Indians, i.e., all classes from Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Pondicherry and Goa. The Urdu-speaking Muslims of Maharashtra, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh are classified as Dekhani Mussalmans and are recruited into the Maratha Light Infantry

The South Indian soldier, or Madrasi as the British called him, has proved his mettle on many a battlefield. Nonetheless, he has also been the victim of narrow prejudices, which have denied him the glory and recognition rightfully due to him. We have already given the example about the conversion of a number of Madras battalions to North Indian classes. In spite of a good record in World War I, the Madras Regiment had to suffer the ignominy of being struck off the Army List with the disbandment of it's only surviving battalion, the 1st, in 1928.

The Regiment was only resurrected in 1942 due largely to the efforts of Capt Sir Arthur Hope, KCIE, MC, Governor of Madras. The class composition of the Regiment was fixed at:-

1. Harijans and Christians 40%

2. Tamils 20%

3. Malayalis 15%

4. Telegus 12.5%

5. Muslims 12.5%

This has now been made more broad-based as discussed above.


Traditional Name or Nickname

2nd Battalion

75th Carnatic Infantry

3rd Battalion

79th Carnatic Infantry

4th Battalion

83rd Wallajahbad

5th Battalion


6th Battalion

Basantar, after 1971 Battle Honor

7th Battalion

Shandaar Saat (loosely, Glorious Seventh)

8th Battalion


9th Battalion

1st Travancore Nayar Infantry

11th Battalion


12th Battalion


16th Battalion

2nd Travancore Nayar Infantry -- Basantar

17th Battalion

Cochin State Infantry

18th Battalion

Mysore Infantry

19th Battalion


25th Battalion


26th Battalion

Siramani (after 1971 Battle Honor)

27th Battalion


28th Battalion


29th Battalion


The Regimental Centre is the old 86th Carnatic Infantry. It was re-raised at Madukarai in July 1942 and moved to it's present location at Wellington in February 1947. The Regiment has 2 Territorial Army battalions affiliated to it.

Unfortunately the senior-most battalion, the 1st with nearly 225 years of history behind it having been raised in 1776 at Madras as the 13th Carnatic Battalion, was transferred to the Mechanised Infantry Regiment in 1980 where it serves as its 1st Bn. Its class composition in line with the other battalions of the Mechanized Infantry Regiment is now All India All Class in place of the familiar 'Thammudu', Telugu for younger brother.

Battle Honours

Before Independence

Amboor, Carnatic, Sholinghur, Mysore, Seringapatam, Assaye, Cochin, Bourbon,

Seetabuldee, Nagpore, Meheidpore, Kemmendine, Ava, China(1840-2), Pegu,

Lucknow, China(1857-60), Central India, Afghanistan(1879-80), Burma, Malakand, Tirah-Punjab Frontier, China(1900), North-West Frontier(1914-5), Killimanjaro, East Africa, Baghdad, Mesopotamia, North-West Frontier(1917), Kut-al Amara, Aden, Persia, Baluchistan, Afghanistan(1919), Mount Popa, Tamu Road, Ukhrul, Ava and Kama.

After Independence

Tithwal, Poonch, Kalidhar, Maharajke, Basantar River, and Siramani.

The motto of the Madras Regiment,suggested by Sh. C Rajagopalachari,former Governor General of India and adopted in 1955 is 'Swadharme Nidhanam Shreyaha' -- It is glory to die doing one's duty.

The badge of the Regiment is an Assaye elephant mounted on crossed Malabar swords with a shield at the crossing. Beneath this is a scroll bearing the words,'THE MADRAS REGIMENT'.

Despite all the vicissitudes in it's fortunes and prejudice against it the Madras Regiment continues to give of it's best in the service of the nation, assuring the country that the Thambi (Tamil for younger brother) will forever spring to it's defence with his war cry ringing out on the battlefield, 'Veer Madrasi,Adi Kollu! Adi Kollu!'