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A

 

A.A.G.

Assistant Adjutant General

A.A.R.

Asiatic Annual Register

A.A.Q.M.G.

Assistant Adjutant and Quarter Master General

A.C.G.

Assistant Commissary General

A.C.R.E.

Assistant Commander Royal Engineers

Actg

Acting

A.D.C.

Aide-de-Camp (to the King)

Addis.

Addiscombe Military Seminary

Addiscombe Military Seminary

The East India Company's Military Seminary was established in January 1809 at Addiscombe Place, near Croydon. Its purpose was to provide up to two years' general and technical education for youths of between fourteen and eighteen who had been nominated for officer cadetships in the Company's forces. Attendance at Addiscombe was compulsory for artillery and engineer cadets, optional for cavalry and infantry cadets. After the demise of the Company in 1858, Addiscombe was converted into the Royal India Military College and continued to function till its closure in August 1861.

Adjt.

Adjutant

Adm.

Admiral

Admon.

Administration

A.D.M.S

Assistant Director of Medical Services

Advocate

The equivalent in the Indian High Courts, (as in the Scottish High Courts), of an English barrister.

A.E.C.

Army Education Corps

A.F.C.

Air Force Cross

A.F.(I).

Auxiliary Force, India

Affid.

Affidavit

A.F.M.

Air Force Medal

A.G.

Accountant General; Adjutant General.

A.G.G.

Agent to Governor General

Agt.

Agent

A.H.Q.

Army Head Quarters

A.I.F.

Anglo Indian Force

A.I.M.

Army of India Medal

A.J.

Asiatic Journal

A.L.

Army List

A.L.F.

Allied Land Forces

A.M.

Air Ministry; Albert Medal.

A.M.S.

Assistant Military Secretary

Apothecary

The title given to the various grades of warrant officer in the Indian Military Subordinate Medical Service. The rank of Apothecary was abolished in the Subordinate Medical Service in 1894 and replaced by that of Assistant Surgeon.  Apothecaries in the Indian Army undertook general medical duties - by the early 19th century the word was used in the more general sense of medical practitioner as well as in its original meaning of pharmacist.

Appt.

Appointment

Apptd.

Appointed

A.Q.M.G.

Assistant Quarter Master General

A.R.P.

Air Raid Precaution

Arr.

Arrived

A.R.R.C.

Associate of the Royal Red Cross

Art.

Artillery

Art. Inv.

Artillery Invalid

A.S.

Assistant Surgeon

A.S.C.

Army Stores Committee

Asiatic Journal

See Sources for details

Asiatic Journal New Series

See Sources for details

Assistant Surgeon

Until 1873 the most junior grade in the Bengal, Madras, and Bombay Medical Services (Indian Medical Service). Abolished in the Indian Medical Service in 1873, it replaced the grade of Apothecary in the Military Subordinate Medical Service in 1894.

Asst. adj-gen.

Assistant Adjutant General

Asst. apothy.

Assistant Apothecary

Asst. collr

Assistant Collector

Asst. commr

Assistant Commissioner

Asst. engr

Assistant Engineer

Asst. loco.

Assistant Locomotive (Engineer)

Asst. sec.

Assistant Secretary

Asst. surg.

Assistant Surgeon

Attd.

Attached

Attorney

The equivalent in India of a solicitor in the UK.

Atty.

Attorney

Aust.

Australia

Aux.

Auxiliary

Auxiliary Force, India

From 1920 the equivalent in India of the Territorial Army in the UK i.e. part-time regiments of European soldiers who could be fully mobilised in time of war. Prior to 1920 they were known as the Indian Volunteer Force (1857-1917) and the Indian Defence Force (1917-1920).

B  

B/

East India Company Court Minutes. See Sources for details

b.

born

B.

Bengal

B.A.

Bachelor of Arts

B.A.C.S.A.

British Association for Cemeteries in South Asia. See Sources for details

Bandsmen

Members of a military band. There were two distinct categories of band:
1) Members of the bands of the Viceroy and of the Governor of Bombay were British non-commissioned officers and private soldiers on the Unattached List. The bandmasters of these bands were usually civilians, before 1914 often musicians of German extraction.
2) Bandsmen attached to East India Company/Indian Army regiments of native cavalry and infantry were almost invariably Eurasians. In the late 18th and very early 19th century their names appear occasionally in the Bengal, Madras and Bombay Army Muster rolls but thereafter as non-combatants they are no longer included in the military records.
Buglers and drummers who served with the British Army or the East India Company European Artillery/Infantry were not bandsmen but combatant soldiers.

bapt.

baptised

Barr.

Barrister

Bart.

Baronet

B.A.S.C.

Burma Army Service Corps

B.B.& C.I. Rly.

Bombay Baroda and Central Indian Railway

B.C.S.

Bengal Civil Service

Bde.

Brigade

Bdr. Gen.

Brigadier General

Beds & Herts 

Bedfordshire & Hertfordshire Regiment

Ben. Eur. Regt

Bengal  European Regiment

Bengal Obituary

Publication (in Asian and African Studies Reading Room at OIR 929.5). See Sources for details

Bengal Past and Present

Publication. See Sources for details

Bgde

Brigade

B.I.S.N.

British India Steam Navigation Company

Bk. Mr.

Barrack Master

B.L.

British Library

Bldgs.

Buildings

B.M.

Band Master; British Museum

Bmdr

Bombadier

B.M.F.

Bengal Military Fund

B.M.P.

Burma Military Police

B.M.S.

Bengal Medical Service; Bombay Medical Service

Bn.

Battalion

B.N. Rly

Bengal Nagpur Railway

B.N.W.R.

Bengal North West Railway

Bo.

Bombay

B.O.

Burma Office

Board of Commissioners for the Affairs of India

The formal title of the institution more commonly known as the Board of Control or the India Board, established by Act of Parliament in 1784 to 'superintend, direct and control' the East India Company's civil and military government and the business connected with its Indian revenues. By the Government of India Act of 1858, the powers of the Board and the Company were transferred to the Secretary of State for India in Council.

Boase

Publication (in Asian and African Studies Reading Room at OIA 920.041).  See Sources for details

B.O.C.

Board of Control  

Bom.

Bombay

B. & O. Rly.

Bihar and Orissa Railway

B.P.

Bengal Police

B.P.P.

Bengal Past and Present Publication. See Sources for details

B.Q.M.S.

Brigade Quarter Master Sergeant

Brit. Prot.

British Protestant

Bt.

Brevet; Baronet

Btn

Battalion

Buffs

3rd Regiment of Foot (British Army)

bur.

buried

B/Watch

Black Watch (Scottish Regiment)

C  

c.

circa

C/Accountant

Chartered Accountant

Cadets

Junior entrants to the regular officer corps of the East India Company's Army (1760-1861), the Indian Army (1861-1947) and the Bombay Marine/Indian Navy (1794-1859).

Calc.

Calcutta

Cantt.

Cantonment

Capt.

Captain

Cav.

Cavalry

C.B.

Companion of the Order of the Bath

C.B.E.

Commander of the British Empire

C.C.

Cadet College

C.D.

Court of Directors (of the East India Company)

Cdctr. Ord.

Conductor, Ordnance

C.E.

Chief Engineer

cf.

Compare

C.G.

Calcutta Gazette

C.G.H.

Cape of Good Hope

Chaplains

Clergymen of the Church of England and Church of Scotland appointed to serve as chaplains to the armed forces in India. In practice they ministered to the civilian population as well as to military personnel but they were part of the East India Company/Indian Army establishment and governed by military regulations in respect to pay, leave and pensions. From the second quarter of the 19th century Catholic priests were allowed to officiate as army chaplains - they received subsidies from Government but were not part of the official establishment.

Chelsea Pensions

Pensions paid to time-expired or disabled British Army other ranks. So called because the recipients were regarded as out-pensioners of the Royal Hospital, Chelsea. European other ranks of the EIC Army received Lord Clive Fund pensions unless they transferred to the British Army.

Chief Commissioner

The head of a Non-Regulation Province, where the province did not have the status of a Lieutenant-Governorship.

C.I.

Central India

C.I.D.

Criminal Investigation Department

C.I.E.

Companion of the Indian Empire

C.-in-C.

Commander in Chief

Civ. Cem

Civilian Cemetery

Civil Pensions

Pensions paid to all retired members of the civil services of India apart from the Indian Civil Service.

C&M Gazette

Civil and Military Gazette (newspaper)

C.M.

Court Minutes

C.M.G.

Companion of the Order of St Michael and St George

Cnt/Cond

Conductor

C.of E.

Church of England

C.of I.

Church of India

C.of S.

Church of Scotland

Col.

Colonel

Coll.

College

Collector

Term used in the Regulation Provinces for the chief administrative official of a district - the title reflects the fact that revenue collection had always been an important part of district administration. In the Madras and Bombay Provinces the district officer usually bore the title of Collector and District Magistrate, in the other Regulation Provinces the title of Magistrate and Collector.

Col/Sgt

Colour Sergeant

Comd.

Command

Comdt.

Commandant

Commis. Dept

Commissary Department

Commis. Gen.

Commissary General

Commissariat

Name given in the late 18th and 19th century to the department(s) of the East India Company/Indian Army responsible for procuring equipment and supplies (other than ordnance). Title changed to Commissariat and Transport Department 1887, Supply and Transport Corps 1901, Indian Army Service Corps 1923, Royal Indian Army Service Corps 1935.

Commissary

From 1904 the highest rank of Departmental Officer in the Indian Army - before 1904 the highest rank of Departmental Officer was Deputy Commissary.

Commissioned Officers

Generally used to mean King's or Queen's Commissioned Officers i.e. regular officers of the Indian Army who received their commissions direct from the Monarch, to be distinguished from Viceroy's Commissioned Officers who received their commissions from the Viceroy of India.

Commissioner

An officer in charge of the administration of a Division (comprising several Districts or Zillahs) - in the Regulation Provinces he was always a member of the Covenanted Civil Service in the Non-Regulation Provinces he could be either a Covenanted Civil Servant or an officer of the East India Company or Indian Army.

Comr.

Commissioner

Comst.

Commissariat

Comy.Gen.

Commissary General

Conductor

The higher of the two appointments within the Warrant Officer rank in the East India Company or Indian Army, the lower being that of Sub-Conductor. Conductors and Sub Conductors worked mainly in the Ordnance, Commissariat and Public Works Departments. Conductors were eligible for promotion to the higher grade of Departmental Officer.

Cons.

Consultations

Corp.

Corporal

Council of India

The body appointed by Act of Parliament in 1858 to advise and to a certain extent control the Secretary of State for India Replaced in 1937 by the Board of Advisers to the Secretary of State for India and Burma.

Country Service

Ships trading locally in Asian waters

Covenanted Civil Service

The name given to the top general administrative cadre of civil servants in India (until 1858 the East India Company's Civil Service, after 1858 the Indian Civil Service). So called from the good behaviour covenants which appointees were obliged to enter into with the East India Company Court of Directors, and (after 1858) with the Secretary of State for India in Council. To be distinguished both from the Uncovenanted Civil Service and from the Special Civil Services.

Covenanted Servant

East India Company Civil Servant

Coy.

Company

C.P.

Central Provinces

Cpt

Captain

C.Q.M.S.

Company Quarter Master Sergeant

cr.

Created

Crawford

Publication (in Asian and African Studies Reading Room at OIR 355.345).  See Sources for details

C.R.E.

Commander Royal Engineers

Cresc.

Crescent

C.S.

Civil Service

C.S.I.

Companion of the Order of the Star of India.

C.S.M.

Company Sergeant Major

D  

d.

died

D.A.A.G.

Deputy Assistant Adjutant General

D.A.C.G.

Deputy Assistant Commissary General

D.A.D.M.S.

Deputy Assistant Director of Medical Services

Dafadar

A Non-Commissioned Officer in the Indian Cavalry equivalent in rank to a Havildar in the Indian Infantry.

D.A.Q.M.G.

Deputy Adjutant and Assistant Quarter Master General

dau.

daughter

D.Batt.

D. Battery (Royal Horse Artillery)

D.C.

Deputy Commissioner

D.C.E.

Deputy Chief Engineer

D.C.L.I.

Duke of Connaught’s Light Infantry

D.C.M.

Distinguished Conduct Medal

D.C’s Office

District Commissioner’s Office

d.d.

doing duty

D.D.M.S.

Deputy Director of Medical Services

dec.

Deceased

Departmental Officers

Recruited from the East India Company’s or Indian Army's Conductors and served mainly in the Ordnance, Commissariat and Public Works Departments. Prior to 1904 they held the ranks (in ascending order) of Deputy Assistant Commissary, Assistant Commissary and Deputy Commissary. In 1867 these ranks were given complementary honorary officer ranks ranging from Honorary Ensign to Honorary Captain. From 1904 Departmental Officer ranks were re-graded as Assistant Commissary, Deputy Commissary and Commissary with equivalent honorary officer ranks from Honorary Lieutenant to Honorary Major. In 1921 the prefix 'Honorary' was discarded and the complementary ranks assimilated to those of regular officers.

Dept.

Department

Dep-Supt

Deputy superintendent

Deputy Collector

In the Regulation Provinces a member of the Uncovenanted Civil Service in charge of a subdivision of a district; the equivalent of an Extra Assistant Commissioner in a Non-Regulation Province.

Deputy Commissioner

In the Non-Regulation Provinces an officer in charge of the civil administration of a District; equivalent to a Magistrate and Collector in the Regulation Provinces.

De Rhé-Philipe

Publication (in Asian and African Studies Reading Room at OIR 929.5).  See Sources for details

D.F.C.

Distinguished Flying Cross

D.F.M.

Distinguished Flying Medal

D.G.

Dragoon Guards

Dgns.

Dragoons

D.I.B.

Dictionary of Indian Biography

Dictionary of National Biography

Publication (in Asian and African Studies Reading Room at OIA 920.041). See Sources for details

Discharge Papers

Register of soldiers who took the option of unpensioned discharge when the East India Company European troops were amalgamated with the British Army in 1859-1861. These papers are a convenient source of biographical information since they include both the soldier's service details and a duplicate copy of his entry in the recruitment register, giving physical description, parish of origin etc. An index to the Discharge Papers is available in the Asian and African Studies Reading Room.

District Officer

An officer in charge of the civil administration of a district. In the Regulation Provinces after 1858 he usually held either the title of Magistrate and Collector or (in the Madras and Bombay Provinces) the title of Collector and District Magistrate; in the Non-Regulation Provinces he was called Deputy Commissioner.

div.

Divorced; division

dow

Died of wounds

D.O.W.

Duke of Wellington’s Regiment

D.Q.M.G.

Deputy Quartermaster General

D.S.C.

Distinguished Service Cross

D.S.O.

Distinguished Service Order

Dy.

Deputy

E  

E/3

East India Company General Correspondence. See Sources for details

East India College, Haileybury

Established first in 1806 at Hertford Castle, and transferred to nearby Haileybury in Hertfordshire in 1809, to provide a general and vocational education for youths aged sixteen to eighteen nominated by East India Company directors to writerships in the East India Company overseas civil service. Attendance was generally for four terms, i.e. two years. In 1856 the system of appointment by patronage was replaced by an open competitive examination and in January 1858 the college was closed down.

East India Register

Publication. See Sources for details

E.B.Rly

East Bengal Railway

E.B.S. Rly

East Bengal State railway

E.C.

Emergency Commission

Echelon

An administrative division, especially one (e.g. the Indian Imperial Police) which recruited mainly by direct appointment rather than by promotion from an inferior division.

ed.

educated

E. D.

Efficiency Decoration

Effective Supernumeraries

The term used in the East India Company’s Madras Army for what in the Bengal and Bombay Armies was called the Town Major's List.

E.G.M.

Empire Gallantry Medal

E.I.C.

East India Company

E.I.C.N.S.

East India Company’s Naval Service

E.I.Co.

East India Company

E.I.C.S.

East India Company’s Service

E.I.M.C.

East India Military Calendar

E.I. Rly

East India Railway

E.I.V.Co

East India Veterans/Volunteer Company

Elder

A grade of manager in the East India Company London warehouses.

Elec-fitter

Electric fitter

E.L.I.

European Light Infantry

Embarkation Lists

Registers of East India Company Army recruits embarked for India, compiled at the port of embarkation. Before the commencement of the Recruitment Registers proper in 1801, they are the main source of information on recruits but the extent of information varies from register to register some giving full personal details others only the name and the date of joining ship.

Emergency Commission

Commission in the Indian Army granted to European soldiers specifically for the duration of World War II - the India Office Records holds service files for about 80% of these officers. Those Emergency Commission officers who had been in civilian life prior to the outbreak of war (the great majority) were not entitled to a pension but received a gratuity upon final discharge.  A few Emergency Commission officers who had seen rank service in the British Army before 1939 were entitled to a pension in respect of their combined British and Indian service.

Ency. Brit.

Encylopaedia Britannica

Engr.

Engineer

Ens.

Ensign

E.R.

European Regiment

E.Surrey Regt

East Surrey Regiment

Eur.

European

Expedn.

Expedition

Extra Assistant Commissioner

In the Non-Regulation Provinces a member of the Uncovenanted Civil Service in charge of a subdivision of a district; the equivalent of a Deputy Collector in a Regulation Province.

F  

Factor

The third of the four classes into which the East India Company's civil servants were originally divided, the others being (1) Senior Merchant, (2) Junior Merchant, (4) Writer. The term ‘factor’ originally meant a commercial agent or the executive head of a factory but it continued to be used as a rank in the Company's service long after the duties of the Company's officials had ceased to be primarily commercial. It last appears as a civil service rank in the East India Register in 1841.

Factory

An East India Company trading establishment in India and elsewhere.

Fenc.

Fencible

F.F.

Field Force

Flt.Sgt.

Flight Sergeant (Airforce)

F.M.

Field Marshal

Ft.

Foot

Fort St. David

Cuddalore, South Arcot District, Madras

Fort St. George

Madras

Fort William

Calcutta

Free Mariners

Seamen allowed by the East India Company to engage in the country trade i.e. the local trade of South and South East Asia - the Company retained its monopoly on trade between Britain and India until 1813 and between Britain and China until 1833.

Ft. Wm.

Fort William (Bengal)

Fur.

Furlough

Furlough

Leave of absence granted to a soldier, sometimes loosely used with reference to non-military personnel instead of the more correct term civil leave.

Fus.

Fusiliers

G  

G/32

East India Company Factory Records: St Helena. See Sources for details

G/35

East India Company Factory Records: Sumatra. See Sources for details

G/40

East India Company Factory Records: Miscellaneous. See Sources for details

Garr.

Garrison

Gaz.

Gazette

Gazetted Posts

Posts in the Indian civil services appointments to which were notified in the Government Gazettes - in practice this meant all posts in the Covenanted Civil Service as well as the higher posts in the Uncovenanted Civil Service and the Special Civil Services.

G.B.E.

Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the British India

G.C.

George Cross

G.C.B.

Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the Bath

G.C I.E.

Knight Grand Commander of the Order of the Indian Empire

G.C.M.

General Court Martial

G.C.M.G.

Knight Grand Commander of the Order of St Michael and St George

G.C.S.I.

Knight Grand Commander of the Order of the Star of India

G.C.V.C.

Knight Grand Cross of the Royal Victorian Order

Gdns.

Gardens

Gds.

Guards

G.E.

Garrison Engineer

Gen.

General

Gen.Cem., L/Circ.Road, Calcutta

General Cemetery, Lower Circular Road, Calcutta

gent

Gentleman

G.G.

Governor General of India

G.G.B.G.

Govenor General’s Body Guard

G/Howards

Green Howards (British Army)

G.I.P. Rly

Great Indian Peninsula Railway

G.M.

Gentleman’s Magazine

G.M.S.I.

Grand Master of the Order of the Star of India

Gnr.

Gunner

G.O.

General Order

G.O.C.

General Officer Commanding

G.O.C.C.

General Order by Commander in Chief

G.O.G.G.

General Order of Governor General

Govr.

Governor

Govt.

Government

Govt Press.

Government Press

Gren.

Grenadier

G.S.O.

General Staff Officer

Gunner

In the East India Company Artillery and Royal Artillery, an ordinary artilleryman equivalent in rank to a Private in the Infantry and a Trooper in the Cavalry.

H  

H.A.

Horse Artillery

Haileybury

East India College

H. Art

Horse Artillery

Havildar

In the Indian Army, an Indian non-commissioned officer equivalent to a Sergeant in the British Army.

Havildar-Major

The most senior non-commissioned officer rank in the Indian Infantry, equivalent to a Sergeant-Major in the British Infantry and to a Kot Dafadar in the Indian Cavalry.

H.C.

Honourable Company (East India Company)

H.C. Bengal Est

Honourable Company’s Bengal Establishment

H.C.C.S.

Honourable Company’s Civil Service

H.C.E.R.

Honourable Company’s European Regiment

H.C.M.S.

Honourable Company’s Maritime/Marine Service

H.C.S.

Honourable (East India) Company’s Service

H.E.

His/Her Excellency

H.E I.C.C.S.

Honourable East India Company's Civil Service.
Before 1858 the name given to the top general administrative cadre of civil servants in India - in 1858 it became the Indian Civil Service.

H.E.I.C.S

Honourable East India Company’s Service

H. F. B.

Heavy Field Battery

Highlrs.

Highlanders

H/landers

Highlanders (British Army)

H. M.

His/Her Majesty’s Regiment

Hodson

Publication (in Asian and African Studies Reading Room at OIR 355.332). See Sources for details

Hon.

Honourable

Hony.

Honorary.

Hosp. Appce

Hospital Apprentice

h.p.

half pay

H.Q.

Head Quarters

Hrs.

Hussars

I  

I.A.

Indian Army.

I.A.C.

Indian Armoured Corps.

I.A.C.C.

Indian Army Corps of Clerks

I.A.C.T.S.

Indian Armoured Corps Training Centre

I.A L.

Indian Army List

I.A.O.C.

Indian Army Ordnance Corps

I.A.R.O.

Indian Army Reserve of Officers

I.A.S.C.

Indian Army Staff Corps

ibid.

the same

I.C.S.

Indian Civil Service

I.D.S.M.

Indian Distinguished Service Medal

I.E.

Corps of Indian Engineers

I.E.M.E.

Indian Electrical and Mechanical Engineers

I.G.

Inspector General

Illeg.

Illegitimate

I.L.N.

Illustrated London News

I.M.D.

Indian Medical Department

I.M.H.

Indian Military Hospital

Imperial Service Troops

Regiments raised by the rulers of certain Princely States (from 1888) and made available to the British Crown for service overseas - officers of the Indian Army were attached to them as advisers. From 1922, known as Indian States Forces.

I.M. Rly

Indian Midland Railway

I.M.S.

Indian Medical Service

Ind.

Indian

Indep.

Independent

Indg. factories

Indigo factories

Indg. pltr

Indigo planter

India Office Library

Now part of Asia, Pacific and Africa Collections at the British Library

Indian Civil Service

The name given after 1858 to the top general administrative cadre of civil servants in India - superseded the Honourable East India Company's Civil Service.  The last UK appointments to the ICS were made in 1942. See also Covenanted Civil Service.

Indian Commissioned Officers

Native officers of the EIC/Indian Army (also known after 1858 as Viceroy's Commissioned Officers. In the Infantry they held the ranks of Jemadar, Subadar and Subadar-Major, in the Cavalry the ranks of Jemadar, Ressaidar, Risaldar and Risaldar-Major.

Indian Defence Force

Name given between 1917-1920 to what had formerly been known as the Indian Volunteer Force. In 1920, it became the Auxiliary Force, India.

Indian Distinguished Service Medal

Instituted in 1907 as an award to recognise distinguished services of Indian commissioned and non-commissioned Officers, extended in 1929 to the Royal Indian Marine and in 1940 to the Indian Air Force.

Indian Medical Service

Collective name for the top echelon of the East India Company/Indian Army's medical service. Until 1896, divided into three administrative divisions: Bengal Medical Service, Madras Medical Service, Bombay Medical Service. In Jan 1897 these three services were combined into one general service under the direct administrative control of the Government of India.  Up to 1891 Indian Medical Service officers had medical ranks e.g. Surgeon, Surgeon Major etc. In Jan 1892 these were replaced with compound ranks i.e. medical rank plus combatant rank e.g. Surgeon Lieutenant. From Sep 1898 the medical titles were discarded and Indian Medical Service officers had the same ranks as regular officers.

Indian Non-Commissioned Officers

In the East India Company/Indian Army the majority of Indian Non-Commissioned Officers held the ranks of Lance-Naik, Naik, Havildar and Havildar-Major corresponding to the British ranks of Lance-Corporal, Corporal, Sergeant and Sergeant-Major. In the Indian Cavalry post-1858 the ranks were Lance-Dafadar, Dafadar and Kot Dafadar.

Indian Order of Merit

Oldest gallantry award in the British Empire, introduced by the East India Company for its native troops in 1837. Originally in three classes. Was at first called the Order of Merit but the name was changed to Indian Order of Merit in 1902 to distinguish it from the newly instituted (Imperial) Order of Merit.

Indian Police

(Also known as Indian Imperial Police.)  Name given from the 1890s to the upper echelon of the Indian Police Services. Recruited (from 1893) largely by examination in the UK. From 1921, direct appointments to the Indian Imperial Police were also made by an annual examination in India open to all races and over the next 26 years the service was progressively Indianized.

Indian States Forces

Title given (1922-1947) to what were previously termed Imperial Service Troops.

Indian Volunteer Force

Name given from 1857 to 1917 to what was later called the Indian Defence Force (1917-1920) and the Auxiliary Force, India (1920-1947).

Inf.

Infantry

Insp.

Inspector

intest.

intestate

Intr.

Interpreter

Inv.

Invalid / invalided

Inv. Estab.

Invalid Establishment (Army Regiment)

IOR Biographical File

Biographical Files (in Asian and African Studies Reading Room at OIR 920.054). See Sources for details

I.O.Rec.

India Office Records

Irreg.

Irregular

IoW

Isle of Wight

I.S.F.

Indian States Forces

J  

J/1

Records of East India College, Haileybury, See Sources for details

Jemadar

In the East India Company/Indian Army the most junior rank of Indian Commissioned Officer, equivalent to a Lieutenant in the British Army.

Joint Mag. & Dep. Coll.

Joint Magistrate & Deputy Collector

Journal of the Society for Army Historical Research

Publication. See Sources for details

J.P.

Justice of the Peace

Judge Adv - Gen 

Judge Advocate General

Judges

In British India there were a multiplicity of courts and judicial titles but it is useful to distinguish between the following four types of judge:
1) Barristers of England or Ireland or Scottish Advocates, (not members of the East India Company civil service or Indian Civil Service), appointed before 1862 to be Judges of the Supreme Courts in India, after 1862 as Judges of the High Courts in India - they served a limited number of years but were entitled to Indian Government pensions.
2) Members of the Judicial Branch of the East India Company/Indian Civil Service or of the Uncovenanted Civil Service - the great majority of judges fell into this category. Before 1862 the upper echelon served as Judges of the Adalat and Sadr Adalat Courts, after 1862 as District and Sessions Judges and Judges of the High Courts/Chief Courts - from the late 19th century onwards they were encouraged to obtain legal degrees and/or qualify as barristers. Below this upper echelon came Subordinate Judges and Munsifs.
3) Magistrates/Collectors - partly members of the Indian Civil Service and partly drawn from the Uncovenanted Civil Service. Their duties were primarily administrative but as magistrates they exercised judicial authority in minor cases.
4) Pleaders of the Indian High Courts not in Indian Government Service appointed after 1862 to fill a certain proportion of High Court Judgeship

Junior Merchant

The second of the four classes into which the East India Company's civil servants were originally divided, the others being (1) Senior Merchant, (3) Factor, (4) Writer. As the name indicates it originally had a commercial significance but it continued to be used as a rank in the Company's service long after the duties of the Company's officials had ceased to be primarily commercial - it last appears as a civil service rank in the East India Register in 1841.

K

 

Kaisar-I-Hind Medal

Instituted in 1900 to reward those who had performed useful public service in India - the 1st Class was in gold and awarded by the Sovereign on the recommendation of the Secretary of State for India, the 2nd Class was in silver and awarded by the Viceroy of India.

K.C.B.

Knight Commander of the Bath

Keble Register

Publication. See Sources for details

King's Indian Commissioned Officers

Indians granted commissions as regular officers in the Indian Army, to be distinguished from Viceroy's Commissioned Officers. Temporary regular commissions were first granted to Indians towards the end of World War I - about the same time a small number of Indian cadets began to be selected on an annual basis for admission to the Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst, where they were trained to become regular officers of the Indian Army.

K.O.S.B. 

King’s Own Scottish Borderers

Kot Dafadar

The most senior non-commissioned officer rank in the Indian Cavalry, equivalent to a Troop Sergeant-Major in the British Cavalry and to a Havildar-Major in the Indian Infantry.

K.R.R.C. 

King’s Royal Rifle Corps

L

 

L/AG/23/10/1-2

Accountant-General's Records. See Sources for details

L/MAR/A

Marine Records. See Sources for details

L/MAR/B

Marine Records. See Sources for details

L/MAR/C

Marine Records. See Sources for details

L/MIL/9

Military Department Records. See Sources for details

L/MIL/11

Military Department Records. See Sources for details

L/MIL/12

Military Department Records. See Sources for details

L/MIL/15

Military Department Records. See Sources for details

L/MIL/17

Military Department Records. See Sources for details

L/PJ

Public and Judicial Department Records. See Sources for details

L/PO

Private Office Papers. See Sources for details

L/PWD

Public Works Department Records. See Sources for details

Lance-Dafadar

A non-commissioned officer in the Indian Cavalry equivalent in rank to a Naik in the Indian Infantry.

Lance-Naik

A non-commissioned officer in the Indian Infantry equivalent in rank to a British Lance-Corporal.

Lancs Fusiliers 

Lancashire Fusiliers

Law Officer

A Government legal official usually with general responsibilities as opposed to an officer of a particular court. In the Governments of India, Madras and Bombay the principal law officers were the Advocate General, the Government Solicitor and the Administrator General.

Lce.

Lancers

Lce-Corp 

Lance Corporal

Lcrs

Lancers

Lord Clive Fund

(Also known as the Military Late Lord Clive Fund)
Established 1769/1770. Provided benefits for disabled and time-expired officers and other ranks of the East India Company/Indian Army and their widows but not children. Payments were 'ex gratia' and recipients subject to a means test. Last pensioner admitted c1886. In the Asian & African Studies Reading Room there is an index to officers' widows admitted to pension in the U. K. between 1769-1886, giving widow's date of admission and date of death.

L.O.S. 

Lower Orphan School

L/Sgt.

Lance Sergeant

L.T.C.

Light Transport Corps

Lt. Drag.

Light Dragoons

Lt. Inf.

Light Infantry

M

 

M.A.

Master of Arts

Mad

Madras

Madras Burials

Publication. See Sources for details

Madras Marriages

Publication. See Sources for details

Madras Military Fund

See Sources for details

Magistrates and Collectors

Administrative titles used in the Regulation Provinces. For most of the period 1858-1947 the normal Indian Civil Service ranks in the Regulation Provinces (apart from Madras and Bombay) were, in ascending order, Assistant Magistrate and Collector, Joint Magistrate and Deputy Collector, Magistrate and Collector, Commissioner. In the Regulation Provinces members of the executive branch of the Provincial Civil Service held the rank of Deputy Magistrate and Deputy Collector. Magistrates exercised judicial functions in minor cases - the title Collector reflects their responsibility for revenue administration.

Maj-Gen 

Major General

Mat.

Mattross

Matross

Class of soldier in the East India Company Artillery ranking below a Gunner.

M.D.

Doctor of Medicine

M.I.

Memorial Inscription

Mil. Bde. Office

Military Brigade Office

Military Fund

Alternative name for the Lord Clive Fund

Mil-Policeman

Military Policeman

Mil. Wks Dept 

Military Works Department

M&S.M. Rly 

Madras & Southern Mahratta Railway

Muster Rolls

Annual nominal lists in a rough alphabetical order of the European private soldiers and non-commissioned officers in the East India Company's Bengal, Madras and Bombay Armies. From the early 19th century they provide information on a soldier's background.

N

 

N/1

Bengal baptisms, marriages and burials. See Sources for details

N/2

Madras baptisms, marriages and burials. See Sources for details

N/3/RC

Bombay  Roman Catholic Returns. See Sources for details

N/6

St Helena baptisms, marriages and burials. See Sources for details

N/7

Benkulen (Fort Marlborough) baptism, marriages and burials. See Sources for details

N/8

Penang (Prince of Wales Island) baptisms, marriages and burials. See Sources for details

N/9

Macao and Whampoa baptisms, marriages and burials

N/10

Burma general returns. See Sources for details

N/11

Bengal, Madras and Bombay: Registrar and non-Conformist marriages. See Sources for details

N/12

Deaths registered at Kuwait. See Sources for details

Naik

In the Indian Infantry, an Indian non-commissioned officer equivalent to a Corporal in the British Army.

Nbland 

Northumberland

N.C.O.s

Non-Commissioned Officers

N/Hants Regt. 

North Hampshire Regiment

N .I.

Native Infantry

N. Lancs. Fus.

North Lancashire Fusiliers

Non-Commissioned Officers

Army officers not appointed by a commission or warrant - in the British Army they held the ranks of Lance-Corporal, Corporal and Sergeant.

Non-Regulation Province

An Indian province exempted from the operation of the Indian Government regulations and governed instead by a Commission under the direct authority of the Governor General in Council, e.g. the Punjab after 1849. In the Non-Regulation Provinces officers of the EIC/Indian Army could hold posts in the top general administration - such posts were not open to them in the Regulation Provinces. The top executive grades in the Non-Regulation Provinces were, in ascending order, Assistant Commissioner, Deputy Commissioner, Commissioner, and Chief Commissioner/Lieutenant Governor.

N/sister 

Nursing sister

N.W.P.

North West Province

N.W.F.P. 

North West Frontier Province

N.W.R.

North Western Railway

O

 

O/1

Bonds and covenants. See Sources for details

Order of British India

Introduced by the East India Company in 1837 to reward its Indian commissioned officers for outstanding long and meritorious service. It consisted of two classes, recipients of the 1st Class receiving the title of Sardar Bahadur, recipients of the 2nd Class the title of Bahadur - appointments to the 1st Class were made only from members of the 2nd Class. The Order ceased to be conferred in 1947.

Order of Merit

Original name for the Indian Order of Merit.

Order of the Indian Empire

Founded in Dec 1877 as a junior order to that of the Order of the Star of India.  Originally had only one class, Companion (C. I. E.), but from 1887 consisted of three classes: Companion (C. I. E.), Knight Commander (K. C. I. E.) and Knight Grand Commander (G. C. I.  E).

Order of the Star of India

Founded in 1861 as a reward for distinguished service in India. Consisted of three classes, namely Companion (C. S. I.), Knight Commander (K. C.SI), and Knight Grand Commander (GCSI).

Ord-Factory 

Ordnance Factory

Ordnance Department

Name given to the department(s) of the East India Company/Indian Army responsible for supplying ordnance (arms and ammunition). Became the Indian Army Ordnance Department, 1884, and the Indian Army Ordnance Corps, 1922.

next  

P

 

Para - Btn

Parachute Battalion

Pembroke House

Lunatic asylum in Hackney, East London (1818-1870) which looked after former employees of the East India Company - civil, military, marine - who were certified insane while in India. Patients were either subsidised by the Company or, if their income was above a certain level, were obliged to pay their own fees. In 1870 the patients were re-housed in a new institution, the Royal Indian Asylum in Ealing, West London, under direct India Office control - this institution was closed down in 1892.

pens

Pensioner

Phillimore 

Publication (in Asian and African Studies Reading Room at OIR 354.54). See Sources for details

Pilot Services

By far the most important pilot service in India was the Bengal Pilot Service which was responsible for guiding sea-going ships up the Hooghly river from the Sandheads to Calcutta, and vice versa - the Hooghly, owing to its numerous shoals and shifting quicksands, presented special difficulties for navigators.

Pleader

The equivalent in an Indian High Court of a barrister in England.

P&O

Peninsular and Oriental Steam Navigation Company

Poplar Pension Fund

Provided benefits for disabled or otherwise unfit officers and seamen of the East India Company's Mercantile Marine, their widows and children. So-called because it originally came into existence to finance the upkeep of the Company's hospital-cum-almshouse established at Poplar in East London in 1627.

Port Commrs 

Port Commissioners

Pres.

Presidency; Presbyterian

Presidency

British India was divided into three Presidencies: Bombay, which covered the west and north of the country, including what is now Pakistan; Bengal, which covered the east of the country and included Burma and what is now Bangladesh, and Madras, which covered the southern portion of India. The main cities of the Presidencies were Bombay, Calcutta and Madras, respectively.

Preventive Officer

An officer of the Indian Customs Service employed in the suppression of smuggling.

Private

Ordinary soldier in the British Infantry equivalent to a Sepoy in the Indian Infantry and a Sowar in the Indian Cavalry.

P.R.O.

Public Record Office (now The National Archives)

Prop.

Proprietor

Provincial Civil Service

From 1892 the name given to the upper echelon of the Uncovenanted Civil Service. They held the higher uncovenanted posts of Deputy Magistrate/Deputy Collector in the Executive Branch and of Subordinate Judge in the Judicial Branch.
They were members of the domiciled Indian community and were recruited from the province in which they subsequently served.

Prv. Court of Appeal 

Provincial Court of Appeal

Pte.

Private

Public Works Department

Government department responsible for buildings and roads, irrigation and railways. Military works originally formed a branch of the Government of India Public Works Department but during the latter half of the 19th century they were gradually detached from Public Works Department control and in 1899 became fully part of the Indian Army organisation under the new title of Military Works Service.

P.W.D. 

Public Works Department

P.W.I.

Permanent Way Inspector (Railway)

Q

 

Q.A.I.M.N.S. 

Queen Alexandra’s Indian Military Nursing Service

Q.M.S.

Quarter Master Sergeant

Q.O.

Queen’s Own

R

 

R/2

Crown Representative: Indian States Residencies Records. See Sources for details

R/9

Malaya: Malacca Orphan Chamber and Council of Justice Records. See Sources for details

R.A. 

Royal Artillery

R.A.M.C. 

Royal Army Medical Corps

R.A.O.C. 

Royal Army Ordnance Corps

R.A.S.C. 

Royal Army Signal Corps

R.C.

Roman Catholic

R/Drag

Royal Dragoons

Regular Officer

An officer in the Indian Army holding the King's or Queen's commission. Until c.1918 the regular officer corps of the Indian Army was almost entirely European but from 1918 onwards a small number of King's commissions were granted annually to Sandhurst trained Asian cadets and during World War II the number of Asians receiving such commissions greatly increased.

Regulation Province

An Indian province governed according to the existing regulations, as opposed to a Non-Regulation Province.  The Regulation Provinces were the older provinces which had enjoyed a long period of settled administration e.g. Madras, Bombay. In the Regulation Provinces (Madras and Bombay excepted), for most of the period after 1858, the Indian Civil Service executive grades (in ascending order) were Assistant Magistrate and Collector, Joint Magistrate and Deputy Collector, Magistrate and Collector, Commissioner, Lieutenant Governor or Governor.

R.E.M.E. 

Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers

resdg

Residing

Ressaidar

A rank of Indian cavalry officer intermediate between Jemadar and Risaldar.In April 1921 the rank of Ressaidar was abolished, all existing Ressaidars being regraded as Risaldars.

retd

Retired

Rev & Judicial Dept.

Revenue & Judicial Department

R.F. Art 

Royal Field Artillery

R.H.A.

Royal Horse Artillery

R.I.A.F. 

Royal Indian Air Force

R.I.A.S.C.

Royal Indian Army Service Corps

R.I.N.

Royal Indian Navy

R.I.N.V.R 

Royal Indian Navy Volunteer Reserve

Risaldar

A rank of Indian cavalry officer equivalent to a Subadar in the Indian Infantry. Until April 1921 it was intermediate between Ressaidar and Risaldar-Major, after that date between Jemadar and Risaldar-Major.

Risaldar-Major

The most senior rank of Indian cavalry officer, equivalent to a Subadar-Major in the Indian Infantry.

R.M.R.

Rajputana Malwa Railway

R.N.

Royal Navy

R.N.V.R.

Royal Navy Volunteer Reserve

R.Q.M.S.

Regimental Quarter Master Sergeant

R/Scots 

Royal Scots

R.T.C.

Royal Transport Corps

S

 

SC

Staff Corps

Scot. B/G 

Scots Burial Ground

Senior Merchant

The first of the four classes into which the East India Company's civil servants were originally divided, the others being (2) Junior Merchant, (3) Factor and (4) Writer. As the title indicates it originally had a commercial significance, but it continued to be used as a rank in the Company's service long after the duties of the Company's officials had ceased to be primarily commercial - it last appears as a civil service rank in the East India Register in 1841.

Sepoy

In the East India Company/Indian Army an ordinary native infantryman equivalent to a Sowar in the Indian Cavalry.

Silladar

An Indian cavalryman who provided his own arms and horse instead of having them supplied by Government - the Silladarsystem originated in the irregular regiments of native cavalry but was extended to the regular cavalry of the Bengal and Bombay Armies in 1861.

S.I. Rly

South Indian Railway

S/Lancs

South Lancashire Regiment

S/Maj

Sergeant Major

SMD

Subordinate Medical Department

s of

Son of

Sowar

In the East India Company/Indian Army an ordinary native cavalryman equivalent to a Sepoyin the Indian Infantry and to a Trooper in the British Cavalry.

Sp.

Spinster

Special Civil Services

Special departments of the Indian administration e.g. the Indian Forest Service, Indian Police, Indian Political Service, etc. to be distinguished both from the Covenanted Civil Service and the Uncovenanted Civil Service. The top echelons of the special services were recruited in a variety of ways: the Indian Political Service was recruited partly from the East India Company civil service or Indian Civil Service, partly from officers of the East India Company armies or Indian Army; the Indian Police in its earlier days included many officers of the Indian Army but from 1893 onwards recruited its upper division mainly by an annual competitive examination held in the UK.

S.P.G.

Society for the Propagation of the Gospel

Sqr – Ldr

Squadron Leader

Staff Corps

A Staff Corps for the Bengal, Madras and Bombay Armies (i.e. the Indian Army) was set up in 1861 - the Staff Corps was to provide officers for the native regiments, and for the staff and army departments, as also for civil and political appointments for which Indian Army officers might be eligible - officers already in employ had the option of joining the Staff Corps or staying on under the old conditions. The Staff Corps therefore at least as far as post-1860 entrants were concerned was virtually synonymous with the Regular Officer Corps of the Indian Army and is not to be understood in the narrow sense of officers holding staff appointments. In 1903 in order to avoid confusion the designation 'Indian Staff Corps' as applied to officers on regimental duty was withdrawn and replaced by the more appropriate term 'Indian Army'.

S&T Corps 

Supply & Transport Corps

stenog. 

Stenographer

Subadar

A rank of Indian infantry officer intermediate between Jemadar and Subadar-Major, equivalent to a Captain in the British Army and to a Risaldar in the Indian Cavalry.

Subadar-Major

The most senior rank of Indian infantry officer, equivalent to a Risaldar-Major in the Indian Cavalry.

Sub-Conductor

The lower of the two appointments within the Warrant Officer rank in the EIC/Indian Army, the higher being that of Conductor.  Sub-Conductors and Conductors worked mainly in the Ordnance, Commissariat and Public Works Departments. Before 1860 Sub-Conductors were recruited from NCOs of the Town Major's List or Effective Supernumeraries; after 1860 from NCOs of the Unattached List.

Sub-Condctr 

Sub –Conductor

Subordinate Civil Service

Name given from 1892 to the lower echelon of the Uncovenanted Civil Service. Members of the Subordinate Civil Service held the posts of Tahsildar in the Executive Branch and Munsif in the Judicial Branch.

Superior Services

Collective name for the Indian Civil Service and the top echelons of the Special Civil Services, until the 1920s mainly recruited from British natural-born subjects in the UK.

Surg

Surgeon

S/Wales Borderers

South Wales Borderers

T

 

Tele-Dept

Telegraph Department

Tele-Master 

Telegraph Master

Tmptr

Trumpeter

TNA

The National Archives (formerly Public Record Office)

Town Major's List

Name given in the East India Company Bengal and Bombay Armies to the select cadre of European non-commissioned officers who served extra-regimentally, mainly in the Ordnance, Commissariat and Public Works Departments.  In the Madras Presidency they were known as Effective Supernumeraries. Recruited largely from non-commissioned officers of the Company's European Corps, and occasionally from non-commissioned officers of British Army regiments in India. Non-commissioned officers on the Town Major's List/Effective Supernumeraries were eligible for promotion to the warrant officer rank of Sub-Conductor.   In 1859/60 the Town Major's List was replaced by the Unattached List.

Trooper

An ordinary soldier in the British Cavalry equivalent to a Private in the Infantry and a Gunner in the Artillery.

Trp.Sgt.Maj 

Troop Sergeant Major

U

 

Unattached List

Two distinct meanings:
(1) Unattached List for non-commissioned officers of the Indian Army. Name given after 1859 to the special cadre of European non-commissioned officers who served extra-regimentally in the Indian Army - they were employed mainly in the Ordnance, Commissariat and Public Works Departments but also in a number of minor departments and in various miscellaneous posts. The Unattached List replaced the former East India Company Town Major's List or Effective Supernumeraries. Non-commissioned officers on the Unattached List were, after 1859, recruited solely from non-commissioned officers of British Army regiments stationed in India and could be remanded to their parent regiments in cases of incompetence and/or misconduct. A soldier on the Unattached List only became fully part of the Indian Army if and when subsequently promoted to the warrant officer rank of Sub-Conductor.
(2) Unattached List for officers of the Indian Army.  List of graduates of the Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst, granted commissions in the Indian Army but serving a probationary year with a British Army regiment in India before joining the Indian Army proper. During their probationary year they were required to obtain a basic qualification in a vernacular language failing which their probation was extended by a further year.

Uncovenanted Civil Service

Name given to the lower echelon of the general civil service in India under both the East India Company and the Crown, to be distinguished both from the upper echelon or Covenanted Civil Service and from the Special Civil Services. The Uncovenanted Civil Service was recruited almost entirely from persons born in India, whether European, Eurasian or Asian. In 1892 the Uncovenanted Civil Service was further subdivided into an upper branch or Provincial Civil Service and a lower branch or Subordinate Civil Service.

Under age

Below the age of 21

U. P.

United Provinces (now Uttar Pradesh)

U.P.E.S. Co 

United Provinces Electric Supply Company

U.S.A.A.F. 

United States of America Air Force

V

 

V.A.D.

Voluntary Aid Detachment

V.C .

Victoria Cross

V.C.O.

Viceroy's Commissioned Officer

Vet – Co

Veterans Company

Vet - Surg.

Veterinary Surgeon

Viceroy's Commissioned Officer

Name given after 1858 to native officers of the Indian Army, so-called because they received their commissions from the Viceroy, not from the monarch. See also Indian Commissioned Officers.

Voluntary Aid Detachment

Special nursing service recruited from volunteers in the UK during World War II, for service with the British armed forces overseas.

Volunteer Force - India

See Indian Volunteer Force

W

 

W.A.A.C. 

Women’s Auxiliary Air Force

W.A.C.(B)

Women’s Auxiliary Corps (Burma)

W.A.C. (I) 

Women’s Auxiliary Corps (India)

Warrant Officers

Officers appointed by warrant. In the East India Company/Indian Army they held the ranks of Sub-Conductor and Conductor and were intermediate in rank between Non-Commissioned Officers and Departmental Officers. In addition, from 1882 a small number of British Army warrant officers with the rank of Sergeant-Major or Quarter Master Sergeant were appointed to non-departmental posts in the Indian Army.

Who was Who

Publication (in Asian and African Studies Reading Room at OIA 920.041). See Sources for details

wid.

Widow

widr. 

Widower

W/O

Warrant Officer

W/O2 

Warrant Officer 2nd Class

Women's Auxiliary Corps

Established 1942. Non-combatant corps providing support services for the Indian Army and Burma Army in World War II. The equivalent of the Auxiliary Territorial Service (A.T.S.) in the UK.

Writer 

East India Company civil servant.
Two distinct meanings:
(1) The lowest of the four classes into which the East India Company's civil servants were divided, the others being (1) Senior Merchant, (2) Junior Merchant, (3) Factor. The term reflects the fact that in the early years of the Company copying and book-keeping comprised the greater part of a writer's duties but it continued to be used as a rank in the Company's service long after the duties of the Company's officials had ceased to be primarily commercial - it last appears as a civil service rank in the East India Register in 1841.
(2) A copying clerk in an office, either employed at East India House in London or by the Central, Provincial and District authorities in India.

Writers' Petitions

Appointment papers of the East India Company's young civil servants (1749-1805, giving details of parentage and educational attainment - see also East India College.

W.R.N.S. 

Womens Royal Naval Service

Z

 

Zemindar 

Landholder paying revenue to government


 
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