61st Pioneers
2nd Battalion, 61st King George's Own Pioneers, overlooking the Khyber Pass, 1919
CountryIndian Empire
Part ofMadras Army (to 1895)
Madras Command
ColorsRed; faced white
EngagementsCarnatic Wars
Third Anglo-Mysore War
Fourth Anglo-Mysore War
Indian Rebellion of 1857
Second Afghan War
Second Burmese War
Boxer Rebellion
World War I
Third Afghan War

The 61st Pioneers were an infantry regiment of the British Indian Army. They could trace their origins to 1758, when they were raised as the 1st Battalion Coast Sepoys.


The regiment took part in the Carnatic Wars in 1746–1763 and then the Third Anglo-Mysore War. In the Fourth Anglo-Mysore War they took part in the Battle of Seedaseer, the Battle of Seringapatam, the Battle of Nagpore, the Battle of Ava. They were next in action during the Indian Rebellion of 1857 in the Central India Campaign. Their next campaigns were outside India when they took part in the Second Afghan War, the Second Burmese War and the Boxer Rebellion. During World War I they were part of the 9th (Secunderabad) Division in the 27th Bangalore Brigade. This brigade served away from its parent division and served in British East Africa as part of the Indian Expeditionary Force B. After returning to India they took part in the Third Afghan War.

61st Pioneers wait to embark for East Africa during World War I
61st Pioneers wait to embark for East Africa during World War I

After World War I the Indian government reformed the army moving from single battalion regiments to multi battalion regiments.[1] In 1922, the 61st Pioneers now became the 1st Battalion 1st Madras Pioneers, which was disbanded in 1933.



  1. ^ Sumner p.15