|Units Badges in Malakand|
|Written by Janan Gull|
In the main entrances of the forts, Gibraltar Hill, Castle Rock Fort, piquets and other old buildings, a large number of unit badges of British, Indian and Pakistan armies are engraved. These badges have been made in memories of their respective units who served on the soil.
In the bottom of the Gibraltar Hill is located an open ground which is used by the Pakistan Army as training area. The locals for sports and other purposes also use the same auspicious ground but for that permission is taken from the stationed Pak Army officers. On the Gibraltar Hill there are also many stone slabs inscribed with many unit badges.
Below is the description of the unit badges, which are still found in the Malakand Forts and near the piquets.
15 Rajputana Rifles 1946
2nd Bn 14 Punjab Regiment (DCO-Brownlows- 1949-50
13Punjab (1st Bn 16 Punjab) 1954-57
18 Punjab (7th Bn 1st Punjab) 1957-58
11 Punjab (3rd Bn 15 Punjab) Jan-Aug-1959
Wilde's FF 1960-68
Transit Camp KKH feb-1969
3 FF Regt 1973-753
274 Sig Coy Nov-1973-May 1975
12 Baloch Regiment (Toofani) 1975-76
129 Fd Amb 1973-75
39 Punjab 1976
36 Baloch Regiment Dec-1976-Jan 1978
30 Baloch Feb-1978-Jan 1980
23 FF Regiment (JARRAR) 1980-82
13 Punjab Regt Sep-1982-Aug 19843
55 Punjab July-1984-July 1987
4 Baloch (old 4th Bn 8 Punjab Regt/95 Punjabis) Aug-1987-Jan 1991
The unit has also reflected all the battle honours, including the period 1st January 1800-1991.
18 FF Regiment 1993-94
65 FF Regt Jan 1994
While climbing up the upper fort, one comes across an inscribed Gorkha unit badge on a rock. The inscription is illegible due to weather effect and lack of care.
There are also many such badges on the Gibraltar Hill. Some of them are in clusters or groups and some independent. Majority of these badges are carved on rock faces and changed by the units. Most of the badges are damaged and very difficult to read. Few badges are clustered on the left of the Gibraltar Hill and are damaged and details of which cannot be ascertained. Details of the visible badges are as under:
4 Baloch Regiment (Four Badges).
1st Jan 1800 Madura
1st Jan 1991 Malakand
Punjab Regiment Group- 4 badges
(Details of service like Ludhiana etc are noted)
36 Baloch (in a cement block) Dec. 1976--Jan 1978.
Groups of old unit carved on rock.
38 Madras 1897-1917-1930
15 Sikhs 1895-1896-1900-1901
Another badge is not clearly visible.
Group of badges near the base
8 Gurkha 1929-22 (Carved out of rock)
5 Gurkha-2nd Bn 1924-26
1st Bn 1929-30 (Carved in cement)
6 Gurkha 2nd Bn 1926-28
XIV (14th Bn) The Sikhs Regiment1924-43
2nd Bn Hayderabad Regiment Feb-1937
3 Punjab Regiment 1982-84
Nepal Purano Gurkha 1941-42
23 FF Regiment (JARRAR) 1980-82)
(Painted on cement)
Two other badges nearby are damaged which cannot be read. Some of the badges have recently been white washed. The inscriptions have been disappeared and only the stone slabs can be visible.
In the lower camp these inscriptions have been written on a black slab fixed in the outer wall of a room.
Wildes FF --Afzal 1965
A badge reads:
Lest we forget Malakand
Captain Bakht, Haji Ahsan
Lieutenant Iqbal, Qadir, Rauf, Mehdi 1960-64
In Dargai Fort the main gate has been decorated with the following badges:
1. Mahsud Battalion 1949-52
2. Reservist Training Battalion 1960-69
3 42 Punjab Regiment 1973-75
4. 23 Field Regt 1974-75
5. 182 Workshop EME 1973-75
All these badges in Dargai, Malakand and Chakdara on the one hand reminds us of the British occupation on the land and their rule here while on the other these revive the memories of the Muslim heroes of independent movement who had never hesitated to sacrifice their lives for the cause of their motherland. We the custodians of the Malakand soil have the responsibility to think about preservation of the historical treasures. The same would enable our young generation to learn about the heroic deeds of their forefathers as well.
Reference from "Shams ur Rehman's book Custodians Of Malakand"