A commemorative postage stamp on the 250 years of the 14th Battalion of Punjab, former Nabha Akal Infantry (Princely State Forces unit of Imperial Service Troops) :
Issued by India
Issued on Jul 21, 2008
Issued for : The Department of Posts is happy to issue a commemorative postage stamp on 14 Punjab (Nabha Akal).
Stamp & FDC : Kamleshwar Singh
Cancellation : Alka Sharma
Type : Stamp, Mint Condition
Colour : Multicolour
Denomination : 500 Paise
Stamps Printed : 0.8 Million
Printing Process : wet–offset
Printer : Security Printing Press, Hyderabad
- The history of NABHA AKAL spans 250 years from 1757 to 2007, enveloping within its folds State Wars, Expeditionary Force and the two World Wars apart from post-independence operations. With a saga of triumph written with blood, dogged determination and fine mettle. The history of this unit reflects the history of our Army and particularly Punjab State Forces which later formed a part of the battalion.
- 14th Battalion of the Punjab Regiment is a part of the bigger family of Punjab Regiment, the oldest regiment of the Indian Army. The Regiment has in its folds battalions, Rashtriya Rifles battalions, Territorial Army battalions and Territorial Army (Home and health) battalions and Territorial. Apart from this, the regiment has affiliations with PARA, GUARDS Mechanised Infantry battalion Indian Naval Ship. The Regiment has always been in the forefront of all operations, be it the world’s highest battlefield – Siachen, in the North East or Sri Lanka.
- Historically speaking 14 PUNJAB (NABHA AKAL) was formed out of irregular forces maintained by the ruler of Nabha. These irregular forces fought with distinction against Mughal armies to help the 10th Sikh Guru Gobind Singh at Muktsar and Sirhind in October 1708. Chowdhary Hamir Singh succeeded his father in 1757 and formed a regular brigade group out of these forces. In 1759, the 1st and 2nd Battalions were named 1st and 2nd Nabha Akal Infantry. The 1st Nabha Akal Infantry fought successfully under Chowdhary Hamir Singh in seven wars including the battle at Patiala in 1766, against Jind State in 1773 and 1777 and against the Mughal Army at Gharam in 1781. Maharaja Hari Singh took keen interest in the unit and reorganised the Nabha Brigade. Nabha Akal Infantry was named as Hari Bera in 1878. On 12 April 1889, it was renamed as 1st Nabha Akal Infantry and the Nabha Contingent was reorganized as Imperial Service Troops.
- During World War-I the 1st Nabha Akal Infantry, under command Colonel Sardar Bahadur Bachan Singh, proceeded to Basra in Mesopotamia in April 1918. In 1919, the Battalion was called upon to proceed on active service for the British Crown against General Nadir Khan of East Persia. During World War-II the Battalion took active part in operations and came out as one of the victors in the Italian Campaign.
- The integration of the unit with Indian Army was completed on 31 March, 1951, and it was designated 14 PUNJAB (NABHA AKAL) on 26 January 1954. In 1965, the Battalion took part in operations in Fazilka sector. It exhibited excellent fighting skills and was decorated with a number of awards including one Vir Chakra. During the 1971 Indo–Pak war, NABHA AKAL displayed exemplary valour at Garibpur in Bangladesh. Under the command of Lieutenant Colonel RK Singh, MVC, NABHA AKAL fought magnificently. In this epoch battle the Unit earned a number of gallantry awards including two Maha Vir Chakras and two Vir Chakras. In 1974, while a NEFA, the battalion carried out Counter Insurgency operations under the command of Lieutenant Colonel Surat Singh, SM, VSM, from October 1974 to September 1976 and was declared the best battalion of the Division. The unit also has the unique privilege of independently launching two successful mountaineering expeditions to Mt. Srikanta (6133 Mtr) and Tri Mukhi (6422 Mtr) in 1993-1994.
- While at Manipur from 1998 to 2000, the unit was able to carve a niche for itself by apprehending 278 insurgents in one year, including many top level insurgent commanders. NABHA AKAL has also had the distinction of being part of UN Peace Keeping Force in Angola (UNAVEM-III) in 1995-96, there the battalion was instrumental in opening roads in the Northern Region of the country, which had been ravaged by war for over 25 years. The Unit constructed three Quartering Areas (QA) and one Weapon Storage Area (WSA) in record time. In keeping with the traditions of valour, the unit was recently deployed a hazardous high altitude area of Jammu and Kashmir. Despite vagaries of weather, it stood its ground and returned victorious.
- Text : Material provided by the proponent.