Irreverently nicknamed the ‘Forty Thieves’ this regiment served on the western front in France and Flanders during the Great War. On arrival at the front from Hong Kong in April 1915, the 40th Pathans were plunged straight into the 2nd Battle of Ypres, suffering 320 casualties on one day alone. Later that year they took part in the battles of Aubers Ridge and Loos before leaving in December for East Africa and the campaign against the elusive German force commanded by Lettow-Vorbeck. The unit suffered a total of 800 casualties in the war, and a further 1,066 officers and men were invalided out of service due to sickness. At the end of the war in 1919 they saw service in the Third Afghan war. Although somewhat sketchy on detail, this history is factually reliable.
40th PATHANS IN THE GREAT WAR
Irreverently nicknamed the Forty Thieves, the 40th Pathans served on the western front at Ypres, Aubers Ridge and Loos and in the hard-fought East African campaign in the Great War, suffering 800 casualties with a further 1066 men invalided out. Returning to India in 1919 they were plunged into the Third Afghan War.