I am working on soldier life of Nawab Habibullah. Can any one of you help me giving information, photos, documents or any other thing regarding Habibullah for my research? I shall remain obliged. Stay well.
Lt Col Muhammad Lutful Haq (retd) email@example.com
During the First World War (1914-18), Nawab Habibullah volunteered and was granted an honorary commission as Lieutenant in the 49th Bengal Regiment and sent to Mesopotamia to serve with the British Indian Army there. (Dawn: (http://www.dawn.com/events/pml/review29.htm)
As per Banglapedia he joined the British Army In 1918. (Banglapedia: http://banglapedia.net/HT/H_0005.HTM) The joining date mentioned above is wrong, as we know he had to assume the responsibility of Nawab of Dhaka on 10the of June, 1915.
He joined the 1st world war at the age of 19 in the year of 1914. He was posted in Baghdad and Mesopotamia. He spent some time at Kutul Amra (!) in this regard. (Daily Azad 22 Nov 1958 Editorial). He had earned fame as a fearless fighter to the Brithish authority. (Abuz Zoha Nur Ahmed, Ashwin/Kartik, 1373, page 669: Dhakar Koyek Jon Muslim Sudhi by Dr Mohammed Abdullah)
Muntasir Mamun in his “Dhaka Somogro-Part3” (page 129 and 130) has detailed some aspect s of Nawab habibullah’s military life. I have some reservations on couple of his assertions. At that time Habibullah was earning monthly rs 300 from his father’s property and rs 2,500 as a Motawalli. Due to economic hardship he joined the British Army as a private soldier. He was popular among the Bengali soldiers. Subedar M B Singh in his autobiography wrote “After finishing duty one afternoon while passing by Jamadar Nawab Sahib’s tent, I came across Subedar Bhupen Ghosal along with couple of officers and NCO. Each was carrying either new pair of socks, handkerchief, t-shirt, or cigarette cans. Bhupen told me that an auction is taking place inside the tent. After entering the tent I found out the reality. Nawab had received a parcel earlier. Sitting on the packing box he was disbursing the gifts among fellow soldiers. Almost every month he used to receive parcel and gave away the stuffs. (M.B.Singh, Soinik Bangali, Calcutta 1939, Dhaka Prokash)
After the 1st World the 49th Bengal Regiment was disbanded in 1920.
FYI, Nawab Khwaja Askari son of Nawab Khwaja Habibullah joined as commissioned officer in the Tank Brigade of the Indian army in 1944 and was posted in the Burma sector. Having been seriously wounded in a battle in Burma he left the service. After the partition of India in 1947 Askari joined the Pakistan army. On his retirement from service in 1961 he entered public politics.