Military Engineer Services

Welcome to MES



1. The first regular establishment of “Engineers” in India was formed in the Madras Army in 1748. On 23 March 1770 the Chief Engineer of Madras Engineers was in the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. From 1776 to1818 Bengal Sappers and Miners existed in some form or the other in Bengal Army. On 19 February 1819 the Bengal Sappers and Miners consisting of six companies officially came into being. In 01 April 1862 the Bengal and Madras Engineers were amalgamated with the Royal Engineers of British Indian Army. The Royal Engineers were thereafter employed in the Department of Public Works or Railways or Survey. But from1851 the “Public Works Department” was under civil control and no separate organization was considered necessary for military works. After 1860 there was a boom in the construction of civil works. A large number of civil engineers were engaged and military department began to lose proper control over military works. By 1871 the situation was so unsatisfactory that “Special Military Works Branch” of the Public Works Department was given the responsibility of the major works, and ten years later the branch was placed under the military control. In 1889 the “Military Works Department” took over all the military works in India. However, it was not until 1899 that this Military Works Department became entirely military in character and was officered by Royal Engineers. It was then named as “Military Works Services” and so it remained till 1923 when it was renamed as “Military Engineer Services” which continues till this day.

2. The senior Royal Engineer officer of MES in India was called the Director General of Military Works. In 1921, his title was changed to “Director of Works”. The engineer organization of the Army consisted of two main branches, viz, “Sappers and Miners” or Combat Troops and “The Military Engineer Services”. On 4 December 1923, the appointment of an Engineer in Chief as head of the Corps of Engineers was created to control both the branches.