The 105th was first raised in 1839 in India as The Second Madras European Light Infantry Regiment. It was raised by the Honourable East India Company (HEIC) which ruled India by proxy for the British government during the heightened tensions of the First Anglo-Afghan War. In 1856 the Regiment served briefly in Burma following the Second Burmese War before serving in the Indian Rebellion of 1857. In 1861 the Regiment was renamed as the 105th (Madras Light Infantry) Regiment when all of the HEIC Regiments were converted to British Army and finally landed on British shores in 1874.
In 1881 the 105th was merged with the 51st Regiment of Foot to form the King's Own Yorkshire Light Infantry as part of the Childers Reforms. The Childers Reforms restructured the British army infantry Regiments into a network of multi-battalion Regiments each having two regular and two militia battalions as standard.