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3rd Cavalry
Active 1922 - 1946
Country British India
Allegiance British Crown
Branch British Indian Army
Type Cavalry
Size Regiment
Part of Indian Cavalry Corps
Equipment Horse
Engagements First Afghan War
Second Afghan War
North West Frontier
World War I
Mesopotamian campaign
World War II
Battle honours Afghanistan-1879-80
North Malaya
Central Malaya

The 3rd Cavalry was a regular cavalry Regiment in the British Indian Army formed from the 5th and 8th Cavalry regiments in 1922.

The which served on the North West Frontier and during World War I and World War II.


Early history

The 3rd Cavalry was formed from two older Regiments the 7th Irregular Cavalry which was raised in 1841 at Bareilly and the 17th Cavalry which was raised at Sultanpur in 1846.[1] Often re-designated, by the turn of the century they were called 5th Cavalry and 8th Lancers. The two regiments serving in India and abroad, saw action in Afghanistan, Bhutan, Mesopotamia and Palestine earning Battle Honours Afghanistan 1879-80 and Mesopotamia 1916-18. they were amalgamated in 1922[1] , to form the 5th/8th Cavalry, re-designated in 1923 as 3rd Cavalry, which was amongst the first Regiments to be Indianised.[1]


5th Cavalry

Raised at Bareilly in 1841 as a result of the First Afghan War the regiment also served in the Second Afghan War between 1878 - 1880. Like all the regiments of the Indian Army, the 5th Cavalry underwent many name changes in the various reorganisations. They are listed below:

1841 7th Irregular Cavalry
1861 5th Regiment of Bengal Cavalry
1901 5th Bengal Cavalry
1903 5th Cavalry.

World War I

At the start of World War I the 5th Cavalry was part of the 4th (Rawalpindi) Infantry Brigade in October 1916 they transferred to the 1st (Peshawar) Division for service on the North West Frontier until October 1917 when they left to take part in the Mesopotamian campaign .[2][3]

8th Lancers

The 8th Lancers were the last regiment to be raised before the Indian Mutiny. They served in Peshawar in 1857 and in the Second Afghan War. They were issued with lances in 1899 to become the 8th Bengal Lancers, this title was later changed to the 8th Lancers. Like all the regiments of the Indian Army, the 8th Lancers underwent many name changes in the various reorganisations. They are listed below.

1846 17th Irregular Cavalry
1847 18th Irregular Cavalry
1861 8th Regiment of Bengal Cavalry
1900 8th Regiment of Bengal Lancers
1901 8th Bengal Lancers
1903 8th Lancers

World War I

During World War I the 8th Lancers were part of the Jhansi Brigade, at Mhow under the command of Major General Townshend the brigade consisted of the:

8 Lancers
38th Central Indian Horse
2nd Royal Berkshire Regiment
10th Jats
99th Decan Infantry
107 Pioneers
116 Mahratta
60 Company RGA

World War II

In 1941, whilst still in the process of being equipped with armoured cars, 3rd Cavalry now part of the 11th Indian Infantry Division was deployed to Malaya to counter the Japanese advance. They were involved in the battles at Taiping, Perak, Sungei Pattani, Penang Island, Perak River and the Battle of Slim River where two Indian Brigades were annihilated by the Japanese. The Regiment was then captured by the Japanese after the fall of Singapore and went into captivity until the end of the war.[4] For the Regiments service in Malaya it was awarded the Battle Honours "North Malaya" and "Central Malaya" and Theatre Honour "Malaya 1941-42".[1]



Further reading

  • Kempton, C (1996). A Register of Titles of the Units of the H.E.I.C. & Indian Armies 1666-1947. Bristol: British Empire & Commonwealth Museum. ISBN 978-0953017409
  • Gaylor, J (1992). Sons of John Company: The Indian and Pakistan Armies 1903- 1991. Stroud: Spellmount Publishers Ltd. ISBN 978-0946771981

External links


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