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Guides Cavalry: Wikis


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10th Queen Victoria's Own Corps of Guides Cavalry (Frontier Force)
Active 1846 - date
Country British India
Allegiance British Crown
Pakistan Military
Branch British Indian Army
Pakistan Army
Type Cavalry, later armour
Size Regiment
Part of Indian Cavalry Corps
Pakistani Armoured Corps
Nickname The Guides
Motto Rough & Ready
Engagements Second Sikh War
Indian Mutiny
Second Afghan War
World War I
World war II
1948 War
1965 War
1971 War
Battle honours Multan
Ali Masjid
Punjab Frontier
Khan Baghdadi
North West Frontier
Bir Hacheim
Minqar Qaim
Deir el Shein
North Africa. 1940-43.
Kashmir 1948
Chamb 65, Chawinda, 65 Phillarah 65
Chamb 71
Lieutenant-General Sir Harry Burnett Lumsden
Major General Sir Robert Bellew Adams VC KCB
Brigadier Arthur George Hammond VC, KCB, DSO

The The Guides Cavalry (10th Queen Victoria's Own Frontier Force) is a cavalry regiment in the Pakistan Army. It dates back to the British Indian Army and can trace its formation back to the Corps of Guides. They would see service in the Indian Mutiny of 1857 and on the North-West Frontier Province and in both the Great War and World War II. Since 1947, it has been active with the Pakistan Army and has fought in all its wars.



In December 1846 at Peshawar Harry Burnett Lumsden raised what was to become the Corps of Guides. They started as a troop of cavalry and two companies of infantry.[1] They were part of the force employed in the Second Sikh War where they gained their first battle honours in the Siege of Multan and the Battle of Gujrat.[1]

Mutiny of 1857

In March 1857, when the mutiny started Lumsden was on a special mission at Kandahar. His fellow officer Henry Daly set off in May and marched the Guides to Delhi to join the Delhi Field Force on the hills outside of the city.[1] Having marched 500 miles in twenty two days they arrived on the morning of June 9. The Guides were in action the same day and by evening all of the Guides officers had been wounded. The regiment was awarded the battle honour Delhi following this action.[1]. It was because of this action that it was awarded the distinction of red piping on its collars. The two other regiments which fought alongside the Guides and received the same distinction were the 60th Rifles (Later on the Royal Green Jackets and The Rifles) and the 2nd Gurkhas (Now part of the Royal Gurkha Rifles).

In 1876, Queen Victoria rewarded the Guides by making them a royal regiment. They were granted the use of the Royal Cypher and became The Queen's Own Corps of Guides.[1]

Second Afghan War

The Guides were next called for service during the Second Afghan War in 1879. The Emir of Afghanistan had signed the The Treaty of Gandamak and had agreed that a British evnoy would be accepted in Kabul. The envoy selected was Sir Louis Cavagnari who was escorted by Lieutenant W.R.P. Hamilton V.C. and 76 Guides 25 of them from the cavalry.[1] What followed next started the Second Afghan War. The Residency was attacked and the four Europeans killed, the Afghans offered quarter to the Guides under a Sikh Jemadar, saying that they had no quarrel with the Indians.[1] The Guides chose to fight on and the residency finally fell twelve hours later its defenders dead, surrounded by 600 dead Afghans. The Guides were awarded the battle honours kabul and Ali Masjid for their action during the second Afghan War.[1]

Mohammad Yaqub Khan with Britain's Sir Pierre Cavagnari on May 26, 1879, when the Treaty of Gandamak was signed; photograph by John Burke

Following the Second Afghan War the Guides were involved in a number of actions along the North West Frontier including the Battle of Hazara in 1891 the Battle of Chitral in 1895, the Battle of Malakand Pass and the Battle of Chakdara in 1897.[1]

The Kitchener reorganisation of the Indian Army in 1903 did not effect the Guides but in 1906, the Cavalry became Queen Victoria's Own Corps of Guides (Frontier Force) (Lumsden's ) Cavalry.[1]

World War I

During the Great War the Guides remained in India for service along the frontier until November 1917 when they were sent to join the 11th Indian Cavalry Brigade in Mesopotamia Campaign and were involved in the actions at Sharqat and Khan Baghdadi.[1][2]

After the armistice, was signed the Regiment remained in Persia to counter any threat from the Bolsheviks, they only returned to India in 1921.[1]

Between the wars

An Indian wheeled Carrier Mk IIA as used by the Regiment in World War II.

The Guides Cavalry was one of the cavalry regiments which was not effected by the reform of the Indian cavalry corps after the war. Up to now the Corps of Guides had been an independent body, but now the Infantry was to become part of the 12th Frontier Force Regiment and the cavalry was transferred to the Indian Cavalry Corps and re named as the 10th Queen Victoria's Own Corps of Guides Cavalry (Frontier Force).[3]

World War II

The Regiment returned to Persia and Mesopotamia (now Iraq), during the Second World War this time they were equipped with the Indian wheeled carrier and 15 cwt trucks.[4] In March 1942, they were moved to Egypt and covered the Eighth Army's desert flank during the withdrawal to El Alamein.[4] They returned to Iraq in September 1942 and then onto India in November 1943 where they were converted to an armoured-car role and based at Kohat on the North West Frontier.[4]

They received their first tanks in November 1945 when they were re-equipped with Stuart tanks and they were issued with the Churchill tanks in 1946 for service with the 2nd Armoured Brigade.[4]

Pakistani Service

After the British withdrawal from India the Regiment became part of the Pakistan Army and was renamed the Guides Cavalry (Frontier Force) and lives on today as the 10th (Guides) Cavalry FF, a regular armoured regiment of the Pakistan Army. The infantry component of the Guides lives on as the 2nd (Guides) Battalion of the Frontier Force Regiment. They are popularly referred to as the "Guides Cavalry" and "Guides Infantry" Respectively.


1948 War

Elements of the regiment would go into action against their erstwhile comrades in Kashmir in 1948.

1965 War

In 1965, equipped with Patton tanks as part of 6 Armoured Division, the regiment spearheaded the Pakistani advance at Chamb, advancing to a point 6 km north of Jummu against sustained Indian opposition. Later it would be sent to the Sialkot sector and partake in another epic tank battle; at Chawinda, at the time the largest tank battle since World War II, where it would help in stopping and then beating back the Indian forces.

1971 War

The Regiment would see action in Chamb once again in 1971, this time advancing up to the Tawi River.


Today the regiment is part of a Pakistani armoured division and is equipped with Al-Khalid tanks.

Further reading

'The story of the Guides' by Col G J Younghusband. (MacMillan & Co. Ltd., London, 1908)
'The history of the Guides 1846-1922 Vol I' Anon. (Gale and Polden Ltd., Aldershot, 1938)
'The history of the Guides 1922-1947 Vol II' by Lieut General Sir George MacMunn KCB KCSI DSO. (Gale & Polden Ltd., Aldershot 1950)

Changes to Title

Pre- 1903 Queen's Own Corps of Guides, Punjab Frontier Force
1904 Queens Own Corps of Guides (Lumsden's)
1911 Queen Victoria's Own Corps of Guides (Frontier Force) Lumsden's) Cavalry
1921 Queen Victoria's Own Corps of Guides (Frontier Force) Lumsden's) Cavalry
1922 10th Queen Victoria's Own Corps of Guides Cavalry (Frontier Force)
1927 The Guides Cavalry (10th Queen Victoria's Own Frontier Force)

External links



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