This article looks at the 6th King Edward’s Own Cavalry and will help you to research the Regiment and the officers and men who served with it. This page is one of a series of guides to help you research the Indian Army which can be viewed by clicking on the link below:
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6th King Edward’s Own Cavalry
Lineage: Raised by Lieutenant W. H. Ryves at Fatehgarh (Uttar Pradesh, India) in 1842 as the 8th Regiment of Bengal Cavalry and became the 6th Regiment of Bengal Cavalry in 1861. Then the 6th (the Prince of Wales’) Regiment of Bengal Cavalry in 1883, the 6th (Prince of Wales’) Bengal Cavalry in 1901, the 6th Prince of Wales’ Cavalry in 1903 and the 6th King Edward’s Own Cavalry on 1 January 1906. The Regiment was amalgamated with the 7th Hariana Lancers in 1921 to become the 6th/7th Cavalry which became the 18th King Edward’s Own Cavalry in 1922.
Composition in 1914: 1 Squadron of Jat Sikhs, 1 of Sikhs other than Jat Sikhs, 1 of Jats, 1 of Hindustani Musalmans.
Location in July 1914: The 6th King Edward’s Own Cavalry was stationed at Sialkot having arrived from Jacobabad on 1 February 1913.
The 6th King Edward’s Own Cavalry was stationed at Sialkot when the First World War broke out in August 1914. The Regiment was inspected by Major-General Sir G. C. Kitson, Commanding 2nd (Rawalpindi) Division:
The 6th Cavalry are below the standard of the rest of the cavalry of this division in their horses, which are a very poor class, and in their stable management. The regiment drill steadily and well on parade and did well on manoeuvres. The remounts are the worst horses in the regiment. It will take a long time to get the horses of this regiment up to the standard of the rest of the Silladar Cavalry. The interior economy is good, but the discipline has been far from satisfactory. The officers of the regiment do not seem to realize what a lot has to be done to get the regiment up to the proper standard.
Confidential review reports on Indian Army units for 1913-1914: IOR/L/MIL/7/17023
War Diaries of the 6th King Edward’s Own Cavalry
There are four war diaries for the Regiment and the first two have been digitized by the National Archives. To download these war diaries for a small fee click on the first two blue links below. I have transcribed some of the war diary entries at the bottom of this page.
- Date: August 1914 – December 1916
- 1st Indian Cavalry Division, Sialkot Cavalry Brigade
- Reference: WO 95/1178/2
- Date: January 1917 – March 1918
- 4th Cavalry Division, Sialkot Cavalry Brigade
- Reference: WO 95/1159/3
- Date: April – July 1918
- 22nd Mounted Brigade, 1st Mounted Division
- Reference: WO 95/4509
- Date: August 1918 – March 1920
- 4th Cavalry Division, 12th Cavalry Brigade
- Reference: WO95/4514
Further Sources for the 6th King Edward’s Own Cavalry
A great source of information concerning the 6th King Edward’s Own Cavalry and the British officers who served with it are its confidential reports held at the British Library: Confidential Reports on Regiments etc. These volumes contain the annual reports of the British officers who served with the Regiment, except when the 6th Cavalry was abroad, as only British officers serving with the Depot were reported on. For information regarding the British and Indian officers who served with the 6th King Edward’s Own Cavalry the Indian Army List can be consulted.
Regimental History: There is no regimental history of the Regiment covering its First World War service. Circa 1909, a history was published by Colonel W. R. Birdwood, History of the 6th King Edward’s Own Cavalry, which covers the period between 1842 and 1909. This is a very rare book and I have never seen a copy.
Extracts from War Diaries of the 6th King Edward’s Own Cavalry (Crown Copyright: National Archives):