12th Cavalry

This article looks at the 12th Cavalry (Indian Army) 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:

I also offer a Soldier Research Service.

12th Cavalry (Indian Army) in the First World War

Lineage: Raised by Captain P. R. Hockin at Lahore (Punjab, Pakistan) as the 2nd Regiment of Sikh Irregular Cavalry in 1857. In 1861 became the 12th Regiment of Bengal Cavalry, the 12th Bengal Cavalry in 1901 and the 12th Cavalry in 1903. The Regiment was amalgamated with the 11th (King Edward’s Own Lancers) (Probyn’s Horse) in 1921 to form the 11th/12th Cavalry which became the 5th King Edward’s Own Probyn’s Horse in 1922.

Composition in 1914: 2 Squadrons of Sikhs, 1 of Dogras and 1 of Punjabi Musalmans.

Location in July 1914: The 12th Cavalry was stationed at Fyzabad (Faizabad, Uttar Pradesh, India) having arrived from Allahabad (Uttar Pradesh, India) on 16 December 1913.

The 12th Cavalry was stationed at Fyzabad, now Faizabad, when war was declared in August 1914. The 12th Cavalry was inspected by Major-General G. A. Cookson Commanding Lucknow (Cavalry) Brigade on 23 January 1914 who reported:

General efficiency: British officers keen, well trained and well above the average in professional qualifications. Indian officers well educated, smart and well trained. Decentralisation is properly observed. The squadron commanders, who are an exceptionally able and smart lot of officers are allowed a free hand. Interior economy very well looked after. Fit in every respect for war.

Confidential review reports on Indian Army units for 1913-1914IOR/L/MIL/7/17023

War Diaries for the 12th Cavalry

There are ten war diaries (a record for an Indian cavalry regiment) for the 12th Cavalry and the first eight can be downloaded for a small fee from the National Archives’ website. The final two can only be viewed at the National Archives.

  • Date: October 1915 – April 1916
  • 12th Indian Division, Divisional Troops
  • Reference: WO 95/5144/1
  • Notes:
  • Date: May 1916 – February 1917
  • 15th Indian Division, Divisional Troops
  • Reference: WO 95/5188/1
  • Notes:
  • Date: March – September 1917
  • 3rd Indian Corps, Corps Troops
  • Reference: WO 95/5077/1
  • Notes:
  • Date: October – December 1917
  • 3rd Indian Corps, Corps Troops
  • Reference: WO 95/5077/2
  • Notes:
  • Date: January – March 1918
  • 3rd Indian Corps, Corps Troops
  • Reference: WO 95/5077/3
  • Notes:
  • Date: April 1918
  • 3rd Indian Corps, Corps Troops
  • Reference: WO 95/5077/4
  • Notes:
  • Date: May – October 1918
  • 3rd Indian Corps, Corps Troops
  • Reference: WO 95/5077/5
  • Notes:
  • Date: November 1918 – February 1919
  • 3rd Indian Corps, Corps Troops
  • Reference: WO 95/5077/6
  • Notes:
  • Date: June – August 1919
  • 1st Indian Division, Divisional Troops
  • Reference: WO 95/5405
  • Notes:
  • Date: June – August 1919
  • 16th Indian Division, Divisional Troops, D. Squadron
  • Reference: WO 95/5413
  • Notes:

Further Sources for the 12th Cavalry 

A good source of information concerning the 12th Cavalry and the British officers who served with it are its confidential reports held at the British Library: Confidential Reports on Regiments etc. These documents also contain the annual reports of British officers who served with the 12th Cavalry. However, when the Regiment was abroad only the officers serving with its Depot were reported on. For information regarding the British and Indian officers who served with the 12th Cavalry, the Indian Army List can be consulted.

Regimental History: There is no regimental history for the 12th Cavalry.ww1-research-service

Extracts from the War Diaries of the 12th Cavalry

Guides to Researching Soldiers who Served with the Indian Army

Guides to Researching Soldiers who Served with the British Army