This article is about the 16th Cavalry (Indian Army) and will help you research the Regiment and those who served with it during the First World War. I have written other articles about researching Indian soldiers and regiments which can be viewed by clicking on the link below:
The 16th Cavalry (Indian Army) in the First Word War
Lineage: Raised at Haldwani (Uttarakhand, India) by Captain F. G. Crossman as the Rohilkhand Horse in 1857. In 1862 became the 16th Bengal Cavalry before being disbanded in 1882 and re-raised at Ambala (Haryana, India) by Lieutenant-Colonel G. C. Ross as the 16th Regiment of Bengal Cavalry in 1885. In 1900 became the 16th Regiment of Bengal Lancers, then the 16th Bengal Lancers in 1901 and the 16th Cavalry in 1903. The Regiment was amalgamated with the 13th Duke of Connaught’s Lancers (Watson’s Horse) to become the 13th/16th Cavalry in 1921 which became the 6th Duke of Connaught’s Own Lancers in 1922.
Composition in 1914: 2 Squadrons of Sikhs, 1 of Dogras and 1 of Jats.
Location in July 1914: The 16th Cavalry was stationed at Lucknow (Uttar Pradesh, India) having arrived from Dera Ismail Khan (Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Province, Pakistan) on 1 April 1909.
The 16th Cavalry was stationed at Lucknow when the First World War broke out in August 1914. The Regiment had been inspected by Major-General G. A. Cookson, Commanding Lucknow (Cavalry) Brigade on 9 February 1914 who reported:
Personnel: Satisfactory. British officers keen and well up in their work. Swordsmanship good. Indian officers smart and well trained in their work. Non-commissioned officers young, intelligent and well trained.
General efficiency: A good regiment, efficient and carefully trained, works very quietly and evenly in brigade. It is in a high state of efficiency and reflects credit on Lieutenant–Colonel Roberts and his officers. Fit in every respect for active service.
Confidential review reports on Indian Army units for 1913-1914: IOR/L/MIL/7/17023
War Diaries of the 16th Cavalry
There are four war diaries for the 16th Cavalry and the first three have been digitized by the National Archives. To download these war diaries for a small fee click on the blue links below. The last war diary can only be viewed at the National Archives. I have transcribed some entries below.
- Date: January – December 1915
- 6 Indian Cavalry Brigade,
- Reference: WO 95/5086/8
- Date: January – November 1916
- 7th (Meerut) Indian Division, Divisional Troops
- Reference: WO 95/5133/1
- Date: August – December 1919
- 4th Cavalry Division, 10th Cavalry Brigade
- Reference: WO 95/4513
- Notes: TBC.
- Date: August – October 1920
- Waziristan Force
- Reference: WO 95/5398
Further Sources for the 16th Cavalry
A good source of information concerning the 16th 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 serving with the Regiment. However, when the Regiment was abroad only the 16th Cavalry’s Depot and the British officers serving with it were reported on. For information regarding the British and Indian officers who served with the 16th Cavalry, the Indian Army List can be consulted.
Regimental History: There is no regimental history for the 16th Cavalry.
Extracts from War Diaries of the 16th Cavalry