This article is about the 26th King George’s Own Light Cavalry in the First World War and will help you research soldiers who served with the Regiment. I have also created other guides to researching the Indian Army and its soldiers which can be viewed by clicking on the link below:
The 26th King George’s Own Light Cavalry in the First World War
Lineage: Raised by Captain H. Darley as the 5th Regiment of Madras Native Cavalry in 1787. In 1788 became the 1st Regiment of Madras Native Cavalry, then the 1st Regiment of Madras Light Cavalry in 1819 and the 1st Regiment of Madras Lancers in 1886. Then the 1st Madras Lancers in 1901, the 26th Light Cavalry in 1903, the 26th Prince of Wales’s Own Light Cavalry in 1906 and the 26th King George’s Own Light Cavalry in 1910. The Regiment was amalgamated with the 30th Lancers (Gordon’s Horse) to form the 26th/30th King George’s Own Light Cavalry in 1921 which became the 9th King George’s Own Light Cavalry in 1922.
Composition in 1914: 1 Squadron of Madras and Dekhani Musalmans, 1 of Punjabi Musalmans, 1 of Rajputana Rajputs and 1 of Jats.
Location in July 1914: The 26th King George’s Own Light Cavalry was stationed at Bangalore (Karnataka, India) having arrived from Poona (Maharashtra, India) on 14 March 1913.
The 26th King George’s Own Light Cavalry was stationed at Bangalore when the First World War broke out in August 1914. The Regiment was inspected by Major-General A. Phayre, Commanding 9th (Secunderabad) Division on 7 April 1914:
The personnel of this regiment is very good, and its training and general efficiency is satisfactory. Their work at manoeuvres this year was good, some minor defects being pointed out on the spot.
The following pointed will receive special attention:
(1) The individual training of the men.
(2) The slackness in keeping accounts and in conducting correspondence. Fit for active service.
Fit for active service.
Confidential review reports on Indian Army units for 1913-1914: IOR/L/MIL/7/17023
War Diary of the 26th King George’s Own Light Cavalry
There is one war diary for the 26th King George’s Own Light Cavalry which can only be viewed at the National Archives.
- Date: August 1915 – June 1916
- Aden Force, Force Troops
- Reference: WO 95/5437
Further Sources for the 26th King George’s Own Light Cavalry
A good source of information concerning the 26th King George’s Own Light Cavalry and the British officers who served with it are its confidential reports held at the British Library: Confidential Reports on Regiments etc. However, when the Regiment was abroad only its Depot and the British officers serving there were reported on. For information regarding the British and Indian officers who served with the 26th King George’s Own Light Cavalry the Indian Army List can be consulted.
Regimental History: The History of 8th King George V’s Own Light Cavalry by H. G. Rawlinson. I haven’t seen a copy which also includes the 30th Lancers (Gordon’s Horse). A Summary of the War Diary of the 26th (K.G.O.) Light Cavalry, August 1915 to October 1918 by Anon. I haven’t seen a copy of this rare book either.