This article is about the 31st Duke of Connaught’s Lancers 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:
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31st Duke of Connaught’s Lancers in the First World War
Lineage: Raised by Lieutenant-Colonel R. Barclay at Beerah in 1817 as the 1st Regiment of Bombay Light Cavalry. Then became the 1st Regiment of Bombay Light Cavalry (Lancers) in 1842, then the 1st Regiment of Bombay Silladar Light Cavalry in 1861 before reverting back to the 1st Regiment of Bombay Light Cavalry (Lancers) the same year. Then the 1st Regiment of Bombay Light Cavalry in 1862, the 1st Bombay Lancers in 1880, the 1st (Duke of Connaught’s Own) Bombay Lancers in 1890 and the 31st Duke of Connaught’s Own Lancers in 1903. The Regiment was amalgamated with the 32nd Lancers to form the 31st/32nd Lancers in 1921 which became the 13th Duke of Connaught’s Own Lancers in 1922.
Composition in 1914: 1 Squadron of Dekhani Mahrattas, 1 of Jats, 1 of Sikhs and 1 of Pathans.
Location in July 1914: The 31st Duke of Connaught’s Lancers was stationed at Kohat (Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan) having arrived from Meerut (Uttar Pradesh, India) on 20 January 1911.
The 31st Duke of Connaught’s Lancers was stationed at Kohat when the First World War began in August 1914. The Regiment had been inspected on the 27 February 1914 by Brigadier-General J. G. Turner, Commanding Risalpur (Cavalry) Brigade who reported:
Instruction and training very carefully carried out. Riding and handling of arms are very good. Drill is level and steady. At manoeuvres all ranks work with promptness and confidence, showing they known their work. Reconnaissance and scouting satisfactory. Stable management very satisfactory. Remounts are a good level lot. A well trained, well equipped and smart regimented by an excellent set of officers. An excellent spirit animated all ranks. Individual signalling very satisfactory. In all respects fit for service.
Confidential review reports on Indian Army units for 1913-1914: IOR/L/MIL/7/17023
War Diaries of the 31st Duke of Connaught’s Lancers
There is only one war diary covering the Third Anglo-Afghan War which can only be viewed at the National Archives. I have transcribed some war diary entries at the bottom of the page.
- Date: May – August 1919
- 10th Cavalry Brigade, North West Frontier Force
- Reference: WO 95/5391
Further Sources for the 31st Lancers
A great source of information for the Regiment and especially the British officers serving with the 31st Duke of Connaught’s Lancers are its confidential reports held at the British Library: Confidential Reports on Regiments etc. However, when the Regiment was abroad or on the North West Frontier only its Depot and the British officers serving with it are reported on. For information regarding the British and Indian officers who served with the 31st Duke of Connaught’s Lancers the Indian Army List can be consulted.
Extracts from War Diaries of the 31st Duke of Connaught’s Lancers