This article will look at the 35th Scinde Horse and will give you an overview of the Regiment’s service during the First World War and help you to research a soldier who served with the Regiment. I have written other guides to help you research those who served in the Indian Army:
I also offer a First World War Soldier Research Service.
35th Scinde Horse in the First World War
Lineage: Raised by Captain Ward at Hyderabad (Telangana, India) in 1839 as the Scinde Irregular Horse and became the 1st Regiment, Scinde Irregular Horse in 1846, the 1st Regiment of Scinde Horse in 1860, the 8th Regiment Regiment, Scinde Silladar Cavalry in 1861 but reverted to its previous designation the same year. Then in 1885 became the 5th Bombay Cavalry (Jacob-ka-Risallah), the 5th Bombay Cavalry (Scinde Horse) in 1888 and the 35th Scinde Horse in 1903. The Regiment was amalgamated with the 36th Jacob’s Horse to form the 35th/36th Cavalry in 1921 and became the 14th Prince of Wales’s Own Scinde Horse in 1922.
Composition in 1914: 2 Squadrons of Derajat Musalmans, 1 of Pathans, 1 of Sikhs.
Location in July 1914: The 35th Scinde Horse was stationed at Dera Ismail Khan, North West Frontier Province (Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan) having arrived from Peshawar, North West Frontier Province (Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan) on 14 March 1912. The Regiment had detachments at Tank, Jatta, Garhi Manjhi, Drazinda and Jandola.
The 35th Scinde Horse was an Indian cavalry regiment which served in India for the duration of the First World War. The Regiment was stationed at Dera Ismail Khan, with detachments spread throughout the North West Frontier Province when war was declared in August 1914. In 1916, the 35th Scinde Horse moved to Jubbulpore (Jabalpur, Madhya Pradesh, India) and by the end of the war had raised two additional squadrons.
Despite remaining in India, the 35th Scinde Horse sent large drafts to other units including the 36th Jacob’s Horse during the war. Below are two excerpts from the confidential reports for the Regiment. The confidential reports for the 35th Scinde Horse are very important as the Regiment left no war diaries, though there is a very good regimental history.
Inspection by Brigadier-General S. F. Crocker, Commanding Risaplur Cavalry Brigade on 22 February 1915:
A very well mounted regiment and men are of fine physique. I understand that this regiment has never been to a Brigade Station, I think it would be improved if it were sent to one. In drill and manoeuvre, they moved rather too slowly, and require more work at a fast pace. Fit for service… The men are well turned out and lines in good order.
Confidential review reports on Indian Army units, British officers, etc. for 1914-1915: IOR/L/MIL/7/17024.
Inspection by Brigadier-General C. G. Prenderghast, Commanding 5th (Mhow) Division on 9 March 1917:
A good regiment, fit for service, is well commanded by Lieutenant-Colonel daCosta. The regiment is well mounted and is above the average in this respect. Except for the fact that there are very few regular and experienced officers with the regiment and that there are many inexperienced Indian Army Reserve of Officers and that there are many recruits and remounts, the regiment is up to pre-war standard.
Confidential review reports on Indian Army units, British officers, etc. for 1916-17. IOR/L/MIL/7/17028
The Regiment was commanded by Lieutenant-Colonel Oscar Michael John deCoasta who died from acute blood poisoning on 12 October 1918. The regimental history notes that his health had been ruined by overwork during the war. The Regiment did not take part in the Third-Afghan War but was scattered throughout India on internal security. In December 1919, the Regiment was ordered to Palestine, which was subsequently countermanded to Mesopotamia (Iraq).
The 35th Scinde Horse arrived in Mesopotamia between late March and April 1920 and proceeded to Diwaniyah. The Regiments service in Mesopotamia coincided with the Iraqi Revolt of 1920 and two squadrons were present at the disaster at Hillah. To read more about the Regiment’s service in Mesopotamia I highly recommend the Regimental history listed below. The 35th Scinde Horse left Mesopotamia in June 1921 and proceeded to India, amalgamating with the 36th Jacob’s Horse on 1 November 1921. In 1922, the amalgamated regiment became the 14th Prince of Wales’s Own Scinde Horse.
War Diaries of the 35th Scinde Horse
Unfortunately, there are no war diaries for the 35th Scinde Horse.
Further Sources for the 35th Scinde Horse
The best source of information concerning the 35th Scinde Horse and the British officers who served with it are its confidential reports held at the British Library: Confidential Reports on Regiments etc. For information regarding the British and Indian officers who served with the 35th Scinde Horse, the Indian Army List can be consulted.
Medal Index Cards: Due to the Regiment’s service in the 1920 Iraqi Revolt it qualified for the General Service Medal with Iraq Clasp. A portion of the 35th Scinde Horse’s Medal Index Cards have survived and can be viewed online via the National Archives’ website or Ancestry.
Regimental History: Prince of Wales’s Own, The Scinde Horse by Colonel E. B. Maunsell. A very good regimental history where the write is not afraid to speak his mind. This book has been reprinted and also includes a history of the 36th Jacob’s Horse.