38th King George’s Own Central India Horse

This article will look at the 38th King George’s Own Central India Horse and will provide you with 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.

38th King George’s Own Central India Horse

Lineage: Raised in 1858 by Captain H. O. Mayne during the Indian Mutiny from a nucleus of loyal cavalry of the Gwalior, Bhopal and Malwah Contingents and known as Mayne’s Horse. In 1860 it was augmented to a corps of three regiments and became the 1st Regiment of Central India Horse. Then in 1903 the 38th Central India Horse, the 38th Prince of Wales’s Own Central India Horse in 1906 and the 38th King George’s Own Central India Horse in 1910. The Regiment was amalgamated with the 39th King George’s Own Central India Horse in 1921 to form the 38th/39th Cavalry which became the 21st King George’s Own Central India Horse in 1923

Composition in 1914: 2 Squadrons of Sikhs, 1 Squadron of Pathans and 1 Squadron of Musalman Rajputs.

Location in July 1914: The 38th King George’s Own Central India Horse was stationed at Goona having arrived from Agar on 16 October 1911.

The 38th King George’s Own Central India Horse was stationed at Goona when the First World War broke out in August 1914. The Regiment had been inspected on 1 February 1914 by Colonel H. M. Johnson, Special Inspecting Officer, Cavalry, 5th (Mhow) Division who reported:

Turn-out: Satisfactory.

Efficiency in drill: Well drilled.

Manoeuvres: Quick in the field.

General efficiency: A well-mounted regiment, with excellent material. Fit for service.

Condition of horses: An excellent stamp of well-bred and compact walers. Level and in good condition.

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

War Diaries of the 38th Central India Horse

There are four war diaries for the 38th King George’s Own Central India Horse and the first two have been digitized by the National Archives. To download these war diaries for a small fee click on the first two blue links below. The last two war diaries can only be viewed at the National Archives.

  • Date: October 1914 – December 1916
  • 1st Indian Cavalry Division, Mhow Cavalry Brigade
  • Reference: WO 95/1176/4
  • Notes:
  • Date: January 1917 – March 1918
  • 4th Cavalry Division, Mhow Cavalry Brigade
  • Reference: WO 95/1160/5
  • Notes:
  • Date: 01 April – 31 July 1918
  • 1st Mounted Division, 6th Mounted Brigade
  • Reference: WO 95/4509
  • Notes: An average war diary with no appendices.
  • Date: August 1918 – March 1920
  • 4th Cavalry Division, 10th Cavalry Brigade
  • Reference: WO 95/4513
  • Notes:

Further Sources for the 38th King George’s Own Central India Horse

The best source of information concerning the 38th King George’s Own Central India Horse 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 the 38th Horse’s Depot and the British officers who served with it were reported on. For information regarding the British and Indian officers who served with the 38th King George’s Own Central India Horse the Indian Army List can be consulted.

Regimental History: King George’s Own Central India Horse by W. A. Watson. A very good regimentally history which also includes the 39th King George’s Own Central India Horse. This book has been reprinted and is available to buy online.


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Extracts from War Diaries of the 38th King George’s Own Central India Horse

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