This article is about the 5th Cavalry (Indian Army) and will help you to research the Regiment and those who served with it during the First World War. I have also written other guides about the Indian Army in the First World War which can be viewed by clicking on the link below:
I also offer a First World War Soldier Research Service.
5th Cavalry (Indian Army) in the First World War
Lineage: Raised by Captain F. Wheeler at Bareilly in 1841 as the 7th Regiment of Bengal Irregular Cavalry and became the 5th Regiment of Bengal Cavalry in 1861. Then the 5th Bengal Cavalry in 1901 and the 5th Cavalry in 1903. The Regiment was amalgamated with the 8th Cavalry in 1921 to form the 5th/8th Cavalry which became the 3rd Cavalry in 1922.
Composition in 1914: 2 Squadrons of Hindustani Musalmans, 1 of Rajputs and 1 of Jats.
Location in July 1914: The 5th Cavalry was stationed at Rawalpindi having arrived from Meerut on 29 November 1909.
The 5th Cavalry was stationed at Rawalpindi when the First World War broke out in August 1914. The 5th Cavalry was inspected by Major-General Sir G. C. Kitson, Commanding, 2nd (Rawalpindi) Division in its 1913-14 inspection who reported:
Colonel MacAndrew has only just taken over command of this regiment. The best mounted Cavalry Regiment in my Division and their management is wonderfully good. The discipline is good and then men are happy and contended.
I found the regiment slow in the field and both British and Indian officers require a great deal of instruction to bring them up to the standard of the Indian Cavalry.
Colonel MacAndrew will have to work hard himself and will have to make his officers work hard too, to bring the fine material of this regiment up to the standard for war. Fit for service.
Confidential review reports on Indian Army units for 1913-1914: IOR/L/MIL/7/17023
War Diary of the 5th Cavalry
There is only one war diary for the 5th Cavalry which has been digitized and can be downloaded for a small fee by clicking on the blue link below.
- Date: October – December 1920
- 7th Indian Cavalry Brigade
- Reference: WO 95/5089/3
Further Sources for the 5th Cavalry
A good source of information concerning the 5th Cavalry 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 5th Cavalry, the Indian Army List can be consulted.
Regimental History: Nobody’s Own: The History of the 3rd Cavalry and its Predecessors, 1841-1945 by Brigadier H W Picken. This book covers the history of the 5th and 8th Cavalry which were amalgamated in 1922 to form the 3rd Cavalry. I haven’t seen a copy of Army Lists 5th Cavalry by Anon. This is a rare book which is of limited value as it only contains extracts from the Army Lists.
Extracts from the War Diary of the 5th Cavalry