This article looks at the 8th Cavalry (Indian Army) and will help you to research the Regiment and the officers and men who served with it. This page is one of a series of guides to help you research the Indian Army which can be viewed by clicking on the link below:
The 8th Cavalry (Indian Army) in the First World War
Lineage: Raised by Captain W. H. Ryves at Sultanpore (Sultanpur, Uttar Pradesh, India) as the 17th Regiment Bengal Irregular Cavalry in 1846, then the 18th Regiment of Bengal Irregular Cavalry in 1847 and the 8th Regiment of Bengal Cavalry in 1861. Then the 8th Regiment of Bengal Lancers in 1900, the 8th Bengal Lancers in 1901, the 8th Lancers in 1903 and the 8th Cavalry in 1904. The Regiment was amalgamated with the 5th Cavalry in 1921 to form the 5th/8th Cavalry which became the 3rd Cavalry in 1922.
Composition in 1914: 2 Squadrons of Hindustani Muslims, 1 of Rajputs, 1 of Jats.
Location in July 1914: The 8th Cavalry was stationed at Jhansi (Uttar Pradesh, India) having arrived from Ambala (Haryana, India) on 12 January 1912.
The 8th Cavalry was stationed at Jhansi when the First World War broke out in August 1914. The 8th Cavalry was inspected by Colonel H. M. Johnston, 15th Lancers, on 20 December 1913 who reported:
Turn-out: Regiment good and well turned out, exceptionally well mounted.
Efficiency in drill: Very good.
Manoeuvres: Well up to the work in manoeuvres.
Fire control and discipline: Very satisfactory.
Horses: Hard and fit.
Stable management: Very satisfactory.
Arms and equipment: Well kept.
Harness and saddlery: Satisfactory.
Physical appearance: Satisfactory.
Recruits: Of good class.
General observations: Regiment well commanded and fit for service.
Confidential review reports on Indian Army units for 1913-1914: IOR/L/MIL/7/17023
War Diaries of the 8th Cavalry
There are no war diaries for the 8th Cavalry.
Further Sources for the 8th Cavalry
The best source of information concerning the 8th 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 8th 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.