Home > Index of Archived Features > Military Uniforms of the British Indian Army
 Introduction | Cards 13 to 25 | Cards 26 to 41
Card No.13 Aide-de-Camp to the Viceroy of India
The personal staff of the Viceroy and Governor-General of India includes both British and Indian Aides-de-Camp. The latter are selected from among the Viceroy's Commissioned Officers of Indian Army units. We show an Indian Aide-de-Camp holding the rank of Risaldar Major, or senior Indian officer, in an Indian Cavalry regiment, who for his distinguished services has been rewarded with the grant of the honorary rank of Captain. A Musalman of the Punjab, be belongs to the class which provides a larger proportion of recruits to the Indian Army than any other section of India's population. The background portrays the Viceroy's House, New Delhi.
Card No.14 The Scinde Horse
The Scinde Horse (14th Prince of Wales's Own Cavalry) is one of the twenty-one Cavalry regiments of the Indian Army. It had its origin in two regiments of Scinde Irregular Horse raised at Hyderabad in 1839 and '46 respectively. These two regiments were absorbed into the regular forces about 1860 and ultimately became the 35th Scinde Horse and the 36th Jacob's Horse. They saw active service in Northern and Central India, Persia and Afghanistan and, during the Great War, in France and Palestine. They were amalgamated in 1921. The present regiment is recruited from Pathans, Sikhs and Musalman Rajputs of the Punjab. We show the Risaldar-Major in Full Dress; a scene on the N.W. Frontier appears in the background.
Card No.15 The Poona Horse
The Poona Horse (17th Queen Victoria's Own Cavalry) is the descendant of the 3rd Regiment of Bombay Light Cavalry, raised in 1820, and the Poona Auxiliary Horse, raised about 1817-18. The latter unit was absorbed into the regular forces about 1860 and the two regiments later became the 33rd Queen Victoria's Own Light Cavalry and the 34th Prince Albert Victor's Own Poona Horse. These were amalgamated in 1921 into the present regiment, the battle honours of which tell of service in three Afghan Wars, in Persia, Abyssinia and China, as well as in the Great War. We show a Risaldar in Full Dress—a senior Indian officer of Cavalry, who holds his commission from the Viceroy. The background portrays Fort Jamrud, on the N.W. Frontier.
Card No.16 19th (K.G.O.) Lancers
The history of the 19th (King George's Own) Lancers extends back to the years immediately following the Indian Mutiny, when the 2nd Regiment of Mahratta Horse was raised at Gwalior in 1858 and Fane's Horse was raised at Cawnpore in 1860. These two units, which later became the 18th King George's Own Lancers and the 19th Lancers (Fane's Horse) respectively, were amalgamated in 1922 under their present designation. They had previously seen service in Northern India, China and Afghanistan and, in the Great War, in France and Palestine. The regiment is now recruited from Sikhs, Jats and Musalmans of the Punjab. We show an Indian Musalman officer (a Captain); the background shows a view of the Khyber Pass.
Card No.17 Madras Sappers and Miners
The Sappers and Miners, as the Engineers of the Indian Army are designated, are divided into three Corps, of which Queen Victoria's Own Madras Sappers and Miners are the senior. The Corps was originally raised in 1780 and has taken part in almost every campaign since then in which Indian troops have shared. Its battle honours before 1914 show service in Egypt, Java, China, Persia, Abyssinia and Afghanistan, as well as in India, while in the Great War its units fought in France, Egypt, Palestine, Iraq, Persia and East Africa. It is recruited entirely from the Madras Presidency. We show the Subadar-Major of the Corps in Full Dress, standing in front of Government House, Madras.
Card No.18 5th Mahratta Light Infantry
The Subadar-Major shown in our picture belongs to the 4th Battalion, which was originally raised in 1800 as a battalion of the 8th Regiment of Bombay Native Infantry. It fought through the Great War, rendering gallant service in Iraq as the 116th Mahrattas, and received its present designation in the great post-war reorganization of 1922. It is composed entirely of Mahrattas, sturdy fighters from the uplands of the Bombay Presidency round Poona and Satara. In the days of the East India Company, the Mahrattas put up a stout resistance to the Company's forces in the two Mahratta Wars of 1775 and 1802. The background portrays the Gateway of India, Bombay.
Card No.19 6th Rajputana Rifles
The 6th Rajputana Rifles consists, like most of the eighteen Indian Infantry Regiments, of five active and one training (the l0th) battalions. The oldest of these battalions dates back to 1775, when it formed a unit of the old Bombay Army. One or other of them saw fighting in almost every campaign since that date in which Indian troops have been employed both in and out of India, and their Great War battle honours cover France, Egypt, Palestine, Iraq, Persia and East Africa. They are composed of Rajputs and Jats from Rajputana, and Musalmans from the Punjab, the Subadar-Major shown in Full Dress in our picture being a Rajput. The War Memorial Arch, New Delhi, appears in the background.
Card No.20 7th Rajput Regiment
The Subadar shown in Full Dress in our picture is an Indian officer belonging to the 1st Battalion (Queen Victoria's Own Light Infantry), which was originally raised in 1798. For distinguished service in 1803 under General Lake it was permitted to carry a third honorary colour, and an additional Indian officer is still included in its strength to carry this colour. During the Great War it upheld its reputation in Egypt and Iraq. It is one of the fifteen Indian cavalry and infantry units which have been selected for Indianisation. No further junior British officers will be posted to these units, though senior British officers will remain with them till Indian officers are available to take their places. The background shows the Kutab Minar, Delhi.
Card No.21 8th Punjab Regiment
Our picture shows a Subadar-Major, holding the honorary rank of Lieutenant in the 1st Battalion, in Full Dress. Raised in 1798 as a part of the Madras Native Infantry, this battalion remained a portion of the Madras Army till it was reconstituted in 1903 as the 89th Punjabis with its present composition of Sikhs and Punjabi Musalmans. During the Great War it saw service in Egypt, Gallipoli, France, Iraq, Salonika and the Black Sea. This officer is a Musalman from the Northern Punjab, and he has been awarded the Order of British India in recognition of distinguished service. The background shows Lahore Fort, Navlakha.
Card No.22 13th Frontier Force Rifles
Our illustration shows a British Major (in Full Dress) of the 1st Battalion (Coke's), which was raised in 1849 by Captain Coke as the 1st Regiment of Punjab Infantry. Shortly after this date it became part of the Punjab Frontier Force which was maintained till the beginning of this century as a local force for the protection of the North-West Frontier. Under Lord Kitchener's regime this localization ceased and all infantry battalions of the Indian Army now share the guarding of the Frontier, as well as all other duties which fall to their lot. Coke's Bines saw fighting in the Great War in East Africa and on the North-West Frontier.
Card No.23 17th Dogra Regiment
Our picture shows the Subadar-Major (the senior Indian officer of the l0th Battalion) in Full Dress. In each Indian Infantry Regiment the 10th is the Training Battalion, which trains the recruits and acts as record office for the three, four or five active battalions of the Regiment. The Dogra Regiment is recruited entirely of Dogra Rajputs, who are high caste Hindus descended from the original Aryan invaders of India. They inhabit the foothills of the Himalayas between the Jhelum and Sutlej rivers in the Punjab. It is one of the few regiments which is composed of a single class, the majority being made up of class squadrons or companies. The Victoria Memorial, Calcutta, appears in the background.
Card No.24 10th Gurkha Rifles
The 120 Infantry battalions of the Indian Army includle twenty of Gurkhas. These are divided into ten Regiments of Gurkha Rifles, each with two battalions. The most senior of these dates back to the end of the Nepal War in 1815. The 10th is the youngest, having been formed in 1890, but during the Great War it earned a reputation equal to that of the older regiments in Gallipoli, Egypt and Iraq. These regiments are composed entirely of Gurkhas, sturdy and cheerful little hillmen of Mongolian stock, who are subjects of the allied kingdom of Nepal. The rifleman shown in Full Dress in the picture is wearing the famed kukri, or Gurkha knife.
Card No.25 Indian Mountain Artillery
The Indian Mountain Artillery batteries, which number twenty-one, are units of the Royal Artillery, and their number is on the increase, as new batteries are formed to take the place of the Light Batteries which are disappearing from the British Army. In the rough country of the Indian frontiers, where hills are steep and roads are few, there is still room for artillery carried on mules, which can cover ground impassable to mechanized or horse-drawn guns. There is in addition an Indian Regiment of Artillery which came into being in 1935 and which consists at present of one field brigade. This will ultimately be officered entirely by Indians. Our illustration shows a Subadar Major in Full Dress.
 Introduction | Cards 13 to 25 | Cards 26 to 41
Home > Index of Archived Features > Military Uniforms of the British Indian Army
Questions? All Contents © 2000-2001, Vahana Project and individual authors. All Rights Reserved.
powered by funny photos