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British officer of 25th Cavalry (Frontier Force) regiment, 1913

Indian army

Raised 1849 as 5th Regiment of Punjab Cavalry.
1851 – 5th Regiment of Cavalry, Punjab Irregular Force.
1865 – 5th Regiment of Cavalry, Punjab Frontier Force.
1901 – 5th Punjab Cavalry.
1903 – 25th Cavalry (Frontier Force).

In 1921, with the reorganization of the British Army in India, the 25th Cavalry (Frontier Force) amalgamated with the 22nd Sam Browne’s Cavalry (Frontier Force) to become 22/25th Cavalry (Frontier Force).

1922 – 12th Cavalry (Frontier Force).
1927 – Sam Browne’s Cavalry (12th Frontier Force).
1940 – 1st Indian Armoured Corps Centre.

In 1947 after Independence, allocated to Pakistan Army.

1947 – Pakistan Armoured Corps Centre.
1955 – Re-raised 12th Cavalry (Frontier Force)

Battle Honours: Delhi, Lucknow, Charasiah, Kabul 1879, Afghanistan 1878-80.

Composition (1901): Sikhs, Dogras, Hindustani Muhammadans, Punjabi Muhammadsans and Pathans.

The regiment, during the second Afghan war, was under the command of Major General Frederick Roberts, participating actively in the battle of Charasiah, where they demonstrated their bravery in combat. Therefore, together with the 9th the Queen’s Royal Lancers, they served as escort to the entrance in Kabul of Lord Roberts.

In 1915 the regiment was sent to East Africa (Tanzania) to fight against the German troops of the Colonel and future General Paul Von Lettow-Vorbeck, just to the Portuguese border of Mozambique.

A letter of 1913 written by an officer of the 25th gives a very full description of the full dress uniforms. This was dark green but in is in fact black, with scarlet collar and cuffs, with gold lace and piping. The full dress British officers wore a Husar shaped tunic with five strands in each row not plaited. In 1909 the gold stripes of overalls was changed by red stripes. This was a Mameluk hilted sword.

This regiment was the only one of the Indian cavalry to wear on the streamer banner the flask cord, cord raised in the cavalry of the Royal Guard.

It was one of the regiments that later adopted the Wolseley pith, initially with the white lungi and later –as shown in the figure – became red.


British officer of 2nd Lancers (Gardner's Horse) regiment, 1918

Indian army

This regiment is one of the oldest and most honoured of the British Colonial Army of India.
During World War I, it was stationed in the rear of the Expeditionary Corps in France, being part of the 5th Cavalry Brigade (Mhow) of the 1st Division of India.

It collaborated, assuming fun ctions of the infantry, digging trenches. Later it was destined to the western front and took part in the battles of the Somme, Bazentin, Flers-Courcelette through the Hindemburg line and also in the battle of Cambrai.
In 1918 it was transferred to the Middle East with the Expeditionary Force of Egypt (10th Cavalry Brigade, 4th Cavalry Division of the Desert Mounted Corps). It participated in the campaigns of Palestine and Sinai, taking part in the conquest of the JordaBritish officer of 2nd Lancers (Gardner's Horse) regiment, 1918n Valley. It was present at the end of that year in the last battles of the Mesopotamia campaing against the Ottoman Empire and definitively returned to India in 1920.
The uniform that was first assigned to the troop was dark green with scarlet facings and silver lace, the change from green with light blue facings coming in 1886. The turban was dark blue with bluish-grey stripes.
From 1897, the khaki colour was adopted for the drill and campaign uniform. The turban of this uniform remained light blue, with red kulla, as you can see in the figure, which represents a British officer in the 1918 campaign in Mesopotamia. The officer wears a red kummerband and both boots and leggings are brown leather. The rest of the equipment corresponds to that of the officers in campaign during World War I.
The cruppers was discarded since 1890. Final pattern saddle was adopted. Breastplates had by this time been discarded, their main use for many years having been as a means of displaying a regimental crest on ceremonial occasions.


Officer of 15th (Cureton's Multani) Regiment of Bengal Cavalry, 1887

Indian army

The uniform before 1886 was rifle green with scarlet facings and gold lace. It was then changed to dark blue. After becoming lancers in 1890 the lancers pattern belts were worn.
From 1897 a hot review order in khaki was introduced. For the native officers it was exactly the same uniform as the previous one, and except for the colour of the blouse, all other items of this dress were the same as worn in full dress.

With the change to Lancers the pouch belts were scarlet with engraved plated flap and bore a crown in silver over B.L. On the front of the pouch belt a special regimental device was carried: in silver crossed lances and pennons, over crossing a star with the cipher 15. Below, a crescent inscribed Cureton’s Mooltanees.

The figure shows a Risaldar Major in 1887 wearing full dress uniform, all embroidery on the front, sleeves and cuffs being gold. He is wearing the Cavalry pattern pouch belt without chains and pickers. The shape of the turban is characteristic of the Pathans.

NOTE (1)

The Multani are a community found in the states of Haravana and Punjab, in India. The community derives its name from the city of Multan, situated in Pakistan. Multani literally means an inhabitant of the city of Multan.


Cavalryman of 2nd Lancers of Hyderabad Contingent, 1898

Indian army

The characteristic color of the contingent uniforms of Hyderabad was always green. Prior to their reconversion into lancers in 1890, the uniform for British officers was hussar style. The jacket had six rows of flames, the use of the sabretache is obligatory.
From 1890 the uniform changed, adapting that of lancers. It remained green, although darker (it became the green “rifle” of the metropolis). In the case of British officers the plastron of the coat became whole and white, with golden trim.
From that same date with the regulation produced in the uniforms of the princely states for the English officers, they could wear the uniform of the native officers, with dark green kurta and the turban with the same colors of the pugri of the helmet even for the uniforms on mounted parades including review order.

Characteristic of the Hyderabad regiments the chains on the pouch belts were suspended from a crown-shaped ornament.

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