1st (Risalpur) Cavalry Brigade

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Mardan Brigade
Nowshera Cavalry Brigade
Risalpur Cavalry Brigade
1st (Risalpur) Cavalry Brigade
1st Indian Cavalry Brigade
Active 1 January 1906 – November 1940
Country British India
Allegiance British Crown
Branch  British Indian Army
Type Cavalry
Size Brigade
Part of 1st (Peshawar) Division
Peshawar District
Garrison/HQ Risalpur Cantonment
Service First World War
Third Anglo-Afghan War
Second World War
Br.-Gen. G.A.H. Beatty
Br.-Gen. W.G.K. Green
Brig. E. de Burgh

The 1st (Risalpur) Cavalry Brigade was a cavalry brigade of the British Indian Army formed in 1906 as a result of the Kitchener Reforms. It remained in India during the First World War but took an active part in the Third Anglo-Afghan War in 1919.

It was on the North West Frontier in September 1939, and converted to Risalpur Training Brigade (later 155th Indian Infantry Brigade) in November 1940.



The Kitchener Reforms, carried out during Lord Kitchener's tenure as Commander-in-Chief, India (1902–09), completed the unification of the three former Presidency armies, the Punjab Frontier Force, the Hyderabad Contingent and other local forces into one Indian Army. Kitchener identified the Indian Army's main task as the defence of the North-West Frontier against foreign aggression (particularly Russian expansion into Afghanistan) with internal security relegated to a secondary role. The Army was organized into divisions and brigades that would act as field formations but also included internal security troops.[1]

The brigade was formed on 1 January 1906 as Mardan Brigade[2][a] and in June 1907 it was renamed as Nowshera Cavalry Brigade.[3] In 1910, it was renamed again, this time as 1st (Risalpur) Cavalry Brigade.[4] Other than a period from September 1920 until 1927 when it was simply numbered as 1st Indian Cavalry Brigade, it retained this identity until finally broken up in November 1940.[5]

First World War[edit]

At the outbreak of the First World War, the brigade was headquartered in the Risalpur Cantonment and commanded the following units:[6]

Of the six[9] cavalry brigades in the Indian Army in August 1914, the 1st (Risalpur) Cavalry Brigade was the only one that was not sent to the Western Front.[c] It remained in India throughout the war,[16] guarding the Frontier (with particular responsibility for the post at Mardan).[6] A large number of units rotated in and out of the brigade throughout the war.[16][d]

Third Anglo-Afghan War[edit]

Under mobilization plans drawn up in July 1918, IV Corps, with 1st (Peshawar) Division under command, would have included 1st and 10th Indian Cavalry Brigades with:[6]

In August 1918, the 21st (Empress of India's) Lancers traded places with the 1st (King's) Dragoon Guards in 4th (Meerut) Cavalry Brigade[17] and the latter mobilized with the brigade in May 1919.[18] At Dakka[e] on 16 May, the 1st (King's) Dragoon Guards made the last recorded charge by a British horsed cavalry regiment.[19]

Second World War[edit]

The brigade was on the North West Frontier in September 1939 under the command of Peshawar District. It commanded the following units at the outbreak of the Second World War:[20][21]

The following units were attached:[20]

The brigade lost most of its units to the 1st Indian Motor Brigade (designate) in early 1940. In the event, 1st Indian Motor Brigade was actually formed as 1st Indian Armoured Brigade at Sialkot on 1 July 1940.[23] In November, 1st (Risalpur) Cavalry Brigade was reconstituted as Risalpur Training Brigade and in March 1944 as 155th Indian Infantry Brigade.[20][24]


The Mardan Brigade / Nowshera Cavalry Brigade / 1st (Risalpur) Cavalry Brigade / 1st Indian Cavalry Brigade had the following commanders:[5]

From Rank Name Notes
1 January 1906[2] Major-General M.H.S. Grover
1 December 1907[25] Major-General F.W.P. Angelo
17 November 1912[26] Major-General J.G. Turner
15 September 1914[26] Brigadier-General S.F. Crocker
18 June 1916[26] Brigadier-General F.G.H. Davies
January 1919 Brigadier-General P. Holland-Pryor
October 1921 Brigadier-General G.A.H. Beatty
April 1925 Brigadier-General W.G.K. Green
September 1927 Brigadier J. Van der Byl
September 1931 Brigadier E. de Burgh
August 1934 Brigadier T.A.A. Wilson
December 1934 Brigadier D.K. McLeod
December 1936 Brigadier H. Macdonald
August 1939 Brigadier A.A.E. Filose Brigade dispersed in November 1940

See also[edit]


  1. ^ 1 January 1906 was the appointment date of the brigade's first commanding officer.[2]
  2. ^ a b Note that the 13th Duke of Connaught's Lancers (Watson's Horse) of the First World War era was unrelated to the 13th Duke of Connaught's Own Lancers of the Second, despite the close similarity of names. The earlier regiment was amalgamated with the 16th Cavalry in 1921 to form the 6th Duke of Connaught's Own Lancers[7] whereas the latter regiment was formed in 1923 by the amalgamation of 31st Duke of Connaught's Own Lancers and 32nd Lancers.[8]
  3. ^ The other five pre-war Indian cavalry brigades were formed into the 1st and 2nd Indian Cavalry Divisions and sent to the Western Front. These were: They were joined by the 5th (Mhow) Cavalry Brigade, formed on 11 November 1914.[15]
  4. ^ Besides the units assigned in August 1914, the brigade also commanded the following at various times during the war:[16]
  5. ^ Dakka was a village in Afghan territory, north west of the Khyber Pass.[18]


  1. ^ Haythornthwaite 1996, p. 244
  2. ^ a b c The late Lieutenant General H.G. Hart. "Hart's Annual Army List for 1907". London: John Murray. Retrieved 3 July 2015.
  3. ^ The late Lieutenant General H.G. Hart. "Hart's Annual Army List for 1908". London: John Murray. Retrieved 22 July 2015.
  4. ^ The late Lieutenant General H.G. Hart. "Hart's Annual Army List for 1912". London: John Murray. Retrieved 22 July 2015.
  5. ^ a b Mackie 2015, p. 342
  6. ^ a b c Perry 1993, p. 38
  7. ^ Gaylor 1996, pp. 70–73
  8. ^ Gaylor 1996, pp. 86–88
  9. ^ "The Indian Army 1914 by Dr. Graham Watson on orbat.com". Archived from the original on 9 May 2013. Retrieved 2009-10-15.
  10. ^ Perry 1993, p. 40
  11. ^ Perry 1993, p. 49
  12. ^ Perry 1993, p. 85
  13. ^ Perry 1993, p. 100
  14. ^ Perry 1993, p. 106
  15. ^ Perry 1993, p. 17
  16. ^ a b c Perry 1993, p. 36
  17. ^ Perry 1993, p. 37
  18. ^ a b "Afghanistan". Regimental Museum of the 1st The Queen's Dragoon Guards (The Welsh Horse). Retrieved 24 July 2015.
  19. ^ "1899 to 1938 - A Short History of 1st The Queen's Dragoon Guards". Regimental Museum of the 1st The Queen's Dragoon Guards (The Welsh Horse). Retrieved 24 July 2015.
  20. ^ a b c Kempton 2003b, p. 5
  21. ^ Nafziger n.d., p. 2
  22. ^ Kempton 2003c, p. 15
  23. ^ Kempton 2003b, p. 1
  24. ^ Kempton 2003b, pp. 76–77
  25. ^ The late Lieutenant General H.G. Hart. "Hart's Annual Army List for 1909". London: John Murray. Retrieved 22 July 2015.
  26. ^ a b c Perry 1993, p. 35


External links[edit]