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8th (Lucknow) Cavalry Brigade
Active 1903 – March 1918
Country British India
Allegiance British Crown
Branch British Indian Army
Type Cavalry
Size Brigade
Part of 8th (Lucknow) Division
1st Indian Cavalry Division
Garrison/HQ Lucknow
Engagements

World War I

Battle of Cambrai

The 8th (Lucknow) Cavalry Brigade was a brigade of the British Indian Army formed in 1903, following the reforms of the Indian Army by the then Commander-in-Chief, India General Herbert Kitchener.

The brigade was originally the cavalry formation of the 8th (Lucknow) Division, but in 1914 it was sent to the Western Front in France as part of the 1st Indian Cavalry Division landing at Marseilles in October 1914. It was broken up in France in March 1918.

World War I[edit | edit source]

English and Indian soldiers of the Signal Troop of the Lucknow Cavalry Brigade relaxing in a farmyard at Brigade Headquarters, 28 July 1915

Pre-war and mobilization[edit | edit source]

As the name suggests, the Lucknow Cavalry Brigade was based at Lucknow, India as part of the 8th (Lucknow) Division in peace time. Its composition in August 1914 was:[1]

1st King's Dragoon Guards
12th Cavalry
16th Cavalry
17th Cavalry
36th Jacob's Horse

The brigade was mobilised in September 1914 and joined 1st Indian Cavalry Division. On mobilization, 29th Lancers (Deccan Horse) joined from Poona (6th (Poona) Division) and U Battery, Royal Horse Artillery from XI Brigade, Royal Horse Artillery (also at Lucknow). 12th Cavalry was transferred to Faizabad, 16th Cavalry stayed at Lucknow and 17th Cavalry moved to Allahabad.[1]

France and Fanders[edit | edit source]

With 1st Indian Cavalry Division, it departed Bombay (Mumbai) on 16 October 1914 and landed at Marseilles on 7 November, however the brigade did not reach the Front until 8–10 December due to horse sickness. While in France, the brigade was known by its geographical rather than numerical designation so as to avoid confusion with the 8th Cavalry Brigade.[2]

Other than the Battle of Cambrai when it helped to told the German counter-attack, it was not involved in battle. Instead, it was held in reserve in case of a breakthrough, although it did send parties to the trenches on a number of occasions. They would hold the line, or act as Pioneers; such parties were designated as the Lucknow Battalion.[2]

During World War I, the brigade commanded the following units:[3]

1st King's Dragoon Guards (to 7 October 1917)[lower-alpha 1]
1/1st Queen's Own Yorkshire Dragoons (from 6 December 1917)[lower-alpha 2]
29th Lancers (Deccan Horse)
36th Jacob's Horse
U Battery, Royal Horse Artillery[lower-alpha 3]
Lucknow Cavalry Field Ambulance
Lucknow Mobile Veterinary Section
Lucknow Signal Troop[6]
12th Machine Gun Squadron, Machine Gun Corps (from 29 February 1916)[lower-alpha 4]

Dissolved[edit | edit source]

In March 1918, the 1st Indian Cavalry Division was broken up in France. The British units (1/1st Queen's Own Yorkshire Dragoons and U Battery, RHA) remained in France, 12th Machine Gun Squadron was broken up on 14 April 1918[7] and the Indian elements were sent to Egypt.[2] On 24 April 1918, the 8th Mounted Brigade of the Yeomanry Mounted Division was merged with elements of the 8th (Lucknow) Cavalry Brigade.[8] On 22 July 1918 the brigade was redesignated as 11th Cavalry Brigade.[9]

Commanders[edit | edit source]

The 8th (Lucknow) Cavalry Brigade had the following commanders:[10]

From Rank Name
16 October 1911 Major-General G.A. Cookson
26 November 1914 Brigadier-General W.H. Fasken
13 May 1916 Brigadier-General M.F. Gage
13 December 1917 Brigadier-General G.A.H. Beatty

Notes[edit | edit source]

  1. Departed for India, arriving in November, and joined 4th (Meerut) Cavalry Brigade.[4]
  2. Previously II Corps Cavalry Regiment. Joined from Cavalry Corps Troops.[5]
  3. Nominally, U Battery, RHA was assigned to I Indian Brigade, Royal Horse Artillery but in practice was assigned to the brigade throughout the brigade's service on the Western Front.[3]
  4. Formed of the machine gun sections of 29th Lancers (Deccan Horse) and 36th Jacob's Horse.[7]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 Perry 1993, p. 102
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Perry 1993, p. 16
  3. 3.0 3.1 Perry 1993, p. 14
  4. Perry 1993, p. 95
  5. James 1978, p. 31
  6. "Battle of Ypres". Commonwealth War Graves Commission. http://www.cwgc.org/ypres/content.asp?id=33&menu=subsub. Retrieved 19 September 2012. 
  7. 7.0 7.1 Baker, Chris. "Cavalry units of the Machine Gun Corps". The Long Long Trail. http://www.1914-1918.net/mgccav.html. Retrieved 11 May 2013. 
  8. Becke 1936, p. 33
  9. Perry 1993, p. 22
  10. Perry 1993, p. 12

Bibliography[edit | edit source]

  • Becke, Major A.F. (1936). Order of Battle of Divisions Part 2A. The Territorial Force Mounted Divisions and the 1st-Line Territorial Force Divisions (42-56). London: His Majesty's Stationary Office. ISBN 1-871167-12-4. 
  • James, Brigadier E.A. (1978). British Regiments 1914–18. London: Samson Books Limited. ISBN 0-906304-03-2. 
  • Perry, F.W. (1993). Order of Battle of Divisions Part 5B. Indian Army Divisions. Newport, Gwent: Ray Westlake Military Books. ISBN 1-871167-23-X. 

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