13th Duke of Connaught's Own Lancers
Infobox Military Unit
unit_name=13th Duke of Connaught's Own Lancers
dates=1805 - 1947
British Indian Army
Duke of Connaught
Second Anglo-Maratha War First Afghan War Second Sikh War Indian Mutiny Second Afghan War Third Anglo-Burmese War World War I Third Afghan War World War II
Ghazni Afghanistan-1839 Multan
Central India Afghanistan. 1878-80 Burma. 1885-87 Kut al Amara-1917 Baghdad Sharqat Mesopotamia. 1916-18 North West Frontier India-1917 Afghanistan-1919 North West Frontier.1937-40 Damascus Deir es Zor Raqaa Syria-1941 Gazala Bir Hacheim El Adem Gambut Sidi Rezegh-1942 Tobruk-1942 Fuka North Africa-1940-43
The 13th Duke of Connaught's Own Lancers was a regular cavalry regiment in the
British Indian Armyto was formed in 1923 by the amalgamation of the 31st Duke of Connaught's Own Lancersand the 32nd Lancers.They served the British Crownon the North West Frontierin the Great Warand World War II.
Both regiments had had started as in the old Bombay Squadrons of Cavalry, raised for service under Lord Lake with whom they served during the
Second Anglo-Maratha War, at the siege of Bhurtporein 1805.
First Afghan War
The 1st saw service in the
First Afghan Warin 1839 when, with a detachment of the 2nd, they were at the Battle of Ghazniand in the march to Kabul returning to India in 1840.
econd Sikh War
Mutiny of 1857
May 1857, the start of the Great Mutiny, saw the 1st Bombay Cavalry at
Nasirabadwhere they were the only ones to remain loyal. Artillery and infantrymen urged them to go over to them but the sowars refused and, under their officers, charged in an attempt to take the guns. They failed to do so but successfully disengaged and took part in the campaign of pacification in Central India.
The 2nd Bombay Light Cavalry, in 1857, they were stationed at
Neemuchand saw service in the pacification of Central India. One of its subalterns, later General Sir James Blair, won a Victoria Cross during these operations. The citation read;
"On 12 August 1857 at Neemuch, India, Captain Blair volunteered to apprehend seven or eight armed mutineers who had shut themselves up in a house. He burst open the door and after a fierce encounter during which he was severely wounded, the rebels escaped through the roof. In spite of his wounds he pursued, but was unable to catch them. On 23 October at Jeerum, the captain fought his way through a body of rebels who had surrounded him. In the action he broke his sword and was wounded, but nevertheless he led his men in a charge on the rebels and dispersed them."
Third Anglo-Burmese WarBurma was their next overseas posting in 1885, a campaign no more attractive then than sixty years later.The Duke of Connaught, then Commander-in-Chief of the Bombay Army, became their colonel-in-chief in 1890. He still held the appointment in the 13th DCO Lancers on his death in January 1942.
During the Kitchener reorginisation of the Indian Army of 1903, the Bombay cavalry had thirty added to their numbers and, the 1st (Duke of Connaught's Own) Bombay Lancers became the 31st Duke of Connaught's Own Lancers and the 2nd Bombay Lancers" became the "32nd Lancers, the old Presidency designations being abolished.
World War I
Between the Wars
Having remained in India throughout the war, the 31st served in the Third Afghan War and then went to perform garrison duties in Palestine, being the last Indian cavalry regiment to serve there, as they did, until 1923 when, on their amalgamation with the 32nd Lancers in September of that year, they were the last two regiments carrying their old titles. This particular merger, of course, was simply a reunion of two regiments separated more than a hundred years before. The new badge was to be crossed lances with '13' on the intersection and a crown above: across the lancebutts was a scroll reading 'Duke of Connaught's Own.'
World War II
The 13th Duke of Connaught's Own Lancers were one of the first two Indian cavalry regiments nominated for mechanisation. One squadron was equipped with the
Vickers Medium Mark Itank and two squadrons with Staghound armoured cars. They were then deployed on frontier duties but, in April 1941, they traded their tanks for one squadron of Scinde Horse armoured cars and left for Iraqwith the 10th Indian Division.The 13th was the only Indian cavalry regiment to receive an honour for Frontier Service during the war.They were then sent to the Middle East for action against the Vichy Frenchin Syriaand then served in Iranand Iraqbefore joining the British Eighth Army.Before the Battle of El Alameinin October 1942, they were moved back to Persia.They were then re-equipped with Staghound armoured cars in anticipation of going to Italy, they returned to India and prepared to land in Malaya.Despite the Japanese surrender, there was still action in the South East Asiaarea and they moved to Javain support of the 5th and 23rd Indian Divisions in their holding-action there.In August 1946 the 13th returned to Secunderabadas the reconnaissance regiment of the 1st Indian Armoured Division.
:'A brief historical sketch of His Majesty's 31st Duke of Connaught's Own Lancers, Indian Army' by Colonel G F Newport-Tinley CB. (Pub. Bombay Gazette Electrical Printing Works, Bombay 1910)
Changes in Title
:pre 1903 1st (Duke of Connaught's Own) Bombay Lancers. 2nd Bombay Lancers:1903 31st Duke of Connaught's Own Lancers.32nd Lancers :1921 31/32nd Lancers:1922 13th Duke of Connaught's Own Bombay Lancers:1927 13th Duke of Connaught's Own Lancers cite web|title=defencejournal|url=http://www.defencejournal.com/nov99/13th-duke.htm]
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