4th Cavalry Division (British Indian Army)

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For an earlier formation in World War I, see 1st Mounted Division.
1st Mounted Division
4th Cavalry Division
Active April 1918 – 1921
Country India
Branch British Indian Army
Type Cavalry
Size Division
Engagements

World War I

Commanders
Notable
commanders
Major-General C. de S. Barrow

The 1st Mounted Division was a cavalry division that served as part of the Egyptian Expeditionary Force in Palestine in World War I. It was formed in April 1918 when the Yeomanry Mounted Division was merged with elements of the 1st Indian Cavalry Division withdrawn from the Western Front. In July 1918, the combined division was renamed as the 4th Cavalry Division. It remained in Palestine after the end of the war on occupation duties until finally broken up in 1921.

History[edit]

1st Mounted Division[edit]

In March 1918, the 1st Indian Cavalry Division was broken up in France. The British units (notably 6th Dragoons, 17th Lancers, 1/1st Queen's Own Yorkshire Dragoons and A, Q and U Batteries RHA) remained in France and the Indian elements were sent to Egypt.[1]

By an Egyptian Expeditionary Force GHQ Order of 12 April 1918, the mounted troops of the EEF were reorganised when the Indian Army units arrived in theatre. On 24 April 1918, the Yeomanry Mounted Division was indianized[a] and its title was changed to 1st Mounted Division,[2] the third distinct division to bear this title.[b]

On 24 April 1918, the 6th Mounted Brigade was merged with elements of the 5th (Mhow) Cavalry Brigade, the 8th Mounted Brigade with the 8th (Lucknow) Cavalry Brigade, and the 22nd Mounted Brigade with the 2nd (Sialkot) Cavalry Brigade. Six of the Yeomanry Regiments were merged in pairs, converted to Machine Gun Battalions, and posted to the Western Front:[3]

They were replaced by Indian Cavalry Regiments from France. The Field Ambulances and Mobile Veterinary Sections merged with their Indian counterparts. Other units were retained unchanged, though some were renumbered to reflect the new divisional designation.[4]

4th Cavalry Division[edit]

On 22 July 1918, the 1st Mounted Division was renumbered as the 4th Cavalry Division and the brigades as the 10th, 11th and 12th Cavalry Brigades.[5] The sub units (Signal Troops, Combined Cavalry Field Ambulances and Mobile Veterinary Sections) were renumbered on the same date.[3]

Order of Battle, September 1918[5]
10th Cavalry Brigade

Queen's Own Dorset Yeomanry
2nd Lancers (Gardner's Horse)
38th King George's Own Central India Horse
17th Machine Gun Squadron
10th Cavalry Brigade Signal Troop
10th Combined Cavalry Field Ambulance, RAMC
10th Mobile Veterinary Section

11th Cavalry Brigade

1st County of London Yeomanry
29th Lancers (Deccan Horse)
36th Jacob's Horse
21st Machine Gun Squadron
11th Cavalry Brigade Signal Troop
11th Combined Cavalry Field Ambulance, RAMC
11th Mobile Veterinary Section

12th Cavalry Brigade

Staffordshire Yeomanry (Queen's Own Royal Regiment)
6th King Edward's Own Cavalry
19th Lancers (Fane's Horse)
18th Machine Gun Squadron
12th Cavalry Brigade Signal Troop
12th Combined Cavalry Field Ambulance, RAMC
12th Mobile Veterinary Section

XX Brigade, Royal Horse Artillery (T.F.)

Hampshire RHA
Berkshire RHA
Leicestershire RHA
XX RHA Brigade Ammunition Column

Divisional Troops

4th Field Squadron, RE[6]
4th Cavalry Division Signal Squadron[7]

4th Cavalry Division Train[8]

999th Company ASC
1000th Company ASC
1001st Company ASC
1002nd Company ASC

Battles[edit]

The 1st Mounted / 4th Cavalry Division served with the Desert Mounted Corps for the rest of the war, taking part in the Second Transjordan Raid (30 April to 4 May 1918) and the Final Offensive, in particular the Battle of Megiddo (19 to 25 September) and the Capture of Damascus (1 October).[9]

The division remained in Palestine on occupation duties after the end of the war. However, demobilization began immediately and most of the British war time units had left by May 1919, though the 1/1st County of London Yeomanry did not leave until March 1920. The division was finally broken up in 1921.[9]

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ British divisions were converted to the British Indian Army standard whereby brigades only retained one British regiment or battalion and most support units were Indian (artillery excepted).
  2. ^ See 1st Mounted Division and 3rd Mounted Division.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Perry 1993, p. 16
  2. ^ Becke 1936, p. 34
  3. ^ a b Becke 1936, p. 33
  4. ^ Becke 1936, p. 32
  5. ^ a b Perry 1993, p. 22
  6. ^ 6th Field Squadron, RE of the Yeomanry Mounted Division renumbered.
  7. ^ Yeomanry Mounted Division Signal Squadron renamed.
  8. ^ Yeomanry Mounted Division Train renamed.
  9. ^ a b Perry 1993, p. 24

Bibliography[edit]

  • 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 Stationery Office. ISBN 1-871167-12-4. 
  • Perry, F.W. (1993). Order of Battle of Divisions Part 5B. Indian Army Divisions. Newport: Ray Westlake Military Books. ISBN 1-871167-23-X.