3rd Cavalry (India)
|Engagements||First Afghan War
Second Afghan War
North West Frontier
World War I
World War II
Indo-Pakistani War of 1965
Indo-Pakistani War of 1971
|Battle honours||Afghanistan 1879–80
The 3rd Cavalry is a cavalry regiment of the Indian Army formed from the 5th and 8th Cavalry regiments in 1922.
The 3rd Cavalry was formed from two older Regiments, the 7th Irregular Cavalry which was raised in 1841 at Bareilly and the 17th Cavalry which was raised at Sultanpur in 1846. Often re-designated, by the turn of the century they were called 5th Cavalry and 8th Lancers. The two regiments serving in India and abroad, saw action in Afghanistan, Bhutan, Mesopotamia and Palestine earning Battle Honours Afghanistan 1879–80 and Mesopotamia 1916–18. They were amalgamated in 1922, to form the 5th/8th Cavalry, re-designated in 1923 as 3rd Cavalry. They were selected to become an Indianised regiment from 1931 onwards.
Raised at Bareilly in 1841 as a result of the First Afghan War the regiment also served in the Second Afghan War between 1878 – 1880. Like all the regiments of the Indian Army, the 5th Cavalry underwent many name changes in the various reorganisations. They are listed below:
- 1841 7th Irregular Cavalry
- 1861 5th Regiment of Bengal Cavalry
- 1901 5th Bengal Cavalry
- 1903 5th Cavalry.
World War I
At the start of World War I the 5th Cavalry was part of the 4th (Rawalpindi) Brigade in October 1916 they transferred to the 1st (Peshawar) Division for service on the North West Frontier until October 1917 when they left to take part in the Mesopotamian campaign .
The 8th Lancers were the last regiment to be raised before the Indian Mutiny. They served in Peshawar in 1857 and in the Second Afghan War. They were issued with lances in 1899 to become the 8th Bengal Lancers, this title was later changed to the 8th Lancers. Like all the regiments of the Indian Army, the 8th Lancers underwent many name changes in the various reorganisations. They are listed below.
- 1846 17th Irregular Cavalry
- 1847 18th Irregular Cavalry
- 1861 8th Regiment of Bengal Cavalry
- 1900 8th Regiment of Bengal Lancers
- 1901 8th Bengal Lancers
- 1903 8th Lancers
World War I
- 8th Lancers
- 38th Central Indian Horse
- 2nd Battalion, Royal Berkshire Regiment
- 10th Jats
- 99th Deccan Infantry
- 107th Pioneers
- 116th Mahrattas
- 60th Company, RGA
World War II
In 1941, whilst still in the process of being equipped with armoured cars, 3rd Cavalry was made part of the 11th Indian Infantry Division and was deployed to Malaya to counter the Japanese advance. They were involved in the battles at Taiping, Perak, Sungei Pattani, Penang Island, Perak River and the Battle of Slim River where two Indian Brigades were annihilated by the Japanese. The Regiment was then captured by the Japanese after the fall of Singapore and went into captivity until the end of the war. For the regiment's service in Malaya it was awarded the Battle Honours "North Malaya" and "Central Malaya" and Theatre Honour "Malaya 1941–42".
Although recommended to be disbanded after the war, the regiment was instead designated a regiment of airborne reconnaissance cavalry.
- Kempton, C (1996). A Register of Titles of the Units of the H.E.I.C. & Indian Armies 1666–1947. Bristol: British Empire & Commonwealth Museum. ISBN 978-0-9530174-0-9
- Gaylor, J (1992). Sons of John Company: The Indian and Pakistan Armies 1903– 1991. Stroud: Spellmount Publishers Ltd. ISBN 978-0-946771-98-1