7th Indian Cavalry Brigade

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Meerut Brigade
Meerut Cavalry Brigade
7th (Meerut) Cavalry Brigade
7th Indian Cavalry Brigade
Active 1 November 1904 – November 1920
Country  British India
Allegiance British Crown
Branch  British Indian Army
Type Cavalry
Size Brigade
Part of 7th (Meerut) Division
2nd Indian Cavalry Division
Cavalry Division (Mesopotamia)
Peacetime HQ Meerut

First World War

Western Front
Mesopotamian Campaign
Kut al Amara 1917
Battle of Baghdad (1917)
Battle of Sharqat
Br.-Gen. W.E. Peyton

The Meerut Cavalry Brigade was a cavalry brigade of the British Indian Army formed in 1904 as a result of the Kitchener Reforms. It was mobilized as 7th (Meerut) Cavalry Brigade at the outbreak of the First World War and departed for the Western Front where it served as part of the 2nd Indian Cavalry Division.

It was reorganized in June 1916 as 7th Indian Cavalry Brigade and took part in the Mesopotamian campaign. It formed part of the occupation forces for Mesopotamia after the end of the war and was broken up late in 1920.


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 Meerut Brigade was formed in November 1904[a] as a result of the Kitchener Reforms. The brigade formed part of the 7th (Meerut) Division.[2] In 1908, it was redesignated as Meerut Cavalry Brigade.[3]

7th (Meerut) Cavalry Brigade
13th Hussars horselines and bivouacs Aire, France, 25 July 1915

In August 1914, the brigade was mobilized as the 7th (Meerut) Cavalry Brigade.[4] In company with the newly formed 5th (Mhow) Cavalry Brigade, it departed Bombay on 19 November 1914 and landed at Marseilles on 14–16 December. It joined the 2nd Indian Cavalry Division which was formally constituted on 14 December. The division concentrated around Orléans on 20–24 December and moved up to the Front on 1–4 January 1915. While in France, the brigade was known by its geographical rather than numerical designation so as to avoid confusion with the British 7th Cavalry Brigade also serving on the Western Front at the same time.[5]

The brigade did not take part in any significant actions while on the Western Front. 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 Meerut Battalion.[5]

In June 1916, the brigade was extensively reorganized and was sent to Mesopotamia:[6][7]

7th Indian Cavalry Brigade
Situation at Kut on 22 February 1917.

The brigade arrived in Mesopotamia in August 1916 where it served as an independent brigade, as part of the Cavalry Division from 8 December 1916 to 8 April 1918, and as an independent brigade to the end of the war.[8]

With the division, it took part in the Second Battle of Kut including the Advance to the Hai and Capture of the Khudaira Bend (14 December 1916–19 January 1917), the Capture of the Hai Salient (25 January–5 February 1917), and the Capture of the Dahra Bend (9–16 February).[9]

It then took part in the Pursuit to Baghdad and a number of actions later in 1917. In 1918 it took part in the Affair of Kulawand (27 April), the Action of Tuz Khurmatli (29 April), the Action at Fat-ha Gorge on the Little Zab (23–26 October 1918) and the Battle of Sharqat (28–30 October 1918) under the command of I Corps.[10]

After the Armistice of Mudros, the brigade was selected to form part of the occupation forces for Mesopotamia. The brigade was finally broken up in late 1920.[10]

Orders of battle[edit]


The Meerut Brigade / Meerut Cavalry Brigade / 7th (Meerut) Cavalry Brigade / 7th Indian Cavalry Brigade had the following commanders:[15][16][8]

From Rank Name Notes
1 November 1904[2] Brigadier-General A. Phayre
April 1908 Major-General J.A.H. Pollock
3 July 1908[17] Brigadier-General W.E. Peyton
2 May 1911[18] Brigadier-General E.B. Burton
19 September 1913 Brigadier-General FitzJ.M. Edwards
27 May 1916 Brigadier-General L.C. Jones
12 May 1917 Brigadier-General C.E.G. Norton
April 1919 Brigadier-General H.G. Young Broken up in November 1920

See also[edit]


  1. ^ 1 November 1904 was the appointment date of the brigade's first commanding officer.[2]
  2. ^ Perry[11] mistakenly refers to the 9th Skinner's Horse. The 9th Hodson's Horse was in the 3rd (Ambala) Cavalry Brigade.[12][11]
  3. ^ V Battery, Royal Horse Artillery was assigned to II Indian Brigade, Royal Horse Artillery but in practice was permanently attached to the brigade.[11]


  1. ^ Haythornthwaite 1996, p. 244
  2. ^ a b c The late Lieutenant General H.G. Hart. "Hart's Annual Army List for 1906". London: John Murray. Retrieved 21 July 2015. 
  3. ^ The late Lieutenant General H.G. Hart. "Hart's Annual Army List for 1909". London: John Murray. Retrieved 21 July 2015. 
  4. ^ a b Perry 1993, p. 85
  5. ^ a b Perry 1993, p. 20
  6. ^ Perry 1993, p. 19
  7. ^ Perry 1993, p. 31
  8. ^ a b Perry 1993, p. 29
  9. ^ Perry 1993, p. 32
  10. ^ a b Perry 1993, p. 33
  11. ^ a b c d Perry 1993, p. 18
  12. ^ Perry 1993, p. 14
  13. ^ "No. 31287". The London Gazette (Supplement). 8 April 1919. p. 4741. 
  14. ^ Perry 1993, p. 30
  15. ^ Mackie 2015, p. 365
  16. ^ Perry 1993, p. 17
  17. ^ The late Lieutenant General H.G. Hart. "Hart's Annual Army List for 1910". London: John Murray. Retrieved 21 July 2015. 
  18. ^ The late Lieutenant General H.G. Hart. "Hart's Annual Army List for 1913". London: John Murray. Retrieved 21 July 2015. 


External links[edit]