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The Lucknow Cavalry Brigade was a cavalry brigade of the British Indian Army formed in 1911 as a result of the Kitchener Reforms. It was mobilized as 8th (Lucknow) Cavalry Brigade at the outbreak of the First World War as part of the 1st Indian Cavalry Division and departed for France. It served on the Western Front with the division until it was broken up in March 1918.

Lucknow Cavalry Brigade
8th (Lucknow) Cavalry Brigade
4th Indian Cavalry Brigade
ActiveOctober 1911 – March 1918
April 1920 – 1923
Country British India
AllegianceBritish Crown
Branch British Indian Army
Part of8th (Lucknow) Division
1st Indian Cavalry Division
Peacetime HQLucknow
EngagementsFirst World War
Western Front
Battle of Cambrai (1917)
Br.-Gen. G.A.H. Beatty

The brigade was reformed in April 1920 and broken up in 1923.



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 Lucknow Cavalry Brigade was formed in October 1911[a] as a result of the Kitchener Reforms. The brigade was one of the last to be formed before the outbreak of the First World War. It formed part of the 8th (Lucknow) Division in peacetime.[2][3]

8th (Lucknow) Cavalry Brigade
English and Indian soldiers of the Signal Troop of the Lucknow Cavalry Brigade relaxing in a farmyard at Brigade Headquarters, 28 July 1915

In September 1914, the brigade was mobilized as the 8th (Lucknow) Cavalry Brigade and assigned to the 1st Indian Cavalry Division. With the division, it departed Bombay 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 British 8th Cavalry Brigade also serving on the Western Front at the same time.[4]

Other than the Battle of Cambrai when it helped to hold 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.[4]


In March 1918, the brigade 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[5] and the Indian elements were sent to Egypt.[4] On 24 April 1918, these were merged with the 8th Mounted Brigade of the Yeomanry Mounted Division.[6] On 22 July 1918 the 8th Mounted Brigade was redesignated as 11th Cavalry Brigade and the division as 4th Cavalry Division.[7]

Post war

The Lucknow Cavalry Brigade was reformed in April 1920. In September 1920 it was designated as the 4th Indian Cavalry Brigade until 1923 when it was broken up.[8]

Orders of battleEdit


The Lucknow Cavalry Brigade / 8th (Lucknow) Cavalry Brigade had the following commanders:[8][14]

From Rank Name Notes
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 Brigade broken up in March 1918

The new Lucknow Cavalry Brigade / 4th Indian Cavalry Brigade was commanded throughout it existence (April 1920 – 1923) by Major-General L.C. Jones.[8]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ 16 October 1911 was the appointment date of the brigade's first commanding officer.[2]
  2. ^ 1/1st Queen's Own Yorkshire Dragoons was previously II Corps Cavalry Regiment.[11] On 16 March 1918, it rejoined II Corps as a cyclist unit.[12]
  3. ^ U Battery, Royal Horse Artillery was assigned to I Indian Brigade, Royal Horse Artillery but in practice was permanently attached to the brigade.[9]
  4. ^ Formed of the machine gun sections of 29th Lancers (Deccan Horse) and 36th Jacob's Horse.[5]


  1. ^ Haythornthwaite 1996, p. 244
  2. ^ a b The late Lieutenant General H.G. Hart. "Hart's Annual Army List for 1913". London: John Murray. Retrieved 18 July 2015.
  3. ^ a b Perry 1993, p. 102
  4. ^ a b c Perry 1993, p. 16
  5. ^ a b Baker, Chris. "Cavalry units of the Machine Gun Corps". The Long Long Trail. Retrieved 11 May 2013.
  6. ^ Becke 1936, p. 33
  7. ^ Perry 1993, p. 22
  8. ^ a b c Mackie 2015, p. 368
  9. ^ a b Perry 1993, p. 14
  10. ^ Perry 1993, p. 95
  11. ^ James 1978, p. 31
  12. ^ Perry 1993, p. 15
  13. ^ "Battle of Ypres". Commonwealth War Graves Commission. Archived from the original on 14 September 2012. Retrieved 19 September 2012.
  14. ^ Perry 1993, p. 12


  • Haythornthwaite, Philip J. (1996). The World War One Source Book. London: Arms and Armour Press. ISBN 1-85409-351-7.
  • 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.
  • James, Brigadier E.A. (1978). British Regiments 1914–18. London: Samson Books Limited. ISBN 0-906304-03-2.
  • Mackie, Colin (June 2015). "Army Commands 1900-2011" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 5 July 2015. Retrieved 1 July 2015.
  • Perry, F.W. (1993). Order of Battle of Divisions Part 5B. Indian Army Divisions. Newport: Ray Westlake Military Books. ISBN 1-871167-23-X.

External linksEdit