2nd Indian Cavalry Division
The 2nd Indian Cavalry Division was a regular division of the British Indian Army
British Indian Army
The British Indian Army, officially simply the Indian Army, was the principal army of the British Raj in India before the partition of India in 1947...

 during World War I
World War I
World War I , which was predominantly called the World War or the Great War from its occurrence until 1939, and the First World War or World War I thereafter, was a major war centred in Europe that began on 28 July 1914 and lasted until 11 November 1918...



The division sailed for France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

 from Bombay on October 16, 1914, under the command of Major General G A Cookson. During the war the division would serve in the trenches as infantry. Due to the difference on troop levels each cavalry brigade, once dismounted, formed a dismounted regiment.

In March 1916 the 2nd Indian Cavalry Division was attached to the British Fourth Army
British Fourth Army
The Fourth Army was a field army that formed part of the British Expeditionary Force during the First World War. The Fourth Army was formed on 5 February 1916 under the command of General Sir Henry Rawlinson to carry out the main British contribution to the Battle of the Somme.-History:The Fourth...

On July 1, 1916 the Secunderabad Cavalry Brigade moved into a reserve position on the Somme
Somme is a department of France, located in the north of the country and named after the Somme river. It is part of the Picardy region of France....

, ready to exploit any breakthrough. The same brigade was sent up again on July 14, to Montauban
Montauban is a commune in the Tarn-et-Garonne department in the Midi-Pyrénées region in southern France. It is the capital of the department and lies north of Toulouse....

 to support the attack on the Bazentin
Bazentin is a commune in the Somme department in Picardie in northern France.-Geography:Situated between Amiens to the southwest and Arras to the north, on the D73 road.-Population:-External links:* * * *...

 - Longueval
Longueval is a commune in the Somme department in Picardie in northern France.-Geography:Longueval is located 24 miles northwest of Amiens on the D919 road, at the junction with the D8....

 ridge. At 17.30 the leading two regiments were ordered to advance between High Wood
High Wood
High Wood is a small forest near Bazentin le Petit in the Somme département of northern France which was the scene of intense fighting for two months from 14 July to 15 September 1916 during the Battle of the Somme.-Background:...

 and Delville Wood
Delville Wood
The Battle of Delville Wood was one of the early engagements in the 1916 Battle of the Somme in the First World War. It took place between 14 July and 3 September, between the armies of the German Empire and allied British and South African forces...

The British 7th Dragoon Guards and the Indian 20th Deccan Horse galloped forward to a position between the woods, but little could be achieved. At 03.30 on July 15 , they returned to Montauban, having suffered casualties of 74 men and 110 horses. Cavalry units were again brought forward on September 15 to support the attack on Flers-Courcelette
Battle of Flers-Courcelette
The Battle of Flers-Courcelette, was a battle within the Franco-British Somme Offensive which took place in the summer and autumn of 1916. Launched on the 15th of September 1916 the battle went on for one week. Flers-Courcelette began with the overall objective of cutting a hole in the German...

 , but were not drawn into the fighting and played no further part in the Battle of the Somme except as labour units in reserve.
The high number of officer casualties suffered early on had an effect on its later performance. British officers that understood the language, customs, and psychology of their men could not be quickly replaced, and the alien environment of the Western Front had some effect on the soldiers.
The 2nd Indian Cavalry Division was renamed the 5th Cavalry Division on 26 November 1916 and attached to the 5th Army.

Order of Battle December 1914

5th (Mhow) Cavalry Brigade
6th (Inniskilling) Dragoons
6th (Inniskilling) Dragoons
The 6th Dragoons was a cavalry regiment in the British Army, first raised in 1689. It saw service for three centuries, before being amalgamated into the 5th/6th Dragoons in 1922.The 'Skins' are one of the four ancestor regiments of the Royal Dragoon...

2nd Lancers (Gardner's Horse)
2nd Lancers (Gardner's Horse)
The 2nd Lancers was a cavalry regiment of the British Indian Army raised in 1809. It served in the Nepal and First World Wars. During the reconstruction of the British Indian Army in 1922 it was amalgamated with the 4th Cavalry....

38th King George's Own Central India Horse
X Battery Royal Horse Artillery
Royal Horse Artillery
The regiments of the Royal Horse Artillery , dating from 1793, are part of the Royal Regiment of Artillery of the British Army...

7th (Meerut) Cavalry Brigade
13th Hussars
3rd Skinner's Horse
3rd Skinner's Horse
The 3rd Skinner's Horse was originally raised at Hansi by Lt.-Col. James Skinner as the 2nd Regiment of Skinner’s Horse in 1814, the various changes and amalgamations are listed below.*1814 2nd Regiment of Skinner's Horse*1821 Baddeley’s Frontier Horse...

18th King George's Own Lancers
V Battery Royal Horse Artillery

9th (Secunderabad) Cavalry Brigade
7th (Princess Royal's) Dragoon Guards
20th Deccan Horse
34th Prince Albert Victor's Own Poona Horse
N Battery Royal Horse Artillery

Order of Battle March 1917

3rd (Ambala) Cavalry Brigade
8th Hussars
9th Hodson's Horse
18th King George's Own Lancers
X Battery Royal Horse Artillery
14th Machine Gun Squadron
Machine Gun Corps
The Machine Gun Corps was a corps of the British Army, formed in October 1915 in response to the need for more effective use of machine guns on the Western Front in World War I. The Heavy Branch of the MGC was the first to use tanks in combat, and the branch was subsequently turned into the Tank...

9th (Secunderabad) Cavalry Brigade
7th (Princess Royal's) Dragoon Guards
20th Deccan Horse
34th Prince Albert Victor's Own Poona Horse
N Battery Royal Horse Artillery
13th Machine Gun Squadron

Canadian Cavalry Brigade
Royal Canadian Dragoons
Lord Strathcona's Horse
Fort Garry Horse
Royal Canadian Horse Artillery
Royal Canadian Horse Artillery
The Royal Canadian Horse Artillery is the name given to the regular field artillery units of the Canadian Army. RCHA units are the senior units of the Canadian land field force, with a history dating back to the birth of Canada as a nation...

Canadian Cavalry Brigade Machine Gun Squadron
The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.