Claude Harold Rowcroft


Claude Rowcroft was the son of Captain Harry Crommelin Rowcroft RE. After starting his army career as an artillery officer he transferred to the cavalry.

Whilst holding the rank of major he commanded a trench regiment of 300 men in May 1916. He took over command of the 9th Hodson's Horse in late December while they were at Brusle. In 1920 he was temporarily removed from his post to command the 26th Light Cavalry. This lasted from 2nd Feb to 19th June and his place was taken for this period by Major M Vigors, an officer who had distinguished himself leading D Squadron at Gouzeaucourt and at Kiswe.

Rowcroft commanded the 9th up until they were amalgamated with 10th DCO Hodson's Horse in September 1921. He remained as commanding officer of the combined regiments until March 1922.

The photo shows Rowcroft in the khaki undress uniform as worn around 1900. The turban is blue with gold blue and white stripes. His shoulder chains seem to have a single pip on each shoulder which is puzzling because it is unlikely that he would have remained a subaltern so long if he was such a high-flyer. The pouch belt is the interesting part of this uniform. It is a brown leather undress item with silver chains and pickers.

Prominent Dates
1872 2nd Mar. Born at Delhi
1892 19th Feb. Commissioned into 73rd Field battery RA
1892 Sept. Transferred to 31st Field Battery RA
1896 April. Transferred to no.3 Battery Hyderabad Contingent
1896 Nov. Joined Poona Horse
1898 Dec. Joined 9th Bengal Lancers
1914-1918 served throughout World War 1
1914 Dec. Festubert
1915 In reserve at Neuve Chapelle
1916 Present at 1st, 2nd and 3rd Battles of the Somme
1917 Hindenburg Retreat
1917 Dec. Commanded 9th Hodson's Horse until March 1922
1918 1st and 2nd Battles of Cambrai
1918 Jordan Valley
1918 Megiddo
1918 20th Sept. Capture of Nazareth
1918 1st Oct. Capture of Damascus
1918 20th-26th Oct. March to and capture of Aleppo
1919 Awarded DSO
1919 Feb. - Nov. OC in Marash
1920 2nd Feb. Transferred as Commanding Officer to 26th (KGO) Light Cavalry
1920 19th June. Resumed command of 9th Hodson's
1921 April - Oct. Commanded Ambala Brigade Area
1922 2nd Mar. Relinquished command of 9th Hodson's
1922 19th Feb. Promoted to Colonel
1922 8th Oct. Retired

Suggested Reading
With the 9th Hodson's Horse in Palestine by C H Rowcroft (Bombay: Thacker & Co Ltd, Publishers)



Commanding Officers | Regimental details




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by Stephen Luscombe