The decision to unify the armies of the three Presidencies (Bengal, Bombay and Madras) was first made in 1880 after the Second Afghan War but 15 years were to elapse before the Army of India was formally established. In 1893 the Presidencies lost their posts of Commander-in-Chief and in 1895 the army was divided into four commands - Bengal, Madras, Bombay and Punjab.

In November 1902 Lord Kitchener became Commander-in-Chief, India and put into effect a series of far-reaching military reforms. He was at odds with the Viceroy, Lord Curzon, over this. His objective was to complete the unification of the Indian Army which had begun in 1895. He abolished the Indian Staff Corps to which all British officers, absurdly, belonged. In future officers were to be directly gazetted to regiments.

The Cavalry regiments from the three Presidencies were renumbered to form a unified line. The Bengal regiments were the most numerous and took the first 19 numbers. This upset the Madras and Bombay regiments who felt that they had an older lineage, and had not been involved in the Mutiny.

An attempt was made to retain a significant digit in the new number so that, for instance, the 1st Punjab Cavalry became the 21st and the 2nd became the 22nd etc. As a result the 24th had to be left blank to retain the 5th Punjab as the 25th. The Madras Regiments lost their numbers but they had always been a little different. They rode government horses instead of conforming to the silladar way. Three regiments from the army of the Nizam of Hyderabad were also included although the 3rd Lancers of the Hyderabad Contingent were disbanded in 1903.


Indian Bodyguards
The Governor General's Bodyguard
The Governor's Bodyguard, Madras
The Governor's Bodyguard, Bombay
Indian Cavalry Regiments
1st (Duke of York's Own) Bengal Lancers
Skinner's Horse
2nd Bengal Lancers
Gardner's Horse
3rd Bengal Cavalry
Skinner's Horse
4th Bengal Lancers
5th Bengal Cavalry
6th Prince of Wales's Bengal Cavalry
7th Hariana Lancers
8th Lancers
9th Bengal Lancers
Hodson's Horse
10th (Duke of Cambridge's Own) Bengal Lancers
Hodson's Horse
11th (Prince of Wales' Own) Bengal Lancers
Probyn's Horse
12th Bengal Cavalry
13th Duke of Connaught's Bengal Lancers
Watson's Horse
14th Bengal Lancers
Murray's Jat Horse
15th Bengal Lancers
Cureton's Multanis
16th Bengal Lancers
17th Bengal Lancers
18th Tiwana Lancers
19th Bengal Lancers
Fane's Horse
20th Deccan Horse
1st Hyderabad
21st (Prince Albert Victor's Own) Punjab Cavalry (Frontier Force)
22nd Sam Browne's Cavalry (Frontier Force)
2nd Punjab
23rd Cavalry (Frontier Force)
3rd Punjab
4th Punjab - Disbanded 1885
25th Cavalry (Frontier Force)
5th Punjab
26th Prince of Wales's Own Light Cavalry
1st Madras
27th Light Cavalry
2nd Madras
28th Light Cavalry
3rd Madras
29th Lancers (Deccan Horse)
2nd Hyderabad
3rd Lancers
Hyderabad Contingent
(disbanded 1903)
30th Lancers (Gordon's Horse)
4th Hyderabad
31st Duke of Connaught's Own Lancers
1st Bombay
32nd Lancers
2nd Bombay
33rd Queen's Own Light Cavalry
3rd Bombay
34th Prince Albert Victor's Own Poona Horse
4th Bombay
35th Scinde Horse
5th Bombay
36th Jacob's Horse
6th Bombay
37th Lancers (Baluch Horse)
7th Bombay
38th Central India Horse
39th Central India Horse


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