In Collaboration With Charles Griffin

The 5th Regiment
The regiment was raised in 1849 at Mooltan by Capt Robert Fitzgerald of the 12th Bombay Native Infantry. Their duties in the early days involved dealing with cattle thieves. The sowars of the 5th proved themselves as bold and successful at retrieving the cattle as they were at stealing them before they joined the regiment.

In the Indian Mutiny they were part of the besieging army at Delhi and helped relieve Cawnpore. A squadron of the 5th fought at Bareilly where two of the Indian officers won the Order of British India and 9 other ranks received the Order of Merit.

On March 18th 1860 Risaldar Saadat Khan led 150 men of the 5th, along with 37 mounted police, against 3,000 Mahsud Waziris at a place called Tank. Their boldness and determination paid off because they managed to kill 300 enemy warriors and the rest fled.

And on 6th Jan 1867 a similar act of bravery was performed by Jemadar Imam Khan of the 5th, but with only 27 sowars. They charged at 1,000 raiders, killing 150 and capturing the remainder.

At Charasiah, during the Afghan War of 1878-80, the 5th fought alongside the 9th Lancers of the British Army and earned the admiration of Lord Roberts who gave the two regiments the honour of escorting him into Kabul.

There was still fighting to be done by the Kabul Field Force, and at the storming of the Asmai Heights on Dec 1879, in one of the sorties around Kabul, Captain William Vousden won the VC for exceptional bravery in making repeated charges with a small body of the 5th against overwhelming numbers of Kohistanis, passing through their ranks again and again until they were completely put to rout. The 10 survivors of the group received the Order of Merit.

The 25th Cavalry
Lord Kitchener's reorganisation of the Indian Army meant that the cavalry units of Bengal, Bombay, Madras, Hyderabad and Punjab were renumbered to form 37 regiments. The 5th Punjab Cavalry became the 25th Cavalry in 1903. They were active on the North-west Frontier until 1915, taking part in the action at Dardoni. In this action the Pathans left their dead and wounded untended all night, the first time that this had been known to happen.

In 1914 they were based at Bannu and had 4 squadrons, one squadron of Sikhs, one of Dogras, one of Punjabi Muslims and the last squadron was made up of half Hindustani Muslims and half Pathans.

In World War 1 they were sent to East Africa and saw fighting at Nahungo and Chingwea. They were involved in the pursuit of Von Lettow-Vorbeck to the Portuguese African Border but they were prevented from further action by illness cause by tsetse fly.

1849 - 1947
1849 - 1947
1849 - 1947
1849 - 1947
Battle Honours since 1849
KABUL 1879
1849 5th Regiment of Punjab Cavalry
1851 5th Regiment of Cavalry, Punjab irregular Force
1865 5th Regiment of Cavalry, Punjab Frontier Force
1901 5th Punjab Cavalry
1903 25th Cavalry (Frontier Force)
Successor Units
1921 22/25th Cavalry
1927 Sam Browne's Cavalry (12th Frontier Force)
Further Reading
Historical Record of 25th Cavalry (Frontier Force) 1886-1912
(Calcutta 1912)

Indian Army Uniforms Under the British from the 18th century to 1947 Cavalry
by W Y Carman
(Leonard Hill 1961)

Indian Cavalry Regiments 1880-1914
by A H Bowling
(Almark 1971)

The Armies of India
by Major G F MacMunn
(Adam and Charles Black 1911)

An Assemblage of Indian Army Soldiers and Uniforms
by Michael Glover
(Perpetua Press 1973)

The Indian Army
by Boris Mollo
(Blandford Press 1981)

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by Stephen