Indian Army

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The official (British) Indian Army was formed in 1895. Prior to this date there were three separate Presidency armies (which after 1861 were sometimes unofficially referred to as the Indian Army), which were all part of the Government of the time. Just as India, as part of the British Empire, was controlled by Great Britain, the Indian Army was part of the British Army, which had ultimate control.

Indian Army regiments can be viewed here.

See also

FIBIS resources

The book guides the reader through the various stages of the development of the Indian Army and covers aspects including the structure of the army, campaigns, the various regiments, as well as details of how to find information on officers, NCOs and other ranks; attestation, training, service history, leave, pensions, wills, etc. There is also a soldier’s detailed career path illustrating what can be found in the various records cited in the book. Available from the FIBIS Store.
  • FIBIS database: Soldiers’ and Widows’ Pension details -1896 IOR/L/MIL/14/214 & 215. Includes previous members of the Bengal, Madras and Bombay Armies, including men from the Unattached List. May also include a few members of the Indian Army which officially was formed in 1895. These records are available on LDS microfilm 2029979 Items 1-2 with catalogue entry, however the FIBIS database record contains all the information available in the microfilm.
  • Review by Richard Morgan of A Soldier’s Story in FIBIS Journal Number 26 Autumn 2011, page 52. For details of how to access this article, see FIBIS Journals. The review may also be read in this link, along with other reviews.
Details of the book A Soldier’s Story-From the Khyber Pass to the Jungles of Burma: The Memoir of a British Officer in the Indian Army 1933-1947 by John Archibald Hislop, edited by Penny Kocher 2010.

British Indian Army Cavalry

The British Indian Army maintained about forty regiments of cavalry, officered by British and manned by Indian sowars (cavalrymen). The legendary exploits of this branch lives on in literature and early films. Among the more famous regiments in the lineages of modern Indian and Pakistani Armies are:

  • Governor General's Bodyguard (now President's Bodyguard)
  • Skinner's Horse (now India's 1st Horse (Skinner's)
  • Gardner's Horse (now India's 2nd Lancers (Gardner's)
  • Hodson's Horse (now India's 4th Horse (Hodson's) of the Bengal Lancers fame
  • 6th Bengal Cavalry (later amalgamated with 7th Hariana Lancers to form 18th King Edward's Own Cavalry) now 18th Cavalry of the *Indian Army
  • Probyn's Horse (now Pakistani)
  • Royal Deccan Horse (now India's The Deccan Horse)
  • Poona Horse (now India's The Poona Horse)
  • Queen's Own Guides Cavalry (now partitioned between Pakistan and India).
  • Several of these formations are still active, though they now are armoured formations, for example Guides Cavalry in Pakistan.

Details of the book Izzat: Historical Records and Iconography of Indian Cavalry Regiments 1750-2007 by Ashok Nath 2009, published by the United Service Institution of India. It consists of over 800 pages and includes information about badges, buttons and shoulder titles. See Military reading list. Further details about the book are available in the Tribune India review and the review by SASNET - Swedish South Asian Studies Network, Lund University, now an archived webpage. This book is available at the British Library.

Reserve of Officers

The official title was Army in India Reserve of Officers or A.I.R.O, but it was also known as the Indian Army Reserve of Officers, or I.A.R.O. Applications to the I.A.R.O are held in the British Library and itemised online in the Catalogue Browse by searching under term IARO or by entering name of soldier (surname first!)

Some, or perhaps all, appointments were promulgated in the London Gazette, which may be searched online.

There are India Office Records at the British Library called Collection 397 Reserve of Officers IOR/L/MIL/7/16215-16279 1886-1940 .Another item is the publication Regulations for the Army in India Reserve of Officers 1939. Delhi: Defence Dept, 1939. IOR/L/MIL/17/5/654 1939

The British Library has the book, in five volumes, covering the First World War, Alphabetical list giving particulars of officers of the Indian Army Reserve of Officers / [issued by] Army Headquarters, India, Military Secretary’s Branch. The catalogue entry states "Contents: [v.1]. 26th June 1916 _ v.2. 24th January 1917 _ v.3. 31st December 1917 _ v.4. 30th June 1918 _ v.5. 31st December 1918". The shelfmark is OIR 355.37 Open Access. There are also the records, Applications for appointments to the India Army Reserve of Officers ‎ (1916-1918) IOR/L/MIL/9/552 to IOR/L/MIL/9/552. Search by name, for link see section Records.

FIBIS database: A List of Officers (I.A.R.O.) recruited to or Re-engaged during the Year 1916 and up to the middle of January 1917

For conditions of service, see the letters of Thomas Gilbert, in External links, below.

The Army in Burma Reserve of Officers (A.B.R.O.)

The commencement of the ABRO is not on record; a suggested date is the separation of India and Burma in 1937. See External links below.

British in the Indian Army

British in this context refers to those of British/European background.

  • Officers were British, although there were additionally lower ranked native Indian Officers who were Viceroy Commissioned Officers.
An attraction for British officers in the Indian Army, at least for some periods, was that an officer of the Indian Army could, if careful, live off his pay. In the British Army officers were expected to have a private income of some sort to supplement their pay.[1]
  • There were some British support staff, mainly Warrant Officers and Sergeants. Most of them were not attached to a regiment, however at times a British soldier could be in a role such as Quartermaster Sergeant in a Native Infantry Regiment. See Unattached List for further details.
  • Generally, all members of the volunteer or auxiliary regiments were British, including Anglo-Indians (formerly known as Eurasians). See Auxiliary Regiments.

Indians in the British Army

Some Indian served in the British Army, or were attached to the British Army. See British Army - Indians in the British Army.

Indian Army Followers

Indian Army followers were regarded as non combatants, and received lesser benefits than those in the Indian Army. There were two main categories of followers:

Higher ranks of followers were listed in Rule 8 under the Indian Army Act (Act VIII of 1911) as the mule, bullock and camel drivers (singular drabi, or draby, a corruption of the English word driver) of the Supply and Transport Corps, the Transport veterinary dafadars, lascars in Arsenals and Depots of the Ordnance Department, and men of the Army Bearer Corps. They usually worked in their own distinct units.
The second category, the menial followers, were the attached followers, including regimental followers, the latter being those attached to infantry or cavalry regiments. These were either public or private followers. The public followers were those deemed essential to the mobilization of a unit as a fighting formation and therefore paid from the central exchequer, such as a langri (cook for Indian troops), bhisti (sweeper) and mocha (saddler). Private followers were paid from mess funds, deductions in wages etc- barbers, dhobis (washer men), mess bearers (waiters), tailors and blacksmiths. Officers paid for their own servants, a personal bearer (valet) and a syce (groom)

20 March 1917: the conversion of mule drivers from follower to combatant service.
23 April 1918: a set of concessions were announced for the Army Bearer Corps.[2]

Also see Historical books online, below.


British Library

The links for the following catalogue references are National Archives Discovery links. For British Library equivalent links, search directly in the British Library’s "Search our Catalogue Archives and Manuscripts" link above.

There are India Office records in the British Library, reference IOR L/MIL/14. The records include Indian Army Records of Service IOR/L/MIL/14/239-72481 c 1901-1947, stated to "cover mainly European personnel". It appears unlikely that these records contain men in the Volunteer or Auxiliary Regiments. Previously the catalogue entry advised that the closure period for these files has been set at 75 years from the date of entry of the serviceman/woman into the service. The files are opened on an annual basis. On 1 January 2010, files relating to persons joining the service in 1934 were opened. However, this wording does not now appear. A complete alphabetical index to the opened files is now available on open access in the Asian & African Studies Reading Room at the British Library or it can be searched by name on British Library Archives and Manuscripts search. Note *The majority of files date from the 1930s. * "It was the policy for a very long time that on retirement of a regular IA officer to give them their service record when they did retire, and in the case of officers died in service the papers were sent on to the family as a rememberence. That is why if you are researching a regular IA officer of the period say 1900 - 1930 the papers will not be there. After 1930 you get a selection of papers but not the full lot - these seem to be a mixed bag.[3] This policy is illustrated by a researcher who found a relative’s British Army, and Indian Army service records through to 1947, in an old family suitcase.[4] *It is not known whether the search facility only locates names where there is an open file.
Note, index records for this database are also available on Findmypast in the dataset "Indian Army Records Of Service 1900-1947" located in Military, Armed Forces & Conflict/Regimental & Service Records.

Additionally, there are publications from the Military Department Library in respect of the Indian Army, catalogue entry IOR/L/MIL/17/5 1854-1947 including

  • Indian Army List IOR/L/MIL/17/5/1-219 1889-1947 These are readily available on the open shelves. War Services are a particularly valuable feature of the List and the volumes in which they appear or with which they were issued separately are marked within the link with an asterisk. After 1892 the war services of Indian Officers are included in January issues only. A few editions have been reprinted. See below.
  • Stations of the Army in India Distribution Lists/Lists of Units IOR/L/MIL/17/5/771-1132 1908-1947

Earlier Indian Army Lists may be found in India Office Serials IOR/V/6 1768-1948 including

  • Indian Army and Civil Service List, from January, 1861 IOR/V/6/125-156 1861-1876
  • India List Civil and Military, from January, 1877 IOR/V/6/157-191 1877-1895

For online editions see Indian Army List online.

The Military Department Library at the British Library also contains Indian Army First World War - War Diaries, which are printed volumes, series IOR/L/MIL/17/5/2421-4246. Also contained in this series are some Indian Army Casualty Returns. See First World War-Records-British Library holdings for more details.

The book Index of Indian Army Regimental Titles by Anthony Farrington, published 1982 is on the open shelves at the British Library

India’s Army by Major D. Jackson 1940 contains a "potted history" of every Regiment & Corps (including the auxiliary & princely state forces). With 70 chapters, over 100 B & W photos & illustrations, 14 full Colour plates. Now available online, refer below, but the inclusion of, and/or standard of, photographs and illustrations is unknown.

Regiments : Regiments and Corps of the British Empire and Commonwealth, 1758-1993 : a critical bibliography of their published histories by Roger Perkins 1994, is available at the BL UIN: BLL01009529783. Also searchable but not viewable on the HathiTrust Digital Library. (A few sample pages.[5]) An expanded edition, originally published 1989 as Regiments of the Empire: A Bibliography of their published histories. The 1994 publication is also available in a reprint edition as part of a CD-ROM.[6] For books published after 1993, see External links below, for a page from Durbaronline, the website of the Indian Military Historical Society.

A good source of military information is the annual publication of Indian Army Orders IOR/L/MIL/17/5/245-299 1903-1947, issued by the Adjutant General's Department and Army Headquarters India. Volumes 245-85 (to 1942, and partially 1943) contain annual indexes. This publication includes at least some information from the official Gazettes (see the following item). Some editions of Indian Army Orders are available online, see Military periodicals online -Indian Army Orders, or see Historical books online below.

The India Office Records at the British Library include Government Gazettes IOR/V/11 1831-1947 which contain much military information.
The Government Gazettes were the official newspapers of the Government of India and its provincial governments. The series held are: Gazettes of India 1865-1947, Calcutta 1832-1947, Assam 1874-1947, Bihar and Orissa 1912-1947, United Provinces, 1850-1947, Fort St George 1832-1947, Bombay 1831-1947, Punjab 1872-1947, North-West Frontier Province 1932-1947, Central Provinces 1875-1947, Coorg 1885-1947, Sind 1869-1947, Burma 1875-1947. Summaries of the contents of each series are to be found in the handlists in the Reading Room of the British Library

Some editions of the Gazette of India are available online, see Gazette of India online. For online editions of the Calcutta Gazette, see Newspapers and journals online - Calcutta Gazette.

National Archives of India

Indian armed forces personnel records are held at the National Archives of India [7] with the contact email address given as:

"I enquired at the National Archives in Delhi and received 150 pages of my grandfather's service record. An enquiry doesn't cost any money until they copy documents for you. The process is slow but well worth the wait". D. Fielder 14 April 2011.[8] Subsequently he advised "My grandfather was in the IMS… I received it [the record] within 3-4 months".[9] Some earlier advice is contained in “How to Retrieve Indian War Records” a WW2Talk Forum post dated 2 July 2009.[10]

The writer of this section sent an email request in October 2013, using the email address previously quoted. A reply was received seven weeks later, but unfortunately no record is available, (nor is there a record at the British Library).

A researcher visiting India was advised to contact the Adjutant General's Office in Delhi. Eventually she found the actual address to be Adjutant General's Office, Indian Headquarters of the Ministry of Defense (Army), Room No. 280, South Block, New Delhi 110011. Email address The Adjutant General's Office files in Delhi are filed by the service record numbers, so it is necessary to have this information.[11]

It seems probable that the files accessible through the National Archives of India and the Adjutant General's Office, both located in Delhi, are the same files, but this is not yet known.

Note: Refer comment under British Library records above that generally there will not be files for officers who retired, as officer papers were presented to them on retirement.

Regarding other records about the Indian Army at the National Archives of India, a researcher commented: "There is a lot on the Indian Army at the NA of India. Most of it is of course part of the Army/Military Department collection but one can find some interesting files every now and then in the Home Department or the Foreign and Political Department. Unfortunately they do not allow researchers to make copies of the indexes and to the best of my knowledge there is no online reference. The only way to get to it is to go there yourself or engage a local researcher...Sadly they do not allow photography".[12]

Abhilekh Patal, digital collection of NAI

Abhilekh Patal hosts the digital collection of the National Archives of India.
Includes a collection of digitised Defence documents.
Also includes at least one naturalisation request, see Naturalisation in India for details.
Registration is required to view the documents.
Note, a researcher had issues in the past with this website and although certain the website is legitimate, suspected a hacker may have been involved.[13]

Other records in India

Update "Registers accessed from Lahore Museum digitised, records of WW-1 soldiers from undivided Punjab now a click away" by Divya Goyal 10 November 2021. Phase-1 of the platform Punjab & World War One will be launched with details of three districts – Ludhiana, Jalandhar (then Jullundur) and Sialkot (now in Pakistan).
  • State Archives in India, such as West Bengal State Archive, may have records. See Indian Libraries and Archives. Note however, access may be restricted to persons connected with a university or recognised institution.

British Army records after January 1921/April 1922

If you are looking records for British personnel who served in the Indian Army , either officers whose service ended after April 1922 or soldiers whose service ended after January 1921, and there is no record in the series "Indian Army Records of Service IOR/L/MIL/14/239/1-72481", or at the National Archives of India, (refer above for both these sources), you could try contacting the Army Personnel Centre Historical Disclosures Section, whose details are set out in the article British Army-Army personnel serving after January 1921. This is not a confirmed source, but some other British Army records include British officers from the Indian Army. Note: Refer comment under British Library records above that generally there will not be files for officers who retired, as officer papers were presented to them on retirement.

FamilySearch [LDS] Microfilms

Note: Microfilm ordering services ceased 7 September 2017, however selected microfilms have been digitised and are currently available for viewing on a FamilySearch computer at a FamilySearch Centre. Locate these records through the FamilySearch catalogue. It is expected that in time all microfilms will be similarly available in this format. Please take this into account when reading the information below.

Indian Army List equivalent publications, under different titles, are available as Familysearch, previously known as LDS, microfilms, for the period to 1895. Refer the Fibiwiki page Indian Army List online and select the relevant period.

A limited number of additional FamilySearch microfilms are available in respect of the Indian Army: Search the FamilySearch Library catalogue using keywords “Indian Army” and “India Office”. For viewing details, see FamilySearch Centres.

The National Archives (TNA) (UK)

The National Archives at Kew house a good run of Indian Army Lists available on open shelves. There is a full run from 1902-1939 but also some earlier volumes dating from 1860s.

Online records

  • See Indian Army List online
  • Refer Directories online and Military periodicals online for Army Lists available online. On the latter page, there is information about British, Indian Army Officers in the New Annual Army List, also known as Hart's Annual Army List which is searchable through the National Library of Scotland website. There may be references to Indian Army Officers in British Army Quarterly Lists available online to 1946.
  • Some Officers were of high social status/the Landed Gentry class and genealogical and other resources relating to this social class such as school and Sandhurst records may provide Army details. See British Army - Landed Gentry/high social status for sources of records, including online.
  • WW1 Casualty Lists on the British Army page includes British personnel in the Indian Army.

National Army Museum

The National Army Museum in London had the following guide on its website:

The collection at the NAM includes the card index by Hodson and Percy Smith which includes details of officers who joined the Indian Army from Sandhurst, warrant officers and some Emergency Commissioned Officers of the Second World War. The NAM collection also includes 3,400 questionnaires completed in the 1960’s, 70s and 80s by former India Army Officers about their careers and families.

The NAM also holds some Indian Army regimental histories.

Prince Consort's Library

The Prince Consort's Library, Aldershot, Hampshire contains a large number of pre Independence Indian Army regimental histories.

Uniform items

Also refer Externals links, Uniforms below.

The turban

The turban provided protection from sun, wind, cold and minor blows to the head.[15] When it was windy, with sand being blown around, an end of the turban could be used to cover face, nose, ears and beard.[16]

Dress Regulations 1913 refer to the lungi and the pagri.
British Officers serving with Indian units are permitted to wear a lungi in place of a helmet with khaki dress…All officers of a unit must be dressed alike. (Page 7)

The Pashtu language word is lungi, (lungee,[17]) while the Hindi/Punjabi word is pagri, (pugri, pugrie, puggaree, pagree, pagg, pagh, pagari).

The lungi was often wrapped around a kullah, (kulla, khulla), a dome shaped scull cup, which however is not worn by Sikhs. Sikhs in the Army, as part of their uniform, were issued a 5 metre turban, and a half size, smaller, under turban called a "fifty" which was usually in a contrasting colour. [18] The smaller cloth was also known as a pag, (pakta), (which could also be a bandana type cloth) and shows as a small triangle of contrasting colour in the centre of the forehead under the lungi.

In Army terminology, the term lungi was usually used for the cloth the turban was constructed from, and a pagri usually referred to the cloth which was wound around a sun helmet, the latter worn both by British in the Indian Army, and in the British Army. However, in some contexts, a lungi and kullah together formed a pagri, and in other contexts the words lungi and pagri have the same meaning.

The lungis were of “regimental pattern” which often differed between officers and O.R.s, and also could differ from one decade to the next. [19]. This means it may be difficult to identify the regiment from the pattern.

The kurta

The kurta was a kaftan like garment which could be knee length or longer.

Indian Military Academy and other Training Schools

Indian Military Academy

The Indian Military Academy was established at Dehra Dun in 1932. The course was designed to be parallel to the course at Sandhurst, UK.
During WW2 it provided an eight month training course for soldiers from the rank, or for civilians who had graduated from a prior eight week program at Datta Officers Training School, Lahore. The successful participants were graduated as Second Lieutenants.

Other Officer Training Schools

  • To meet the urgent needs for officers, the Daly College at Indore was converted to an Officer Training School in 1918. [20] There was one batch of graduates.
  • C 1943, there were Officer Training Schools at Bangalore, Belgaum , Mhow and Datta, (Dutta) Lahore. Dutta O.T.S was situated in one wing of the Foreman Christian College campus on the bank of the canal which ran through the suburbs of Lahore.[21][22]

Staff College

The Army Staff College moved to Quetta in 1907. Established in 1905, it was a training college for existing officers to become eligible for Staff appointments.

Officers trained in countries other than UK or India

Top officer cadets in both Australia and Canada could opt for service in the Indian Army. The Australians liked the cavalry and the Canadians liked the infantry.[23]

Language skills

It appears language qualifications for officers were required before being sent on active service. For an example, see 128th Pioneers.


"In the Indian Army dogs were practically part of the Officers equipment, because they slept on our beds and ensured that marauders didn’t steal our arms and gave the alarm if anybody came in".[24]

External links



Foreword, Introduction and Chapter 1 of The British Indian Army: Virtue and Necessity Edited by Rob Johnson
Historical Orders of Battle and TOEs 1939-1945. Includes Indian Army., now archived.
Page 12. 13 June 1915. He is not allowed to join the Indian Army Officers reserve; Page 28. 18.6.16. Indian Army Reserve of Officers; Page 33. Conditions of Service for IARO; Page 34. 7.8.16 Attached to 27th Light Cavalry at Lucknow; Page 49. At the end of 1916 he joined the Royal Flying Corps.


Indian Army Badge Collection. Earlier archived pages may contain different/more images qcmilitaria.

Historical books online

  • See Medal Rolls for online books in respect of Deeds of Valour and Awards and Honours.
  • See individual regiment pages for online regimental histories.
There are a number of Indian Army regimental histories available online on the Ancestry owned pay website fold3, in the category Military Books, (in the Search use the search term "Military Books") subcategories India, and Britain, covers various periods. Also includes some Divisional histories. The books are online editions of Naval & Military Press reprints.
The Victoria Cross in the Colonies and Gallant Sepoys and Sowars by William Wallingford Knollys. Catalogued 1880. (Note: catalogued title includes Soward.) Link to a pdf download PAHAR Mountains of Central Asia Digital Dataset. mirror version. Includes details of the Victoria Cross awarded in India after the Indian Mutiny. First part to page 85; 2nd part to page 176, or 91 pages of text.
Gallant Sepoys and Sowars by Major Elliott and Lieut-Col. Knollys 1882 (although catalogued 1889). 176 pages of text. Google Books. version. All books were part of the series Deeds of Daring Library.
  • Series title Her Majesty's Army; a descriptive account of the various regiments now comprising the Queen's forces, from their first establishment to the present time, by Walter Richards. [Volume III] Her Majesty's Army: Indian And Colonial Forces With Coloured Illustrations. 2nd file, Vol III c 1891, K.K. Venugopal Collection.
  • "Part III The Army in India and Colonial Forces" page 442 The Army Book for the British Empire: A Record of the Development and Present Composition of the Military Forces and their Duties in Peace and War by William Howley Goodenough R A and James Cecil Dalton R A. 1893. HMSO. Includes Indian Army.
  • Frontier and Overseas Expeditions from India. Compiled in the Intelligence Branch, Army Headquarters, India. c 1907-11. Volumes 1-3, see North West Frontier Campaigns. Volumes 4 and 7, see Assam. Volume 5: Burma 1907 Volume 6: Expeditions Overseas. 1911 Africa and the Mediterranean. Persia and Arabia. Ceylon and the Islands of the Indian Ocean. The Malay Peninsula and Archipelago. China.
  • Proceedings Of The Committee On The Obligations Devolving On The Army In India. (Short Title) The Army in India Committee, 1912. British Library catalogue reference IOR/L/MIL/17/5/1751, in seven volumes, of which four are available online.
Volume I-A Minority Report; Volume II Minutes of Evidence; Volume V Digest of Evidence; Volume VI Appendices I to VIII., Public Library of India Collection.
Not available online Vol 1 Majority report; Vol 3, Minutes of evidence; Vol 4, Minutes of evidence (including written evidence and index). There are also further related volumes in IOR/L/MIL/17/5/1752- 1756, at the British Library.
The Romance of Soldiering and Sport by General Sir James Willcocks 1925 Hathi Trust Digital Library. Also available Covers the content of the previous book more briefly, together with his time in India from 1902-1914, and subsequently.
Also see Western Front for his WW1 book With the Indians in France.
  • Khaki and Gown : an Autobiography by Field–Marshal Lord Birdwood 1941. Books to Borrow/Lending Library. Born in India in 1865, he lived in England from age 3, and was then posted, aged 19 to the British Army regiment XII (12th) Lancers at Bangalore in 1885. In 1887 he joined the XI (11th) Bengal Lancers; 1893 The Viceroy’s Bodyguard. He served in the Boer War, appointed again to India 1902, where he was on Kitchener’s Staff until Kitchener left India in 1909; Commander of the Kohat Independent Brigade for 4 years; 1912 appointed Quartermaster-General; c 1913 appointed Secretary to Government in the Army Dept; 1914 Corps Commander Australian and New Zealand contingent in Egypt, Gallipoli, France; Commander of the Fifth Army In France c 1918; 1920 Commander of the Northern Army in India for 4 years; 1925-1930 Commander-in Chief in India.
  • Life of Lord Kitchener by Sir Arthur George 1920. (Volume I); Volume II, including pages 114-284 Commander-in Chief in India, 1902-1909. (Volume III)
Kitchener by Brig.-General C R Ballard. A book in the series Private Lives Library. Probably a 1936 reprint, originally published 1930.
Kitchener : the man behind the legend by Philip Warner 2006, first published 1985. Books to Borrow/Lending Library.
Recommended by Peter Moore in Military reading list who says "Selected in England to be trained as an Officer Cadet in Wellington, Southern India, he was commissioned into the 8th King George’s Own Light Cavalry, Indian Army... This story covers the period between the wars and up to the end of the World War. He saw active service in the North-West Frontier; Africa; China and was the first prisoner-of-war to escape from the Japanese in Hong Kong; ending the war as the Equitation Instructor at the Officer Cadet School in Bangalore”. His earlier book Escape From The Bloodied Sun was a more detailed account of his escape from Hong Kong when he was an officer in the Middlesex Regiment.
  • See John Masters for two online autobiographies covering his time in the Indian Army, c 1935-1947, initially with the 4th Gurkha Rifles, Bugles and a Tiger and Road Past Mandalay.
  • Auchinleck: A Biography of Field-Marshal Sir Claude Auchinleck by John Connell (pseud. John Henry Robertson) 1959 Auchinleck was appointed Commander-in Chief, India on 20 June 1943, but the role was restricted to not include operations against the Japanese.
  • Friends Not Masters: A Political Autobiography by Mohammad Ayub Khan, President of Pakistan 1968 (first published 1967)”Early Days in the Army” page 9, he attended Sandhurst in 1926.
  • The Untold Story by B M Kaul [Brij Mohan] 1967., , Public Library of India Collection. Page 16, he applies to join the Indian Army and is selected to go to train at Sandhurst where he passed out in July 1933. Brij Mohan Kaul He became Chief of General Staff (CoGS) in the Indian Army.
  • While Memory Serves by Lieut.-General Sir Francis Tuker. Digital reprint edition reproduced by Sani H Panhwar, originally published 1950. Original edition, mirror from Digital Library of India. Covers the two years 1946 and 1947, "told by one who watched events from the Headquarters of Eastern Command" of the Indian Army, (he was G.O.C. in C.), including riots and bloodshed in Calcutta, the Punjab and elsewhere.
The Pattern Of War by Lieut. General Sir Francis Tucker 1948
  • Life Among The Pathans (Khattaks) by Buster Goodwin 2nd edition 1999, first published 1969. Colonel Eric Goodwin of the Indian Army was posted to Jatta in the Kohat District, North West Frontier Province in 1927. He subsequently also held civilian roles. He remained in Pakistan after Partition, until he died in 1981, and appears in the following Qissa Khwani video. Obituary. Note: The book has been filmed two pages to each digital page, also some pages are "on the side" so difficult to read on a fixed computer screen.
  • The Last of the Bengal Lancers by Francis Ingall 1988. Books to Borrow/Lending Library.
  • Memories of the British Raj: a Soldier in India by Brigadier R C B Bristow 1974., mirror from PAHAR: Mountains of Central Asia Digital Dataset. Born 1900, Bristow joined the Indian Army in 1918, and spent most of his career with the 38th/17th Dogras until he left India January 1948, having been involved with trying to protect refugees from the massacres which followed Independence.
  • The Travels of Risaldar Shahzad Mir Khan of the 11th K E O Lancers (Probyn’s Horse), who enlisted 14th February 1882, died 1924. Translated extracts from his autobiography Shah Safar Sair-i-Dunya, in Urdu, official text-book for the elementary Urdu examination. Part I includes the Herat Boundary Commission under General Lumsden in 1885, page 326-340 and Part II, Journey to Tibet and China, with Capt. M S Wellby 18th Hussars 1895-1896, pages 543-553 Journal of the United Service Institution of India, Volume 62, 1932; Part III Africa with Captain Wellby in 1898-99, pages 114-122; Part IV England, pages 204-214. Journal of the United Service Institution of India, Volume 63, 1933 (Captain Wellby wrote two books about these expeditions, see 11th Prince of Wales's Own Lancers). Published later as The life & adventures of K.B. Risaldar Shahzad Mir : O.B.I. (1863-1924) : 11th (K.E.O.), Bengal Lancers (Probyn's Horse) with the contents given in this catalogue entry (
  • "Indian Life: The Cantonment Magistrate" by Major-General de Berry, page 120 The Illustrated Naval and Military Magazine, Volume 8, 1888. The Cantonment Magistrate was invariably a military officer of one of the Indian Staff Corps.
  • Training to be an officer at the Indian Military Academy at Dehra Dunn c 1943 page 133 ‪One Hell of a Life: An Anglo-Indian Wallah's Memoir from the Last Decades of the Raj‬ by Stan Blackford. Google Books
Page 34 History of the Indian Military Academy by Brig M P Singh 2007 Google Books. Changes introduced at IMA on the outbreak of WW2.
  • The Armies of India painted by Major A. C. Lovett, described by Major G. F. MacMunn With 72 coloured illustrations 1911
The Romance Of The Indian Frontiers by Lt-Gen Sir George MacMunn, Colonel-Commandant Royal Artillery 1931, Digital Library of India Collection.
The Martial Races Of India by Lieut-General Sir George MacMunn, Colonel Commandant, the Royal Artillery. c1932
Vignettes From Indian Wars by Lieut-General Sir George MacMunn, Colonel Commandant Royal Artillery 1932, Digital Library of India Collection.
Turmoil and Tragedy in India, 1914 and After by Lieut.-General Sir George MacMunn 1935. It is catalogued as Turmoil The Tragedy In India 1914., Public Library of India Collection.
Report Of The Army In India Committee 1919-20 Part II, Public Library of India Collection.
A follow on article "The Indian Cavalry of To-day" by Major-General E D Giles page 192 The Cavalry Journal Volume 25 1935.
  • India Army Orders. Include Appointments, Promotions, Long Service Medals etc. Originally from the Digital Library of India, with mirror images on Based on catalogue details unless otherwise specified. Some volumes are catalogues as Indian Army Orders.
1908 (catalogued Jan,vi Th, 1945); 1910 (catalogued Jan,thired 1855); 1911; 1912; 1913; 1914; 1915; 1916; 1919, 1919 Special Orders; 1920; 1922; 1923; November 1924; 1925 1927; 1928; 1929; 1931; 1932; 1933.
Compendium of the More Important Army Order 1919., Public Library of India Collection. Full title: Compendium of the More Important Orders of the Government of India, Army Department and India Army Orders issued from the 1st August 1914, to the 31st December 1917.
Additional editions are available at the British Library with catalogue entry Indian Army Orders ‎ (1903-1947) IOR/L/MIL/17/5/245-299
  • Government Of India: Army Department Army Instruction (Instructions). Originally from Digital Library of India, now with mirror versions on Based on catalogue details. Note some years have multiple files which may, or may not, have different content.
1918, 1918, different format but incorrectly catalogued 1920; 1919; 1920; 1921; 1922, 1922; 1923, 1923; 1924, January-June Note very poor quality file. Some pages are upside down. In one part of the book every 2nd page is irrelevant (different book); 1926.
Additional editions are available at the British Library with catalogue entry Indian Army: Army Instructions (India) ‎(1918-1946) IOR/L/MIL/17/5/501-529
Volume 1 1924, pdf; Vol. 2 1925/1926, pdf; Vol. 3 1927, pdf; Vol. 4 1928, pdf; Vol. 5 1928/1929, pdf; Vol. 6 1929/1930, pdf; Vol. 7 1930/1931, pdf; Vol. 8 1931/1932, pdf; Vol. 9 1933, pdf; Vol. 10 1934, pdf; Vol. 11 1935, pdf.
First Year 1924, 2nd Edition including "India" Page 240. "Great Britain and the British Empire" page 72 also includes some references to India. HathiTrust Digital Library. HathiTrust has editions for additional years which may become full view in time, at least for some areas.
1937 including "India" page 432. Google Books.
Armaments Year-Book 15th Year 1940 including "India" page 184.
National Library of Scotland Collection of Armaments Year-Book. 15 editions 1924-1940, volumes 1-15, complete series.
Indian Army Uniforms by W Y Carman 1969. Full title: Indian Army Uniforms under the British from the 18th century to 1947 : Artillery, Engineers and Infantry., Public Library of India Collection. Note: Original colour plates are in black and white and most illustrations are of poor quality.
Cavalry uniforms; including other mounted troops of Britain and the Commonwealth in colour by Robert and Christopher Wilkinson-Latham 1969 Books to Borrow/Lending Library. Also includes some Indian Army uniforms, scattered throughout the book, which may be located using the Index at the back of the book. Includes a seemingly incorrect description for Plate 94 (1938) of 13th (Duke of Cornwall's Own) Lancers, should be 13th Duke of Connaught's Own Lancers.
Bengal Cavalry Regiments, 1857-1914 by R G Harris. Colour plates by Chris Warner. 2000 reprint, first published 1979. Books to Borrow/Lending Library. Digital file is rather pale, so unfortunately images, particularly photographs, could be better.
The Defence of India: a Strategical Study by Major-General Sir C M Macgregor Quartermaster General of India 1884
Like Hidden Fire : the Plot to bring down the British Empire by Peter Hopkirk 1994 Lending Library. Published in the UK with title On Secret Service East of Constantinople: The Great Game and the Great War. WW1 period.
Setting the East Ablaze : Lenin's Dream of an Empire in Asia by Peter Hopkirk 1985 Lending Library. 1920s-1930s.
Peter Hopkirk was with The Times of London for nineteen years, as chief reporter and Middle and Far East specialist.
Military and Cantonment Law in India by H.W.C. Carnduff, Indian Civil Service. 1904., mirror from Central Secretariat Library (CSL) [Delhi] Digital Repository.
Manual of Military Law War Office. 1907 1914 printed by Superintendent Government Printing, Calcutta 1918. Pdf download Digital Repository of GIPE-Gokhale Institute of Politics and Economics [Pune India].
Manual of Indian Military Law 1937 Reprint 1961, corrected to 1960.
"The Quashing or Non-Confirmation of a Court Martial" by Brigadier L M Peet, page 75 Journal of the United Service Institution of India, Volume 69, 1939.
"Horse-Breeding in India", page 52 Horse-Breeding in England and India: and Army Horses Abroad by Sir Walter Gilbey 1906
"Remounts" by "Horse Coper" page 452 USI Journal Vol LXIII 1933. The operation of the Army Remount Department in India in peace time. It was responsible for the supply of all army animals, except carrier pigeons.

Recommended reading


  1. Matthew B. Officer Training at Quetta College 1916 Great War Forum 30 December 2023. Accessed 31 December 2023.
  2. The information in the section Indian Army Followers is taken from an article by Radhika Singha, "Front Lines and Status Lines: Sepoy and Menial in the Great War 1916-1920" refer External links above, including pages 60, 86 and 88.
  3. Matthew B. 3rd Skinner's Horse Great War Forum 30 June 2008. Retrieved 13 December 2018.
  4. ShirlD Indian Army Miscellanea Great War Forum 14 February 2017. Retrieved 13 December 2018.
  5. Regiments : Regiments and Corps of the British Empire and Commonwealth by Roger Perkins 1994,
  6. Armies of the Crown. The Bibliographies of Their regimental Histories Great Britian, The Empire and the Commonwealth Naval & Military Press. Check compatibility with your computer system.
  7. National Archives of India: Contact us. Tracing your Asian roots on the Indian subcontinent by Abi Husainy 
(Last updated 2011-02-17) BBC
  8. WW2Talk Forum thread British Indian Army records - where are they? by D. Fielder dated 14 April 2011.
  9. Fielder, David. IAMC Records Rootsweb India Mailing List 21 June 2016, archived.
  10. How to Retrieve Indian War Records, a WW2Talk Forum post dated 2 July 2009 by 'Elven6'
  11. Rootsweb India Mailing List post Address for Adjutant General's Office in Delhi by Shirley Barbur dated 1 March 2014, with more comments in a second post of the same date, which also mentions the National Archives, Delhi. Archived links.
  12. Risaldar. Murder of the CO of the Hyderabad Lancers Great War Forum 17 August 2016. Retrieved 27 October 2018.
  13. ED, in Los Angeles. National archives of India Victorian Wars Forum 2 January 2019. Includes comments about registering to view digital documents on Abhilekh Patal. Retrieved 3 January 2019. Now no longer available.
  14. stevenbecker Indian Army officers att AIF Great War Forum 14 March 2023. Retrieved 16 March 2023.
  15. Page 328 East of Indus: My Memories of Old Punjab by Gurnam Singh Sidhu Brard 2007 Google Books
  16. Page 145 East of Indus: My Memories of Old Punjab by Gurnam Singh Sidhu Brard 2007 Google Books
  17. Afghan Turbans by najib 06. Sep, 2011 Pashto Language Blog
  18. What Is The Fifty? by Jagdeep Singh Sahota June 25, 2015 (scroll down page).
  19. ‪PhilinYuma‪. ID question, Indian Army Victorian Wars Forum 17 June 2010, now archived. Retrieved 27 August 2019.
  20. Page 123 Short Stories from the British Indian Army by J Francis Google Books
  21. Page 129 One Hell of a Life: An Anglo-Indian Wallah's Memoir from the Last Decades of the Raj‬ by Stan Blackford. Google Books
  22. From Air Force to the Army- Dutta OTS. From the handwritten diary of Abu Taher Khairul Haque (Ansari) born in Perozpur, Barisal January 1923 , see January 2000 archives, sidebar. The Auhomias Bangladesh Online Photo Album.
  23. bushfighter Indian Army Officers Great War Forum 25 August 2014. Retrieved 13 December 2018.
  24. Lt Col R. Banks , account of Indian Army life and career 1914-c 1937. Centre of South Asian Studies, University of Cambridge. Refer External links, above.
  25. "Lieutenant-Colonel Seton Churchill and the financial lessons of the African campaigns, 1879-1902" by J Black Military History Journal Volume 14 No 1 - June 2007 South African Military History Society. ( link)
  26. Pakistan Army till 1965 by Agha Humayun Amin Pakistan Army History from its initial creation by English East India Company in 1757 to 1965.
  27. Photograph is between pages 358-359 Chitral: the Story of a Minor Siege by Sir George S Robertson 1898 Also see Frogsmile et al. Chitral Uniform Capt. Charles VF Townshend Victorian Wars Forum 3 Mar 2018, now archived. Retrieved 27 August 2019.