Assam Valley Light Horse

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The Assam Valley Light Horse were a volunteer corps and auxiliary regiment based in Assam, consisting mainly of tea planters from the area.


Note that the regiment called the Assam Rifles is a different regiment, which originally consisted of Assam Military Police battalions.


  • Motto - "Semper Paratus"

In 1901:[2]

  • Uniform - Khaki drill with steel shoulder chains
  • Mess uniform - Blue with white facings
  • Headquarters - Dibrugarh

Detachments at:

  • Doom Dooma
  • Panitola
  • Margherita
  • Moran
  • Sonari
  • Sibsagar
  • Jorhat
  • Panbarrz
  • Numalighur
  • North Lakhimpur
  • Salonah
  • Gauhati
  • Tezpur
  • Bishnath
  • Mangaldai

By 1940:[1]

  • Uniform - Blue
  • Facings - White
  • Badge - A.V.L.H.


A detachment consisting of one officer and 12 men operating a maxim gun were taken on the 1911-1912 expedition against the Abors.[3][4] The men were nicknamed Lumsden's Lambs.[5]

British Library holdings

  • Recollections of a varied life Mss Eur Photo Eur 225 copy of memoir by Maj Ronald Herbert Cronin (b 1897), including details of his career with the Assam Frontier Tea Company in Assam and Ranchi 1922-1941 and 1946-1958, and of his service with the Assam Valley Light Horse from 1922, and the Assam Regiment during the Second World War.
  • Navvies To The Fourteenth Army by AH Pilcher Mss Eur F174/1316 1947. Other sources[6] indicate this book (55 pages) was published in Calcutta for Private Circulation and was illustrated with black and white plates and line drawing maps. The author was Col: A H Pilcher who at the outbreak of the second world war commanded The Assam Valley Light Horse. In March 1942 he was put in charge of raising a labour force from the Tea Plantations to build the Manipur/Burma Road to evacuate the 14th Army and also the many civilians who were fleeing Burma. Eventually he raised and commanded a labour force of 82000 [7] Text from this book is available online, refer below.


  • Major George Plummer Montague was adjutant of the Assam Valley Light Horse during World War 2, located in Dibrugarh, and was shown as father of the bride in a October 1943 wedding photograph on page 34 The story of Sam and Marg Acomb He was briefly mentioned on pages 38-39. (Previously available online at BYU Digital Collections, but not available 2020/11).

External links

Photograph of a memorial inscription ( mentions Charles Thorp Jessop, Commandant of the Assam Valley Light Horse, died 2 July 1915 aged 56.

Historical books online


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Jackson, Major Donovan India's Army (1940)
  2. 2.0 2.1 Indian Army List 1st Sept 1901
  3. Page 123 In Abor Jungles 
being an account of the Abor Expedition, the Mishmi Mission and the Miri Mission] 
by Angus Hamilton. 1912 The book lists those men involved.
  4. *History of Upper Assam, Upper Burmah and North-Eastern Frontier, Leslie Waterfield Shakespear (1914) p121
  5. Hamilton, p126
  6., page no longer accessible
  7. Scroll down to comments section Jungle Work: A Civil Engineer in Burma BBC ww2peopleswar