Imperial Service Troops
The Imperial Service Troops (IST) were forces raised by the Princely States of the British Indian Empire. These troops were available for service alongside the Indian Army when such service was requested by the British government.
They were formed in 1885 under the pretext of supporting India against the threat of Russian invasion. The IST were supplied and largely trained by officers of the Indian Army and were expanded and elected to fight alongside the British Army or the Indian Army, during the two world wars. In 1920, they were renamed the Indian States Forces.
Histories and other publications
- Catalogue entry for British Library IOR/L/MIL/17/6 Military Department Library: Indian States Forces 1884-1946 includes Imperial Service Troops/Indian States Forces Army List 1915-1946
- The Maharajas' Paltans : a History of the Indian State Forces, 1888-1948 by Richard Head and Tony McClenaghan. 2 volumes (1081 pages) New Delhi United Service Institution of India, Manohar Publishers & Distributors. Available at Newcastle University Library, England.
- For the Honour of My House: The Contribution of the Indian Princely States to the First World War by Tony McClenaghan.
- A Legendary Force, 1st Patiala : 300 years of 15 Punjab (Patiala) by Anil Shorey. Published New Delhi c 2005 Available at the British Library UIN: BLL01013248347 .
- This regiment was the first battalion of the state forces of the Maharaja of Patiala, formed in 1705. In May 1900, the battalion was re-designated as First Patiala Imperial Service Infantry (Rajindra Sikh).
First World War
Faridkot Sappers and Miners
The State of Faridkot lies forty miles south east of Lahore in the Punjab. Faridkot Sappers and Miners were raised, and paid for by the His Highness the Maharajah of Faridkot, recruited from his princely state of Faridkot. The Indian officers and troops were all from Faridkot. Initally the Faridkots were the only Field Engineeer unit deployed in the East African Campaign.
Refer External links below.
The Jodhpur Lancers were supposedly the most aristocratic unit in India that went to the Great War. Sir Pertab, the 70-year-old Maharaja Regent of Jodhpur, himself accompanied the unit to France. Jodhpur Lancers fought at France and Flanders, Palestine and Syria during the whole of the War from Aug 1914 to Feb 1920. In the Jordan valley, at Haifa, and at Aleppo, the Jodhpur Lancers acquitted themselves gloriously. 
2nd Battalion Kashmir Rifles was sent to East Africa, see Kashmir Infantry
1st Kashmir Imperial Service Mountain Battery was also in East Africa, refer External links, below.
Second World War
- 1st Patiala (Rajindra) Lancers: Indian Government Service 6 November 1940 - 30 March 1946. Middle East service from 28 April 1945.
- 3rd Gwalior Maharaja Madho Rao Scindia’s Own Lancers: Indian Government Service March 1942 - August 1945. Some service in Burma.
- 1st (Nizam’s Own) Hyderabad Imperial Service Lancers: Indian Government Service 4 November 1940 - August 1945. Some overseas service in the Middle East.
- 2nd (Nizam’s Own) Hyderabad Imperial Service Lancers: Indian Government Service March 1942 - December 1945. Served in Syria from January to December 1945.
- Jodhpur Sardar Rissala. Title Change to Jodhpur Lancers – 1943. Indian Government Service 8 January 1940 - August 1945. Embarked for Persia in Persia March 1944 and served there until the end of the war.
- Imperial Service Troops Wikipedia
- Imperial Service Troops 1903 Wikipedia
- Watercolour by Charles James Lyall: 1901. A Patiala Lancer. Imperial Service troops Brown Digital Repository, Brown University Library
- "The Imperial Service Troops Scheme in the 19th and 20th Centuries" by Tony McClenaghan BCMH Summer Conference 2012 – Indian Armies (The British Commission for Military History bcmh.org.uk, now an archived page)
- "British Indian Army: Imperial Service Troops (1888-1918)" by Paul Watson September 27, 2006 orbat.com, now archived.
- "East African Campaign 1914 – 1918: Faridkot Sappers & Miners" by Richard Sneyd html version, pdf gweaa.com. Robert (Robin) Thomas Stuart Sneyd was working as a civil engineer in Madras Presidency when he joined the Indian Army Reserve of Officers in March 1915 and joined the Faridkots at Voi in British East Africa in October 1915 as a Lieutenant.
- "Macedonia 1916-1918: Indian Military Transport Units in Macedonia" by Harry Fecitt, Harry’s Sideshows kaiserscross.com. Includes details of the Bharatpur Imperial Service Transport Corps and the Indore Imperial Service Transport Corps with pack mule and mule cart duties.
- "The 30th Punjabis at Tandamuti Hill and Nakadi Ridge East Africa, February – October 1917" by Harry Fecitt, March 2015 html version, pdf gweaa.com. There is a mention of the 1st Kashmir Imperial Service Mountain Battery.
- Bhavnagar Imperial Service Lancers – WWI stampomania.blogspot.com. This regiment was stationed in Suez Canal, Sinai, Palestine and Syria.
- Image: Indian officer’s interwar helmet badge for the machine gun section of the Jodphur Lancers. Scroll down. Machine Gun Memorabilia – Volume 4, Number 1 sadefensejournal.com
- "A Close View of the Disaster at the Sittang Bridge" [Burma 1942] by Major E.R.B. Hudson of Malerkotla Field Company, an affiliated unit of the Royal Bombay Sappers and Miners. michiganwarstudiesreview.com
- Punjab Regiment globalsecurity.org. Includes 15 Punjab (First Patiala).
Historical books online
- A History of The Imperial Service Troops of Native States with a Short Sketch of Events in Each State compiled by Brigr.-General Stuart Beatson 1903 Calcutta: Office of the Superintendent of Government Printing. Archive.org version, mirror from Digital Library of India.
- History of the 15th Imperial Service Cavalry Brigade during the Great War 1914-1918 London: HMSO, 1920. Includes maps IOR/L/MIL/17/6/78 Digitised Manuscripts from the India Office Records, British Library
- The Brigade seems to have spent the War in Egypt and Palestine. The constituent regiments include the
- Kathiawar Signal Troop
- Hyderabad Lancers
- Mysore Lancers including two troops Bhavnagar Lancers and one troop Kashmir Lancers
- Patiala Lancers
- Jodhpur Lancers
- India and the First World War by Budheswar Pati 1996 Google Books
- Abstract of a paper A Rajput in France and Palestine: With the Jodhpur Lancers in the Great War by MS Jodha presented at the India and the Great War Conference at The United Service Institution of India New Delhi: 5-7 March 2014, now an archived webpage.
- dryan67 [Ryan, David]. Indian States Forces cavalry regiments WW2Forum 13 March 2016. David A Ryan is co author of books on the Indian Army in WW2, see the WW2Talk Forum post Indian Army: An Organisational History Retrieved 11 August 2016.