Irregular Cavalry

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Irregular Cavalry units, also known as Irregular Horse or Local Horse, were raised from local volunteers who provided their own horse and equipment - this was known as the silladar system. Irregular horse were seconded to bolster the strength of the regular cavalry.

They often formed whole units under a local leader and each unit would have two or three European Officers. In many cases the unit bore the name of the leader or place where they were formed- eg Gardner's Horse, or Skinner's Horse.

Poona Horse, Kurnool Horse and the Hindostan Irregular Cavalry, are mentioned in Captain Trower’s book, see below, in addition to regiments in the Nizam’s Army.

The men of the irregular cavalry continued to wear Indian dress - loose trousers and turbans - and not European uniform.

After the Indian Mutiny the irregular cavalry formed the nucleus of the cavalry taken over by the Crown.

Some irregular cavalry units

Historical books online

A follow on article "The Indian Cavalry of To-day" by Major-General E D Giles page 192 The Cavalry Journal Volume 25 1935.