Skinner's Horse

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1st and 3rd Skinners Horse

Known pre-1859 as 1st Irregular Cavalry and post-1859 as 1st (Duke of York's Own) Bengal Lancers


SKINNER, JAMES (1778-1841)
The son of Lt-Colonel Hercules Skinner and the founder of Skinner's Horse.
James Skinner Wikipedia

SKINNER, THOMAS (1800?-1843)
The son of Lt-General John Skinner. Joined the 16th Regiment of Foot as an ensign in 1816. With the rank of captain changed to 31st Regiment of Foot in 1824 and went to India in 1826. Commanded the regiment with Sir George Pollock's Army of Retribution during the 1st Afghan War and fought at the Battle of Tezin. Made CB and Brevet Colonel. Wrote Excursions in India about his travels in the Himalayas and Adventures during a Journey Overland to India about his journey to India.


  • 1803 raised as Captain Skinner's Corps of Irregular Horse under Lord Lake
  • 1823 became 1st Regiment of Local Horse
  • 1840 became 1st Bengal Irregular Cavalry
  • 1861 became 1st Regiment of Bengal Cavalry
  • 1896 became 1st Regiment of Bengal Lancers
  • 1899 became 1st (The Duke of York's Own) Regiment of Bengal Lancers
  • 1901 became 1st (The Duke of York's Own) Regiment of Bengal Lancers (Skinner's Horse)
  • 1921 became 1st/3rd Horse by amalgamating with 3rd Skinner's Horse
  • 1927 became Skinner's Horse (1st Duke of York's Own)
  • 1947 allocated to India at partition
  • 1950 became 1st Horse

Related articles

James Skinner

Second World War

During WW2 the regiment’s title was Skinner's Horse (1st Duke of York's Own Cavalry). The regiment was in India until it left Karachi on 20 September 1940 as part of 5th Indian Infantry Division .It arrived at Port Sudan 8 October 1940 and shortly after became part of Gazelle Force , formed to watch the frontier with Eritrea in the Gash Delta, north of Kassala. Late 1941 it moved to Egypt, then Cyprus. From March 1942 it was again in Egypt, part of the 10th Indian Motor Brigade, and was dispatched to Persia in September 1942. As part of the 10th Indian Infantry Division it arrived in Taranto, Italy on May 27th, 1944. It fought with the division in the advance to Florence in July 1944. In the final offensive in 1945, Skinner’s held the right flank of the 10th Indian Division with a squadron at Porto Nove under the XIII Corps. It led the advance beyond the Idice and by April 23rd it reached the Reno River. It left Italy November 22nd, 1945.[1]

External Links

Historical books online

  • Military memoir of Lieut-Col. James Skinner, C. B.: for many years a distinguished officer commanding a corps of irregular cavalry in the service of the H. E. I. C. by James Baillie Fraser 1851 Volume 1, Volume 2 Google Books
  • "Ist Bengal Cavalry" from Incidents in India and Memories of the Mutiny; with some records of Alexander's Horse and the 1st Bengal Cavalry, page 98 by F W. Pitt 1896
  • Sikander Sahib: Life of Colonel James Skinner 1778 – 1841 by Dennis Holman, 1961. Pdf download, Digital Library of India. mirror version. Note: Incorrectly catalogued as Sinkander Sahib.
  • Skinner's Horse : the history of the 1st Duke ofYork's Own Lancers (Skinner's Horse) and the 3rd Skinner's Horse : now amalgamated under the designation the 1st Duke of York's Own Skinner's Horse by Major A. M. Daniels 1925 is available in a reprint edition,[2] which in turn is available online on the Ancestry owned pay website fold3 (located in World War II/Military Books/India).


  1. dryan67 1st Duke of York's Own Skinner's Horse Reconnaissance Regiment WW2Talk Forum 3 March 2014. 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 9 October 2018.
  2. Skinner’s Horse: The History of the 1st Duke of York's Own Lancers by Major A. M. Daniels 1925. Naval & Military Press reprint edition.