18th Cavalry (Armoured Corp) Regiment
The 18th King Edward's Own Cavalry was a regular cavalry regiment in the British Indian Army. It was formed in 1921 by the amalgamation of the 6th King Edward's Own Cavalry and the 7th Hariana Lancers. These regiments served the British Crown from before the Indian Mutiny to World War II.
In World War II the regiment was mechanised in December 1940 and attached to the 3rd Indian Motor Brigade which as initially part of the 31st Indian Armoured Division.
The brigade was sent to Egypt and the Western Desert Campaign and was attached to a number of different formations including the 2nd Armoured Division, 7th Armoured Division and the 9th Australian Division who they were with at the Siege of Tobruk. It also supplied men for the Indian Long Range Squadron. The brigade was later overrun by the Italians during the Battle of Gazala and took some days to reform.
The brigade formation was:
2nd Lancers (Gardner's Horse), equipment Cavalry Carrier – 2 x Recon Sqn, 1 x AT Sqn.
11th Prince Albert Victor's Own Cavalry (Frontier Force) equipment Cavalry Carrier - 2 x Recon Sqn, 1 x AT Sqn.
18th King Edward's Own Cavalry, equipment Cavalry Carrier - 2 x Recon Sqn, 1 x AT Sqn.
However the 3rd Indian Motor Brigade part of the desert war was over. On 30 June the brigade was ordered to hand over 50% its vehicles to the 8th Army. The brigade was dispersed in July, initially allotted to the defence of the Delta then ordered to perform guard duties however it was reformed in August. It travelled overland to Sahneh in Persia via Baghdad, again under the command of 31st Indian Armoured Division where it remained until late November, when they moved to Shaibah, seven miles 7 miles (11 km) from Basra. From here the regiment returned to India in January 1943 and the brigade was reconstituted as the 43rd Indian Infantry Brigade (Lorried) at Shaibah at the end of January 1943.
When in India it moved to Rawalpindi in the middle of 1943 and commenced conversion and reorganisation as a light cruiser regiment. By the end of the year the regiment successfully converted into a light cruiser tank regiment. The regiment was split up after that, serving in different parts of India when the Japanese surrender came in August 1945.
Chief of Army Staff Gen Dalbir Singh presenting the President’s Standard to 18 Cavalry at the Amritsar military station in 2016.
This honour has been bestowed upon the 18 Cavalry in due recognition of the dedicated service rendered by the regiment since its raising in January 1842. The 18 Cavalry is a frontline regiment of the Indian Armoured Corps, which has participated in a large number of operations undertaken by the Army since its raising.
Capt C L Fonceca showing the President of India Dr Rajendra Prasad a regiment Tank. (NB: Dr. Rajendra Prasad was the First President of India after its partition/Independence in1947.)
General Service Medal
GEORGIVS VI D: G: BR: OMN: REX ET INDIAE IMP ----- World War II Medal.
This was a Campaign Medal/British Decoration awarded to those who served as British and commonwealth forces (Armed Forces or Merchant Navy full-time for at least 28 days between 3 September 1939 and 2 September 1945) in World War II, 1939-45. ... The obverse shows the crowned coinage...
GEORGIUS : VI D: G: BRITT: OMN : REX : FID : DEF
Miniature circular cupro-nickel medal with claw and fixed ribbon bar suspension; the face with a chakra (wheel) centrally, the Imperial crown above, circumscribed ‘GEORGIUS: VI: D: G: BRITT: OMN: REX: FID: DEF’ (George VI by the Grace of God King of Great Britain Defender of the Faith); the reverse with the Ashokan Lions, circumscribed ‘INDIAN INDEPENDENCE’ and dated ‘15TH AUGUST 1947’ below; diameter 18.83mm (0.74 inch); court-mounted on original ribbon.
The Medal was instituted in October 1949 and awarded to members of the Indian armed forces, including those of the Princely States that had acceded to India before 1 January 1948, who were serving on 15 August 1947 and to British military who stayed in India after independence to assist in the reorganisation of the Indian armed forces after partition and who were still serving on 1 January 1948.