Corps of Guides (British India)

Corps Of Guides (British India)

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Corps of Guides (British India)

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The Corps of Guides was a regiment of the British Indian Army which served in the North West Frontier and had a unique composition of being part infantry and part cavalry.


The brainchild of Sir Henry Lawrence, the Corps had modest beginnings. When it was raised at Kalu Khan, on the Yusufzai Plain, in the Peshawar Valley region by Lt. Harry Lumsden in December 1846, it comprised just one troop of cavalry and two companies of infantry. The first action was at Mughdara, in the Panitar Hills.Within two years, the small force of Guides had established a name for itself, under Lumsden, its founder and sole British officer. When the Second Sikh War broke out in 1848, the unit was given authorisation for a three-fold increase in size, to six companies of infantry and three troops of cavalry. The Guides maintained the quirky 'cavalry and infantry combined in the same regiment' format for many years, and even when split into two separate components, the name lingered in both elements.The Corps of Guides became the garrison unit of a key post on the frontier, the new fort of (Hoti ~) Mardan. In 1857 the unit was called urgently to help relieve the Siege of Delhi. In just over three weeks the Guides marched nearly six hundred miles during the hottest month of the year, crossing five great rivers and fighting four small actions. The march coincided with the month of Ramadan meaning that the muslim soldiers in the force could neither eat nor drink during the hours of daylight....
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