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This regiment was one of the (until 1922) forty cavalry regiments of the British Indian Army. It had originally been part of the army of the East India Company before passing into the reorganised Bengal Army of the post-Mutiny period and ultimately into the unified Indian Army of 1904. As the 3rd Cavalry it is now part of the modern Indian Army.

Origin and history

The 8th Lancers were the last cavalry regiment to be established before the Great Mutiny of 1857, being raised by Captain W. H. Ryves at Sultanpore in 1846. The regiment served in Peshawar in 1857 and in the 2nd Afghan War. They were issued with lances in 1899 to become the 8th Bengal Lancers, later changed to the 8th Lancers.

As the 8th Cavalry the regiment spent World War I on internal security duties in India although it was sent to Palestine in 1920. On returning to India in 1921 they were amalgamated with the 5th Cavalry and renamed the 3rd Cavalry.


Like all regiments of the Indian Army, the 8th Lancers underwent many name changes in the various reorganisations. They are listed below.

  • 1846 17th Irregular Cavalry
  • 1847 18th Irregular Cavalry
  • 1861 8th Regiment of Bengal Cavalry
  • 1900 8th Regiment of Bengal Lancers
  • 1901 8th Bengal Lancers
  • 1903 8th Lancers
  • 1904 8th Cavalry
  • 1922 3rd Cavalry following amalgamation with the 5th Cavalry


  • Kempton, C (1996). A Register of Titles of the Units of the H.E.I.C. & Indian Armies 1666-1947. Bristol: British Empire & Commonwealth Museum. ISBN 978-0-9530174-0-9
  • Gaylor, J (1992). Sons of John Company: The Indian and Pakistan Armies 1903- 1991. Stroud: Spellmount Publishers Ltd. ISBN 978-0-946771-98-1

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