The Peshawar Light Horse

For all discussions regarding military actions short of war and the Great Game on the North West frontier of India, 1837-1901.

The Peshawar Light Horse

Postby Mike Thomas » 04 Mar 2010 00:59

Has anybody got any information regarding this unit other than is mentioned in Brian Parritt's "Red With Two Blue Stripes" and Captain H.L. Nevill's "Campaigns on the North-West Frontier"?

Has anybody seen a medal to this unit?
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Re: The Peshawar Light Horse

Postby colenso » 04 Mar 2010 18:09

Welcome on board Mike.

"Red With Two Blue Stripes" and Captain H.L. Nevill's during the North-West Frontier is bit of enigma. Parrit makes reference to the Peshawar Light Horse being on the Expedition No.15 - Mahsud Waziris - Apr 1860, under Brigadier General N.B. Chamberlain. However reading through I can find no mention of them.

Expidition No 13 to Sitana Apr- May 1858, under Gneral Sir Sydney J. Cotton, shows 130 Sabers for the Peshawar Light Horse. No mention of your man, but it had three troops from selected men of the 5th Cavalry.

Will do so more digging for now I hope this is of help.

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Re: The Peshawar Light Horse

Postby Billy Fish » 06 Mar 2010 23:39

Hi Mike,

I've been checking through various books, in A.A.Paynes British and Foriegn Orders, War Medals and Decorations ( Paynes Personal Collection of Orders and Medals) published in 1911. He lists a pair of medals to Peshawur Light Horse as follows:-

Indian Mutiny no clasp and Meritorious Service Medal to Regimental Sergeant Major G.A.Dunk ( Late 20th Hussars)

Within the section referring to Indian Mutiny Medals it lists the no bar medal named to ( Sergeant G. Dunk, Peshawur Horse)

So clearly medals named to the Peshawur Light Horse of the period have existed named to the unit, however I personally have not seen one. Further research revealed the following:-

Colonel Francis Augustus Fane of Fulbeck Hall ; born=
22 March, bapt. at Fulbeck 4 April 1824; entered
25th Foot as Ensign 27 August 1841, Lieutenant 1843,
Captain 185 1, Major 1859, Lieut.-Colonel i860, Colonel
(retired) 23 October 1865 ; A.D.C. to his uncle, Major-
General Mildmay Fane ; raised and commanded the
Peshawar Light Horse during the Indian Mutiny ; died
at Valetta, Malta, aged 68, i February 1893, bur. at
Fulbeck. Will dated 5 September 1892, proved (Prin.
Reg., 349, 93) 15 April 1893, by Augusta Fane, relict.

There was also a reference to one man of the Pershawur Light Horse named as Private Andrew Marrow wounded at Peshawur 28/8/1857 in the Indian Mutiny Casualty Roll.

Hope this helps , I will do some checking to see if there are any further references regarding the actions they were involved in.

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Re: The Peshawar Light Horse

Postby Mike Thomas » 07 Mar 2010 22:51

Thank you very much for your efforts Billy and Colenso.

Colenso, the reason that you can’t find any information in Expedition 15 is because Brian Parritt is using two numbering systems. One to seventeen represents each of the seventeen expeditions between 1849 and 1868 whilst there are also two others numbered 3A and 7A. Elsewhere he uses one to nineteen as a representation of the seventeen plus these two, so your ‘15’ is really ‘13’.

For other people using this Forum, some years ago I became interested in Major General Cotton’s expedition to Sitana in April and May of 1858 and particularly in the Peshawar Light Horse.

According to Parritt, the Peshawar Light Horse was a composite force made up of detachments of the 5th Native Cavalry and the 27th, 70th and 87th Foot. The native cavalry formed one troop whilst men from the British regiments formed another two. Raised and commanded by Captain Francis Fane (mentioned in despatches) of the 87th, Lieutenant J.C. Lockwood who commanded a detachment was also mentioned in despatches, as was Lieutenant R. Wigham

In his book “Red With Two Blue Stripes”, Parritt claims that a total of 130 men were present whilst “Campaigns on the North-West Frontier” by Captain H.L. Nevill, DSO says that 30 men were present.

Brian Parritt has included a Roll for the 87th Foot, in his book, but not for the 70th. The Regimental History of the 27th states that '3 sergeants, 1 drummer and 57 privates' were members of the Peshawar Light Horse whist Brian Parritt mentions that just three medals were claimed by this regiment.

I've never seen a medal to the 87th, what's the survival rate - 10-20%? Four or seven; perhaps I've just not seen them. I've spoken to two serious collectors of the East Surrey (70th) Regiment and they've never heard of a campaign on the Northwest Frontier let alone seen a medal!

Neville states that fifty bayonets from each regiment were present at Narinji with Major Vaughan but this was in August 1857. We have to wait until the expedition to Sitana in April 1858 before the Peshawar Light Horse are present and that their total strength was just thirty!

Split between four regiments, it's little wonder that only three medals were claimed by the 27th. I have seen no medals to the 27th, the 70th, the 87th or the 5th Cavalry.

Yes, I have seen no medals to any of these regiments but I DO own an India General Service, 1854-95 medal with the clasp 'Northwest Frontier' to ‘Pte. P. Bourke, Peshr. Lt. Horse‘. His no clasp Mutiny medal is named: '2942 Pte. Patk. Burke, H.M.s. 27th Regt.'

I’m actively seeking medals to participants at Sitana and any other campaigns on the Northwest Frontier between 1849 and 1868.
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Re: The Peshawar Light Horse

Postby Mike Thomas » 12 Mar 2010 21:08

Page 221 of Volume 1 of “Frontier and Overseas Expeditions From India” appears to confirm Captain Nevill’s claim that thirty men of the Peshawar Light Horse were present on the expedition to Sitana in 1858 and not the 130 [an easy slip] stated by Parritt.

It also states that: ‘The Peshawar Light Horse, raised on 3rd June 1857, and was formed of men from the 27th, 70th, and 87th Foot, mounted on horses taken away from the disarmed native cavalry. Captain F. Fane, 87th Foot, was commandant, and the strength was 2 officers, 4 sergeants and 84 men.’

Previous mention was made of the the Peshawar Light Field Battery, which was raised on the 5th June 1857. Manned by the 4th Company, 2nd Battalion, Bengal Foot Artillery it had a company of European drivers composed of volunteers from the companies of Foot Artillery at Peshawar. The horses and syces were taken from the 5th Bengal Light Cavalry which had been dismounted and disarmed. This was one of the Regular Cavalry Regiments, and the horses were the property of Government.
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Re: The Peshawar Light Horse

Postby colenso » 12 Mar 2010 21:40

Hi Mike,

Many thanks for information re-PLH. Just a long shot that crossed my mind, I was wondering if Major Gen Cotton wrote any despatches regarding these actions. Officers tend to get more coverage in them?


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Re: The Peshawar Light Horse

Postby Mike Thomas » 13 Mar 2010 18:36


Brian Parritt in “Red With Two Blue Stripes” lists the Officers Mentioned in Despatches by Major General Sir S.J. Cotton for the Sitana expedition thus:

‘Major-General Sir Sidney Cotton, in his despatch, stated that conduct and discipline of the whole of the troops in the field deserved his most unqualified admiration, and that he was deeply indebted to Lieutenant-Colonel H.B. Edwardes, CB, the Commissioner of Peshawar, for his very able co-operation and advice. He also alluded to the excellent service performed by Major J.R. Becher, the Deputy Commissioner of Hazara, who commanded the Hazara Column, and whose dispositions in the attack of Sitana contributed in no small degree to the success gained. The names of the other officers mentioned by Sir Sidney Cotton were:

‘Lieutenant-Colonel H. Renny, Commanding 1st Brigade
Major A.T. Allan, Commanding 2nd Brigade
Lieutenant-Colonel W.E. Mulcaster, Commanding Cavalry
Captain T. Brougham, Commanding Artillery
Major F. Peyton, Commanding Detachment H.M’s 98th
Captain W.B. Browne, Commanding Detachment H.M’s 81st
Captain S. Stallard, Commanding Peshawar Light Field Battery
Captain T. Pulman, Commanding Mortar Detachment
Lieutenant F.R. Butt, Commanding Hazara Mountain Train Battery
Lieutenant J.E. Cordner, Commanding Detachment Peshawar Mountain Train Battery
Major H.R. Ryves, Commanding Detachment 18th Irregular Cavalry
Major H. Milne, Commanding Detachment 21st Regiment Native Infantry
Lieutenant G.A. Brown, Commanding Detachment 21st Regiment Native Infantry
Captain G.W. Harding, Commanding 2nd Sikh Infantry
Lieutenant C.C. Rowcroft, Commanding Kelat-i-Ghilzai Regiment
Lieutenant T. Quin, Commanding 6th Punjab Infantry
Lieutenant C.H. Brownlow, Commanding 8th Punjab Infantry
Captain J.B. Thelwall, Commanding 9th Punjab Infantry
Captain T.C. Blagrave, Commanding 12th Punjab Infantry
Lieutenant J. Williamson, Commanding 18th Punjab Infantry
Lieutenant T.G. Kennedy, Commanding Corps of Guides
Lieutenant J.C. Lockwood, Commanding Detachment Peshawar Light Horse
Captain T. Wright, Deputy-Assistant Adjutant-General
Lieutenant G.R. Greaves, Acting Deputy Assistant Adjutant-General
Captain W. Cooper, Deputy-Assistant Quarter-Master General
Lieutenant R. Wigham, Adjutant Peshawar Light Horse
Captain L.B. Jones, Deputy-Judge Advocate
Captain L.S. Cotton, Aide-de-Camp
Captain F. Fane, Peshawar Light Horse
Captain V. Tonnochy, Brigade Major
Captain E.J. Ellerman, Brigade Major
Lieutenant E. Tierney, Staff Officer of Artillery
Lieutenant H.R. Osborn, Staff Officer of Cavalry
Lieutenant M.J. White, Staff Officer of Hazara Column
Captain H. Hyde, Commanding Sappers and Miners
Lieutenant J.T. Tovey, 24th Regiment, Assistant Field Engineer
Lieutenant W. Henderson, Bengal Engineers, Assistant Field Engineer
Lieutenant F.S. Taylor, Bengal Engineers, Assistant Field Engineer
Surgeon G.S. Mann, Field Surgeon

‘In publishing the despatches, it was noted that the Governor-General fully appreciated the ability and judgement of Sir Sydney Cotton in the conduct of the expedition, and that it would afford His Lordship great satisfaction to bring to the favourable notice of the Home Authorities the eminent merits of the Major-General, and the excellent services of the officers and troops
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Re: The Peshawar Light Horse

Postby JohnG » 07 Apr 2010 22:35

Not sure if this correspondence is continuing, but a couple of comments and questions:

First, I am able to identify one of the officers from the 27th (Inniskilling) Regiment who volunteered and became part of the Peshawar Light Horse. He was Lieut. William Henry Gresson, and the record of his attachment to this unit comes from George Alfred Raikes’ 1885 Roll of Officers of the 65th (York & Lancaster) Regiment, to which he subsequently transferred (via the 2/14th Regt) in New Zealand in 1861. I can’t say whether he was one of the 30 (or 130?) members of the troop which actually participated in Sir Sydney Cotton’s Sittana Field Force’s punitive expedition, as opposed to merely being on the strength of the unit. If anyone else has any information on this, I would be pleased to see it.

Second, page 226 of Volume 1 of “Frontier and Overseas Expeditions From India” records that in 1869 all surviving troops engaged in Cotton’s operation were entitled to the India General Service Medal 1854 with “North West Frontier” clasp. I would be interested to know how that recognition would have been promulgated to the survivors: was there a London Gazette notice (if so, I haven’t been able to find it) or some other form of notification? Are there medal rolls for that clasp to that medal?
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Re: The Peshawar Light Horse

Postby agent13 » 27 Nov 2013 06:59


My first post on this group.

Interested in the discussion on the Peshawar Light Horse as I have the IGS (NWF Bar) to Lt John Cutts Lockwood although he is listed as in command of a detachment of the Peshawar Light Horse his medal is named to him as ‘Provost Marshal’.

I’m aware he served in the Mutiny as Aide de Camp to Sir Sydney Cotton during the mutiny and retired as Hon Col 20th Hussars in Feb 1880.

Appreciated any information on the campaign that would help with my understanding of the operations on the NWF 1858.

Kindest Regards
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Re: The Peshawar Light Horse

Postby Maureene » 03 Dec 2013 22:24

The FIBIS Fibiwiki has a page “North West Frontier Campaigns”, although there is more about later periods. ... _Campaigns

There is also the page Indian Mutiny where you might find something on the North West Frontier

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