Imperial Service Cavalry Delhi Durbar – Old Photo 1903
An old 1903 photo of an imperial service cavalry parade in front of the Viceroy. That is possibly Lord Curzon saluting the horse-mounted cavalry. Lord Curzon was the viceroy from 1899 to 1905. An inscription on the back reads “The Imperial Service Cavalry passing before H. E. the Viceroy” H.E stands for His Emminence. The Viceroy of India was the supreme head of British India.
Read also CURZON, INDIA, AND EMPIRE.
There were three presidencies under then British India- Calcutta, Bombay, and Madras. And there were around 565 Princely States ruled by Maharajas, Rajas, Princes, Nawabs, and so on. The Indian government in 1888 insisted on the Princely states which had their own armies to provide troops to the British Empire. For serving in the war fronts of the Northwest Frontier (today’s Pakistan bordering Afghanistan) and outside the Indian sub-continent.
The largest and wealthiest of the Princely States maintained a large army of their own. They collectively mobilized around 25,000 to 50,000 armed forces at the request of the government. The Indian Army gained much experience and became quite adept in handling any threats for the security of the British Empire either internally or externally. One of its regiments the imperial service cavalry was also impressive in the Delhi Durbar of 1903.
Did you know- in 1915 the British Indian army successfully foiled an attack by the forces of the Turkish Ottoman-German alliance to seize the Suez Canal which was under British control at the time.
From the collection- Raja Ravi Varma’s “Birth of Shakuntala” Oleograph 1894., Rare Nilgiri Mountain Railway Steam Locomotive Drawing., Duke Of Edinburgh At Parel Station Bombay – Old Print., Antique Plan – Taking of The City of Cochin 1744